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Affiliate Advertising

If you have a product or service to promote, then a great way of driving more sales is to build your army of affiliates. Affiliates are like commission-only salespeople who have their own traffic and leads and their own lead generation techniques.

Affiliate advertising boosts sales of your products

In return for a good EPC (average earnings per click) offered by you, affiliates will promote your products to their website visitors, their email lists, their twitter followers, their facebook fans or any other source of leads they may have.

It’s common to be able to double or triple conversion rates

If your traffic converts easily into sales then you will have no problems finding affiliates to promote your products. Good conversion rates vary per product, price and niche – typically good conversion rates can be anything between 2% and 10%, or sometimes as high as 15% or sometimes – if it’s a really expensive product, then a good conversion rate could be below 1%.

If you haven’t yet done any conversion rate measurement or optimisation, it’ll likely be possible to double or triple your conversion rates. That immediately makes you more money – not only will it make it far easier to attract affiliates (by boosting your EPC) but it also makes your ad spend far more affordable.

You need a good EPC figure to attract affiliates

Your EPC is the average earnings per click your affiliates will earn for traffic sent to your site. There are three things that affect the EPC you are offering your affiliates:

  1. How much demand there is for your product or service
  2. The design of your website and conversion pages (e.g. Amazon’s 1 click buying button increases conversions, speed improves conversions, good psychologically driven pages improve conversions)
  3. The percentage commission you offer per sale to your affiliates

For example, if you’re selling a product for £250 and your conversion rate is only 2% on average (that means 2% of clicks turn into sales) then when affiliates send you traffic each click will be driving £5 of downstream sales on average. Because of your low conversion rate, you will have to offer 10% commission in order to give affiliates a £0.50 EPC or 50 pence for every click they send you.

You can increase the EPC available to your affiliates, and thus attract more affiliates to promote your products by measuring and improving your landing pages and conversion rates,  understanding and improving the user-journey or by simply increasing your commission rate.

You need to set up affiliate tracking

Sales made for traffic generated by your affiliates is tracked by ‘cookies’. These are little pieces of text stored on your potential customers computers telling you who won that traffic for you. When a sale is made, the last affiliate to attract that particular visitor earns the commission.

You can set up your own affiliate network – e.g. if you’re using Wordpress and WooCommerce then there is an Affiliates extension for WooCommerce which allows you to provide affiliate links to your network of affiliates.

Commonly, larger companies will consider using an ‘affiliate network’. These affiliate networks act as a man-in-the-middle – increasing the trust of your affiliates since they are independently tracking conversions but also acting as a pool of already existing affiliates you can tap into. If you are considering using an affiliate network, it makes sense to go with the network which has other merchants in your niche already since this will mean that network has affiliates with traffic relevant to your niche.

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