So you want to leave your job and start working for yourself. Your new adventure will be affiliate marketing. Of course you're excited and are working long hours. Your own effort is needed if you are to succeed. The web site is set up and you are monitoring. Things are going well. It's just the first payment that you need to validate your new life. Is it going to be enough? Is it all worth it? Have you factored in customer returns?
It's disappointing, but customer returns do happen. Returned goods do not earn commissions. You need to be aware of the fact and try to avoid the problem. Get to know the return policy for every product that you promote. Try to anticipate customer problems and address these up front. Check the product statistics, if possible, to see if there is a history of returns.
Customers send back items for various reasons. The commissions paid are reversed. This can happen quite some time after the initial sale. In some cases, the product vendor will hold your payments in order to avoid having to retrieve money that was already paid to you. Credit card charge-backs can occur up to three months after a sale. If returns happen to your income stream, check for patterns. Is the problem with a particular product? Is it a buyer who repeatedly backs out? Keep a close watch to see if the frequency is too high.
Returns can indicate that there is a serious problem. If they occur during an initial trial period, or within the guarantee period, it could indicate that the product is poor. Customer satisfaction is low. Perhaps people think that the advertising is misleading. It could be due to support issues from the company. If returns happen too often, it will affect your net income. Stop promoting products with excessive return rates.
Another sales problem can pertain to certain items that are not commission paying. Some companies will not pay for free offers, or trials. Others will not pay for subscription arrangements. Others will not pay commissions on up-sales. Make sure you know about these products. It is then up to you whether you devote a lot of effort into promoting these items. If you can earn money on the entire process, it may be worth it, but study the terms and conditions carefully.
Many companies offer differing payments for different products. A typical practice is to offer a very high rate for the first in a series of products. This could be between 30% and 100%. The idea is that offering such a rate on the initial product will attract network marketers. The company makes sales but does not earn money on them. They do, however, get the customer signed up and they make money on subsequent sales. In such a situation, you may then make a lesser amount on the rest of the products in the series. There may also be a subscription deal for the customer which pays a different amount to sales partners.
Besides products that don't earn money for you, you have to be aware of other exclusions. Some companies will not pay if a customer fails to fulfill all requirements. If they take an item but then continue to shop, you may lose. If they don't complete the order immediately, you may lose. Make sure that you know these types of conditions. Craft your advertising to try to minimize unwanted customer behavior. You could stand to lose significant payment amounts so try to keep the customer engaged in the buying process.
When you are marketing, you also have to be aware of the operating conditions that are imposed on your business. Some companies do not want you to use social media to promote their products. That means that you can't post a note telling your friends to buy this product at <INSERT LINK HERE>. If you have a large following, such a restriction may hurt your chance of success. Other companies will not allow direct pay per click advertising, or they will not allow certain keywords to be used in such campaigns. This may prevent you from directly advertising the “GOLD STANDARD METHOD”, which could lower your effectiveness. Perhaps the company itself uses this keyword and they want to limit competition.
Make sure that you are aware of all marketing conditions. If you are not allowed to use social media, then don't promote offers directly on Facebook, Twitter, etc. If you can't set up a keyword advertising campaign using certain words, don't. Look for ways to work within the conditions. This can be done. If social media methods are not allowed, set up a web page that contains the offer. Promote that web page on the social media platform. This level of indirection is usually allowed by all affiliate companies, but check.
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Affiliate marketing is often a great way to earn money. You can have the power of a solid company behind the goods and services that you sell. The products can be top quality. The payment rates are very high per sale, sometimes up to 100%. There are often several products in a series that can reward you. There may be a recurring subscription that pays. Best of all, you bring the customer to the offer and your involvement later is minimal.
Of course, there can be problems with payments, customer behaviors, and product support. Many of these problems will be out of your hands. The best you can do is to try to address as much as you can up front. If the product is a physical good, to to describe it as well as you can. Pictures would be good. If it is a digital product, such as software, make sure that you list testimonials and the feature list. Screen images are good.
When you are in business for yourself, your efforts earn your rewards. Your time is important. Check the offers before you start promoting. This can reduce the chance of customer dissatisfaction. If you see that a lot of complaints have been raised, you might want to avoid promoting that product. If you see that a lot of praise has been given, you would promote that product.