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Why The Wrong Approach to Affiliate Programs Can Cost You Money

By Yvonne Andringa

How many times have you heard someone say that affiliate programs just don't work? Well, I am living proof that they are dead wrong! Affiliate programs can bring in a lot of money.

I can tell you that there are normally two reasons that MOST people have negative experiences. They have not been properly trained, or they are not implementing what they've learned. Let me show you how to change your approach and stop wasting time and money.

The first misconception about affiliates is that they are "gimmies". Most people think they can sign up, post a banner or link on their site and the money will come rolling in. Their perception and approach are both backwards.

Affiliate programs are businesses. Like any other business, you must do several things: advertise, connect with your employees and stay in touch with your customers. Somewhere in the Internet world affiliates got a reputation for being "easy money". If that's what you're looking for then it would be best if you looked elsewhere.

Think of it this way: you open a bakery, don't advertise, never talk to your employees (not a single word) and don't acknowledge your customers. How long do you think your bakery will stay in business? About a week! It simply isn't possible to make money in any business without including these 3 very basic items in your plan. An affiliate business is no different.

Here's three simple facts every affiliate program member must acknowledge to be successful:

FACT #1: It's a business not a free ride.

Be prepared to work at building your affiliate business and down line. You'll need to advertise. Be sure to place your ads where people that are interested in the product or service will see them; otherwise they ARE a waste of money. Send out emails to let your friends and associates know about the product or service you're offering. Add a signature file to your emails including a brief description of your program.

FACT #2: Make friends with those in your downline.

People support what they help create. That's a fact of life. Then you show an interest in the success of your down line they will naturally respond by producing more sales. Encourage them. Offer ways to improve their sales. Hold monthly or quarterly meetings to find out about their successes and failures. Since you get a percentage of what your down line sells, it only makes sense to support them. When they succeed... you succeed!

FACT #3: Stay in touch with your customers.

Let's pretend you own a gift shop. You have several "good" customers who give you repeat business. When you receive a new shipment full of exciting products you will normally contact your customers and invite them to visit you for a preview. The same principle applies to affiliate sales. If the statistics provided by your affiliate company give you email addresses, be sure to contact your customers and let them know when new services, products or updates are available. It is much easier and less costly to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.

By implementing some basic business principles, you can avoid the wrong approach to affiliate sales thus saving yourself a lot of time and money. You can increase your direct sales and the sales of your down line. If your program is not producing the way you would like for it to, consider changing your approach and watch your bottom line improve!

© 2001 by Yvonne Andringa.
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