At some stage in your career as an affiliate, you are going to think about creating your own product. After all… this is the next step for online entrepreneurs, right?
And the chances are, you’ll also think about creating an affiliate program for your product. After all… you already know from experience how great affiliates are at spreading the word and driving buying customers, right?
To make money from your affiliate program, there’s a really simple formula for you to keep in mind.
$,$$$,$$$ = number of affiliates x effectiveness of affiliates
Once your program is up and running, there are two main ways of making more money from your affiliate program:
- Increase the number of affiliates in your arsenal.
- Help your affiliates make more sales (and more money for you).
Or, to get even more out of your affiliate program, you could do both.
I’m Sarah Chrisp, affiliate manager for Affilorama. In this blog post, I am going to guide you through the steps we have taken to both make our program more enticing to new affiliates, and to help our affiliates make more sales. Keep reading to find out what steps you need to take to become a top-earning ClickBank program, like us.
What does Affilorama offer affiliates?
Before we begin, here are some quick facts about our affiliate program:
- We have a ClickBank Gravity of 72.33.*
- We offer 50 percent commission on all of our products, including lifetime membership renewals.
- Affiliates make on average $132.28 per sale.*
- We have an average rebill rate of $473.50, and our rebilling product (Affilorama Premium/AffiloTools) is our most popular offer.*
- We track visitors for 60 days.
*Correct as of time of publishing.
Now that you know a bit more about us, I’m going to jump straight into it.
How to attract more affiliates to your affiliate program
Step 1: Don’t be a tightwad
Do you know what will attract affiliates to your program? Money.
Are affiliates attracted by a high-quality product? A good reputation? Fancy banners? To a certain extent, yes, but what affiliates are really attracted to is money. If they can earn more money by advertising your competitor, they will ditch you — even if your product is superior.
The single biggest mistake you can make as a merchant is to be miserly with commission rates.
Merchants who do this do so for a number of reasons. Some believe they deserve the lion’s share of the revenue as the creator. Or maybe they don’t like it when people search Google for their product, end up on an affiliate’s website, and purchase the product through their link — thus “stealing” away a chunk of their profits. In their minds, they figure, if they didn’t have an affiliate program, the customer would have purchased straight through them.
As I said before, this is the single biggest mistake you can make as a merchant.
Consider this: For every sale that an affiliate “steals” from you, they might generate another 10 sales you would not have made otherwise. Affiliates generate sales from their own established audience and subscribers they have accumulated themselves. Building this is hard, costly and time consuming, so they want to be well-rewarded for their time.
Your competitors know this. They know that they can steal your valuable affiliates away from you. So while you set your commission rates tentatively at 25 percent, competitors will swoop in with a 50 percent commission rate.
Guess who the affiliates in your niche will promote then?
So don’t be a tightwad especially when it comes to digital products with few overheads. Offer as high a commission rate as you can.
Step 2: Make sure your sales page converts
Do you remember what affiliates love? That’s right, money.
The equation for how much money an affiliate will make looks like this:
$,$$$ = commission x conversion rate
In addition to the size of your commission (discussed above), a key deciding factor for affiliates is how well your page and product actually sells. It doesn’t matter if you offer 100 percent commissions, because if your page doesn’t make sales, affiliates won’t make any money.
To attract new affiliates to your program and make you money, your sales page and funnel needs to look professional, and from a glance look like it will convert well. Experienced affiliates will immediately be able to tell if a page will convert just by looking at it.
So the moral of the story is, start optimizing your site sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until you’ve built up your affiliate program, because without a killer sales page you might not attract any affiliates to begin with.
Here at Affilorama we do a lot of split-testing to see what sells best for us (and our affiliates). Optimizely makes split-testing easy and doesn’t require a whole heap of technical wizardry.
We also use CrazyEgg to heatmap our pages to see where our visitors are clicking, and how interesting they’re finding the page. If you’ve got a long sales letter, this could be really interesting for you. See how far your visitors are scrolling down the page. If they’re running away after the first couple of screen lengths and before you make your big sell, there’s room for improvement!
Step 3: Grow your ClickBank Gravity score
Gravity is ClickBank’s measure of how well a product is selling. In short, the biggest component to how Gravity is calculated is how many affiliates have made a sale of your product over a certain period of time.
A lot of affiliates use Gravity to identify affiliate programs they might be interested in. They also use it to decide who NOT to promote. Woe betide any merchant with a Gravity of less than 20.
If you put some effort into improving your Gravity score, you’ll find that your affiliate program will start to snowball. Affiliates will see your impressive Gravity and choose to promote you. This will in turn increase your Gravity, and attract even MORE affiliates.
Want to know a great way to increase it, right now? Have a product sale, and let your affiliates know about it. Affiliates who normally don’t make sales will make sales, and your Gravity score will soar. It is only a temporary boost, but for that short period of time your product will be listed higher in ClickBank’s search engine. More people will find it, and you’ll gain affiliates you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Now that we’ve looked at ways to get more affiliates, let’s look at the other half of that equation...
Getting your affiliates to make more sales
Step 1: Provide affiliates with the right resources
Affiliates have a lot of work on their plates, so make it easy for them to promote your product. The easier it is for them, the more likely they are to actually get out there and do it. And what is easier than copying and pasting?
I recommend giving them banners, written content and emails that they can use. This is the norm, and affiliates expect this content.
In our affiliate resource area, we provide the following resources:
- An example review of Affilorama products that they can use as inspiration for writing their own reviews.
- Email swipes that affiliates can just slot into their autoresponder newsletter sequence for long-term commissions, or to send out as a blast to their list for an immediate surge in sales.
- High-quality graphics/banners in popular sizes and shapes.
- Article packs that make it easy to write unique blog posts. We don’t provide pre-written blog posts, because this would trigger Google Panda penalties.
One thing I’ve found to be very effective (but counter-intuitive) is limiting the choices we offer affiliates. We don’t give them 25 email swipes: We just give them the 2 emails (per product) that we’ve found to be the most effective. Our affiliates don’t have to guess the highest-converting copy, and they’re not paralyzed with indecision.
Step 2: Ensure affiliates understand your product
If your affiliates don’t understand your product and what it does, they cannot effectively promote it. They won’t know which keywords to target, how to write their ads, or what to include in their product reviews.
One of the biggest dangers for merchants is half-baked product reviews that rank highly in Google. If the affiliates who wrote the reviews haven’t actually tried your product for themselves and don’t really know anything about it, their reviews are likely to be weak. Instead of converting into sales, they could actually put readers off of your product.
If you don’t feel like giving a free review copy of your product to every affiliate who comes through your doors, I recommend providing the following information in your affiliate resource area (like we do):
- How our product helps the customer overcome problems they are having.
- Who our product helps, and why. The different features of our product.
- What makes it better than your competitors’ products.
- Screenshots of the product, or screenshots of the product in action (if it’s a software-type product)
Step 3: Teach your affiliates the best promotional methods, and answer any questions they have
And finally, don’t just throw affiliates into the deep end and expect them to swim. As the creator of the product, you have been promoting it much longer than they have: Teach them the methods that have been most effective for you. Remember, it’s in your best interest to get your affiliates making sales for you. So share the tactics that work for you — don’t keep them to yourself!
In addition, open up the lines of communication with your affiliates. Answer any questions they have. If they ask you to read over their review, do it. A few simple suggestions you give them could be the difference between that affiliate making you five sales or 10 sales. Helping them helps you.
To give you some ideas of ways you can open up communication with your affiliates, here are some of the things that we do:
- We respond to emails within 24 hours, Monday-Thursday. I sit on Skype and answer any questions affiliates have. Our affiliates are just as important as customers to Affilorama, and we believe that they deserve the same level of respect and customer service.
- I will directly seek out top-performing affiliates and offer to provide them with custom resources to further improve their sales. For top-performing affiliates, we also offer special discounts and bonuses that they can offer to their readership/subscribers.
- Affiliates who sign up with us are sent our email series that teaches different promotional methods. Each week, new affiliates receive an email the recommends a single task to complete, with step-by-step instructions. By following our email series, affiliates slowly ramp up their promotional campaign and make more money.
- And finally, in addition to the email series, I write a monthly newsletter and send it to our affiliates. Besides updating our affiliates on news and upcoming promotions, I use this opportunity to teach them new methods and promotional techniques that will work well for our products.
The bottom line...
Remember, the formula of an effective program is:
$,$$$,$$$ = number of affiliates x effectiveness of affiliates
How many $ signs there are in that equation is up to you. If you want that to be 7 dollar signs instead of 3, you need to focus on both parts of the equation. You need to increase the number of affiliates promoting you, while teaching them how to promote you more effectively. It requires a balance of both.
Want to be apart of one of ClickBank's most popular and profitable programs for affiliates? If you are ready to start promoting a business that ensures that you profit first, sign up below.