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  The DNA of a Successful Program
  The Difference Between Affiliate Program Success and Failure Starts Here


The DNA of a Successful Program

Topic Description – Affiliate Motivation! While working on the philosophy that you need to create an attractive program that Affiliates will want to join, put yourself in your Affiliate's shoes and think about what an Affiliate will want from your Program.

How To – Motivate your affiliates

Motivator #1 - Money!

The prime motivator to join your Program will be for profit.

Let us pretend that a potential Affiliate has a site that he would like to have pay for itself. That may mean that he simply wants to earn a handful of dollars each month in order to pay for his web hosting fees, or it may mean that he would like to earn enough to allow him to give up his day job!

If you're thinking of offering him 0.05 percent on your $10 book about Whelk Farming, you can imagine his likely reply: “hmm…No thanks!”

There are thousands of Affiliate Programs available to your potential Affiliates. If an Affiliate is going to invest time and effort in promoting your site, your offer and incentives will need to be slightly more enticing.

Your potential Affiliates do not want false promises of untold wealth for little or no work; they simply want a fair commission that will make their partnership worthwhile.

Motivator #2 – Added Content

If your Program will bring free, quality content to potential Affiliate's site, this will generate more repeat traffic for that Affiliate. Therefore, adding your news-feed or interactive feature to his site could be motivator #2.

There are some great services that provide genuine added value to the content of a site.

Moreover.com offers free up-to-date news on hundreds of subjects. It also has its own Affiliate Program that pays commissions to you when you refer another site to utilise their free content!

However, please do not stake a claim to providing added content if it is undeserving.

Many merchants will tell potential Affiliates that by adding one of their banners to his site he will improve his site's content. Perhaps the merchant honestly believes that his or her banners are ‘content enhancing,' but I can not rationally see why.

Although Affiliate motivators are primarily monetary based, there are many other aspects of an affiliate program that a potential Affiliate will take into account before joining.

Motivator #3 – Monetization:

websites can often times increase their earnings-per-click “EPC” by offering additional products and/or services that do not compete with, but compliment, their own product or service. They offer this to their client base upon exiting the site, or after a sale is completed. If you have an offer that adds value to another's site and/or compliments their original offer, this will motivate affiliates to join your program. This type of campaign adds to their EPC without compromising the visitors' experience.

Useful Tips -
How well is your site converting your Affiliate's traffic to sales? If you have poor sales copy, amateur graphics, a slow loading site or an old-fashioned ‘visible hit counter,' this screams ‘I am a beginner!' In this case, your potential Affiliate will quickly move on to his next opportunity!

Your Affiliate must be sold on your product. If he is a customer and likes your product, then he is much more likely to join your Program. Additionally, rather than just placing a banner on his site, he will spend some time telling his readers why he likes your product - from personal experience.

Is your Affiliate agreement fair? Your Affiliate will look over your Affiliate Agreement and examine such points as:
· Return-days.
· Do you pay commissions when a buyer comes back to your site at a later date?
· Minimum commission levels: Will you make your Affiliate wait for an extended period of time whilst their commissions accumulate to an excessively high minimum payment level?
· Are your terms and conditions fair and acceptable?

Do they like and trust you?
· If for any reason your site leads a potential Affiliate to doubt your credibility, then he will likely not work with you.
· Be sure you have customer testimonials, press releases and/or case studies for your product and/or service.

What kind of reporting is your Affiliate Software capable of providing? Your Affiliates want to have easy access to their statistics. To my knowledge, there is only one affiliate tracking software that will provide all of the pertinent statistics:
· Number of impressions generated by that affiliate's creative.
· Number of Clicks the affiliate sent to your site
· Impression-to-Click Conversion
· Number of visitors converted to sales
· Click-to-Sale Conversion
· Commission earned
· Earnings-Per-Click
· Earnings-Per-Thousand Impressions

However, there are four or five other kinds of software that provide a few of the important affiliate statistics.

What tools will you provide to direct traffic to your site? Do you have a variety of banners in various sizes that suit your Affiliates websites' style and color scheme?

Also of importance is quality, well-written sales copy. Sure, your Affiliate might prefer to write his own, but it is always beneficial for him to work from someone else's ideas and proven sales suggestions.

Are you making it easy for your Affiliate to create interesting links - perhaps using graphics and product shots?

In addition, you could supply a free, quality report delivered by auto responder, or a search function to integrate your database from his site.

Once an Affiliate has joined your Program, how well will you look after him and retain his interest?

Will you pay commissions on time? If you are late paying your Affiliates, or if you do not pay them at all, rather than simply removing your links, your ex-affiliate may feel that it is his duty to warn other webmasters about your program and in so doing…trash your hard-earned reputation!

Do you stay in touch with your affiliates? Provide your Affiliates with useful and informative newsletters. These will not only motivate, but are also helpful in bringing ideas that enable him to increase his earnings with your Program.

An automated email each time he generates a commission is also a key point in staying in touch. This will remind your affiliate that his decision to join your Program was, indeed, a good one, and may spark ideas for new promotions!

I strongly recommend that you become an Affiliate yourself. Choose a topic of personal interest and create a site based around this subject. Find and join relevant Programs in order to experience, first-hand, exactly what is entailed in creating a site, generating traffic and promoting an Affiliate Program. This will provide an invaluable and ongoing learning experience that will better equip you to help train your own Affiliates.

Warnings -
Affiliate Marketing is one of the most effective Marketing methods. However, do not underestimate the commitment required to providing dedicated resources and time to work your new sales channel.

Remember that size does not matter; It is the quality of your Affiliate Partners that is important.

When planning your Program you will need to find the right balance between your needs and those of your partners. Resist the temptation to penny-pinch. Look towards building strong and long-term alliances.

Launch your own personal site now. The experience and knowledge you accumulate will provide you with invaluable resources and tips to pass along to your Affiliate Partners.

Recommended Websites -
Added Content – http://www.Moreover.com
Press Releases – http://www.Affiliate-Announce.com
Reading – http://www.sitesell.com/

Tools and Software –
Affiliate Software – http://www.AffiliateTraction.com