18 avoidable errors when promoting your affiliate program
I have listed a quick and easy bulleted list of does and do notís when trying to promote your affiliate program.
* Many affiliate marketers make a huge mistake of posting their ads on forums. Forums can be used to promote your affiliate programs and your website but in a proper manner. Posting banners is very similar to spamming and may easily
upset forum administrators.
* Always do your research before promoting your affiliate program to a potential customer. Do not offer affiliate programs to visitors who are not at all interested in the products associated with the program.
* If you promote affiliate programs offered by other merchants, ensure that you develop your own advertising copy. Many websites commit a common mistake of using the same advertising copy as used by the merchant themselves.
* Avoid Copyright infringement in all cases. Always use original content or ask permission to use graphic images or text found on other websites.
* Do not submit your programs to free websites. These may be free but your programs will hardly ever be noticed, especially by Search Engines. Moreover, your own ranking would get lowered if you submit your affiliate programs to such websites.
* Avoid using caps on your web page or email ad. Using caps is symbolic to shouting, which never goes well with potential customers. A few words may be written in capital text to give them additional emphasis. However, such practice should be limited.
* Always respond to all queries sent by visitors as soon as possible. A slight delay in your response could easily result in loss of a potential client.
* Do not use pop-up ads along with your webpage. Most surfers are likely to close their browser if they come across pop-ups.
* Do not host your website on a free server or use free email accounts. This gives a negative impression to visitors. Using free hosts and email accounts looks cheesy and loses sales.
* Many websites do not have an opt-in list. Create an opt-in and opt-out list for your visitors. Without these,there is no way of tracking potential customers. Visitors should be allowed to opt-in at any time as well as opt-out at any time.
* Most sites have a poor tracking mechanism. It is essential that you track all business activities.
Accurate record keeping is crucial. There are many software tools, discussed earlier in this chapter, than can automate your record keeping process with minimal error.
* A 'mall' site is best used as a central hub to send
visitors to your other domains. As a main or only site, unfocused mall sites don't get traffic from the engines, and they don't convert well to sales. Highly focused theme sites attract traffic and sales.
* Offline advertising may not be effective. A lot of money and effort should not be wasted on offline advertising. Most people rarely check websites that are advertised in local magazines or newspapers.
* Avoid focus on animated banner ads. These simply use up bandwidth, thus making web pages load slower.
* While advertising do not degrade other competitors. It is recommended that you highlight your productsí uniqueness and superiority but never mortify other products.
* Banners or text links that expire are guaranteed to eventually send your visitor to a broken link or show a broken graphic on your page. Time sensitive advertising is best used only in email advertising campaigns.
* Never put affiliate links on your homepage. This is similar to asking your visitors to leave immediately. Give them a chance to browse, sign up for your newsletter and decide that they'd like to come back to your place before introducing them to your affiliates.
* Technology changes with amazing speed. To keep up with this rapidly evolving industry, you must invest time and money in research. The investment is a tax write-off, and will pay you back many times over in additional revenue.
When it comes time to promote your own affiliate site, I hope this helps you get off to a good start and avoid a few pitfalls.
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