Last Updated on April 8, 2016
You may not know what affiliate marketing is, because it’s an often underutilized resource. Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy in which a company gives money or rewards to affiliates for every customer that they refer to their business.
Affiliate marketing may sound tricky, but if you know what you’re doing, it can be highly lucrative. To be a successful marketing affiliate, you need to establish relationships with your customers, choose appropriate products, provide reviews of the product, prove that you have experience with the product, and lastly, pitch the product.
1. Establish relationships with your customers.
Your customers are more likely to buy from one of your affiliates if they feel that you are their friend. So, to make it more likely that your customers will follow through, nurture relationships with them.
It’s most important that you listen to your customers. If you are constantly talking at them, they will feel distant from you. Get them involved in the conversation, and get them excited about it.
You should also be completely open with them. If they feel that you are hiding something from them, they won’t trust you or feel that you’re their friend.
You could also try doing nice things for them without expecting anything in return. For instance, if it’s possible, take them to out to lunch. If you can’t meet with them in person, you could send them a gift card online.
2. Choose products that are appropriate for your customers.
If you recommend the wrong product to a customer, they might think that you don’t know anything about what they’re interested in. Not only can this result in you not getting a referral, you may also lose the established trust.
To make sure that you’re recommending the right products, it helps if you have experience with the product. This is the only way to know for sure that your customer will like it.
Furthermore, you also need to make sure you’re correctly profiling your customer. Over time, it will be easier for you to recognize what kinds of products a certain type of customer is typically interested in. For instance, a mom is likely interested in different products than a single college student.
Once you know the product, find the affiliate program. If there isn’t one available publicly, perhaps you could find a private one.
3. Provide your customers with reviews of the product.
Reviews are so easy to come by these days, and they can provide really insightful information about a product. As a result, we’ve become dependent on them. Your customers will be more satisfied if you expose them to reviews.
You can speak from your experience of the product, if you feel that will help. Chances are, however, that they will want more than one opinion.
You can give them more than one opinion by showing them other reviews of the product. If you can find positive reviews online, show them these. It also helps to show some negative ones, as every product has at least one negative review.
You should also give your customers a feel for the product. Demonstrate it or let them give it a try if that’s possible. If you’re trying to get them to buy software, you could show them the product by creating a video with a screen-capturing software.
4. Prove that you have experience with the product.
It’s easy to say that you have experience with something. Proving this is the hard part. If you said that you had experience with the product, proving that you actually do will leave a stronger impression on your customers.
For example, if you’re trying to sell a weight-loss product, before-and-after pictures of you could help a lot. If this isn’t possible, perhaps you could show a picture of yourself with the product. Be creative about it.
Talk about the products as if you are passionate about them. If you keep referring to the product as ‘this product,’ you seem removed from it. Refer to it by name and use language that reflects your closeness to the product.
5. Pitch the product to your customer.
After you’ve completed the first four steps, it’s finally time to pitch the product. Don’t make your pitch sound like a pitch. You don’t want your customer to feel like you’ve been building up to the referral. This could make them stop trusting you.
Let them know that you are referring them to affiliates. They’re going to suspect this anyway. So, if you’re honest about it, they’ll have more respect for you.
If you can offer to help them with the product in any way, make an offer. This may be the push they need to purchase the product.
Lastly, if you can offer any extra bonuses for the product, they will also appreciate this. Sweetening the deal makes your customers feel like they are getting a good value.
Affiliate marketing can be really lucrative.
Affiliate marketing has a bad reputation. This is likely because some affiliate marketers don’t know much about the products they are trying to push. If you do know about the products, you can not only sell more of them, but also satisfy your customers. Always remember that everybody has BS meters, fooling people in the information age is harder than ever, so don’t do it.
“Honesty is the best policy.” – Benjamin Franklin