Coupon sites usually don’t drive new traffic. They don’t even help convert site visitors into customers. Instead, what happens is your site visitor has already decided they want to purchase but is looking for a discount on the Internet. When they Google, regardless of whether you have a working coupon out or not, sites like RetailMeNot will show up (they even show up when you are not paying them to be an affiliate). Once your user clicks on them, their cookie gets placed and the sale gets attributed to them. That means you’ll have to pay your affiliates commission for a sale that would have happened anyway without their involvement.
When you join an Affiliate program and choose the products that you want to sell, sellers provide you with a unique affiliate code that you can use to refer traffic to the target site. Most affiliate programs will offer ready made text links, banners and other forms of creative copies whereby you only have to copy the code and place it on your website to start referring traffic. When interested visitors click on these links from your site they get redirected to the product site and if they purchase a product or subscribe to a service you as the referrer make a commission.
It turns out that affiliates, like anyone really, need to hear from you. As a business owner, it can seem trivial to spend an hour or two every few weeks writing affiliate newsletters but those are important. An email every month or so for larger affiliates is also important. Continuing to have creatives deposited and offering discounts or other promotions tied to different holidays or the time of year all help affiliates make sales for your store.
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
Hey guys. Great post with detailed, actionable content. I would like to add my ‘2 cents’ if that’s ok. You are absolutely right with offering a ‘free gift’ in exchange for someone’s name and email address but I have found short reports have worked best for me. If you give away too much information for free they don’t tend to get consumed so the trust isn’t built with your subscriber. Your free gift is the first point of contact with your prospect so it’s unlikely they will read an entire ebook but if you give them a short report which they are able to consume in about 20 mins and they get tremendous value from they are more likely to listen to you in the future and buy your recommendations. A big mistake i see a lot of affiliates make is the content they use for their free giveaway. They think just because it’s given away for free that they can just throw together some PLR material and use that. Unfortunately that doesn’t cut it these days and will damage your relationship with your prospect rather than strengthen it. The best way is to carry out some research in your marketplace and see what pains and frustrations your prospects have and create your free giveaway around that.
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Monster-Traffic is another traffic exchange, though it’s initially a little off-putting due to the 1995-style website. It’s a free for all styled advertising list, where anyone signing up becomes part of the audience and an advertiser at the same time. You sign up and you can enter a link into their system, and that link is added to a roster that is send out to every member of the group. Additionally, registration allows a free solo ad; an ad that isn’t drowned out by other advertisers in that mailer.
Mistake #5: Promoting a lot of affiliate products instead of just a few. Once you start affiliate marketing, you realize how easy it is to share affiliate links. Instead of becoming an affiliate for a lot of different products and sharing them liberally, I recommend concentrating on just a few and sharing them intentionally. It doesn’t seem as spammy, plus you can be sure the products you do promote are closely aligned with your brand and message. Deep is better than wide.

The Internet is positively riddled with traffic generators. They range from low-quality autorefresh bots using proxies to appear as though they come from around the world, to sophisticated traffic exchange systems powered by real people and real advertising. Ideally, you’ll strike upon the most valuable of these networks when you’re searching, but there’s a few problems.
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