Affiliate Advertising – Making It Work For You

In this last affiliate advertising primer I’ll give you some info on acceptable practices and email marketing. If you missed the earlier entries, you can find them here -> Affiliate Advertising – Publisher Sites and here -> Affiliate Advertising – It’s Up To You

Programs for affilates are often skewed toward the advertiser, which you can understand because they are created by the advertiser. Some common no-no’s in affiliate marketing:

Bidding on trademarked terms
Some affiliates encourage Adwords buys to increase sales to their site using your affiliate link. However, your bidding on their trademarked name increases their own bids so that, if they are not careful, they won’t rank even in the top 20 results for their own brand name. Due to this problem, many affiliates (and some search engines) have put controls in place to prevent your bidding on their trademarked name.

However, they often have no problem with your bidding on generic terms. If I’m offering an affiliate ad focusing on the Bombay Company, I might not be able to name them directly in the ad, but I can bid on keywords like home decor, save on home furnishings or even sofabed coupons.

affiliate advertising tipYou’ll raise your ROI by bidding on less generic keywords and focusing on the sale part. Don’t bid on widget but on widgets for sale, cheap widgets or no money down widgets. Ask yourself, “What would I search for if I was looking to buy a widget?”

Running an ad directly to their site:
There are several choices when running an ad as far as which page clickers will land on. The landing page can be your home site, a permalink to the actual deal, a landing page they create for you (very common) or even a direct link to the product on their site (an affiliate link). Some companies have strict controls on this as well. You’ll want to check with your affiliate manager to determine their rules.

affiliate advertising tipsAffiliate advertisers are focused on making money. They employ affiliate managers within their staff to oversee their affiliate program. Often these quasi-salespeople can be your greatest advocate when it comes to increasing your sales.

If you want to know what works best for other affiliates, just ask them. They’ll send you suggested bidding keywords, help you choose links for your target audience, help you understand what products are selling best and even can give you some pointers on landing pages.

Email Marketing

Another highly effective, but highly regulated marketing tool for the affiliate publisher is email marketing. I want to say right now that spam is evil. I won’t help you spam and I don’t condone it or use it to increase my affiliate income. Also, I regularly turn in spammers to their affiliate manager. If I see a deal for something that I am an affiliate for, I almost always send an email to the affiliate manager letting them know that I did not opt in. I know many other affiliate publishers who do the same.

But, opt-in email is different. I offer a Deals newsletter that I use to offer up the weekly deals from my deals site. The growth of that newsletter that is only 3 weeks old has been great. I already have more email subscribers than RSS subscribers to the site. Email is more popular than RSS and if you are not offering email, you’re missing out on a large portion of traffic. Cater to the people who don’t yet ‘get’ RSS and you’ll reach the people who click ads.

In addition to the fact that email newsletter readers are great for advertising your current deals, they’re also great for drawing attention to a particularly great offer. While I always offer direct links to current deals in the newsletter, I can also place a banner ad, a sidebar ad and a footer ad in the newsletter, really drawing the readers focus to a deal that may offer me a spiff or other promotional offer. Again, use your judgement here. If it’s not a great deal, don’t spotlight it. I don’t care how much money you get for a given product, if it’s bad it won’t matter because it will 1-not get clicked and 2-burn your respectability in your readers eyes.
email affiliate marketing tipsI use Zookoda to deliver my email newsletters. It takes the RSS feed from my site and inserts the post I created earlier in the week. It took me about an hour to set up, but it was well worth it. To send an email newsletter takes me about 15 minutes each week.

This is the last in the series of Affiliate Marketing: How To Earn Money Through Affiliate Marketing. Seeing how my subscriber base has jumped in the last week or two, I’m assuming that affiliate advertising is something you are hungry to learn more about. If so, please let me know in the comments.

2 Replies to “Affiliate Advertising – Making It Work For You”

  1. As a Postie I should have known about Zookoda. So thanks for that suggestion.

    Thought you’d like to know that someone has set up as a splog like site.
    But, opt-in email is different. I offer a Deals newsletter that I use to offer up the weekly deals from my deals site.

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