Affiliate Marketing - Avoid This Critical Mistake by Lawrence Hamilton

Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the methods necessary to succeed with Affiliate Marketing. There is no doubt that we can find so called expert advice everywhere we look in our quest to learn about this type of on line business. Do we need websites? Do we need to advertise and where can we do it effectively? Do we get into Joint Ventures, or do we join community sites that offer quality tool building for your skill level? How do we determine who happens to be right and who are the shylocks? I can't give you a definitive answer to all of these questions, but I can provide some insightful information.

There are basic fundamentals you need employ before you will ever get traffic to your website. Traffic means conversions to sales, so following certain fundamentals will ultimately lead to success. Lacking the skills and knowledge to convert your prospects into sales will severely limit your success and add to your frustration. What are the most basic of fundamentals? I submit to you the following as probably the most important tactics you need to master:

Researching and finding a niche product people want
Creating a price point that offers value
Planning an effective strategy to generate traffic
Creating ad or marketing copy that generates both interest and a sense of urgency

Knowing this, I want to address today's headline which is the mistake you want to avoid with Affiliate Marketing. It is of critical importance that you follow up with those prospects that opt in to your website or landing page but don't buy the first time in. With confidence I can tell you that follow up marketing is the single most important method you need to employ to be successful on line. If you do not employ an E-Mail follow up system, you are committing the absolute NUMBER ONE marketing mistake. Any where you turn, you will always hear that the money is in the list; and that is a true statement.

Let's analyze why an E-Mail follow up system is so important. No matter how you market the product of your choice, you will only get a certain percentage of those people to visit your site or landing page. Of those that visit, maybe 10 percent of those prospects will opt in. Of those people that opt in, only 2-3 percent of those people might purchase your product or service. This is how you calculate your conversion rate. So, the obvious question becomes; what about all those prospects that opted in but never bought? How can I use the tools available to me to get them to return and purchase what I have to offer?

To properly answer this query, we have to analyze sales in its most basic aspect. People will enter keywords to find their desired product and may come across your site. If they do, they will look at it and make a quick determination if you are worth their time. Have you bothered to give them a reason to buy from you? Because people are busy, they might forget you, or get distracted and go on to something else.

If you have created good copy and offered a price with value, your prospect may opt in to at least check out your features, advantages, and benefits. Opting in is where you can begin the process of converting the prospect to a customer. Here is a simple fact about the internet and Affiliate Marketing; the last site a person visits is the one who gets the sale. That is why it is so imperative we get these prospects back to our site. The answer to getting them back is to create that E-Mail follow up system.

Let's further analyze some basic sales facts and statistics. These people that visit your site don't know you, care a thing about you, or give a darn about your efforts to present a quality product. They certainly don't care about whether or not you succeed at your on line business. The key is to develop some type of relationship with your prospects. It's a proven sales statistic that end users will not buy until a person makes some sort of viable presentation to them six to seven times. You have the opportunity to do just that with an E-Mail follow up system.

You have the ability to send follow up messages to your prospects explaining why you use this product, what it has done for you, and how it has benefited you. These follow up messages, which should never be hard sell, gives you the opportunity to develop a relationship between two parties. You need to create a reason for the prospect to buy from you. In fact, all things being equal, they would rather buy from you, because you are no longer just a website, you are someone who displayed an interest in satisfying their needs.

How to create an E-Mail follow up system

The main things to remember about this formula are that you do not have to be a professional writer or outsource your messages to be effective. Writing even simple messages to thank them for visiting is ten times better than writing absolutely nothing at all. I am going to call each section of the formula action steps because you can't just think about them, you have to take action.

Action Step: Write down several reasons you use this product or service. Explain why you use it, what benefits you have received from it, and the advantages over similar products or services. Say them out loud to yourself so that eventually everything you have listed is in a logical order. You want to ensure your prospects can easily read your messages, and they make sense. Putting things in a haphazard order creates confusion and diminishes your chances at being effective.

Action Step: Take those reasons you created about your product or service and develop concise, short messages about each benefit you identified. You should introduce yourself, thank them for visiting, and convey a separate message about each one of your reasons to buy this product. The final ending is always a P.S. Here is where you can place additional copy and create a sense of urgency to take action.

Action Step: Now you must employ a method to deliver your messages. This will generally cost you some money, so bear that in mind when creating your budget for this project. You have to use an auto responder company, and some are free. I can assure you, however, free auto responder sites will never give you the support, service, or training you would get from a paid source. Any good auto responder site will offer many outstanding features and provide a training syllabus to teach you how to use the system effectively.

Action Step: Your first message should go out immediately. You have the customer looking NOW, so you want to show your interest in satisfying their needs straight away. Then set up the next four messages to go out every two days after the initial message. Toward the end, set your final messages to go out every four days. You can certainly modify this after you have mastered the principle and get better at it. Just remember, you have your prospect looking for a product now. Don't wait too long or space your messages out too far, as you could lose that prospect.

Action Step: Make sure that your opt in box is on the top right or top left side of your website and also at the bottom. If your prospect breezes through your website and fails to notice your opt in box at the top, they will see it at the bottom. The placement you decide upon for your opt in boxes must be the same on every page you have on your website; not just the home page. If people are jumping through your pages seeking more information, they could easily miss your opt in box, if it is not on every page. This is a critical element because the more often they see this opt in box, the more likely they are to actually give you their name and E-Mail address.

If you take these action steps, you will develop a follow up system that will help you convert more prospects into customers. I will reiterate that this is a method to develop relationships between you and your prospects. Take the time to create messages that convey a sincere desire to help your prospect make a decision. Avoid the hard sell dialogue and help your prospect with his decision to buy from you. The money is in the list, so take the time to learn how to use it, and then use it properly. Nothing you do will be more important than this aspect of Affiliate Marketing.

Larry Hamilton is an aviator and retired entrepreneur who is passionate about teaching people how to succeed on the internet. To learn more about building a solid foundation in Affiliate Marketing, you are one click away at: [ parked domain].

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