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Monday, April 20, 2009

USING AFFILIATION AS A MASS PROMOTION TOOL

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There are Hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs out there that you can choose from and all of them are claiming to be the best. Some of them will give you the impression that all you have to do is implement their banners and links and wait for the money to start rolling in. This CAN be the case at times, but this scenario usually only applies to very large sites that have massive web traffic already. For most of us, being a successful affiliate requires a little more work than that!

When you are selling your wares through a website, you will be needing as much help as you can get and that is why affiliation is such a good deal. It gives you and like companies the chance to market your wares in more than one spot. As the marketing affiliate, it is your job to get you and other companies together to do it. Most affiliates use their own sites and combine marketing
strategies with others. Your website is likely not geared toward one thing in particular so affiliate’s who come in will gain a lot more from your services.

As the variety of goods and online services offered over the Internet has grown at an incredible rate over the last few years, and in response, so has the competition. Web site visitors need to have a very good reason for clicking on a link or banner. In most affiliate programs, you are offered a wide variety of banners that you can place on your site; all of them will be effective in getting attention from your target audience.

If you can gather a click through rate of at least 2%, then you are doing very well. It has been my experience, that highly colorful and picture filled banners do not perform as successfully as their simpler counterparts. The main reason for this is the time it takes to download it. If a banner is the last thing to load on your page and the banner ad is excessively byte "heavy", by the time it has loaded your visitor may already have scrolled down the page already and miss it entirely.

Heavy banner ads can also slow down the loading of your pages, or even some of the critical elements of your page and you can lose your visitors altogether. This is why A graphically rich banner can also confuse the actual message because the artwork and marketing blurb can be imbalanced. For these reasons, I would recommend that banners you implement be no more that 15kb wherever you possibly can.

Banners that have a lot of animation in them, such as rapid flashing, are also something to consider very carefully before setting them up. While these do achieve high click rates, they are also highly annoying to the average visitor. If you do decide to implement this form of banner advertising, you have to use it very sparingly.

Whenever you begin selecting any form of advertising that requires graphics you should try and keep the theme of your site in mind. In general, while graphical ads are meant to stand out and catch a visitor’s eye, it shouldn't be to the point that everything else on the page is ignored. Whenever you can, you have to make sure that all banner ads or advertising that you use uses a link that opens in a new window. That way, if a visitor does choose to visit one of your advertisers it is easy for them to return to your page and review what they actually came to your site for.

A lot of companies are now offering their affiliates the options of using pop up and pop under ads. However, the fact is they annoy most visitors and are usually closed before they even have a chance to load by automatic program blockers. It is for this reason that you should use pop-unders instead and preferably those that only display once per visit. I will talk more about pop-unders in a later section

SUCCESSFUL AFFILIATE MARKETING REQUIRES PATIENCE

If you are sure that your web site can get a lot of traffic and generate fantastic sales for a certain company, you have to contact them to negotiate a tailored arrangement. If they aren't too enthusiastic to begin with, be patient because companies are approached every day by affiliates wanting to cut a "better deal".

The reality of it is that many affiliates cannot deliver what they promise, and the companies are extremely aware of this. For you as a potential affiliate marketer, you need to implement their links and banners, go the extra mile with ad articles and other unique strategies, generate some sales and then approach them again better prepared. You'll probably find that they'll have a change of heart. Finding good affiliates is very difficult and if you are performing for these companies they will keep you.

Most forms of advertising take some time to kick into gear. Putting a link up for a couple of days and then pulling it down because it is not generating any interest may not be a reflection on the product, but just in the way that it is being presented to your web site visitors. You know how fickle they can be.

If you have run successful campaigns before, try to remember the elements that made it a success and implement them again. Of course, you need to remember that what works for one product may not necessarily for another, but it's worth a try. Again, if you are having problems with promotion, contact the company. They will more than likely have thousands of affiliates and will know what strategies are working. A good advertiser may even go to the trouble of reviewing your site and provide you with some tips and hints based on their observations.


EMAIL ADVERTISING AS AN AFFILIATE MARKETING TOOL

Direct promotion that are using email has boomed over recent years, but has brought with it mountains of spam. If you intend on using email as a method of advertising products and services, you have to be sure that you stand behind the products you're promoting and make yourself available to answer any questions that may be asked. If you hide from people, they will wonder what you are hiding.

An effective promotion technique that I have found is to combine email with the ad article strategy. This generally means creating an ezine or newsletter promotion that visitors can sign up for that goes directly to their email inboxes. You can occasionally put a summary of a product or service, however, you should include just enough information to stir the curiosity of your readers in an ezine. The summary then contains a link to the ad article on our site. The benefit of this is not only that you have a good opportunity to promote the product or service, but while visitors are on your site they may also look at other sections at the same time This way you as the advertiser benefits through having highly targeted potential clients visit their site.




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