By Home Mike Merz
Wednesday, October 27, 2004; 2:00pm EST
It's a known fact that establishing a USP (unique selling proposition) is an essential part of any business plan...
But what about your affiliate marketing campaigns?
What makes your promotions unique from the hundreds... or even thousands of other affiliates pushing the same merchant's products and services?
Well... nothing, if all you do is cut and paste the same merchant provided ad copy as everyone else, or just toss a bunch of links, banners, and buttons on your site.
What you must do is make yourself stand out... grab the interest of your prospect, and qualify your offering to meet their needs.
Here's 5 quick tips to get the most out of your affiliate promotions.
1) Learn all about the product/service you're promoting.
The more you know about your promotions, the more credible your promotional content. If you don't own the product, do your best to scour the merchant's site for info that you feel best explains the benefits of it, which leads to number...
2) Write your own ad copy.
It's the credibility factor again... you're selling yourself, establishing the bond between you and the prospect, in an effort to win their trust and interest. If you do own the product, or have access to it by permission of the merchant, write a detailed review. You can even use yourself as a case study to provide an eye witness account of the satisfaction potentially derived from using it. If not... and in addition to your own accounts, list the testimonials of others.
3) Establish a line of communication with the merchant.
You might have to settle for the affiliate program manager, or a related department, but the idea is to try to acquire anything you can, above and beyond what is offered to regular affiliates, that will help you gain a promotional edge. Branded articles, ebooks, special offers, free trials, etc. You might even be able to gain access to the product or service you're promoting if you explain that you'd like to review it for promotional purposes (it can't hurt to ask..;)
4) Build a sub list of targeted prospects.
Would you believe that I, personally, have built campaign designated email lists of less than 100 members, that have actually accounted for more sales than my main list... that goes out to thousands of subscribers? Why? Laser targeting, my friend. Offer a campaign related update, course, report, or other form of freebie to attract them. In addition, you'll now have a ready made list for future promotions made by the affiliate merchant.
5) Search engine optimize your promotional pages.
... for keywords and phrases relevant to your offerings, and run pay per click campaigns targeting the same and comparable terms. The search engines shouldn't, by any means, be your sole source of promotion (email, forum, offline marketing... to name just a few methods) but they could potentially play an important part. I recommend investing in a course like Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkin's 'Stomping The Search Engines' , which covers both SEO and PPC pretty extensively... and effectively.
Work these 5 tips into your affiliate program promotions, and I'm sure you'll enjoy success.
If you're participating in a multiple tier affiliate program, and you have access to your downline referrals, make sure you take the time to train them to succeed. Remember... their success is YOUR success!
About the Author
Mike Merz is the owner/webmaster of Internet Marketing For Newbies LLC, publisher of The IM4Newbies Update, administrator of The IM4Newbies Internet Marketing Forum, and has had articles published on many of the internet's most popular sites, his main focus being Internet Marketing start up consultation, specializing in affiliate program related campaigns. Mr. Merz retired the #1 rated Internet Marketing expert of now defunct AskMe. com, and is a featured contributor for DEMC E-Magizine.