If it’s not already, building your product launch list is going to become one of your core activities as you start using what you learn in Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. Especially with PLF because it includes even more focus on using email and text messaging than ever before.
And getting other people to send you their best prospects and customers is a much more efficient (and profitable) strategy than spending all of your own time and money trying to build your list on your own.
As a example, I have been an affiliate of Jeff Walkers for years, and as part of my promotional efforts for Product Launch Formula throughout the year, I have sent thousands of people to his site (both through my affiliate link and directly), and I’ve watched my affiliate stats to see that many of those people have opted in to his email list.
Now while that’s great for me because quite often somebody I’ve sent his way buys PLF and he pays me an affiliate commission, it’s also great for Jeff because…
…he uses the list of people affiliates like me have sent him to participate in other people’s product launches as an affiliate.
I see Jeff’s name come up regularly in JV Leaderboards, and based on that, I know he’s earning himself thousands of dollars in affiliate commissions, and often winning those JV competitions that give away bonus cash, cars, holidays, computers, iPads and other cool stuff.
So in addition to building your prospect and customer lists, building a dedicated affiliate and JV partner email list is going to be one of your most valuable activities… because once they know how, the people on that list are going to continue to help you promote your stuff AND, AND you can use that list to promote OTHER people’s stuff as an affiliate as well…
So with that in mind, it’s time think about putting these 7 keys to work in your affiliate program, and you’ll put affiliates to work for you right away!
1. Where Appropriate, Use Urgency To Get Others To Promote Product Launches & Products
Now this is NOT something you want to do every time, but you can to is with certain promotions is to apply some “gentle pressure” to encourage affiliates to go the extra mile in some situations.
That means you want to give affiliates a nudge to take action now, as opposed to waiting until later. You want to create a little urgency; a sense of, “I don’t want to miss out, so I need to make this a priority.”
There are a lot of ways to do this. Here are five ideas…
- Host a time-sensitive sale. Affiliates have to promote it now or miss out (your product launches are a great example of this).
- Use natural deadlines like holidays, seasons (end of the Tax year, Christmas, Labor Day, etc.) and events.
- Create a special occasion (a product launch, releasing v2.0, an affiliate contest, a giveaway, etc.).
- Make your own news (if you are retiring or raising the price on a product, removing adding a bonus, etc.).
- Propose an opportunity for future collaboration (you do this now, I’ll do this for you later).
In the future, we’ll talk more about getting others to participate in your partnerships. For now, I just want you to get the idea that you can “nudge” affiliates to join by employing a few smart tactics like the ones I just mentioned.
2. Offer Incentives To Persuade Other People To Join In
Affiliates love to get MORE than just their regular commissions. Let’s be clear about one thing: affiliates are primarily in the business for the money. Sure, sometimes they are evangelists because they believe in the product, the cause, or the developer (I’m like this for Jeff Walker, Eben Pagan, Seth Godin and Dan Kennedy).
But most affiliates are in this as a business. And if a business isn’t making money, they’re OUT of business, right?
If you can give an affiliate the opportunity to earn MORE money without doing anything EXTRA, that’s a win for them, AND for you if you do it right. It’s a numbers game.
Let’s say affiliate Adam is going to write a blog post this week to promote your offer or someone else’s offer. He likes both of them equally. Both earn him the same amount of money. What to do? All other things being equal, the x-factor that gets him to promote you instead of the other merchant is a way for him to make extra money doing what he was going to do anyway … write that blog post.
Let me give you two scenarios as examples for how to do this…
1. Hold Affiliate Contests
One option is to host a contest and offer prizes to the top affiliates. I’ve seen this done with prizes as “cheap” as digital goods (the top selling or lead generating affiliate gets a free copy of X product) and as “expensive” as giving away a Mercedes Benz C300 to the top affiliate.
Most contests are somewhere in between. You could give away gift cards, iPads, Kindles, mp3 players, and other popular gadgets. Just decide what your top 10 affiliates will receive, set the rules/guidelines, determine the date, and start getting the word out (via your dedicated affiliate email list and anywhere else affiliate congregate).
You may want to consider giving ANY affiliate who refers a sale something for joining in (even if it’s a 75% commission instead of a 50% commission, it will reward every active affiliate and encourage them to continue promoting you)
SIDEBAR: This is a numbers game! Let’s say you “invest” (always think of it as an “investment” – something you spend in order to get a “return” above and beyond what you spent) $1,000 for prizes or bonuses in a small contest that is shared over the top 10 affiliates.
And let’s say those ten affiliates all generate just 10 sales each of a $97 product that you give 50% commissions on. What do you have at the end of the contest? 10 sales X 10 affiliates = 100 sales X $97 per sale = $9700 sales – 50% commission = $4,850 for you – $1,000 for prizes = $3,850 profit (minus 2-5% processing fees).
And that’s just for a small-scale contest. Plus it doesn’t take into consideration any sales generated by affiliates who participated who didn’t make the “top ten”. And it doesn’t take into consideration any affiliate who went all out and single-handedly brought in dozens if not hundreds of referrals in order to win the contest. Big time!
2. Create Milestones
Another option is to offer incentives to any affiliate who reaches predetermined milestones for sales or commissions generated at any time. When the affiliate generates their first referred sale, they get X as a bonus. Five sales gets them X bonus. Twenty-five sales gets them X bonus.
The more sales they rack up, the larger incentives they receive. Again, it’s a numbers game. So work out what you can give away at each milestone that will be appealing to the affiliate and still earn you money.
ONE IMPORTANT DETAIL: Neither of these ideas takes into consideration the lifetime value of the customer your affiliates are referring to you. Remember, all of these sales numbers are just for the FIRST SALE.
If you deliver a high value, high quality product and treat those new customers right, you will generate a lot more orders from those same customers over time. That makes your contest or milestone reward program even MORE PROFITABLE to you.
Can you see why you should be doing this?
3. Provide Ongoing Training For Affiliates So They Do What You Want
Remember that affiliate list we talked about earlier?
This is one of the ways that you use it and get a LOT of leverage for very little effort.
The idea is to provide ongoing training materials (articles, reports, webinars, etc.) where you teach your affiliates how to improve their affiliate marketing. Your goal is to help transform your affiliates into SUPER affiliates.
You want to do this because if you teach them all the things that you would normally do yourself (set up Facebook advertising, create viral videos, guest blog posting, etc.) they will be able to generate traffic on your behalf as an affiliate promoting your offers.
If you train your affiliates and help them make even more money and earn even bigger commissions, they will work even harder to make you money by promoting your products for you.
So, at least once per month, send out some kind of TRAINING.
Your training should do three things…
- Teach your affiliates how to complete an effective marketing step
- Give the affiliate some of your own resources so they can complete the marketing step to promote you
- Send the affiliate to the online destination or platform where they can complete the marketing step
For example: You might explain how to get traffic with paid Facebook advertising, you give the affiliate with a swipe file of ready-made ads and images to promote your product, and then send the affiliate to the Facebook advertising page to start their campaign.
You’ve created an easy 3 step process that EVERY affiliate can follow (whole spending their own money), and that you don’t have to do yourself if you don’t want to…
4. Create Fresh Resources For Affiliates To Get You Regular Attention
Every month you should be creating new freemiums for your affiliates to give away on your behalf.
Every Single Month.
These resources can be as simple as a new article each month that affiliates can publish on their blog or broadcast in a newsletter or loaded to an autoresponder.
Ultimately all of the affiliate resources you create to stock on your affiliate page should systematically be rolled out on a monthly basis. The reason is that when you mention these things to your affiliates (through your affiliate email list) you give your them another reason to talk about you to their audience.
You give them something fresh to share with their own network of influence. Ultimately, sharing these awesome fremiums with your affiliates makes THEM look good to their audience, and KEEPS you in front of potential customers month after month.
Even if you do this on a small scale, it’s free, ongoing promotion for you. And the more the person on the other end hears your name, sees that product recommendation, and becomes familiar with the benefits of buying something … the more likely they will do just that.
A variation on this is to give others fresh REASONS to promote you. See the “urgency” key I mentioned earlier.
New resources that promote you and new reasons to promote you should be rolled out on a regular basis. Put it on your calendar. Every. Month. How often? Every month!
5. Help Other People In Your Network Make The Most Money Possible
If you want more affiliates to promote you, pay them as much as possible while remaining profitable for yourself.
As Much As Possible…
Listen carefully here. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to pay someone 90% commission on every sale referred, and let them send you a 500 customers that you make $10 each off of (that’s $5,000 for you if you’re paying attention :-), rather than offering a 50% commission and getting lost in the crowd of other merchants doing the same thing?
…especially when you consider that by offering a standard 50% commission, the affiliate is never likely to promote you at all?
Help your affiliates make the absolute most money possible, and they will end up making you the absolute most money possible by sending you free traffic over and over again.
Here’s 4 ways to do this…
INCREASE YOUR PRICES. The more you charge per sale, the more your affiliates earn in commission per sale. Another option is to create an upsell or cross-sell and add them to the order flow so that the price per transaction is higher.
RAISE YOUR COMMISSION RATE. Instead of offering 50% commission, offer 75% commission. You could even consider offering 100% commission (or even losing money) on the front end sale just to get the customer into your system for future sales opportunities.
HINT: This is an advanced strategy for people who already have a stable business and who can afford to go negative on the front end, but it is THE FASTEST AND MOST PROFITABLE way to build a business long-term.
OFFER LIFETIME COMMISSIONS. Some affiliate programs offer lifetime commissions. When someone refers a customer to that merchant, that customer is assigned to the affiliate for life. Whenever the customer buys something from them in the future, the original referring affiliate gets a commission (commission rate varies depending upon the offer – usually 50%) automatically.
USE INCENTIVES. We talked about this one earlier, but I want to mention this idea again. Use contests and milestone incentives to help affiliates make more money. All of these things can separate you from your competitors. All of these things can be used to turn passive affiliates into active evangelists for your product or service.
THEN – and please don’t forget this – as long as you deliver quality products and treat your referred customers well, you can earn a LOT of money over the long haul because YOU own the customer list.
NOTE: Sometimes it’s just a matter of “positioning” your commission that can make all the difference. If I sell a $97 product that pays 50% commission, I can position a bump in commission rate in one of two ways.
First, I could say, “For the next 2 weeks I’m raising your rate from 50% to 75%.”
That sounds good, but this when you say it this way it sounds better… “For the next 2 weeks, every sale you refer will get your usual 50% commission PLUS I’ll give you an extra $25 per sale!”
By being specific about the extra dollar amount the affiliate will earn, they are more likely to promote you during this specific window of time.
6. Make Your Affiliate Program About Others, Not Yourself
You may have already noticed, but I’ve been hinting at this the entire way so far, but let me spell it out clearly to you now…
All successful affiliate programs have one thing in common: they are about helping the affiliates succeed. To be sure, your motivation for having an affiliate program is to make money for YOU.
But I guarantee that if you work your affiliate program like making money is the only thing that matters, and it’s the only thing that’s important, you won’t get very far. But, when you cast aside your own self-interest and really pour yourself into equipping affiliates so they can be profitable, you’ll be successful yourself.
Here are some final points to consider as you work to make your affiliate program as profitable as possible for everyone:
- Do whatever you can to help affiliates make more money through the strategies we discussed earlier
- Spend time and money training affiliates so they know what they are doing and are better able to do it. It will return to you compounded…
- Listen to honest and genuine feedback from affiliates when they tell you their likes and dislikes
- As much as possible make yourself accessible for affiliates to communicate with personally
- Think about things you can do for the other person to really build his or her affiliate business – treat their business as if it were your own
- Whenever possible, reciprocate and reward successful affiliates by doing things to promote or acknowledge him or her
- Consider recruiting a dedicated affiliate manager who can actively engage with and assist your affiliate team to make the most of their efforts
There are a lot of things you can do in order to make the most of your affiliate program. So imagine YOU were the affiliate and THEY were the owner of your product. What would you want them to do for you in order to help you with affiliate marketing?
Then go out and do that for them, and just watch the results…
7. Make Good Use Of The Enormous Power Of Exclusivity
Let me start by saying that there’s no way you could do this for EVERY affiliate. You just won’t have enough time.
But for “super affiliates”, one of the biggest incentives you can give to get them actively promoting your offer(s) is to do or create something exclusive for them.
Now, before I explain that a little more, let me define what I mean by “super” affiliate.
Super affiliates are usually considered to be those people who can endorse your offer and generate a lot of sales as a result of their support. These are people who have tremendous influence among the members of an audience.
They typically have large email lists, large Facebook pages, high-traffic websites, powerful connections, a big advertising budget, and lots of followers. For example, if Ellen DeGeneres or Oprah mention a book or movie in a favourable way, it almost automatically becomes a hit or bestseller.
These sorts of influencers are tier one affiliates who definitely are people you want to strive to get on your team. They are, of course, the most difficult to compel to promote you because EVERYBODY wants their attention, effort, and endorsement. But they are certainly worth the effort…
There is a “2nd tier” of affiliate that you should really take the time to invest in as well. There are two kinds of these affiliates…
FIRST, there are those affiliates who have a “medium-sized” following. They have the same sort of resources the “super” affiliates have – they just don’t have as much of it. They have smaller lists, less website traffic, fewer connections and a smaller budget.
But they have a circle of influence and know what they are doing when it comes to promoting affiliate products. These kinds of affiliates are awesome, because you can be sure they can make you significant money when they partner with and actively promote you.
And SECOND, there are those affiliates who we’ll call “motivated beginners”.
They have the basics in place – a list, a site, a budget, etc. But nothing really is happening for them yet. They just don’t quite know what to do.
These people may not have the big-time resources (yet!) that the top affiliates have, but they are motivated and active. These are the affiliates who are willing to invest their time to be trained and willing to invest their money to get a return.
These are the kinds of affiliates that I love and I look for. I mean, I’ll just lay it out there in my newsletter, at my blog, in my videos, and so forth… something like this…
If you have $1,000 to invest in becoming a top affiliate marketer, and you are willing to follow my instructions to promote my offers in exchange for a commission, I’ll work with you one-on-one to maximise your investment and help you become a long-term successful affiliate.
When you find someone from this 2nd tier who wants to work with you (or the occasional “super affiliate”), then you want to do extra things for them that you don’t do for others.
This is where the “exclusive” nature of the relationship begins. Here are 3 things I have done for these special affiliates (and will continue to do) you could also work into your business…
1. CREATE EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
I’ve written exclusive blog post articles for a number of my top affiliates. In other words, I write an original article for Affiliate Adam that he can post on his blog that no one else can publish. I’ll write another one for Affiliate Bill. And a different article for Affiliate Chelsea. And so on.
Each affiliate gets an original article from me (on a topic of his or her choice) for exclusive publication and distribution. This is one great way to give something extra to your special affiliates.
2. OFFER THEM EXCLUSIVE DEALS
At other times, I’ve arranged exclusive deals for certain affiliates. For example: When one of my partners promoted my Profitable Product System, I gave all of her referred customers a free copy of one of my other $97 courses.
She was actively promoting me and had made quite a few sales before I offered her this deal, and I wanted to reward her people with something special. We both ended up making several thousand dollars and her audience were delighted.
Whether it’s a special package, one or more unique bonuses, a discount, or some other exclusive benefit, creating a deal that is only available for one affiliate will generate some additional promotional love for you.
3. GIVE THEM EXCLUSIVE TIME
Like I said earlier, when it comes to your time, you are limited. You can’t invest your time to work with EVERY affiliate the same because it’s simply not an option. You have to use your time wisely, so for those special affiliates who warrant it, offer them the benefit of your time in ways that others don’t get.
For example, you could let them interview you, or you could pop into their member’s forum or Facebook page and answer questions, participate in a live chat, give them one-on-one coaching, and so forth. Give your top affiliate partners your time … and they will give you their time.
When you put even one of these 7 Keys into motion, it will make a difference for your business. But if you take action on several (or all) of them, it’s likely to radically transform your business’s profitability.
Now if you can see the benefits of recruiting a bunch of affiliates and JV partners to help you with your product launch and you would like to learn more, including how to find the best JV partners in your niche market and have them excited and motivated to promote for you, check out Jeff Walker’s free Product Launch Masterclass here.
P.S. Being able to create a Perfect Product is a great start, but you also need a way to generate sales in a consistent way. Running a Product launch is a proven way to not only build your list, but generate Social Proof and make a large number of sales quickly. To learn how to launch your product successfully, check out Jeff Walker’s free Product Launch Masterclass here.
PLUS: When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you to grow your business using product launches:
1. How To Build A Profitable Launch List.
Building an email list is critical if you plan on doing a launch for your product, service or business. List Warrior will show you a proven way to use free software to build a responsive list of prospects who are ready to buy from you during your launch. Click Here.
2. How To Create The Perfect Product
Creating a product that is perfect for your audience does not need to be difficult. How To Create The Perfect Product shows you how to build high value products your audience will love one after the other. Click Here.
3. How To Attract Buyers To Join Your Launch List So They Can Purchase Your Perfect Product.
Once you have created your Product Launch List and your Perfect Product is ready to go, you need to attract people into your world so they can buy from you. One Minute Free Traffic gives you a proven way to attract buyers with ‘Automated Traffic Machines’ so you can send those people to your optin page, your sales page, your Facebook Group or anywhere else you choose. To learn more Click Here.
And don’t forget to check this out 🙂