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Giving affiliates top commissions will only make you more successful
Most of the time, when an affiliate is looking for something to offer, they'll choose something with the highest commission and start from there. They will then look for what fits their industry, what they like the most, what has the most success when a visitor lands on their page, and many other factors.
If you were to be competitive and give your affiliates 10% commission on a physical product and 50% on a digital one, they might take you up on your offer. Now, if you were to give them a commission equal to the amount you net on each order, they would see this as you trying to build a brand and you're not worried about paying them as much as possible.
Not many companies do this because they're worried about affiliates flooding their business, promoting their products and services, and not making any money because the commissions going out will take up all the net profit.
Don't profit from an affiliate sale
Think of your affiliates as a commission-only sales team that will bring in plenty of traffic so you can turn them into a customer. Instead of paying your affiliates a percentage of your profits, you should pay them all of your profits per sale, and they will be grateful to send all their traffic to you.
Now, you're probably saying "How will I ever make money if I'm giving them all of my profits?!?!?!" and that's one of the simpler things when it comes to affiliate marketing. When an affiliate refers a customer to you, you will pay that affiliate a percentage of the sale as a commission, and if the customer loves what you're selling they will come back time and time again making multiple purchases. You'll make 100% of your net profits on their 2nd, 3rd, or even 10th purchase but you'll break even on their very first purchase. This is why you need to keep your customers' interests peaked by sending out newsletters and staying on their mind as well
Your affiliates referrals will bring in traffic
Whenever you're worried about making money when running an affiliate program, you need to remember that your customers will also refer their friends and family without sharing an affiliate link. This means you'll get free advertising and that's golden in terms of marketing
When an affiliate sends traffic to your website, they won't know who the person is, but a previous customer will be trusted by friends and family, and that means there's a higher chance of their referrals making a purchase.
View your affiliates as employees you want to keep happy
If you're working online as an eCommerce store owner or SaaS company owner, you will want to treat your affiliates like salespeople. You'll want to keep the salespeople happy because they're the ones bringing in leads each day, leads that convert, and that means more money in your pocket if you have happy affiliates
Pay your affiliates on time, every time
Whenever a new affiliate starts promoting your website, they will need to be paid on time, every single time. The more often you pay on time, the more likely they will refer other affiliates to your product, and that means more links going out and sales coming in.
Over time, you'll get a reputation of paying out on time, and that's one of the key factors affiliates look for when promoting a new website or product. If they have to wait a week or two after the date you were supposed to payout, they will never send traffic your way again.
Affiliate marketing is a tricky thing to become successful in, but it doesn't have to be too complicated if you're trying to bring affiliates on board to promote your products or services. Pay them well, treat them well, and always do payouts on schedule, so they know when to expect money in their accounts.
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