There are many mistakes inexperienced affiliates can make, but the result is likely to be the same for all of them: little traffic volume and little sales conversion. The good news is since we know these are the 2 results we must work on to improve, we can then think backwards and identify the few major aspects of our online business where we can rectify.
Here are the 3 biggest mistakes that affiliates make:
Mistake #1: Sending untargeted traffic. (oops!)
If you’re using “home page swaps” to sell dog training, that’s untargeted traffic. If you’re using a vague pay-per-click keyword like “dog training” to sell a dog agility course, that’s untargeted traffic. Or if you’re sending weight loss offers to your online marketing list, then you’re tapping into an untargeted traffic source.
Point is, you’ll get a much higher browser-to-buyer conversion rate if you send laser-targeted traffic. Example: If you’re trying to sell memberships to a weight loss site that’s designed for women, then find women who need to lose weight (brides-to-be, new moms, those who’ve experienced the “Freshman 15” or middle-aged spread, etc).
Mistake #2: Neglecting to presell the offer. (doh!)
You can’t just throw your affiliate link in front of your prospects and expect them to jump all over the offer. Instead, you need to tell them why they should buy it.
Once your prospects are “warmed up” and interested in the offer, then you can send them to the sales page to close the sale. They need to get comfortable with the seller first, which brings me to mistake #3.
Mistake #3: Not building a relationship with prospects. (yikes!!)
Let me ask you something: Whose advice do you trust more, your friend’s or that of a stranger you just met on the street?
Naturally, you trust your friends more. And so do your prospects. That’s why you’ll get more sales if you build relationships with your prospects before you start selling to them. You can do this by publishing a blog or newsletter and interacting with your readers.
Now you know the mistakes. So let’s talk about the RIGHT way to send traffic to your affiliate offers.
Step #1: Create a Mailing List.
For this step you’ll need:
• A freebie to entice people to join your list, such as an e-course, report or video. This freebie should be directly related to the affiliate offer you’re promoting.
• A squeeze page. This is a mini-salesletter that gives your prospects all the reasons they should join your list.
NOTE: Aside from the autoresponder, 5iphon has this step COMPLETELY covered for you! Upgrade to 5iphon EXTREME and you can make money while building your own email list! (The 5iphon affiliate program pays RESIDUAL commissions and you can promote whatever you want on the “back end”!)
Now your goal is send traffic to your squeeze page to build your list (rather than sending traffic directly to your affiliate offer).
You can do this in a variety of ways, including:
• Forum marketing (using your signature).
• Writing and submitting articles to article directories.
• Guest blogging (getting your articles published on other people’s blogs).
• Using social media like Twitter and Facebook.
• Leveraging other peoples’ resources through joint ventures.
Step #2: Build Relationships With Your Subscribers.
Now that you have your prospects on your list, you need to start building trust.
The best way to do this is to send them useful content. In other words, solve at least part of their problems…for free.
Step #3: Give Your Subscribers a Reason to Buy.
The last step is for you to start telling your subscribers about the affiliate product or service you’re promoting. At a minimum, you need to tell them WHY they should buy. That is, what are the benefits of this product or service?
You can also sweeten the deal by tossing in your own bonus for those who purchase the offer through your link.
Example: If you’re selling memberships into a weight loss site, then offer a free low-calorie cookbook to everyone who joins.
And there you have it: The top 3 affiliate mistakes and the 3 easy steps to earning more money with recurring commission products.
Bryan Winters is the architect of the free list building website, 5iphon Hardcore, that gets you 5 *more* subscribers for every ONE you bring in.