15 Ways to Rise Above the Competition in Affiliate Marketing

About 6 years ago, when I first started to explore the online Affiliate Marketing scene, I was blown away by the potential of making lots of money selling someone else’s products with relative ease and hassle free.

You mean I don’t have to come up with any products of my own? I don’t have to build a website of my own or handle the distribution of the product? Sounds great, I don’t even have to worry about the after sale, customer service headaches that come with selling online. This is the perfect business and the best way to make money online!” Or, so I thought.

Now don’t get me wrong, all of the things mentioned above are true and it is a great way to make a living online, but despite what you may have heard in the past, it does take a bit of work and a lot of know how. That’s why 97% of newbies that start in any Affiliate Marketing program fail within the first 3 months and abandon their dreams of success online.

After I had failed miserably at several different online Affiliate Marketing programs, I had to stop and take a serious look at my methods of doing business and try to figure out what I was doing wrong. Most of the products were fine; my failure had nothing to do with the products themselves. But there were several pieces of the puzzle missing and I had to try to find them and quick!

So forget the hype. Do not fall prey to the psychological marketing tactics used by some unscrupulous online marketers out there. There are several dynamics to this thing called Affiliate Marketing and many components and variables that must be considered. Most importantly, you need consistent efforts based on a well thought out plan, which has been proven successful in the past.

I want to talk about one critical piece of the puzzle I was missing. There are a few tools you will need in your business that will in time prove to be invaluable to you, but yet most of them are free and readily available online.

Squeeze Page It is called by many different names, Capture Page, Squeeze Page, Opt-In Page and Landing Page. These are all the same thing. It is a single, short, to the point web page that your potential customers will land on. You offer them something of value and in exchange, you “capture” or collect there contact information before sending or re-directing them to your generic, affiliate website.

Remember in the first paragraph when I said you don’t have to build a website of your own? Well, this is no longer the truth (not in 2008 anyway) for several reasons. For starters, there is a lot more competition now online than 6 years ago. So before sending your prospects directly to your affiliate’s site, you have to offer something of value to your potential customers to entice them to give you their contact information.

Secondly, people now a day are much more leery of being ripped off by unsavory characters online. With this in mind, you will need a way to build a relationship and trust with your potential customers before they will buy anything from you. Having their contact information so you can present your offers to them multiple times, just makes good business sense. The majority of your correspondence with your potential customers should be perceived as value to them. Remember, people like to buy but hate to be sold to!

Thirdly, your potential customers may not be interested in the product you have pitched to them now, but you may have other affiliate products that they may be interested in. If you have their contact information, then guess what? That’s right; you can present other products to them at a later date! If you are promoting an affiliate’s product, just remember that other marketers are also doing the same thing.

If several marketers are advertising the same affiliate’s website directly, without the use of there own URL and landing page, then this will create a problem if you want to use Google Adwords, especially if they are all advertising using Google Adwords. Google AdWords does not allow several affiliates to market directly to the same affiliate’s website. So what’s the work around for this road block? You guessed it, a squeeze page.

So haw do I build a squeeze page? Several free, website builders out there do not require learning or knowing HTML coding. Once you have a builder that you feel comfortable enough with, you can begin to create your squeeze page. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when building your squeeze page.

  • Keep it short and to the point. A good way to gauge the size of your page is by not having to do any scrolling up or down or sideways on your average 14″ computer screen.
  • Leave off the bells and whistles. Please, do not use LOUD colors and distracting graphics. If you are going to use pictures or videos, make sure it’s hosted on a supper fast server. The last thing you need is someone clicking away from your page because it’s taking too long to load and display.
  • Offer something of value to your customers. This could be in the form of an e-book, weekly newsletter, or limited free offer, trial offer or something of this nature. Make it worth signing up for.
  • List only benefits, preferably in bullet form. You don’t have a lot of room, so just stick with the benefits.
  • Don’t try to sell anything or don’t have multiple links on your squeeze page. This is a turn off and can be distracting. Your only purpose here is to get your potential customers to give you their contact information.
  • Don’t ask for too much information. Try to stick with asking for their first name and e-mail address. Most people are very suspicious and hate giving out their information online. If you are in MLM and need phone numbers, then you need to re-assure your prospects that you will keep their information strictly confidential. Personally, if I need a phone number I only ask for it after I have developed a trust relationship with my prospects.
  • Use a powerful Auto-Responder. You will need to have the contact information entered from your squeeze page, seamlessly stored and a response sent immediately to your prospect’s e-mail.
  • Conformation e-mail required. After your prospects enter their contact information, you need to let them know that a conformation e-mail has been sent to their e-mail address and that they will need to click a link within that e-mail to confirm their subscription. This will eliminate those people who might enter a “bogus” e-mail (I know we’ve all done this one in the past). In addition, it’s no fun being accused of spamming, so requiring an extra step from your prospects will reduce this risk.
  • Conduct split testing and track your results. Everything we do as marketers is a test. Just changing the color of your header could make all the difference in the world. Therefore, have two or more squeeze pages and let your prospects tell you which one they like best by their response. Always remember to track your results so you can compare one web page against another.
  • Use attention-grabbing headlines. Now that you got the prospects to your squeeze page, you need to keep them there until they sign up. Make your headline exiting and irresistible. It should grab your reader’s attention instantly. After you have captured your prospect’s contact information, they are then automatically re-directed to your generic affiliate’s website. A good auto-responder should take care of this for you without any intervention from you.

The auto-responder is your 24 hours a day, 7 days a week marketer that never gets tired and never asks for a raise. It will begin to send out a series of e-mail correspondence to your prospects on a time schedule predetermined by you. Once you have built credibility with your Opt-In-List and you have established yourself as an expert, you can begin to promote other affiliate products for sale to your list. You can sell to your list over and over again. Below are a few things to consider before bombarding your Opt-In-List with sales pitches.

  • Don’t sell or rent your list to anyone else. Doing this will violate your trust with your customers and they will unsubscribe in a flash.
  • Consistently send valuable content to your list. This should comprise the majority of your communications to your list as opposed to simply promoting or selling to them.
  • Only promote closely related products. Meaning, you should be promoting products similar to the one they signed up for in the first place.
  • Offer a way to unsubscribe in every correspondence. By doing this, your prospects won’t feel like they are held hostage, they know they always have a way out.
  • Don’t bombard your list with too much stuff! With all the other e-mails that your prospects get every day, the last thing they need is for you to add to their confusion. Pace yourself and have your prospects look forward to reading your correspondence.

So just like a food display in the window of a restaurant that entices you to come in and eat, your squeeze page is the display window to your business, keep it clean and make it inviting!

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