Friday, May 19, 2006

Getting Affiliate Traffic... How Is It Done?

One of the most competitive areas of marketing is the "Affiliate" programs arena. With hundreds or even thousands of marketers all selling the same Product or Service getting clicks to Your affiliate page becomes a brutal battle of time, money, and trial & error. 95% of 'Affiliate Marketers lose this battle.

If you are one of those 95% then this article is for you.

As an Educator I realize that there are several ways to achieve any particular result (or destination) so we will explore a few of the ways to get "traffic" to your affiliate link.

First of all, there are several kinds of traffic. There is Good traffic and there is Bad traffic. Unfortunately most marketers waste their money on Bad traffic. So let's identify them.

Good Traffic has to have these elements:

1. The Product or Service must provide them with a measurable benefit.
2. They are interested in the Products or Services of your type.
3. They have the funds to purchase your Product or Service
4. They have a "history" of Internet Based Purchases (known buyers.)
5. They have the means to actually use your Product or Service (they have their own Website and/or a means to utilize your Product or Service through their affiliate links... believe me this is not always possible in some Programs or Countries.)

Keep in mind you can get good traffic and still not make a sale, especially in the “affiliate” marketing world. Typically affiliate marketers use the sales copy provided with the Product or Service they are marketing… and so are hundreds or even thousands of other affiliates. Millions of emails, banners, ads, and now even articles all saying the EXACT SAME THING! And NO, this is not about copywriting. That’s a different article.

Bad Traffic has these elements:

1. The folks who click on your link are just curious.
2. They don’t have the funds to buy your Product or Service
3. They are not able to make use of your Product or Service
4. They are trying to make money themselves through “paid to click” services
5. They are looking at their “competition” for their affiliate programs.

So what’s an Affiliate Marketer to do? How do you “get” Good traffic instead of Bad traffic?

Here are some ways to get Bad traffic (and in some cases no traffic at all.)

1. Subscribe to FFA link programs… you’ll just get tons of email from other folks just like you trying to sell YOU something. They are not interested in buying from you.


2. Subscribe to hundreds of “safe mail” lists and post comments with your link in the comments. If your comments are blatant “promotions” for your link they will be ignored and you may possibly be banned from posting.


3. Buy “guaranteed” clicks from cheap services. Most of the Services that offer “guaranteed” clicks (5000 for $9.95 type) give you clicks that have all the elements of Bad traffic and you won’t get any sales.


4. Join “Traffic Generating” programs and don’t spend hours and hours promoting them. These programs are dependant on YOU generating new members under your link and THEN each of those folks you got doing the same.


5. Buy “so called” Targeted Traffic from a service. If you are using the same “Copy” and the same “Website” as all the other affiliates in that program you won’t make a profit. Usually these services provide “targeted” traffic by geographical criteria and so what. If the people clicking on your link have seen the same site a hundred times what is YOUR chance of making a sale?


6. Purchase “Pay Per Click” (PPC) services from one of the many providers. Sometimes this is profitable IF your affiliate program is Brand New and a “Hot” product or service. Keep in mind that if your have a “small” budget you could end up spending it all in one day. There is more than one “horror” story about some of these services.

7. Oh yes… the “Guaranteed Sign Up” services. They, in most instances, require that the “sign up” be free and not ask for any payment processor information. For some programs these services are viable… but YOU don’t make money from free sign ups. I will do an article on how to actually make use of these types of services later.
8. Buy Banner Impressions from one of those services (there are lots of them) and use the Banners provided by the Affiliate Program. By the time your Banners are seen… everyone else’s are seen also and people don’t click on a Banner they see a hundred times a day.

Now… Good Traffic

1. Purchase “Sponsor” ads in reputable Ezines (electronic magazine.) This works well when your Product or Service is “new” and you have good “copy” provided… the Ezine is delivered to folks that already have an interest in your type of Product or Service. A single ad can cost as much as $150 in some Ezines or as little as $5. It depends on where in the Ezine it is placed and how large of a subscriber base the publisher has. One marketer charges $1500+ for a Single AD!


2. Purchase “expired domain” traffic. There are only a couple of reputable marketers for this service that try to “key” the traffic they give you to the keywords and purpose of the “expired domain” so if you try this method start with a “small” purchase first and track the results.


3. Purchase “targeted” email lists from a REPUTABLE marketer. There are literally thousands of “list marketers” on the Web and most of the lists are old and useless. Be very cautious of operators that give you “millions” of names and addresses. Most of them are email addresses that were “harvested” from the Internet by programs for that purpose. You very well may loose your Internet Privileges by using these lists and be kicked out of your affiliate program. In addition to that you may have to pay substantial fines for spam violations.


4. Purchase “guaranteed sales” and that type of a service is hard to find. For one thing some of them charge an enormous fee Up Front and allow up to a year to fulfill their service. In all instances of these types of services the cost is something that scares most affiliate marketers away. For one thing, as an affiliate, you don’t always make a lot on Your sale. You do all the work but the Product or Service OWNER reaps the benefits. You need to make sure your profit is worth the expense before you hand out $2000 to $5000.


5. Purchase “Guaranteed Sales” from a service that only charges you AFTER they get results. Typically there is a small fee (relative) for Website Setup and then they bill you after a certain level of sales (your sales… money in YOUR pocket) is attained. Then you get billed for a set % of your ACTUAL SALES. This type of a service is New and, in my opinion, a Marketers Dream. Actually, with this type of a service you can successfully use the “copy material” and “Websites” that come with many of the “good paying” affiliate programs. You spend a little up front, then, after you have made a substantial profit you pay a (admittedly a noticeable bite) set percentage of your profits. Right now I only know of One Company offering this kind of a service but do your own "due diligence" in all instances.

All we did here was identify some methods used to get traffic. This was not intended to be a Step-by-step how to do article. I hope this got you to thinking about how to affectively market your affiliate Program

Layard

You can visit my blog at
http://blogs.cjb.net/layard/70477/ and read some of my other articles at http://freewebs.com/gstream

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