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Setting Up an Ebook Affiliate Program

By Shelley Lowery
Posted Sunday, January 9, 2005

When you begin marketing your ebook on the Internet, you can dramatically increase your sales with an affiliate program. An affiliate program will enable you to recruit an entire sales force to market your ebook for you. The great thing about having an affiliate program is that your affiliates work for you on a commission basis. They are paid a specified percentage for each sale they make. If they don't make any sales, they won't get paid.

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.

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

AssocTRAC
(http://www.web-source.net/cgi-bin/web/jump.cgi?ID=2333)

Pro-TRACK
(http://www.web-source.net/cgi-bin/web/jump.cgi?ID=61)

Affiliate Tracking Companies

ClickBank
(http://www.web-source.net/cgi-bin/web/jump.cgi?ID=196)

Commission Junction
(http://www.commissionjunction.com/)

Increasing Affiliate Sales

The key to developing a successful affiliate team is to keep your affiliates motivated. Set up an opt-in list to enable them to subscribe and receive 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.

Nobody knows more about your ebook than you do. Set up a page on your web site and provide your affiliates with all of the promotional information they'll need to market your ebook. This information might include all of the following:

- Banners
- Sample ads
- Articles
- Reviews
- Sales letters
- Autoresponder courses

To further increase sales, create a sample or limited version of your ebook. This ebook should be used to intrigue and persuade your readers to purchase the full version. This can be accomplished by allowing your readers to only view a portion of your ebook. In order for them to gain full access to your ebook, they must purchase the password.

The key to using this technique successfully is to enable your affiliates to customize the sales links within the ebook with their affiliate information. This will provide your affiliates with a viral marketing tool that they can freely distribute and earn commissions for years to come.

Creating a Customizable Ebook

In order to create an ebook that can be customized by your affiliates, your ebook must be in HTML (EXE) format. In addition, you must have a special ebook compiler. This compiler will enable you to specify certain areas within your ebook that may be customized. When your affiliate downloads your ebook, they will also need to download an additional software that will be used to place their affiliate information within your ebook. There are very few compilers on the market that use this technology.

Here are two that I recommend:

Ebook Edit Pro
(http://www.web-source.net/cgi-bin/web/jump.cgi?ID=2894)

Activ E-book
(http://www.web-source.net/cgi-bin/web/jump.cgi?ID=105)

Both of these compilers will enable you to create an ebook with customizable fields.

Developing your own affiliate program will not only enable you to increase your sales, but it will also drive targeted traffic to your web site. Even if your visitor decides not to purchase your ebook, they may be interested in some other products your web site offers.

Take your time and select the best affiliate option for your business. If you'd rather not take the time to run your affiliate program, you may want to use one of the third party affiliate companies. This is the easiest route and will enable you to concentrate on more important things -- like making more sales and writing new ebooks.

About the Author
Shelley Lowery is the author of Ebook Starter. A complete ebook design kit that takes you step by step through designing, creating and marketing your own ebook. Give your ebook a professional look in just a few simple steps with over 100 ebook interface and cover templates. (http://www.web-source.net/ebookstarter.htm)