Many product owners wonder whether they should pay an affiliate to promote their product. While I think the answer is generally yes, there are exceptions to when you want to pay an affiliate.
You can only get so many people to come to your website on your own. Your pay per click resources are limited and you can only write so many articles and create so many back links before your time is exhausted. If you have an army of affiliates promoting your product, you simply will be able to make more sales. If your affiliates aren’t poaching off of the sales you would make yourself, paying affiliates to market your product is a no brainer.
If you were selling chocolate chip cookies, each additional dozen cookies would cost you money to produce. But digital products are different. It costs you almost the same amount of money to produce one product as it does to produce a million. Therefore, why wouldn’t you want to pick up low hanging fruit by paying affiliates to promote your product,
Additionally, once you get a customer, you can sell to him or her for life. If you have structured your product line correctly, you can pay an affiliate 75 percent of the original purchase price, but continue to market to that customer for the rest of his life without paying the affiliate any additional money.
Affiliate marketers are very good at their area of specialization or they wash out quickly. Some are experts at pay per click and know how to deliver traffic to your site that converts. Others put in the time to write articles that pre-sell customers on your product before they ever land on your page. Video marketing, forum marketing, and classified ads are other specialities of affiliate marketers.
So, are there times when it doesn’t make sense to pay affiliate marketers, Yes, there are.
If you are only going to sell 100 of an item and you have 1,000 responsive people on your personal email list, you will probably not want to pay affiliates. When you can sell out the subscription yourself, there is no need to split the proceeds.
Another time when you may want to consider not using affiliates is when you want to control how the product is marketed. When you open the product up to affiliate marketers, you lose control of the advertising process. Marketers could spam safe lists or classified sites and give your product a bad name.
Most product owners, however, find that the benefits outweigh the down sides of paying affiliates.
Clickbank is the most popular way to set up an affiliate program for digital products. PayDotCom tried to give Clickbank a run for its money, but hasn’t taken off as well as the promoters hoped. You can also set up a script to run an affiliate program. The $7 script and Rapid Action Profits are two scripts which let you pay affiliates.