Conversion Rates a Must for New Affil. Program Launch??
Per the 4 Hour Work Week model I recently launched an information based product and set up affiliate programs on Clickbank and e-Junkie. I have a deep search engine marketing background but knew nothing about affiliate marketing prior to getting into this.
My question is: Do I have to prove my conversion rates before any truly productive affiliates will take my product seriously?? Or, more importantly: Could it hurt me at all to have a program without being able to prove my conversion rate yet? I am already engaged in landing page testing and looking at highly targeted media buys so that I can offer affiliates a proven conversion rate, but I'm wondering if I should potentially hold back before truly launching my program (I've listed the program on Clickbank but haven't announced it on any directories or done any serious affiliate recruitment yet).
Last edited by Laubster; July 20th, 2011 at 02:48 PM.
Reason: Daily email notification, not Instant, sorry
Just to be clear... you launched the affiliate program at the same time that you launched the product? Meaning that time has not gone by yet to see whether or not the product actually converts on its own, not through affiliates?
As Olga suggests, it's quite unusual to launch an affiliate program to promote a retailer without first testing using other channels.
Affiliate marketing can be very successful for retailers, but it's usually a very slow channel to grow, in part because many publishers "wait and see" whether you're really committed and can convert traffic into sales. Other strategies (especially PPC Search), can be used to quickly gather meaningful data, some of which might be shared when recruiting publishers.
Even if your long-term marketing plan doesn't include a PPC Search component, I've not found any other marketing strategy that can gather so much useful data so quickly, at similar cost. (Of course, a poorly-designed PPC Search campaign can quickly huge amounts of money without generating any sales or meaningful data.)
I don't have much respect for ClickBank, and I don't recall ever hearing of "e-Junkie" before your post.
And my entire income right now comes from advertising fees from advertisers selling "information products" (both tangible books and ebooks), but my focus is on advertising for relevant products with a proven track record of usefulness and value to my niche audience. (I carry advertising from just one ClickBank advertiser, with very modest success. I don't carry advertising for the get-rich-quick crap that's much more commonly offered through ClickBank.)
By using less-reputable, less-respected affiliate networks, you're limiting the audience of high-quality publishers who will even consider your advertising opportunity.
Thanks Mark. As was mentioned, I knew NOTHING about affiliate marketing before getting into this. Luckily my background is in SEM, so I've already started driving traffic and am holding off on affiliate recruitment for the time being. Unfortunately the larger networks, like Click2Sell, LinkShare, and Google Affiliates won't accept me until I'm more established. Any other networks I'm missing? (won't launch the program on them yet but would be good to know)