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Internet Marketing Strategies -- Setting Up Your Affiliate Program

By Shelley Lowery
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2004

If you're marketing your own product on the Internet, you can dramatically increase your sales with an affiliate program.

An Affiliate program will enable you to recruit an unlimited number of individuals to sell your products. The key to obtaining affiliates is to offer a nice commission for each sale. The higher the commissions, the more affiliates you'll recruit.

There are thousands of affiliate programs on the Internet. In order to be successful, you must sell your affiliate program just like your product. In other words, your affiliate letter should be written like a sales letter. You must persuade your visitors to join your affiliate program by packing your affiliate sales letter with benefits. Tell them exactly what your affiliate program will do for them, how much commission they will receive and make the sign-up process simple.

One Tier Verses Two Tier

One tier affiliate programs pay commissions on one level. For each sale an affiliate makes, they will receive a commission. For example, if you offer your affiliates 30% commission and your product sells for $39.99, for every sale your affiliate makes, they will receive a $12 commission.

Two tier affiliate programs pay commissions on two levels. Affiliates will receive a commission for each sale they make and for each sale their recruits make. Two tier affiliate programs usually divide the commissions over the two levels. For example, if you want to give your affiliates a total of 30% commission for each sale, you would offer 20% commission on their first level sales and an extra 10% commission for second level sales. If your affiliate makes a $39.99 sale, they would receive a $8 commission. If one of their recruits makes a sale, they would receive an additional $4 commission.

Increasing Affiliate Sales

Nobody knows more about your product than you do. Provide your affiliates with banners, sample ads, articles or anything that will assist them in making sales.

To further increase sales, create an ebook that is directed towards your target audience and allow it to be freely distributed. This ebook should be packed with valuable information and, at the same time, used as a sales tool for your product. Customize a copy of your ebook for each of your affiliates and allow them to freely distribute it. You can customize the ebooks yourself or purchase an ebook compiler that enables your affiliates to customize your ebook themselves. Not all compilers will allow customizations. I highly recommend Ebook Edit Pro. You can find it here:

To keep your affiliates motivated, set up an opt-in list to enable them to subscribe. This list should be used to send information about new promotional methods, sales letters and articles to assist them in making more sales. This will not only increase their sales, but it will also enable you to keep in contact with your affiliates and introduce new products.

Setting Up Your Affiliate Program

When you're ready to set up your affiliate program, there are basically two options. The first option is to purchase an affiliate software program. Affiliate software will track your affiliate sales and enable your affiliates to view their stats. This option requires that you run your affiliate program and you are responsible for accepting payment and sending out commission checks.

The second option is to use a third party affiliate tracking company to run your affiliate program for you. These companies will track your affiliate sales, enable your affiliates to check their stats and send out commission checks for you.

Affiliate Tracking Software

My Affiliate Program - A feature-packed, web-based Affiliate Marketing Tracking, Automation & Management Application that "plugs in" to virtually any website. It's powerful, yet user-friendly features will allow you to effortlessly track and manage the activities of your Affiliates, partners and other revenue-sharing relationships. (

AssocTRAC- Features real time tracking of stats. It tracks both visitors and sales for each associate to determine the quality of visitors and the effectiveness of your sales copy. It includes an easy sign-up process that instantly creates accounts for associates so they can be up and running within five minutes. An autoresponse email message is instantly sent out with linking instructions and other detailed information. This powerful software tracks through the use of cookies and CGI scripts. (

Pro-TRACK - Will enable you to keep track of sales and which affiliate the sale originated. Although the standard version won't compute any sales data (owners manually keep track of sales), it is an excellent way to track and compensate your affiliate sales. The Pro version will not only track where your sales originate, but also provide you with the statistics you'll need to track how well your affiliate program is doing. (

Affiliate Tracking Companies

ClickBank - This Company will not only enable you to accept credit cards, but they will also run your affiliate program. Over 60,000 affiliates can choose to sell your products for you. ClickBank enables any web seller to automatically pay sales commissions to affiliates. They will bill your customers, pay you, and pay your affiliates a commission. They charge a one-time $49.95 activation fee, and a $1 + 7.5% fee per sale. There are no monthly fees. (

Be Free - Performance Marketing that enables e-businesses to promote their goods and services on tens of thousands of relevant online locations. Paying only when a sale is made or a lead generated. (

Commission Junction - Creates powerful alliances between online merchants that sell products or services and affiliate content sites that have information or entertainment of interest to businesses and consumers. Commission Junction enables online merchants to place their products and services everywhere online at the point-of- interest to their consumers on a pay-for-performance basis. (

Take your time and select the best affiliate option for your business. If you're just starting out, you may want to use one of the third party affiliate companies, as this is the easiest route. You won't have to worry about anything, as everything is taken care of for you. This will enable you to concentrate on making more sales and developing new products.

About the Author
Shelley Lowery is the author of Ebook Starter - A complete ebook design kit. Subscribe to Etips, for a wealth of quality information to assist you in Web Design, Internet Marketing & Ecommerce. All new subscribers receive a free copy of the highly acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies."


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