Question 4: How do I get my affiliates to actually promote?

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An interesting question, maybe not as heavily asked as some, because many marketers out there haven't actually got to this stage yet, even though it's one of the first problems you're going to come across once you start pulling affiliates into your system.
 
Back on the subject, so how do you get affiliates to actually promote for you? Well the first stage is attracting them in the first place. Quite obviously, without affiliates they're not going to promote for you. This is a big part of your intro product and the reason why you should set your commissions nice and high (55% up to 90%), especially when you're starting out. You can't afford to be missing out on affiliates signups because of the massive promotion potential they hold.
 
Now after you've attracted them in the first place, you're likely to stumble upon the big problem of why the heck aren't they promoting my stuff for me? Well, there are a few reasons for this. One of them may actually contradict the question, and the answer for the most part is, they are promoting for you they're just not doing it very effectively. As I'm sure you've figured out already, the number of people that know how to promote affiliate programs and have their own resources that allow them to do so, for little or no cost, is far lower than those who have probably never released their own products before and, therefore, don't have the lists and the power to promote effectively.
 
There are a few ways around this, but I should warn you in advance, if you manage to get yourself a hundred affiliates signed up, don't be shocked if only four or five of them make any significant amount of sales. Sure you'll get others that maybe make a low number of sales, but high volume requires experienced marketers with resources that have already been built up. So don't be put off, don't be worried or think you're doing something wrong if you're affiliates aren't performing. It's most likely that they don't know how to perform.
 
The real affiliates that you're going to be seeing and that are going to be making you a lot of money, are the ones with the big and effective lists with good response rates, which I have to say are few and far between. This doesn't necessarily mean that none of your affiliates will make any sales, but I want you to prepare for the fact that barely ten percent of them are going to be experienced.
 
Hits can't always be a good indicator of someone’s promotion power either. For example, I remember my very first experience with this. It involved me waking up one morning, and taking a look at my affiliate stats, and seeing that there's one person in there that's had over a thousand hits come through overnight, but not a single sale. Now you can imagine how worried this had me, because when I did my testing I was pulling in one sale every forty to sixty five visits. So naturally, being a little paranoid that my sales letter wasn't up to scratch or something had gone wrong throughout the sales process, I mailed him, and his reply put my mind at rest. He'd actually gone out and bought a bunch of guaranteed hits. By this stage the number of visits happened to go flying up to the five thousand mark and still only one sale for him. I'd been around the houses, and seen my fair share of hit programs and so on, and I knew that it wasn't my sales process that was at fault, it was his lack of knowledge relating to how to promote affiliate programs.
 
So you see it's not always your fault. The number of visitors brought in by the affiliates don't always reflect on the quality of your sales system. Saying that, it is always best to check your sales system for faults if you start to see an odd number of visitors come through and a lack of sales compared to, the research you did and, your own findings through your own methods of promotion. It can, however, be your fault entirely at times. Again this is when your research comes in and you have to try and figure out what turns your affiliates on. Do they need special offers of some sort? Or are they inexperienced and lacking in knowledge about how to promote in general.
 
The only way to find out is to test. Send them a few offers, a few special deals that involve higher commissions the more sales they make, or even send them promotion guides and a little info about how to promote for themselves if you feel up to writing such guides. Keep in mind though, if you see strange stats, visitors to sale ratios, or people only getting very small amounts of visits, it's more often than not, not going to be your fault. Either hit them with offers, educate them, or keep building and hold out for more of those joint ventures or people with plenty of experience and big lists and resources for promotion of their own. Aside from that, everything else is down to the individual and their skills, and pretty much out of your control, so don't be put off if your first one fifty or so affiliates never make any sales. You'll get plenty more, again snowballing, the more products that you release.