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A 10-Point Checklist for Choosing an Affiliate Program Customers Want

Aug 4, 2008
As an affiliate marketer, you want to offer the best affiliate products and services possible to your target market. The only way to do that is to align yourself with a quality affiliate program to achieve these goals. However, you must know what to look for when shopping for an affiliate program that meets your customers' needs.

When you are part of a great affiliate program, you will perform article writing and article marketing with confidence. That's because you know those who click through from your articles have great affiliate products waiting for them there. The following is a 10-point checklist for choosing the best affiliate program for your customers.

1. Is the affiliate company a reputable one who stands behind their products? You must know this up front. While the company you associate yourself with doesn't have to be a household name, they must be one that operates with integrity towards their customers. That means offering guarantees, warranties, trial offers, after-sales service and the like. When you know a company deals with any product concerns a customer has, then you know you are dealing with a company who puts customers' first.

2. Does the company offer their products at fair prices for your potential customers? Do they price gouge knowing they have a captive market? They may get away with it once, but consumers these days are savvy. They'll drop you and your affiliate parent like a hot rock if they feel a company is taking advantage of them.

3. Does the affiliate program encourage dialog with potential customers. When a customer clicks on your affiliatebanner, does the affiliate make them feel welcome and special. Do they have online forums for product or service discussions? Do they offer additional resources to help a potential customer make an informed buying decision? You want customers to enjoy the affiliate parent's site and find it valuable for meeting their needs. This way they purchase out of trust and you reap the benefits with increased commissions.

4. Is the affiliate product one that customers want? A company may be producing a high-quality product of the best design and construction. They may use the best materials around. That doesn't mean it isn't a useless product. A well-built product that interests no one is a well-built dud.

5. Does the affiliate program give deals to customers who are regular purchasers? You may be promoting an affiliate product that is a consumable, that your customers buy each week or month. Does the affiliate program you are a part of reward these types of customers for their loyalty? If they do, they will be long-term customers providing you long-term commissions.

6. Does the affiliate program offer upgrades and accessories for the affiliate product you are promoting? Customers buy affiliate products if they are current and have the little add-ons they need. A poor affiliate program still sells older versions of products with none of the newer accessories that tie into them.

7. Does the affiliate program try to get the word out about their product in creative ways? Sure, you will have text links and banner links on your website. Yes, you will do the proper article writing and article distributions that are part of a well-planned article-marketing program. However, that's not enough.

You want an affiliate company to do their part promoting their products. You want them to be on the cutting edge of marketing; getting the word out about their products to vast audiences. This helps you. It's all about brand identity. When someone sees a banner on your site, they may already know about and identify with this brand name. They may be ready to buy now.

8. Does the affiliate program constantly seek new niche markets? Ask your affiliate program manager about this. Ask if they are seeking out new niches in untapped markets. If they are, join the cause and reap the benefits. You don't want an affiliate program that rests on their laurels, never looking for new opportunities.

9. Does the affiliate program encourage customers to become possible downline affiliate members of yours? If a customer you refer to an affiliate parent expresses interest in becoming an affiliate, does the program manager set them in your downline as a reward to you? After all, you got them to that company's site in the first place. A good affiliate program helps their affiliates prosper right along with them.

10. Is the affiliate program adaptable? Again, ask the affiliate manager about this. Do they conduct surveys with customers to ask them about their changing needs? Does the affiliate program manager respond rapidly to changes in the marketplace due to customers changing wants and needs? Does the affiliate parent make product and service modifications to respond to customer's needs? An affiliate program that does is an affiliate program that will remain viable for a long time.

Consider the above ten points for choosing an affiliate program that customers want. There are many affiliate programs out there that remain entrenched in the same-old, same-old, who don't offer what consumers desire. Add your own points to the list as you think of them. Then put an affiliate program you're interested in through this screening process before you decide to associate your self with them.
About the Author
Jim Slader manages the affiliate program at Article Marketer, the largest article distribution service on the Internet. Earn commissions on a product that virtually sells it; become an Article Marketer Affiliate today. Join the winning team: it's quick and easy .
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