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16 min read
Aug 17, 2022

Did you even make a single sale for that affiliate program you joined recently?

The above question is a nightmare for almost every affiliate marketer.

And if you fear answering that question (especially if you made little to no sales), don’t worry.

Most people who try to make money online through affiliate marketing don’t make any sales at all.

Even if they manage to make a sale, it’s often not enough to cover the costs of the operations—let alone make a profit. 

There’s so much to do when working on an affiliate marketing campaign

Things like:

  • creating a landing page (content if you’re a creator)
  • driving traffic to it
  • hoping that they convert into sales
  • tracking and reporting everything, etc.

take up a lot of time, effort, and money.

And after pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into a sale, it sucks to see that the ROI went downwards.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You too can make a killing as an affiliate marketer, but only if you take a data-driven approach to it.

In this article, I’ll give you a detailed blueprint to do exactly that, but first:

How are affiliate sales  managed in the backend?

In simple words, the affiliate sales process is divided into two phases:

Phase 1: BEFORE clicking the affiliate link

  • The brand gives a unique tracking link to each affiliate
  • That affiliate promotes that link to their audience
  • The audience clicks on that affiliate link

Phase 2: AFTER clicking the affiliate link

  • The audience is redirected to the brand’s landing page
  • They read/watch the landing page copy/video and get familiar with the product
  • Based on what they see/read, they decide to buy it then/later or not to buy it at all

Here’s what happening with your audience on a psychological level.

Before clicking the link, your audience was connected with you. They were listening to what you wanted them to listen to, seeing what you wanted them to see, and feeling what you wanted them to feel.

But as soon as they clicked the link and landed on the brand’s platform, the connection between you and your audience BROKE.

So what happened, you ask?

You lost control over your audience’s buying behavior after they clicked the affiliate link and landed on the brand’s webpage.

But does it really matter?

It does.

And I’ll tell you why.

Since they’ve lost the connection with you and are now on the brand’s platform, it’s up to the brand how they present themselves and persuade your audience to buy from them.

The CONTROL is taken away from you. You drove the traffic to your affiliate and now you can’t do anything.

But something must dictate the number of sales you make, right? Isn’t there?

If that something isn’t you or the brand, then what could it be?

That something is the way their sales funnel is created.

In basic terms, the amount of sales you can make depends on how effective the brand’s sales funnel is.

If the brand’s sales funnel is weakly crafted, you won’t make a dime no matter how many clicks you drive to them.

Their sales funnel will leak out all the traffic you sent to them just like this bucket:

Most affiliates make the mistake of sending clicks and crossing their fingers hoping to make a sale. Don’t do this. Even though there’s no surefire way to get a 100% conversion rate, consider trying the methods provided in this article instead. They can help you boost your affiliate conversion rate by 3-5%.

So, without any further delay, let’s start by:

1. Choosing an affiliate product that’s marketed well

When you’re looking for an affiliate product to promote, it’s important to choose one that is marketed well.

A poorly marketed product will not only fail to generate sales, but it can also reflect poorly on you as an affiliate.

There are a few key factors to look out for when evaluating the marketing potential of the product you’re promoting.

The first thing you should start analyzing is:

1.1. Retargeting

Do you remember the last time you landed on a website/eCommerce page to buy something but chose not to buy anything?

Maybe you went lazying around on Facebook or Instagram to watch some funny cat videos and SURPRISE SURPRISE!!

You saw that exact product ad in your social media feed.

You may have clicked on that ad. Maybe you even bought the product this time around.

So what exactly happened?

You were “retargeted” by that website because you were their potential customer. This entire process is called retargeting.

Retargeting happens all the time because it’s so effective. Several brands have claimed that running retargeting ads has boosted their conversion rates by a large margin.

To quote an example, Tirendo (a tire maker brand), increased its conversion rates by 161% or 2.61 times via retargeting.

You might say 161% is not that great, but in numbers, it means if they’re making $10,000 in sales/day, retargeting can help make them an extra $16,100/day in revenue.

That’s a huge difference, isn’t it? 

And if you’re generating a 30% commission on that product as an affiliate, you make $4830 extra per day by looking at the above numbers.

It only proves how important this technique is for online businesses and how you, as an affiliate, can benefit from it.

If brands aren’t retargeting the people who visited their website, they’re leaving money on the table which is also a loss for you—the affiliate.

As an affiliate, you act as a medium of the first touchpoint between the brand and its customers.

You introduce the brand to new prospects via your affiliate link.

Once you defer your visitors to their site (landing page), it becomes the brand’s responsibility to convert these visitors by any means necessary.

And if brands aren’t retargeting the visitors, they’re not doing their job well.

So,  you should prefer marketing items that retarget their visitors.

But how do you check if that brand is running retargeting ads?

A straightforward way to find out is by visiting their landing page yourself and then scrolling through your social feeds.

If they appear there, you’re good to go. You can also ask your affiliate manager or consult directly with the brand’s marketing team to find out if they’re running retargeting ads.

Now that you understand how the brand is retargeting ads, the next thing you need to look out for is their…

1.2. Branding

When you’re looking for affiliate products to promote, consider their branding.

A well-branded product will be more recognizable and trustworthy to potential customers. It is more likely to sell well.

Here are a few things to look out for when assessing a product’s branding:

  • Does the product have a strong name and logo?
  • Is the branding consistent across all platforms (online and offline)?
  • Does the product packaging look professional and high-quality?
  • Is the product website easy to navigate and user-friendly?

Though these examples only scratch the surface of all possible branding best practices, the brand likely worked on their promotional material if they ticked each of these boxes., 

Make sure you take the time to assess a product’s branding before promoting it—as this could make the difference between making a profit and losing money.

Similarly, don’t forget to pay attention to their:

1.3. Social media presence

In today’s digital age, more and more people are turning to social media for product recommendations.

As an affiliate marketer, you can tap into this by promoting brands that are active on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The more engaged a brand is with its customers on social media, the more likely it is to generate sales.

Another critical factor to consider is the:

  • Type of content the brand produces
  • Is it high quality and informative?
  • Does it provide value to its customers?

Read the comments on what people are saying about them.

Most businesses now have a private Facebook group for their customers only.

For example, you can join the SE Ranking community to gain access to insider information about what our customers are experiencing with our product.

Try to figure out:

  • The number of complaints (less is better).
  • Do they respond to their customer’s doubts, complaints, or any other issues?
  • Do they accept new suggestions from their customers?
  • Positive and negative feedback from their customers?
  • Their customer’s success/failure stories, etc.

In general, get information about the culture and history surrounding that product.

If the setting is suitable, give it a shot, but if there’s too much negativity or criticism, you should probably avoid doing any business with that product.

1.4. Email marketing

Email marketing is a key component of any successful online business.

However, many businesses fail to take full advantage of this powerful tool.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not following up with leads who take advantage of the free trial but don’t move on to becoming paid subscribers.

As an affiliate, make sure that the brands you’re promoting are regularly following up with these leads and persuading them to convert to a paid plan.

Thankfully, it’s easy to check if the brand has an email follow-up system in place.

Just look for an option to subscribe to their email list when you sign up for the free trial.

If they don’t have one, you can always reach out to their marketing team and consult with them about this issue.

Either way, it’s important to stay on top of things so you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your affiliate relationship and maximizing your return on effort

1.5. Online reviews

When it comes to selecting affiliate products that will sell well and generate profits, online reviews can be a helpful guide.

These days, nearly every product category has a directory where all products of that category are listed alongside product reviews.

If you’re promoting SaaS tools, you can check out G2, Capterra, or Product Hunt for reviews related to SaaS tools.

If you’re promoting Amazon FBA products, you’ll find customer reviews directly on each product’s page.

Although reviews can sometimes be manipulated and shouldn’t be blindly trusted, they can give you some idea about the quality of the product.

1.6. High converting landing page

This is the page that potential customers are directed to when they click on your affiliate link.

If the page doesn’t convert well, then you’re wasting your clicks—and time.

A few elements of a high converting landing page include:

  • Authentic proof of value
  • High page load speed
  • Free of clutter
  • A good visual appeal
  • Speaks to the target audience
  • Is mobile optimized
  • Strong CTA
  • Highlights the product’s USP

If you’re promoting a product you haven’t personally used (not recommended), make sure the landing page is convincing enough to compensate.

You can also ask the company about its overall sales funnel journey to see if they’re getting good results.

Sometimes, an average product sells more in comparison to the best product just because it’s backed by a strong sales funnel.

2. Finding affiliate programs with recurring commissions and looking at business metrics

When it comes to affiliate marketing, there are two main types of affiliate commissions you can make:

  • One-time, and
  • Recurring

As an affiliate, you want to look for programs that offer recurring commissions. This means you’ll continue to earn money from a customer’s purchase over time. 

But not all affiliate programs offering recurring commissions convert or sustain well.

How do you select good affiliate products capable of generating recurring commissions for a long time?

There are a few business metrics you should keep an eye on, and you can always ask for these from the company itself.

Note: Not every firm is willing to share this data because it can be quite sensitive for them. Also, it can be detrimental to the company’s growth if this data falls into the wrong hands.

If you and the company have established a good rapport, they might be willing to hand over that data to you. 

Now, let’s take a look at the kind of data they might send your way.

2.1. Earnings-per-click (EPC)

In affiliate marketing, earnings-per-click (EPC) measures how much money an affiliate earns for each click they generate.

In simple words, if you sent 100 clicks and you made $500, then the EPC is $5.

EPC is an overall combination of a lot of other factors because it only gives an upper view of the data.

To gain a granular view of the performance of the affiliate program, other factors are important to consider.

For example, EPC is often used to compare different affiliate programs, as it can give you an indication of which programs are more profitable.

In short, a higher EPC means that an affiliate program is more lucrative and sells easily.

After you’ve selected which programs to promote, you can take a deep dive into the metrics below for more information.

2.2. Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)

If you’re promoting products that offer recurring commissions, then don’t forget to check their MRR and churn rate.

In business, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is defined as the total amount of revenue that a company can generate on a monthly subscription basis from its products.

If a product has a low MRR, then it’s likely that it will generate fewer affiliate commissions over time.

To find out a product’s MRR, simply divide its total revenue by the number of customers it has on a monthly basis.

Let’s say a product generates $10,000 in revenue per month and has 200 customers. Its MRR would be $50.

The higher the MRR, the more profitable the product is likely to be in the long run.

Gain insight into this metric by connecting with your affiliate manager.

2.2. Churn rate

Churn rate, also known as attrition rate, is a measure of the number of customers who leave a company during a set period of time.

It’s usually expressed as a percentage of the total number of customers leaving the company in a given period.

For example, if a company has 100 customers at the beginning of the year and 10 of them cancel their service during that year, the company’s churn rate would be 10%.

Churn rate is an important metric for affiliates because it can indicate whether a business is losing or gaining customers.

A high churn rate may indicate that a company is losing too many customers to be sustainable and is also costing you recurring commissions. A low churn rate may indicate that a company is growing.

While some churn is inevitable, make sure your brand is taking steps to reduce it.

To discover what the product’s churn rate is, contact your affiliate manager or get in touch with their sales team.

2.3. Highest selling plan

When promoting products that offer various pricing models, you must find the highest selling plan and focus your efforts on promoting that one.

This is because not all plans sell equally well—some outperform others.

You can collaborate with the brand to provide discounts on their most popular plan—doing this will lead to more conversions and result in a higher commission payout for you.

To find out which pricing model is selling the best, your affiliate manager should be able to share this data with you. If they can’t, reach out to the sales department.

2.4. Highest retaining plan

If you’re offering a product with several pricing plans and recurring commissions, advertising the highest retention plan is likely to help.

How?

Not only will it help with generating a steady passive income but it can also increase overall customer satisfaction.

It’s common knowledge that attracting a new customer costs more than keeping an existing one, so promoting a plan with a higher retention rate is bound to result in more conversions and affiliate commissions.

Lastly, you can also use this strategy to get the brand to pay you more affiliate commissions.

How?

It will result in the firm having to spend less on retaining customers and—after you’ve made a lot of sales for them over time—you can ask them to promote you to a higher commission bracket.

To find out which pricing model has the highest retention rate, reach out to your affiliate manager or contact the sales department of the company.

2.5. Customer lifetime value  (CLV)

Customer lifetime value (CLV) measures the total value of a customer relationship, from the initial procurement to repeat business and referrals.

Paying attention to this metric becomes important if you’re promoting a product that offers recurring commissions because it can show you the long-term value of a customer.

In general, the higher the CLV, the more valuable a customer is to their business and the more recurring commissions you can make passively.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to select the highest-selling affiliate products, it’s time to put your knowledge into action.

Do some research on the products you’re interested in and then select a few that you think have the potential to sell well.

Next, promote these products through your affiliate links.

Make sure to track your sales and earnings so you can see how well your campaigns are performing.

You can start generating significant profits from your affiliate marketing efforts with little effort. So what are you waiting for?

Get started today and start earning!

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comments2
  1. Sadly, most affiliate managers won’t share any business metrics with you. Which is a shame.

  2. Wow! I never viewed affiliate programs from such a wide perspective.
    So many things to take into account, but should be totally worth it.

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