You want to make more money from affiliate sales, don’t you? Of course you do – affiliate selling is one of the better ways to make money online. Affiliate marketing pays better than Pay-Per-Click advertising on a per-traffic comparison, it doesn’t require you to have your own product, and gives you more control on where you send your visitors (unlike PPC ads which could link anywhere).
Affiliate marketing is trickier than using PPC sites — you have to convince someone to buy something. Not everyone is a natural salesperson, which leads many to abandon affiliate marketing due to low (or lack of) sales.
This can be changed. I will outline 5 ways you can boost your affiliate sales.
1. Keep it Short.
People are busy. They don’t have time to wade through screen after screen of waffle about the product. Unfortunately this seems to go against common consensus amongst “Internet Marketers”. 99% of affiliate product sales pages are far too long. I’ve certainly never read a full one. I scan for two key things: what is the product, and how much it costs. The rest is usually irrelevant.
This scanning behavior is the other reason to keep things short; on the Internet, people don’t read. They scan webpages instead.
2. Soft Sell.
The Internet was built as a means to share and spread knowledge and information. It may be a more commercial entity today, but it is still seen as an informational tool.
Make customers feel relaxed by pandering to this preconception. Promote your product with language suggesting you are sharing, rather than selling, the benefits or information it provides.
3. Sell with Permission.
Seth Godin invented the term permission marketing to describe the practice of not marketing anything to a person unless they ask you to. On a simplistic level, this could be just keeping your sales material on a clearly marked page, separate from the landing page of your site (be it a blog page or whatever).
More advanced is collecting potential customer details and routinely sending targeted sales material (remember to soft sell!) to your “List”, gently reminding them to buy.
Always remind the customer they gave you permission to receive marketing material, and always remind them they can choose to stop receiving your materials.
4. Use Multimedia.
The Internet affords marketers the opportunity to use sound and video to make their point. If a picture paints a thousand words, a good video can be the seller’s equivalent of War & Peace. The trick is to be focussed and to never overdo it. Going overboard it will have two negative effects:
- The videos or sound-clips will lose their effectiveness
- You’ll slow down the loading time of your page. Make it too slow and your customer will click away.
And finally, the absolute, number one tip for making more sales is (drum roll please)…
5. Get Better Sales Copy.
Strip back all of the fancy graphics, videos, and other assorted doodads on a webpage, and what have you got? Text. Pure, simple, beautiful words on a screen.
It might seem rather trite to say, but the best thing you can do to make more sales, is make the text you use to sell your product better! You’ve probably noted points 1 and 2 above are directly related to this; they are small, subtle ways to improve your copy. Or you can rewrite the whole lot to be better from the get-go.
If you want (or have) to write your sales copy yourself, you will want to learn how to write better. There are numerous resources, both online and offline for this:
- Copyblogger is a fantastic blog to read. Delve through the archives and you will find a treasure trove of tips to make your writing better.
- The Online Copywriter’s Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Write Electronic Copy That Sells (Robert W. Bly) is a good book focusing on writing for the web. Many of the ideas on this list were inspired by it.
- Even a quick Google search will turn up many, many more resources where you can learn the ‘tricks of the trade’
Alternatively, you might want to hire someone more qualified to write your sales material for you. Sites like E-Lance and Guru.com can put you in touch with thousands of freelance copywriters the world over. Forums such as Earners Forum are also good places to find freelancers looking for work, particularly those who are focussed on writing for the web.
A few adjustments to your affiliate marketing, such as the points above, could be all you need to go from a handful of sales to the point where there is a significant effect on your income. Give these tips a try. If you’re making no sales already, what have you got to lose?
Of course, I’d love to hear any more tips and advice GRP readers have on this topic. If you’ve got an invaluable affiliate marketing tip then share it!