When you separate product creation from sales, the result is often an increase in overall quality. In fact, product creators who are preoccupied with marketing concerns can easily become liabilities to themselves. To sidestep this trap and gain access to a heap of other benefits, consider participating in affiliate networks.
Importantly, affiliate networks such as Webgains and ShareASale maintain minimum requirements for publishers. Typically, this means that affiliates cannot gain access to the network if they spam, have racist or other shocking content on their site or if they simply don’t deliver added value to the internet. This sort of pre-screening of affiliates alone will save you or your marketing manager valuable time.
Choosing the Right Commission Rates
When you set up your merchant account with an affiliate network, you will be prompted to specify the percentage of each sale you are willing to share with your affiliates. While sharing a good percentage of your profit is a great way to recruit dozens or hundreds of affiliates in a short time, you can also see good results with a much lower percentage, due to the sheer number of affiliates out there. It’s smart to spare some margin that you can then give away in the form of coupons or special deals. Many of the best-performing affiliates are the ones that run coupon and deal sites, so this will allow you to give them a very strong incentive to start promoting your products and brand on their sites. Deals like these may also lead to higher average order values, and simply higher conversion rates. There’s a lot that can be done with coupon marketing, which is why we wrote an article about this subject some time ago.
Because affiliate networks provide their affiliates with user-specific URLs, you do not have to keep track of sales they make. Better yet, you do not have to involve yourself in commission payouts, leaving you free to focus on creating the best product possible.
This isn’t mere lip service. By refocusing your efforts on product creation, and with an affiliate sales force waiting to market your product for you, you can achieve a noticeable increase to your bottom line. While it’s true that you may have trouble building a large affiliate sales force if you sell niche or low-demand products, it is generally true that you can muster a sales force for any product if you are willing to share a percentage of each sale. Keep in mind that you can sell hard-to-find information for more. Also note that even if you offer affiliates a high percentage of each sale, this loss is offset by the sheer number of people you will have selling your product.
If you use the additional time to improve your products that affiliate networks afford you, not only will you sell more products, but highly skilled affiliates will take note of your efforts, and may give your products more attention than others. Finally, the advent of social media means that your products, and any materials you create to promote them, have the potential of going viral if well made and relevant to people’s needs. It may be a better time than ever to get involved.