What is affiliate business?
Running an affiliate business is a widely accepted form of earning online. Or offline, for that matter. In its simplest meaning, it means a vendor (a producer of some goods) is giving you permission to promote their goods or services. In exchange, you’re being paid a portion of the revenue you make. This usually means something like 20% or more of every sale you make via your links.
Commissions can vary greatly, based on the particular offer. It can be as little as 20% and as much as 100%. It always depends on what vendor is willing to pay for promotion.
The usual percentage online is 50%. This simply means that when you promote the offer via your channels, if someone buys after clicking your particular link and buys something for $100, you will get $50 for that sale.
Why are there many offers with 100% commissions
You know the case when you get invited to a local store via a leaflet that says you can get a special tool for just $1? We all know such a tool (maybe a special scre driver or whatever) normaly costs much more, so why are they doing it?
It’s actually very simple, and it works well. They do it to get you into their store. Once you’re there, they’ll gladly give you the promised tool, but they are counting on you to buy some other stuff also. Like I said, it works well; I’ve been lured by such offers many times, ending up buying many other things – just because I was already there. I’m sure you’ve done that also.
It’s no different in online business. Many vendors create funnels where they give you the basic version of their product for free. Later on, as you take it, you’re redirected through a sales funnel that offers upgrades or similar products at some price points. Like in the local store, it’s working etremely well.
The main point here is that you’ve shown your interest for something, and so they know what to offer to you the next time they “meet you”. Unlike in real store, they don’t meet you in person, of course. Instead, email marketing is used to offer other similar goods to you.
As an example of a free offer, I’ll mention the Super Funnel Hero.
It’s an offer on Warrior+ network that is given away for free (that is, you’ll have to opt in). While it clearly grabs your email to be included in a list, it actually gives you a great and powerful tool to earn money for yourself. You’ll get a full blown funnel with it. You can use it exactly as the vendor does, giving it away and sending people that take it through the vendors funnel, earning commissions when they buy (a few hundred $ if they buy everything!!!).
If you don’t have your own products, it’s a great way to start expanding, take a look.
Is affiliate business a bad business?
No, affiliate business can be a very good business. Just think of it.
You don’t need to create a product, you don’t need to support it, and so on. In fact, you don’t need to know a single thing about the product. As long as you can promote it via some channel (like Facebook, for instance), you can make money with it. Everything that goes into product creation, like planning, programming, supporting, everything is done by the vendor. So you only take the cash and move on. Not bad at all.
The biggest problem of affiliate business
Usually, when you sell something that you’ve made, you’ll get the buyers details, like their name and email. Plus, you’ll know exactly what they’re interested in. This all makes it possible for you to follow up with them, usually using email marketing and autoresponders, and sell them more of what they want. In short, by selling something you’re building your email list, which is your biggest asset in online business.
Well, while doing affiliate business, this is something you don’t get to do.
While the vendor whos offer you’re promoting is building a list of people he can continue to sell to, what you got from this sale is your one-time commision. Period. Rarely there is a way to get this data from the vendor or transaction engine. So you are forced to move on, promote more if you want to earn some more, or forget it.
Is there a solution to that?
Sometimes there is, sometimes there is not.
One way of solving this can be to offer your visitors something that they sign up for first. For instance, you could create (or buy) an ebook of a certain value that you offer to your visitors for free, in exchange for their email address. This is called list building, and no matter what you do, it’s the smartest thing to start immediately anyway. Later on, you can follow up with people using an autoresponder and a carefully crafted sequence of emails, designed to get them back to your affiliate promotions.
The second way is to use a piece of software that can do something lke that for you directly from your pomotions. This way, you can get people that buy from someone else into your list automatically. Sounds good?
Specialised affiliate software: Affiliate Trax
Depending on the affiliate network you’re using (like JVZoo, Warrior+, ClickBank, etc) your options are limited. As far as I know, only JVZoo has a full API system in place for that purpose.
So if you’re using JVZoo to find affiliate offers, here’s a solution for this very problem: Affiliate Trax.
It’s a piece of software writen by one of “the big boys” (read: successful marketers), Brett Rutecky, a few years ago. Lets just say that while it lacks modern design techniques (it actually looks rather oldie), it works. In spite of being a little older, it is a very nice tool that does exactly what it says, no more, no less.
Let me explain.
Using Affiliate Trax
Once you log into your Affiliate Trax dashboard, you’ll want to set your autoresponder integration first. While this is not absolutely neccessary, since you can always export your leads, it saves a little bit of work. It also ensures that the leads are in your email list immediately after purchasing something, so you can start mailing immediately.
Now, I’m not going into all details here, because Brett has made it easy by providing help videos that clearly explain every step of the process. Let me just say you can integrate Aweber and Mailchimp directly, for any other autoresponder you’ll have to export your leads in a .csv file and import them manually. Lately JVZoo has enabled an option to integrate GetResponse and Sendlane directly, so if you’re using any of these you can stop reaading. Personally, I’m using Aweber and Sendiio, so…
Your settings will look something like that. You’ll notice that I have Aweber integration active. The result is that people that buy anything via my affiliate links go straight into my Buyers List, without me doing anything else.
Once you do that, you only need one more thing, and that is to connect your special URL that Trax gives you to the JVZoo API system.
The link you need is under Callback URL menu option, and it looks something like this.
Setting it up in JVZoo
In order to be able to track the conversions, you’ll have to tell JVZoo what to do when they happen. This is easily done in the affiliate dashboard. So open your JVZoo account and go to the offer you’re promoting (the place where you got your affiliate link).
Click the tab marked Integrations, and then open the Affiliate IPN tab.
Now, copy the URL shown in the above img (the “http://….” part) and paste it in here, like this.
Just click the Save button and that’s it. You’re all set – whoever buys this offer via your affiliate link will be added straight into Affiliate Trax table, or even directly to your Aweber/Mailchimp list if everything is set up. You’ve just made a sale plus gained a subscriber for whom you know it’s a buyer. Win-win.
Exporting your subscribers
When someone buys via your affiliate link, they will also be automatically added to your Affiliate Trax list. You can see it under the Customers menu option and it looks like this.
You get their name, email, the amount of purchase, plus their location. Using the button you can now download your list in a .csv format and impoprt into any autoresponder you want.
Do you really need Affiliate Trax?
Well, let me put it this way.
No, you don’t. You can earn with affiliate marketing business without it. That is, if you like leaving money on the table for someone else to pick.
But if you want to leverage each and every sale you make to the fullest, you’ll surely want to add your buyers into an email list and follow up with them. Remember, they are buyers, and it’s the best kind of contacts you want as an affiliate. You know what they need now (since you know what product they have bought), and you can offer them more of the kind via your autoresponder, hence making a lot more money that you’ve made with this one sale.
So yes, if you’re using JVZoo and any other autoresponder than GetResponse and Sendlane, you can make great use of it.
Warning: the sales page is missing a video from Brett for some reason – I don’t know why. The salespage has a lot of descriptive text though, so you’ll know what it’s about without any problems. It’s still selling, and it’s still working. I have just received another subscriber into my buyers list yesterday.
Go and check it out.
You may also like
- Want to start an online business? Here are some ideas
- Why I started looking at how to do affiliate marketing in the first place
- High Ticket Affiliate Marketing – How to Increase Your Affiliate
- Secret Email System – How to do Email Marketing
We are in affiliate business with many of the vendors who's products we mention here and write reviews about, which means we could get a certain commission from them should you buy their product via our links. We are however not connected to them in any other way, nor we receive any special commissions for making good reviews. We try to hold our opinion fair and honest, giving you both the ups and downs where we see them. Everything written here is our own opinion and assessment of the possibilities that software provides.