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Tips from “A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing”
A while back, I heard about Evgenii “Geno” Prussakov’s book, “A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing”. I decided to read it to help expand my knowledge and understanding of affiliate management. Although I am not a program manager, those are the people I work most closely with at FMTC. I wanted to know what their tasks consisted of to improve my relationship with them and understand what they’re seeking in a partnership.
This book is very informative with tons of helpful details on the do’s and don’ts of managing affiliate programs. “A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing” is laid out in 3 sections:
- Questions & Answers – This section contains 70 questions and answers about affiliate marketing and affiliate programs. Prussakov addresses the questions that arise when you’re considering to start an affiliate program and if you already launched.
- Affiliate Manager & Merchant Mistakes – This part of the book goes through 100 actual errors that are commonly made by merchants and affiliate managers. How’s that for learning from other people’s mistakes?
- Ideas for Affiliate Program Promotion – The last part provides 30 practical ideas that you can use to promote your affiliate program.
I’m sharing a handful of educative tips that are helpful to program managers. In addition to these points, I encourage you to read the book for yourself to expand your knowledge! Some of the statistics are bit dated, but the core principles and tips throughout the book are still relevant in the current industry.
I will be covering a couple takeaways this week, then finishing up the last few in next week’s post.
Takeaway 1 – Educating Yourself Is A Must
One of the first things that caught my attention is the emphasis on constantly increasing your knowledge of the industry. I know this seems simple, but it is undoubtedly true and can be something we don’t think about or don’t push ourselves to do. Prussakov stresses this with his statement, “Do not let a day pass without learning something new”. Not only is there a need to establish a foundation of knowledge on affiliate marketing as a whole, but also what’s new in the industry since it’s constantly innovating.
Always keep an eye out for new developments in the affiliate marketing world! I love the quotes he used, one by Sir Francis Bacon who said, “Knowledge is Power” and the other by Margaret Fuller who wrote, “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it”. Don’t let your affiliate program go stale because you are not seeking new ideas and insight or trying new things.
Takeaway 2 – Should You Have Coupons?
If you’re working with FMTC, this is definitely a no-brainer. Coupons are highly recommended! Many of our clients use the Coupon Mini feed which gives them access to all offers that include a coupon code. If you’re able to add a code to an offer, I encourage you to do so. Coupon codes help your offer reach more publishers and get posted on their sites. We also know that many customers search for codes when shopping online since they are always searching for a deal.
What Types of Coupons Should They Be?
Prussakov suggests having 1 or 2 coupons that last throughout the year and should have a minimum requirement that gets customers to spend more money. This can be shipping offers like “Free Shipping on $99+ order” or a discount such as “$15 off $100+ order”. He also suggests having 2 or 3 new coupons each month that target price points that are different from your year-round coupons. Examples are “$5 off $45+ order” & “20% off $100+ order”.
You can also run short-term codes that are more attractive than your usual offers, such as “25% off any order”. Don’t forget to run holiday-specific coupons and try to make sure it’s more attractive than any competitor’s offer.
Another suggestion is offering exclusive codes to select, valuable affiliates. Providing exclusive coupon codes allows the publishers to have a special offer for their users only and motivates them to promote your offer on their site.
How to Put Together a “Killer” Coupon?
Here are a few of the recommendations Prussakov lays out for a killer coupon:
- Word it eloquently
- Have a short and simple coupon code
- Make sure the coupon is really offering a deal (and not something available at your website by default such as free shipping on all $70 orders).
- Try to offer a coupon not available through your own website or your own marketing endeavors. Exclusive coupons for affiliates are always highly appreciated.
- Make a coupon landing page (instead of directing traffic to your homepage)
- If possible, make a pre-coded affiliate link that would automatically apply the coupon to the shopping cart when clicked.
- Treat every holiday as a reason for a good coupon.
Next week I will be touching on How to Recruit Affiliates, Mistakes to Avoid, and Ideas for Promotion. If you’d like to read all of Prussakov’s helpful advice, you can purchase “A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing” here.