Give Your Affiliate Program A Lift With A New Or Improved ProductBy: Keller Flynn
If an affiliate program is an important part of your business, your profits are only as good as your affiliate members. Sales drop like a rock when they get discouraged or lose interest.
You will see the dreaded signs if you frequently visit your affiliates' sites. The banner or enthusiastic endorsement they once had on their opening page is now relegated to a link on the second or third tier of their site. Something as simple as that can cut the number of hits you get by a factor of ten or twenty.
Two things usually account for members giving you the back burner treatment: Your product or service isn't selling as well as it once did for them. Or members are simply losing interest because newer, more exciting affiliate programs are grabbing their attention.
You can immediately solve both problems by offering a new or improved product or service. Spend time to make sure your new product is a big improvement over what has come before. The more you can insure your product is a big deal, the more excited your affiliates will get.
Make your roll-out a big production. Give your new creation a whole new area with a fresh new look on your web site.
Two weeks before you unveil your new product, start sending announcements to your affiliates. Let them know something important is about to happen and they will be the first to hear about it.
After you bring out your product, do a quick follow-up with members. Get comments on how they expect the new product to sell. Harvest early accounts of how some members are doing well with the product. Include these comments in your weekly email updates to members.
A word of warning--try not to veer completely away from what has worked for you before. If you have always sold software, don't bring in a new line of office furniture as your new product for affiliates. An exciting new software application will work better and will not dilute the brand identity your business has enjoyed.
Got a major product you don't want to ignore? Good! It's almost always easier to get affiliates and customers excited about an improvement to an old favorite than it is to make a favorite out of a completely new product.
Keep a file of customer complaints and ideas about your product. Over time you can use these as ideas starters for ways to build improvements that customers and affiliates will appreciate and value.
When interest in your product or service starts to diminish, pull our your file and make requested improvements. Add in enough improvements and you have a new issue, a next generation, or a fresh edition you can sell as a replacement or upgrade to your long list of previous customers.
Affiliate programs are still the number one way to market on the Web. It pays to keep your program exiting and top-of-mind. For many companies, it is unlikely that a better way to boost profits will come along any time soon.
© Copyright 2001, Keller Flyn.
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