Affiliate marketing has become a popular way for entrepreneurs to make money online. It involves promoting a product as an affiliate of another company. When someone buys the product or takes the desired action, you’ll earn revenue. However, the success of an affiliate marketing campaign relies heavily on the product. If you’re thinking about trying affiliate marketing, you should consider the following seven factors when choosing a product to promote.
Payout is arguably the most important thing to consider when choosing an affiliate product to promote. Most product-based affiliate programs compensate affiliates for sales. Known as a cost-per-sale (CPS) compensation model, you’ll typically earn either a flat dollar amount or percentage for every sale you drive. If it’s a physical product, you can expect a CPS payout of 1% to 20%. Digital products like e-books and software, however, often have higher CPS payouts.
How many other companies, and affiliates for that matter, sell the same type of product that you want to promote? If there’s too much competition, you may end up spending more money on advertising than you earn, resulting in a negative return on investment (ROI).
Using Google, perform some basic searches for the product to see how many websites are promoting it. Alternatively, you can use a tool like Moz’s Keyword Research Tool to gather competition metrics. Competition isn’t necessarily bad. If other companies and affiliates are promoting a product, it usually means the product is profitable. It’s only when a product is saturated with competition that it hurts your efforts to create a profitable marketing campaign.
#3) Affiliate Tools and Resources
You should also check to see what, if any, tools and resources the program offers its affiliates. Some companies even set up a dedicated web page to help their affiliates succeed. Here, affiliates can access tools to enhance their marketing campaigns. After all, the more sales an affiliate refers, the more money the product company makes.
Common tools and resources offered to affiliates include:
• Banner ads and creatives
• Video thumbnails
• Email copy templates
• Customer testimonials
• Landing pages
• Social media images
• Demographic data
#4) Traffic Restrictions
Many affiliate products have traffic restrictions, such as no popup ads, pay-per-click (PPC) ads or unsolicited emails. Others only restrict the use of certain brand names. If you use one or two traffic channels for your affiliate marketing campaigns, check to make sure they are allowed; otherwise, you’ll have a hard time selling the product.
Always read the terms and conditions, especially regarding traffic, before promoting an affiliate product. If you drive sales using a prohibited traffic channel, the affiliate program may suspend your account and withhold all unpaid revenue. You can avoid this costly headache, however, by reading the affiliate program’s terms.
#5) In-House vs Affiliate Network
Is the affiliate program offered by the company that manufactures the product, or is it offered through a third-party affiliate network? Affiliate networks serve as the middleman between the product company and the affiliates. An in-house affiliate program, on the other hand, is offered by the company that manufactures the product.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using both an in-house affiliate program as well as an affiliate network. In-house programs typically offer the highest payout, whereas affiliate networks offer better tools and resources. If you see a product you want to promote on an affiliate network, check to see if the manufacturing company has its own in-house program. Promoting the product through an in-house program can prove far more lucrative in the long run.
You won’t succeed with affiliate marketing if there’s little to no demand for the product you are promoting. Ideally, you should choose a niche product with little competition and moderate to high demand.
So, how do you determine the demand for an affiliate program? This is something that a keyword research like Moz’s Keyword Tool or the AdWords Keyword Planner Tool can perform. You should find out the average search volume for keywords associated with the product.
Finally, consider the tracking technology when choosing an affiliate product to promote. Most reputable affiliate programs have some sort of system for tracking affiliate sales. If a program uses outdated, faulty or unreliable tracking, it can hurt your efforts in multiple ways.
First, poor tracking means you could be sending traffic to a dead link. And if you’re paying for traffic, that means your money is going down the drain. Secondly, poor tracking may limit your ability to find out which keywords or traffic channels are generating sales and which ones aren’t.
Taking these seven factors into account will help you choose the right affiliate product to promote.