7 Mistakes to Avoid in Affiliate Marketing
When it comes to affiliate marketing, particularly for those that are just starting out as well as those that have been marketing for some time, there are common mistakes that people make. Often times these mistakes are made unknowingly and innocently. Nonetheless, they can be detrimental to the success of your affiliate marketing business.
In this short post we will touch on seven of the deadliest mistakes in affiliate marketing.
While this list is not exhaustive, it is one that if followed will help not only prevent costly mistakes but will help build engagement with your subscribers and customers.
1. Take It Easy on the Popups
Blogs are widely used as conduits of communication and teaching in the vast world of affiliate marketing. Blogs are an excellent tool for creating an email list.
There are a number of ways to capture subscribers on your blog. Everything from a simple opt in box to a vast variety of pop-ups.
While the jury is still out on whether or not pop-ups or annoying, the data speaks for itself. Time and time again pop-ups have proven to increase opt ins anywhere from 15 to more than 100% increase.
There is no argument that pop-ups are annoying but at the same time very effective. The use of pop-ups has to be done very carefully. If not used cautiously pop-ups can be just as damaging as they are helpful.
There is a fine balance when using pop-ups. You want to be just as aggressive as you can without being overly aggressive. Don’t have more than one pop up experience at the most during any one visit to your site. When multiple pop-ups are used during a single visit or right after one another people are actually more likely to leave your site and never return.
Find a good pop-up that works for you. The best way to determine the most effective pop-up is through split testing.
2. Making Selling a Priority Instead of Helping First
Time and time again I get an email that directs me to a presale page. What I find more often than not is that I am not being presold, but being sold.
As marketers it is our job to get the material in front of people that will guide them to the sales page. This is often not done well because the affiliate marketer puts a lot of energy into selling instead of helping and educating.
People do not like to be sold. But when we put our customer first and offer value through education, tips, or solutions, our customers find a benefit in associating with us and ultimately will come to trust us as marketers.
It is important to identify that overwhelming temptation to pollute your articles with links and high pressure sales statements that yell “Buy This!”
Instead what is both helpful to you and your customer is to provide education on the benefits of the product you’re promoting. When we focus on helping our customer, and we do this well, the sales will be a natural byproduct of our efforts.
When doing reviews, it is important to make sure that they are fair and balanced and not biased on only the positives. No product ever created with 100% reliability and without flaws.
Think about it, when you are reading a review, isn’t it nice to know where the glitches are in a product so that you can make a decision based on good facts? I can’t tell you how many products I have personally purchased after reading the list of cons. The reason I appreciate both the good and the bad in reviews if I am able to make a decision and feel good about it. After buying the product I am never on pleasantly surprised and I don’t feel taken.
The most important thing to remember is honesty and transparency with those that you are communicating with and doing business with will never hurt you in the long run.
3. Spread Too Thin
Spreading yourself too thin is a common mistake among new and experienced marketers alike. Spreading ourselves to thin I think is part of human behavior.
If you’re anything like me you want to get your hands and everything that comes along. You don’t want to pass up any opportunity. As a result, you find yourself engaged in many products and projects at the same time. What ends up happening is that the newer projects pushed the older ones behind only to soon be forgotten.
The problem with this is that your productivity goes down to almost 0 and you become frustrated and you feel like you are just spinning your wheels. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been in this very place.
What I have learned is that it is more important to stay focused and complete a task and let opportunities pass you by. I know this can be difficult, but the thing to remember is that there will be other opportunities to market products or other products to market coming out every day.
Making a list and staying focused on projects to completion will pay dividends in the long run and will leave you feeling like you have accomplished something.
Another area where we tend to spread ourselves to sin as affiliate marketers is by signing up to every affiliate program that comes across our desk. The same holds true with programs as does projects.
Research your affiliate programs carefully and select the ones that work best for you, usually one to three, and work with those. There’s always time to engage other programs later.
4. Know Your Product
Knowing your product is a big one. I find it much easier to promote a product that I have personally experienced in used. This is particularly important when we are talking about doing honest reviews. Someone is doing a review and they’re calling it honest on a product they have never used is hardly honest.
When doing a product review be sure to be transparent about whether or not you have personally used the product or you have carefully researched the product. It’s okay to do review based on research. Just don’t do research and make it sound like you’ve used the product.
Quite often you can get review copies of products from the advertiser. I have found this to be difficult at times because there are people that abuse the privilege of getting review copies with no intention of promoting it.
If you are just getting started it may be difficult at first but as you get going and start to network and become a part of the community people will be more open to giving review copies of the product. If nothing else do your due diligence and research the product carefully before promoting it.
5. Not Making Education a Priority
Make education and helping a priority. In fact, I would say make it number one. When people go to a website they are rarely going there to buy something. People are often going to websites and reviewing articles because they are looking for a solution to a problem. Our job is affiliate marketers is to identify the problem, and offer solutions.
The best way to offer solutions is to start out offering them for free. This is how value is conveyed to her customers. This also builds trust which turns into future sales.
It’s important to remember that we reap what we sow. While the education and the health that we provide today may not always equate into immediate payoff, it will surely pay off down the road over and over in repeat sales.
I sign up to a lot of lists purely to study other people’s marketing tactics. And there are a number of people that when I see their name in my list of email I will open those emails first. The reason for this is these particular people have built trust with me and they have a reputation of promoting quality products.
6. Not Building a List.
The biggest mistake next to over selling is not building an email list. I’ve often heard it said by very experienced marketers that one of their biggest regrets is not building an email list. They go on to talk about the six-figure incomes and how if a product is pulled right traffic source fades they are left holding the bag so to speak.
When we capture a name through an opt in on our website we now have countless opportunities to market to that person.
The way we get to market to them is by finding out what their interest and needs are regarding the particular niche we are marketing to. This can be done through surveys and simple questions and responses to our emails that we send out. Don’t ever underestimate the value of this kind of information.
Make list building a priority. Email remains the most targeted and effective traffic source to this day.
7. Not Being Honest and Transparent
Being honest and transparent with your customers will never harm you like being dishonest will.
One of the things that gives this industry such a bad name is the people who are out there scamming and misrepresenting themselves and products. People are wearier today than they ever have been for good reason.
This is why building trust is so important. The best way to build trust is by being honest and transparent. A good example of dishonesty that people see right through is people claiming to be a “Guru” and making claims of wealth when in fact none of it is true.
For example, when I tell people about myself, I have no problem being upfront. The truth is I work a regular job. And have not made the six-figure income that I am striving for yet. The truth is I am like many out there who are in this wonderful world of affiliate marketing and working towards a goal of an improved lifestyle.
But what I also share as the reason for why people should listen to me is that I have been in the Internet marketing space for the past 2 ½ years as of the writing of this article, I have learned a lot, and I enjoy sharing it with other people in hopes of helping them.
As marketers we owe it to our customers, to one another, and to the space that we operate in on the Internet to be honest. This is important because we all have a vested interest in not only protecting the place that we do business but making it a safe place also.