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How To Promote The Right Affiliate Programs Using Free Research Methods

Aug 17, 2007
If you're an aspiring affiliate marketer, you will probably have found yourself in the unlucky position of having sent out a promotion for a product, but you didn't make even one sale. Although it's no consolation, you're not alone! One of the main problems that blights affiliate marketers, and leads to such disappointments resides in a lack of understanding of which affiliate programs to promote in the first place.

In this article I am going to offer you a simple 3 step plan that uses free research methods to help you zoom in on a winning product to promote to your list. You may already be aware of two of these methods, but I can almost guarantee that the third resource will be new to you, so it is in your best interests to read this article, even if you think you've heard it all before.

Here are the three steps:

Step 1

See what other people are promoting, by signing up to as many successful gurus' lists as you can. Look out, in particular, for the less popular items that they promote, alongside the new releases that everyone hears about. Try and find a product that not too many other people are promoting, but that gives you a good commission (at least 50%) and that looks as though it's going to be useful to the people you are promoting to. Draw up a short list of products you think are suitable, then move on to step 2.

Step 2

Once you have selected a list of suitable products, the next step is to check out the websites that sell them. What you are looking for, ideally, is a mini-site (usually a one to two page site consisting of a sales letter and sometimes an order form page). Most mini-site sales letters have a header, and some have backgrounds, but almost all of them have a product image. Do the graphics look professional to you? If they don't it's a bad sign, and you can bet the people you send to the site will react the same way you do.

The graphics aren't the be all and end all, however. They add to the perceived value the sales letter is aiming to convey, but it is the actual words that are doing the selling. If you feel don't feel anything less than comfortable with the graphic design, then cross the product off your list. It may be a great product, but your concern has to be conversions, and those come from people being wooed by the sales page. If it does check out, then you need to read the sales letter and see whether it moves you to purchase, or not.

This part is somewhat subjective, but if you find a quiet place within, and rely in your gut feelings, you should come up trumps. You will need to read each sales letter in full, as though you were going to the website the first time. Notice how you feel at various points in the sales letter. Do you feel like reading on? Are you being drawn in to the sales copy? If so, it's good copy. If you feel your mind wandering, or feel like clicking away, then you should probably consider removing the product from your short list.

You should also see if the sales letter contains plenty of easily readable bullet points, a compelling headline that draws you into the sales copy and a strong p.s. or two, indicating a call to action, i.e. purchase.

Step 3

You need to be as sure as you can be that the product you are promoting to your list is going to be a winner.

Why is it so important to offer your list only products that are hands-down fantastic? Think about it: you are not even the creator of the products you are promoting as an affiliate, yet you have managed to get subscribers to join your list. Your list is used to being promoted by other affiliates and gurus on a daily basis. If you offer your list a product that doesn't live up to the promises you made, you will see dozens of unsubscribes, which can be a real heart-breaker, when you've invested so much time and money in getting them to sign up precariously in the first place. If you want it straight-up, your list is fickle and unforgiving, and no-one likes to be conned. So you owe it to yourself to be sure what you're promoting is not only targeted to you list's needs, but also that it delivers on its promises.

Offer the right products and you not only make money on the sale, but you endear yourself to your list, which helps build trust and credibility, which means they will be more open to your promotions in the future. The more you promote what they want, the more they will trust your opinions, and the more they will buy from your promotions in the future.

This begs the million-dollar question (quite literally!): How can I be sure I'm not promoting a junk product to my list?

What you need, in a nutshell, is access to the thoughts and feelings of ordinary people who have already bought and promoted the product you are looking at promoting, and who are willing to give you an honest opinion on it. This leaves two problems: firstly that it would cost a fortune to carry out the market research yourself, and secondly, it is very difficult to find product reviews these days, that aren't just cleverly designed sales pitches in disguise.

I'm going to let you in on one of the best-kept secrets in affiliate marketing, and a resource I now use every time I promote a product or buy one for myself. It's a no-hold-barred review site that's completely free of advertisements, signatures or selling of any sort. It contains thoursands of reviews of hunderds of Internet marketing products and services, and, as you'll see for yourself, the reviews reveal exactly what previous users think of the products they've used. There's nothing else like this anywhere else as far as I know, and it's a fantastic tool for affiliate marketers to add to their arsenals. This site is known as 'The Ratings Hub'

Once you access the site, you can search for the product you are thinking of promoting, and compare the reviews on there, with the buzz you initially acted on. If you encounter more than three negative reviews on a product on the site, don't promote it! If a product gets rave reviews, then the chances are that you are onto a winning product, and you should consider going on to promote it.

In conclusion, if you follow the three steps outlined in this article, you will have a far better than average chance of hitting on a winning product to promote, even if you are new to Internet marketing.
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