Are you getting ready to launch your course? Have you considered incorporating some affiliate marketing for launch? Today we will look at affiliate marketing and its benefits for your business. First, let's sit down with George Wansek to learn more.
What is an affiliate launch?
An affiliate is someone who says I will promote you, and any sale that I generate for you, then I get a commission from, so we're not increasing the price for those people to promote it. We're taking a piece of what we would have made as profit and paying them a commission for that sale that came in.
So generally, there's a special, unique link that you can share that will track those people's engagements and sales back to the person whose link it was so
that you can track all of that and keep track of it financially and things in the background.
What is an example of affiliate marketing for launch?
“I've created part of the platform for course creators when they run my program would benefit from is a system. I’ve created a platform in which they get one link, and that’s their link to use forever. They do not have to go and figure out what they need to do next because sometimes that's a challenge.” said George.
“So I create a page that is assigned to them in a way that I can control all the affiliate pages at once. So if I'm launching I'm going to wait for it to close with just a couple of clicks. I can control all of that content on all the affiliate pages. So for them, from their perspective, they have one link, and the actual advantage of that is that links can continue.”
Technology for Course Launches
Affiliates and tracking cookies are what we called this specific link to you that would track that sale or that engagement back to the one who referred them. So when he says a 180- day cookie, this is like 6 months, essentially.
So, if anyone clicks through my link to George's site to buy anytime in the next six months, then that sale would be attributed to me. I could still earn the commission. Lifetime commissions, mean for as long as that person stays a client or subscriber. So as long as that person continues, even if it's a membership like the monthly recurring revenue, I continue to receive commissions for the lifetime that person remains a client.
How Do Affiliates Help Launch Your Course?
There are a lot of ways that you can prep for a launch. What I have done so far in the last couple of years, I haven't done many launches, but all of them have been affiliate launches. That is what has brought some results for me and what also has brought results. I think that sometimes we tend to forget is your best affiliate is the customers to whom you've brought results.
I make sure that the people or the course creators, the entrepreneurs put their trust in my hands that I deliver and then they become affiliates. That is what I've done affiliate launches, and I've had great success with that you realize that even with a small list and without ads without a lot of social presence. Even if you don't have a lot of online social presence you can get great results if you have people that you trust in what you do.
You've always dreamed of launching and just having those contacts and those people come flooding in asking for your thing. So I sat down with somebody who knows how to make that magic happen. Matt McWilliams was my guest and he has been an affiliate launch manager for some of the biggest brands in the world.
What is an Affiliate Launch?
Yep the concept's been around for thousands of years the visual always get is like ancient Rome and you know, so that I don't know whatever their names are they're walking around in their togas.
One of them says, “You know, hey, let me introduce you to my friend who runs a deli and the guy, the owner of the deli, he's like, dude you sent me business. Your next sandwich is free.”
That's affiliate marketing. All that changed in the last 25 years is that technology changed how we did it. So it's nothing new, it's just that we added technology to it and made it a little bit easier. We turned it into an actual business, we turned it into a profit, turned it into a line item on budgets, which is what we help people to do is to kind of make it such a big part of their business.
You know it truly it just becomes a part of their business yeah, they can't give it up.
Does Affiliate Marketing Still Work in 2021?
Affiliate marketing absolutely does work, you just need to do it the right way. It requires a plan and building a good relationship with your affiliates.
Matt's number one tip is to start early. Don't reach out to people and say, “Hey, I'm launching next month do you want to be an affiliate?” It's too late.
How to Set up an Affiliate Program
Planning is really what differentiates a hobbyist from a business owner. The business owner has that long-term vision, they have that long-term plan. I can remember when I was first starting it seemed amazing to me that people would plan out a year in advance. Yet, here I am a few years later and doing the same thing.
The second thing that every affiliate launch needs is consistency, mastery and commitment. If you say you're going to do this, then do it even if that means that you're up late the night before to get it out on time. I think that's another one of those key things that set apart those who make it over that finish line from those who fall off along the side because they got discouraged.
Becoming an Affiliate Marketer
I am faced daily with many great causes to be a part of. So many of our friends have written great books or offered courses, and while I like to promote everything, I simply cannot do justice to all of it. Here are the rules I go by to make a decision about which affiliate products I will promote.
How to Know if You Should Promote an Affiliate Product
1. Do I love the product or the person/brand behind it?
Part of the fun of being an online influencer is the opportunity to help other entrepreneurs grow their businesses, and help other people find great new products and services, they might not have heard of otherwise. When I promote a product, I want to be sure it meets at least one of these criteria:
- Do I know and love the product?
- Do I know and trust the people behind it?
Even if you have never heard of xyz product, if I am excited about it because I have used it and love the results, you can catch on to the excitement. However, if I am not excited, you probably won't be either. Sometimes I get to promote products not because of having used them but because I know and trust the creator of the product. If I can endorse the person/brand wholeheartedly, that goes a long way. In the ideal world, I would want the product to meet both of these if I am going to promote it.
For example. I have met Crystal Paine in person and had informal conversations with her. I've heard her speak, read her blog and her books. I love the heart of service she has that shows through everything she does. I can confidently promote her Make Over Your Mornings Course and her books because I have used them, read them, and love them, and I have great respect for the author as well.
2. Would I recommend it in real-life conversation, even if I were not an affiliate?
This criterion is not far from the first. If the product is one I have used and enjoyed, I am probably already talking about it in real-life conversations with friends, even though that does not gain me any monetary return. The products you find yourself raving about on and offline – are the ones that might make a great affiliate product to promote.
3. Does it fit the interest of my readers? Solve a problem for them?
Once the product passes those 2 tests, I ask myself if my readers will also love the product? Does it solve a specific problem for them? Does it fit the interests and buying habits they have (and I know what those are because I am reading my google analytics regularly)? Do I anticipate that they will also love it, as I do? If they will not be interested, I should spend my time promoting something else that will have greater ROI (return on investment.)
4. What does the promotion require?
Some affiliate programs are very laid back about how much or how often you promote their products. After all, if you don't make sales, you don't get commissions, no skin off their backs. However, others may require a certain # of sales in a certain time period to remain an affiliate. Or they may have big campaigns that they want you to participate in with emails and social media posts, blog posts, etc.
I have to look at my editorial calendar and consider if I have the time necessary to put into the promotion of the product, and also evaluate whether the time spent promoting will be worth the potential return in commissions.
5. Does it fit my promotional calendar?
I will also look at my promotional calendar. If I am promoting my own products to my list, or have committed to other email promotions, it may not be the right time to add this campaign because I don't want to overload my readers' inboxes and risk them unsubscribing and/or reporting me as spam for sending them too many promotional emails too close together. I try to only schedule one large (several email sequences) affiliate promotion per month, and often have it planned out well in advance. If it's just social media posts, then that may be a lot more doable.
Isn't “marketing” a bad word?
No! The truth is you are marketed to everywhere you go. Almost everything we own is marketing something to us: the logo on your toothbrush, the ad on the cereal box, the brand sticker on your shirt, laptop, stroller, bicycle, etc.
There are millions of affiliate programs out there that bloggers, businesses, and even everyday people without a website can participate in. In fact, the trends seem to be in favor of affiliate marketing over traditional forms of advertising. Statistics show that more people will buy things when recommended by a source they trust. But how do you know if the affiliate program is a good one?
Here are 10 things to look for when choosing a good affiliate marketing program:
- They have an awesome product that you love and can stand behind!
- They offer fair commission rates according to the product prices.
- Their Affiliate Center (where you login to get your link) is easy to understand and navigate.
- They provide lots of banners (image links), links, copy/paste blurbs, and sizes/options to choose from.
- They email you regularly with upcoming sales and promotions, so you can get them on your calendar in plenty of time.
- They pay their commissions on time.
- Their affiliate representative is easy to get in touch with and quick to respond to affiliates who have questions or encounter problems.
- They may also have a Facebook support group to help keep affiliates up to speed with current sales, promotions, upcoming product launches and other news.
- They may offer incentives to promote their products.
- They may offer free or discounted products to their affiliates.