Do you believe that the most important factors when choosing products or services to promote on your affiliate website is their price , their quality , their unique offer?….or even their level of differentiation?…Whatever you think is important and can be part of your list hides useful information that you can take control and transform the given data in order to claim advantages against the “competition”.But in that cases we always must provide high quality products that could stand in comparisons and their price could be considered fair for the masses.
I Will Try To Highlight The Most Crucial Factors On Deciding Products Or Services According To Our Promotion Plan
It’s not enough to find out reputable merchants and products and start promoting them right away.It’s not enough to get decent commissions or the product’s price to be considered fair or affordable.We should know everything about that product or service.It should be tested by every angle and we should be feeling proud when promoting it.Because if we don’t , if we choose to promote products or services just because they are popular or they convert at high rates we are missing on a huge opportunity.
That opportunity comes from the passion and our personal experience from the product.If you are 100% sure for what you are promoting then you can approach your campaigns smoother and you can extract advantages for their use in a very different way than your competitors do.
Important Criteria When Choosing Products
♦ Does the merchant website and therefore its products or services provide solutions to your visitors?
♦ Will your visitors be attracted by the merchant offers?
The merchant and products you choose to promote on your affiliate website should be very relevant to your actual content.Your content should provide information around the merchant and its competitors.You can offer your own personal reviews on the products you are promoting and for those you are not promoting as well , because this way your visitors should have something to compare.You will apply on the advantages of your “promoted” products and you will clarify why these products are better than their competition.
You do not want only to “praise” a specific product although this might be the best possible offer in the market.Doing so you sound “biased” , you have to give comparisons on similar products that are not so special as your offers.
You have to fully test your “promoted product”.You have to turn it upside down ,stretch it and use it under any conditions.This way it will feel like you own the product , you have to be certain on what you are saying and be prepared to answer any possible questions from your visitors and from competitors that do not agree with your promotions as they would probably promote other competitive merchants.
B) Merchant Analysis – Overview
It is not enough to pick a product of high quality , a product that you use everyday or something you know that is the best out there as concerns the competition.You have to analyse the merchant in deep to eliminate details that could possibly hurt your website in the long run.You have to keep your eye on the merchant and to keep on updating your website with important news or announcements.
And you have to offer multiple solutions to your readers as one merchant might be the best today . that does not mean that he will continue to stay on top for the next years.Or that does not mean that a merchant will continue to exist offering always the same quality and prices.And as you keep on searching for more resources the more authority your website gets , the more experience you gain and you will meet in your way merchants that could add more value to your visitors.This research is going to be endless and you have to deal with that right from the beginning of your website career.
♦ Does the merchant have a good reputation in the market?…What information can you extract from affiliate networks , social media and forums?…What your affiliate partners say about the merchant?…What do you think about the future?…Are there people complaining about the merchant?…Why they are doing so?
♦ Are their prices fair?…Are you promoting a very expensive partner that although he offers unbeatable quality he has a strong disadvantage on that?…What your partners say?…What the people think of their prices?
♦ Does the merchant offer returns or refunds?…What will happen in cases of disappointing customers?…What is the exact procedure on returns?…Is there any money back guarantee?
♦ The merchant’s website – Is it a website that can be navigated easily?…Is it a safe website? , is it an ad intruding website that only want to make sales?…Does it offer any additional value or information to the visitors?…Can someone contact them immediately? , is there a contact form? , how long does it take to get a response?
♦ Payments , safety – Does the merchant offer multiple payment solutions?…Does the merchant include all the basic credit card formats?…Is a paypal option included?…Are there any discounts or special offers?
♦ What is the Unique Selling Proposition of the merchant?..What he offers that his competitors don’t?…
All your efforts in promoting a product will drop dead if the merchant is not able to “close the sale”.You may not be responsible for the product delivery or customer service but your job is to Pre-Sell the product so you want to choose reputable merchants and their high converting products.You have to choose your partners very closely and by collecting all the necessary information about them.
What are other affiliates saying about the merchant you chose to promote?…What people and customers say about this merchant on forums, discussions and social media.It is always a great idea to diversify your sources.You have to check both people’s opinion and affiliated partners insights.
C) Sales and Reports , Tracking Software , Affiliate Network – Payments
♦ Is the merchant hosting an independent affiliate program on their website?…What affiliate tracking software do they use for the transactions?
♦ Are the merchants products available on Affiliate Networks that control the transactions?…Do you know these networks?…What are their policies on payments, reports and refunds?..
If the merchant you are promoting belongs to an Affiliate Network it would be wise to join this network and find out every necessary details that could be proved valuable to you and your readers.
♦ What kind of reports you will be getting?….In order to understand the conversion rates of a merchant you have to analyse statistical data….Is the merchant providing these data?..You have to consider this section as a very important one.It is crucial to gather as much information as you can to proceed with your statistics.
If the merchant is available through an affiliate network then the network is responsible for these statistics.The majority of networks provide additional information and comparison tables to test merchants even side by side.Check the return rates and pricing from all your potential merchants and compare them… What is the commission for affiliates?..Are there any rewards for top affiliates?…Any extra discounts or offers?…how many affiliates are promoting the same product?… and so on.
You have to offer the top products to your visitors to stand out of the competition.
♦ It is quite important that you collect updated information on a regular basis, daily if possible especially in cases that you spend money on advertising for your campaigns.Some networks or merchant monitor in real-time while others may present only some data once in a week.
♦ How often will the merchant be paying the affiliates?…Some merchants might pay every week , every month or other merchants offer payments when a specific amount of sales is reached.
If the products you are promoting are listed in affiliate networks these networks are responsible for the payments and every transaction between merchant and affiliates.Usually these networks pay on a month basis.You have to check their policies and payments conditions.If you are promoting products all over the world then your payments might be delayed.
The type of payment is also different from network to network and merchant to merchant.Others offer checks , others offer paypal payments or others offer direct deposits.You have to select carefully considering all the appropriate information and calculate any possible costs through the transactions.
Some merchants reward their top affiliates with higher commissions or other bonuses.If 2 merchants offer decent and very similar products you might want to choose one of them depending on their top reward policy.
♦ Cookie period – How long the merchant cookies stay alive before they expire?…There are merchants that offer lifetime cookies like Wealthy Affiliate , 30 days or even 24 hours like Amazon.You have to select the best possible merchants for your needs and efforts by examining this extra information.
I always try to find merchants that offer long cookie periods in order to maximise my conversion rates.Some customers are not ready to buy so we want cookies that last at least one week.The less it lasts the less conversion rates for you.
D) Reversal Rates
Another very important factor you should not underestimate at all.Unsatisfied customers can be found even for the best products of the market.There are many reasons for a product return or cancellation.
♦ The customer expected more , not satisfied with quality
♦ The customer might found the price expensive after all
♦ Lack of support
♦ No stock available
♦ Fraudulent or faulty or late delivered transactions
The reversal rates vary and depending on the industry and the product itself.We should expect high reversal rates on clothing for example and low in music.If the merchant is participating in an affiliate network then these statistics might be available on their website , otherwise you have to check on the merchant’s website.If you can not find any information on that matter do not hesitate to contact the merchant and ask for these crucial data.It would be an excellent idea to contact other affiliates that are promoting the same merchant to ask for their feedback and their general experience with.
E) Marketing Material
Top quality and informed merchants provide their affiliates with “High Ammunition” while others offer only advertising banners or links through texts.This kind of support is not very sufficient and today’s marketing world demands more than that.Do not forget the fact that banners are almost totally ignored by online visitors whose eyes are trying to catch only high quality content.Besides you can not only reside to banners no matter how relevant it is your website to the banners offers and content.It is your personal reviews and additional informational content that will drive your website to conversions.
♦ Some merchants offer their product catalogues , as we call sometimes the datafeed,A full catalogue is powered with images , descriptions and links.
♦ Keyword lists – as this is not a top priority factor some merchants may include a keyword list according to their products especially if the merchant offers marketing solutions.
♦ Links with custom destination – Some merchants only provide affiliate links for their home page while others offer multiple affiliate links or others offer affiliate links for every page on their website.You can select specific pages to link through a specific post on your website and other destinations from another post.It can be proved very valuable if you could send your visitors to a merchant’s landing page that converts really well.
♦ Ready made content – Some merchants offer their promoters content that they can use for their campaigns.But in that cases you have to be prepared.More affiliates will be promoting the same products with you.To stay out of the competition and shine you have to add value to this content or present it in an alternative way , you do not want to sound as all the affiliates out there.Customize that content to fit exactly to your website and to provide a unique perspective to your readers.
♦ Some merchants offer training on their products and services while others give no additional information.
♦ Websites – Some merchants even offer websites to their affiliates in order to maximise their conversion rates.In some cases you avoid start up costs like the domain or hosting.But you have to be able to make any changes necessary to this website , and to have full control on them.For example Wealthy Affiliate is not offering ready websites but there is a website builder where someone has the option to choose from a list of website templates one that is applying to his needs and then construct it with the push of a button.Then you have to build the content and to drive traffic to this website and therefore to participate in affiliate networks and start on promoting products or services.
There is no marketing weapon than a website.Today’s internet world demands quality , content that is providing solutions and engagement.The days when someone was producing 2-3 landing pages content along with some adsense ads belong to the past.You need conversions , then you have to build your own affiliate website.
I hope you enjoyed another article.I am waiting for your comments and thoughts as always.Are these factors important to you when you are choosing products to promote?…What else should be included in that list?