An Affiliate Marketer's Worst Nightmare
I have been accused of being a tiny bit obsessive about affiliate marketing. Of course, I prefer to think of it as being really sincere and dedicated. I must, however, confess that I do dream about affiliate marketing.
Sometimes my dreams are happy dreams that are filled with successful affiliate marketing campaigns and money flowing into my bank accounts. Sometimes there are multitudes of grateful students adoring me and my expertise. But sometimes the dreams are affiliate nightmares.
The other night I had the affiliate marketer's worst nightmare. Maybe it was the taco and / or burritos, but whatever caused the nightmare is something I would really rather never repeat.
In my nightmare, I was surfing the Internet and came across an affiliate Internet marketing product that I thought would sell like hotcakes. I was so impressed that I just KNEW that I could promote the product to my subscribers and that it would be so beneficial to them that they would actually trip over one another to buy it. I even had a vision of a killer AdWords campaign that was converting at 1,000% ROI.
In my nightmare, the merchant did not answer my email. But I was so confident about the product, and my affiliate marketing expertise, that I decided to promote it anyway. I could not find any blogs or forums about the product or about the merchant, but heck, it was so new that nobody was talking about it yet – right? I was in on the ground floor!
It still looked like a lovely affiliate marketer's dream. That must have been when the burritos kicked in.
I wrote my AdWords advertisements for this amazing product without any problem at all. Then I loaded my autoresponder with a hot promotional email and hit the "Send Now" button with a ton of confidence.
Then I logged into my affiliate stats and was amazed at the rate at which orders were flooding in. 100% conversion! Every single click through resolved in a sale of this miraculous product and some customers were buying three or four at the same time. Wow!
That must have been when the guacamole rubbed the burritos and tacos the wrong way.
Suddenly, I was being inundated with demands for refunds. I'm not talking just a couple of unhappy customers. ALL of the customers were unhappy and they were all mad at ME because I had recommended this lousy product to them. They all swore they would never buy anything that I recommended ever again for as long as they lived.
Thank goodness my alarm clock rang … I got out of bed, went to work, and vowed never to eat spicy food that close to bedtime again.
I owed to do something else, too – to always do my homework about any and every product and merchant that I recommend.
Just because a product looks like the "next big thing" does not mean that it is. And just because a product turns out to really be the "next big thing," that does not mean it will be all that easy to sell.
When you come across a product with tremendous potential, always do the following:
1 – Read up on the product – not just on the merchant's website, but on independent review sites, blogs, forums, and other electronic avenues. Find out what people are saying about the product, both good and bad.
2 – Contact the merchant and inquire about selling his / her product as an affiliate. Find out what the merchant will require from you, and read through the merchant's affiliate agreement before you sign it.
3 – Do not lift a finger to sell the product without a) you actually get a reply from the merchant (duh!); and b) you are willing to accept the merchant's terms as outlined in the agreement.
4 – Above all, make sure the product fits with your target audience. It will not matter how hot you think the product is if potential customers think it leaves much to be desired. One good way to gauge this interest is to prepare a short white paper about a new product you just discovered, offer it for download, and measure the level of response.
If something seems too good to be true, it sometimes is. However, so long as you do your research and bear in mind the needs of your customers, the "dream product" you find can indeed sell like hotcakes – and make every day feel like Cinco de Mayo!