Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Merchant Selection for Maximum Affiliate Benefit

Copyright © 2006 Stephen Wright

Have your very own product to sell on the internet? Truth is, not many people do. Thousands of Internet Marketers are making millions selling the products of others. The most common term used for this is Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate Marketing has become so popular and profitable that it has become one of the fastest growing area of revenue generation on the internet.

Benefits, revenues and payback for affiliates are also at an all time high. It is typical to see ad pages extolling the expertise of any given affiliate, with documented revenues for amounts previously thought unheard of. And for the product owners, this is a win-win situation which has led to overall increases in sales for a multitude of internet marketing products. Paying a portion of those revenues to "eager beaver" and industrious marketers has become commonplace.

From the alliliates perspective, there are literally millions of products and potential companies to choose from. What then are the ideas, tips, and insider views to be considered when making the decisions in program and product selections? Below are a few of these.

Cut To The Chase! Show Me The Money! What Is The Commission Payout Amounts: As a starting place, forget about shyness. Cut straight to the bottom line. It is critical that from the outset you know how much you might reasonably expect from product sales. Why waste your value time promoting products, spending your hard earned advertising dollars on merchant products that pay low returns and revenues. Higher commission products are recommended, unless of course you have identified specific niche markets where the sales volumes can off set lower payouts per sale. In fact, some programs offer deeper revenues on high volume sales, as opposed to higher commissions on lower quantity sales.

Carefully Analyze the Traffic on the Merchant's Website: It is relatively easy these days to get information about the amount of traffic on any given website. If the website is highly ranked, the merchant is getting a good volume of traffic. In all likelihood, this merchant is already saturated with affiliates. Alternatively, if it is ranked low it is perhaps not a good product or it could be that opportunity you are looking for that is ripe for serious revenues. Always research a merchant's product if their website has a low traffic ranking. Whenever possible, buy the product yourself. Personal experience with a product is powerful in advertising and sales campaigns. This sincerity comes out in the advertisement over and over. Otherwise you could do a search to find out if there are any adverse comments about the products available. If it is a bad product, you can bet someone has written about it!

Understand the Frequency of Distribution of Commission Checks: Some merchants pay commissions weekly; some monthly, and some on a quarterly basis. It is important you determine how frequent you can expect a pay check if you are going to have financial control over your business. Many marketers do not have the financial resources to continue to market a product if they have to wait a long time before getting paid. Be careful about the fine print on this. Some merchant's policies stipulate that a minimum commission amount be accrued before issuing payments. Again, your personal financial situation will drive the acceptability of such practices.

Merchant Capability To Track Cookies: Most customers do not buy on their first visit to a merchant's website. Surprise, surprise! For this reason, it is vital that the merchant retain cookies on their website, which is used to ensure that you get credit when the customer returns and buys at a later date. Check out how long the cookies last. The longer time frame the cookies lasts; the better the chance of getting paid!

Does The Merchant Pay On Subsequent Sales?: Some merchants will only pay commission on sales that come through customers visiting their site via a direct link from your site. They pay you nothing for any subsequent purchases that the customer makes if they visit the merchants site directly. It is important that you get paid no matter what route the customer returns by if you are to build a sustainable business.

What Promotional Resources Does The Merchant Offer?: Especially for marketers on a tight budget, look at the type and quality of the promotional material that the merchant provides. Do they provide articles or content that you can use to promote on your site or free guides, special offers or samples? If the promotional resources are good it is likely that the merchant will provide good support for their affiliates as well.

Armed with these basic areas of focus, you should be successful in identifying merchants ideally suited "to meet your needs", not the other way around!




Stephen Wright is President & CEO of InternetMarketingUSA.com
Looking for Internet Marketing Ideas, Tips, and Solutions?
Get everything you need to make money online in "Dotcomology: The Science of Making Money Online". Absolutely Free at: http://www.InternetMarketingUSA.com/dotcomology.html

NOTE: You have full permission to reprint this article within your website or newsletter as long as you leave the article fully intact and include the "About The Author" resource box. Thanks! :-)

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