One of the most challenging tasks for affiliate manager is to keep affiliates motivated. . . and there's no better motivation than a first sale! Less experienced affiliates need full range of tools to promote your products, to be able to experiment and find best converting strategies. What about the big affiliates? Can you imagine a top affiliate doing YOUR homework? No, they won't. So how affiliate promotional tools work and what are they at all?
How it works Affiliate software is (also) used to distribute personalized affiliate codes to affiliates. Thus an affiliate can easily copy/paste promotional materials to their website, blog, email or forum signature. . Personalized links ensure that affiliate gets commission for each sale they refer to you.
Requirements to setup affiliate toolbox There are 3 main types of promotional materials that are supported in most affiliate software packages. They are Text links, HTML banners and Graphical banners. With these 3 categories of promotional codes you can set up a full affiliate toolbox. Before we get to the tools, let's talk a bit about what actually is the aim of affiliate toolbox.
Your affiliates are supposed to pre-sell / recommend your products. The techniques they use to achieve that may vary from one affiliate to another. A product review is a great tool for blogger, while email template is a must for email list owner. You want to have toolbox ready for all types of affiliates and marketing techniques they use. Make it as easy as possible for them to make a first sale. As promised, top 8 affiliate tools follow:
1. Text links - they are flexible, can be placed virtually anywhere. It is easy to customize them as well as weave them into content. A good headline is a must. Give your affiliates a link you know attracts your potential customers. There are ways how to test what headline / text link converts the best. Make a small research - create several links, run an Adwords (or other PPC campaign) campaign and pick the links with best click through.
2. Banner ads - graphical banners may help. Although they do not accomplish the goal of pre-selling and aren't as flexible as text links, together with targeted content and smart placement they can bring nice results. Make sure animated banners convey the advertising message within 3 seconds - otherwise click through rate decreases rapidly. A regards size - maximum suggested size for animated banners is 15kB.
2. Product reviews - write a review of your product. It is a great way to share the expertise about your product you have with your affiliates. It's much easier for them to add meaningful product review on their website or blog. Positive product reviews accomplish the goal of pre-selling very well and increase conversion rate of traffic referred by affiliates to you.
3. Email templates - Email list owners are great affiliates. In fact most super affiliates have huge and responsive lists with relationships build over many years of hard work. Help your affiliates to create mail about your products quickly with pre-written list email announcements. Include also a tell-a-friend email template so that affiliates can spread the word about your product among their contacts.
4. Forum signatures - forums are great to learn, share experience, make JV's or get feedback. Additionally, affiliates can promote your products while receiving all the benefits of forum participation by setting up a forum signature with their affiliate link in it. Signatures are added to each post on forums. Advantage of forum advertising is that it brings targeted traffic with good conversion.
5. Information about PPC advertising - learn your affiliates how to set up PPC campaigns targeted to their affiliate sites. Affiliate sites with good conversion rates thus can bring a constant traffic and income. Do not simply ask your affiliates to pay for your advertising - PPC advertising can be used to promote your products and grow their lists at the same time. Thus your affiliates build their assets while promoting your products.
6. Press releases - the purpose of press releases is to announce a newsworthy message about your organization or product. Press releases are considered by the media (magazines, ezines, news / TV shows, etc. ), moreover a good press releases brings a nice traffic and many links across the net. Learn your affiliates to write a good press release to drive traffic to their affiliate sites.
7. PLR articles - share your articles with your affiliates, so that they can quickly build content pages and attract potential customers.
8. Viral e-book - write a free e-book about something that's interesting for your potential customers. Include links to your website and let affiliates to customize them with their affiliate links. Affiliates then distribute the e-book on their websites/ to their lists.
Martin Melisek is internet marketing specialist at QualityUnit , vendor of popular affiliate software Post Affiliate Pro - a powerful full featured package to set up own in-house affiliate program.