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Get the Big Dogs to Affiliate with You
Have you ever tried to launch an affiliate program? If you have, then you know that one of the challenges you face is to get people to be your affiliate marketers. After all, if you are new on the block, people who have never heard of you may be reluctant to encourage their list or web traffic to come to your website.
Logical, right? After all, if someone asked you to recommend their product to your customers, you would want to know about it up front. More importantly, you would want to know who they were and if they were going to be a trustworthy and long term marketer.
First, let me tell you about how NOT to do it. I just heard about a would-be marketer who sent a big dog an email with an offer to market his $700 program to his list and he would get an incredible $70 from each sale. Incredible is right! Can you imagine someone pushing that program to his list? There are several things against him. First, there are many $700 programs out there that offer 40 - 50 - even 65% of the sale price to the referer. Second, this was someone new on the block who was not even on the big dog's ezine list. Third, nobody else had heard of him either.
Now, lets find out how to do it right.
First, analyze what you want out of your affiliate program. Do you need money from the product you are selling? Do you want to make a name for yourself that people recognize? Do you just want lots of subscribers to your ezine? The way you market your program will depend on what you want out of it.
Second, go to your favorite search engine and discover who is linking to your competition. A good way to do this is to search for a keyword related to the product you wish to sell. Look at the websites of the first page that pops up. Now go to a search engine like google and see who is linking to that website. You can do this with a special form of search. For instance for my website http://www.affiliatetreasurehunt.com you would type in link:www.affiliatetreasurehunt.com.
Check out some of those who are linking to that site. You will find that most of these are affiliates. Check out more of the websites from your initial search with the links to them. You will start to see a pattern. Many of the sites that link to those affiliate products are coming from the same websites. These are likely what are known as super affiliates. In other words, they are the ones that are most successful at refering traffic to those affiliate programs.
Once you have identified the super affiliates in your niche, get to know them. This may be a slow process, but will be well worth it. Start by subscribing to their ezines and reading them. Buy some of their products and review them. Give them honest feedback - either positive or constructive criticism. If you have a legitimate reason, call them up and chat with them.
Now you have a working relationship, you are in a position to make a joint venture proposal. I highly recommend that you give your super affiliates a free copy of your product and ask them for a review. If you want to get their attention and have the best chance at the kind of response you want, mail them a hard copy. Even send it FedEx!
Depending on your ititial analysis, you may want to offer them 70 - 80 - even 100% of the sale price! Consider this - if they have a list of 100,000 highly responsive buyers, and you have a product that is a downloaded information product, it won't cost you anything to product even 100,000 copies of that product! However, look at the possible benefit. You will be able to present your product to a good percentage of his list. You can possibly get them to opt in to your ezine. Furthermore, gather the emails of the buyers. You will have a very exclusive list. After all, customers of a $700 product can become repeat customers - if you over deliver. That is the name of the game on the internet. Make sure that when people plop down $700 that they feel like they are getting at least $1000 worth of value. And if possible keep them coming back for more.
Get to know the big dogs and throw them some good bones and soon you will find that you are barking with the best of them.
Ron McCluskey has been marketing online since the early eighties.
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