Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Andreea Ayers of LaunchGrowJoy.com, the online destination for educating yourself effective business practices. First starting off in the retail industry, Andreea eventually segued her career into the business education realm, offering other eager entrepreneurs some helpful tips and tricks she learned along her own career path. Today she is sharing a few of those tips with us on how to get affiliates interested in your product launch. Thanks Andreea for this insightful post! —Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump…
The lead up to launching your product is a very exciting time. While you’re dreaming about the customers you’ll have once your product is public, you also need to tell the world your product is coming. There are many ways to promote your product launch, but one of the most effective is working with affiliates.
Affiliates promote your product to potential customers in exchange for a commission on each sale they bring you.
Most affiliates are bloggers with large followings and high readership, but they can also be social media personalities, YouTube video producers or podcasters. Anyone with an online audience can be an affiliate for your new product.
Here’s how it works: The affiliate places an ad or mentions your product on their site, in their newsletter or to their social media followers and each time someone clicks the ad or link (coded to mark it as originating from that affiliate) and purchases the product the affiliate receives commission on that sale.
When I launched Product Marketing Breakthrough, an online marketing course for entrepreneurs with a product line, one of my main strategies was to work with affiliates to not only increase my sales, but to also grow my list. I was able to recruit over 100 affiliates in a relatively short time and I’d love to share those tips with you.
If you’re looking to attract more affiliates for your next product launch, here are five steps follow:
1. Make a list of your dream affiliates. Start your list by asking yourself who are your favorite bloggers, podcasters and social media personalities, and do any of them fit into your product niche? For example, if your product is for new mothers, your favorite golf blog won’t offer the best audience, but a popular mom blog you read will.
Other places to find potential affiliates include using a Google search, asking your customers who they follow online and what relevant site they read or by being an active member of an online networking or entrepreneur organization. You can also look at other entrepreneurs who are doing similar things to you and see who their affiliates are.
2. Read your dream affiliates’ blogs and get to know them. Read through a few weeks of old posts and keep current by reading daily. Comment on posts you like and encourage interaction by asking questions or posting comments to encourage a response. This puts you on the affiliate network as someone who is interested in what they have to offer.
Below you’ll see an example of a comment that Tracy Matthews of Flourish & Thrive Academy posted on one of my blog posts to get on my radar. We ended up being an affiliate for each other’s programs and we continue to work together every time one of us launches a new program.
3. Follow potential affiliates on social media and start interacting with them. Social media is a great way to interact with your dream affiliates because you can show them you support their efforts by sharing their content. Don’t just re-tweet and share their content, but also interact with them by complimenting them on a recent press mention or a great article. You can also share your own interesting content and online finds that appeal to their niche.
4. Once you’ve established a connection, it’s time to officially introduce yourself. Remember, the most prolific bloggers write for a living, meaning they’re busy people who are often inundated with emails.
Make your email stand out by crafting a catchy subject line and keep it brief. Introduce and explain how you can work together so everyone benefits. This might be by reviewing their blog on your own blog, by placing an ad for their blog or information product on your website or by helping them in some other way.
When you ask them to be an affiliate for your product launch describe past success you’ve had with click through advertising, your conversion rate and other metrics that highlight likelihood that they’ll benefit from being part of your affiliate network.
And don’t forget to set up a special “affiliate center” on your website where you explain everything they need to know about working with you and promoting your product. Below you’ll see a screenshot of the affiliate center that I set up at Launch Grow Joy. This explains what the program is, when and how much affiliates will get paid and the benefits for becoming an affiliate. You’ll also notice that I added a video – this is a great way to really connect with potential affiliates so they can get to know you better and hopefully sign on as an affiliate.
5. Incentivize being an affiliate: Every new product out there is looking for affiliates, so you need to make working with you highly attractive through commissions and prizes.
A commission is the percentage of every sale the affiliate receives. For example, when a customer visits your site via your affiliate’s link and spends $100, if your affiliate commission is 25%, the affiliate earns $25. Those just starting out will need to offer a great commission to hook your first affiliates, at least 25%, but if you really want to recruit a lot of affiliates, 50% is the standard.
A great example of this is Marie Forleo’s B-school – she offers a commission of 50% for a $2,000 program, so her affiliates make $1,000 for each new member they refer. On top of that, Marie also offers prizes to the affiliates who bring in the most sales and leads within a certain time period.
If you’ll be offering a prize, make sure it appeals to all of your affiliates and is attractive enough to encourage them to direct their readers to you.
By working with affiliates you can reach an entirely new audience with your product and build on it for years to come. As you become more experienced in affiliate marketing you can use your early successes to grow your network and work with even larger online personalities.