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The End Of Dumb Affiliate Marketing

by Willie Crawford

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Published on this site: March 15th, 2010 - See more articles from this month

One of the saddest things that I witness day after day is affiliate marketers who really struggle to make sales. They send out email after email, promotion after promotion, yet often make very few sales.

This is not only sad, it's also needless "practice bleeding." Making affiliate sales is easy when you know the secret. It's even very scientific and does have fairly predictable results.

Let's look at what most affiliates are doing wrong, what I've termed "dumb affiliate marketing" and how that can be easily corrected.

Before I offend anyone, I should explain that when I use the word "dumb" I mean untargeted. I come from a military background, and I think of "dumb bombs." Those are bombs that are dropped off of an airplane and they tumble unguided towards a target. They may or may not hit the target but once they are released they get no guidance.

A "smart" bomb often has a built in navigation system, and after it is dropped from an airplane it often flies a precise, pre-programmed route of flight to a target - often getting satellite GPS updates enroute. A smart bomb can be dropped from miles away, and be steered right though a window on a building that the pilot flying the aircraft never even sees.

Your affiliate marketing can be just as on-target when you acknowledge and harness just a little know-how.

Promoting an affiliate product no longer needs to be a gamble.

First of all, you need to tap into data that is readily available on which products are already selling. One source of this data is the blogs maintained during many affiliate sales contests. Monitor these to see how well a given product is selling, and to see if you want to invest your time and effort into setting up a protracted marketing campaign. You can market many of these products after the big initial launch is over - often with lessened competition.

I personally also rely upon my network of friends who readily share with each other which affiliate products are proven sellers. Many of us are members of a Facebook Group called "Affiliate Products Proven To Sell." If you are on Facebook, you can join this group for free by registering at

Many affiliates also struggle because they use marketing methods that are outdated, and simply no longer work. One newer method that works like CRAZY is using quality videos. You can now have CUSTOM videos created for you for under $50 each, and that includes professional voice talent. For that,

I personally use Jason Anderson's team at: http://timic.org/ProVideos.

These are not PLR videos. They are produced from scratch and are mini-commercials. Mine are 1-minute because, just like your audience, viewers of my videos have short attention spans. So, take a clue from the television industry. They've mastered getting the message across in 30 seconds to 1 minute. You need to do the same.

Another fact that you need to "get" - a fact most struggling affiliate marketers still refuse to acknowledge is that your promotion needs to be for just ONE product. If the purpose of a solo mailing or ezine issue is to promote a specific product, then just mention that ONE product in the email.

Without fail, when I've tried to promote multiple products in an email, even if they were all free, overall response rate significantly decreased. I think that it's because when you promote several products in an email, it comes across as too desperate. Be laser focused rather than using the shotgun approach.

Many affiliate marketers fail to make sales because they promote something that they like rather than something customers are ALREADY buying. With so many great products out there, I do not believe in being the guinea pig. You should only promote affiliate products where the product owner has thoroughly tested market demand AND his conversion process.

It's foolish to put time and effort into promoting unproven products when you can just pick the low-hanging fruit by offering your customers the products that they've proven to you that they want.

Given that often there are numerous affiliates for a product that's a proven seller, you may need to differentiate yourself from all of the other affiliates. One easy way to do that is to offer a valuable, related bonus. I like using unique audio interviews or related courses as bonuses.

If you've taken the time to actually communicate with your subscribers and customers, your offer isn't identical to that made by others marketing the same affiliate product anyway. Just the fact that it's YOU, whom your clients have grown to know, like and trust, that's marketing the product... makes it different. The difference is that purchasing through your affiliate link is less risky.

That is one of the key factors in smart affiliate marketing. Earn their trust and the sales come a lot easier. I actually have subscribers email me doing a big product launch ASKING for my affiliate link. Over the past 13 years, I have built that kind of customer loyalty. If you work at doing that, everything else will fall in place.

Now that you know the secret, it's time to stop doing dumb marketing. If your sales aren't what they should be start by looking at WHAT you are marketing. Is it something that your customers really want? If it is, then next look at HOW you are marketing it. Read back thought this article for tips on the profitable way to do that.

Willie Crawford is a seasoned affiliate marketer with 13 years of experience selling goods and services online. He now spends several hours many days mentoring other online marketers on a private discussion forum that's part of a tight-knit membership community called "The Internet Marketing Inner Circle." Join them at: http://timic.org/.

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