If I talk about affiliates a lot on this blog, it’s because I have the experience with them and want to help my readers have more success with them.
I’d like to share some thoughts that affects both affiliate marketers and those who run affiliate programs, but primarily the latter.
As an affiliate marketer, we can only do so much for your product or service.
Sometimes a vendor—or a company who has wanted to sponsor a podcast in the past, or get a product review—will approach me with:
“Instead of us paying you what you are asking for, you can join our affiliate program and I will give you 30% of every sale.”
The Final Conversion Is Up to the Owner of the Product or Service
Think about it. As affiliate marketers, we can push a product till the cows come home. Like me, you might create tutorials that tell people about the features of a product or service and even show them how to use it.
We can rave about it and jump up and down excitedly.
We can list it here and there, repeatedly, in the spaces that matter.
But, unfortunately, that is where it ends.
Sure, sometimes people will make their decision based on your advice and reputation, and that’s fine. But once they click on that link, it’s out of the hands of the affiliate marketer and jumps to the hands of the vendor.
What Are You Sending Them to?
As an example of what I mean, I became an an affiliate partner with a vendor. When people clicked on the link that sent them to the vendor’s site, it went to a page the only link I was provided with with a form to fill out to make a purchase. No sales, no features or benefits listed. I felt like they were depending on me to close the sale for them. And as an affiliate partner, that isn’t my job.
Sure, I can talk a client into purchasing a plugin for their WordPress site. Or push them towards a specific host. In a sense we are salespeople for our affiliates, but our main job is get them to click on that link. After that, well…
Are You Offering Creatives?
I have found several affiliate programs who either had so few creatives, such as banners, or sometimes, none. Not everyone needs them, but when we do, it sure is nice to have them available.
Each affiliate marketer likely has their own strategy. Often this is per product. Offering us tips via email is great. And an occasional open-ended invite to talk with affiliates about ideas they may want to run by you. But never push them to sit down and talk strategy. You put them in an uncomfortable place or you start looking disparate. Remember, your affiliates may be working with dozens of vendors and their time is limited or they do not want to spend that much time on your product. It’s that simple.
In the End, It’s Up to You to Sell Your Product or Service
We do all we can do as an affiliate marketer, because, frankly, we want to make that sale, too. But but once they click that link, that potential customer is gone. We affiliate marketers must convince them to click through, but you, the product or service owner, must seal the deal. That’s all there is to it.
Your site must sell and convince them to make the purchase.
Your pre-sales support must answer any questions they have.
Your company must make the customer happy and hopefully turn them into a lifetime customer.
We have make them curious or interested. The rest is up to you. The conversions rest in your lap.
We Don’t Always Use Our Links
The other piece to understand is that we don’t always use our links. There are many times when I have given a recommendation for a WordPress plugin and, well, at that point in time it wasn’t convenient to give the person my link. In fact, I have a post I wrote just about this: Why I Don’t Always Share That Affiliate Link of Products and Services I Recommend.
That Leaves Me with Two Questions
What should companies expect from their affiliates? Even for someone to click on the link means that they have to be interested in and needing that product or service.
Secondly, if you are offering me to join your affiliate program as an incentive to take the place of some service that you might normally purchase, is that a fair exchange? Because as I’ve already said, the sale is ultimately up to you and we have lost that control to affect the final decision.
Most of us are doing all that we can on our end.
An audio option for this post.