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"Associate Programs are the Ultimate Back-End... Find Out Why You Should Join One Even If You Have Your Own Associate Program!"
2006-03-28 11:47:30 PM
Whether you have a website that sells a product/service or a website that has nothing to sell it should not stop you from joining related associate programs to your website, product or service.
I commonly see businesses that have their own Associate Program for products or services they sell, but feel that they shouldn't join other related associate programs to their business.
I can't understand why they think like this owning an associate program to have associates resell your products and belonging to one to use as a backend to your existing products are two completely separate things!
If you have a product or service you are selling (whether or not you have your own Associate Program you are offering for them), joining associate programs that are related to your business to sell other products or services to your clients is something that you definitely want to do. In fact I highly recommend it as an additional source of cash flow!
Here's a perfect example. Once I sell my book Car Secrets Revealed, I don't have anything else to sell my customers. I now have customers that have cost me money to obtain (advertising, associate referral commissions, administration, etc). So I have several choices here... I can invest more time and money and develop additional products or services to sell my customers... OR... I can easily join one or more Associate Programs and sell their products or services to my clients!
As you may have guessed, I don't have an awful lot of time on my hands to develop new products or services... so I have chosen to join several Associate Programs. I recommend car related products or services that are of interest to my customers and make a commission for doing that.
A smart business person is not afraid of spending a bit of money getting customers... because they will MAKE money on the "back-end". Sticking with the Car Secrets example, I pay out a high percentage of profits to my associates because they are referring people to me. Once I sell Car Secrets to a visitor... he is are MY customer. The initial sale (the Car Secrets book) is the front-end sale. Any additional sales are back-end sales.
I discuss the importance and power of backend sales in my Internet Marketing Course, www.marketingtips.com/t.cgi/865420. You will learn that the backend sales can DOUBLE your income! Yes, I said double. We discuss this is great detail in the course because backends are what so many people ignore and do not use to their full potential and can have so much effect on your income. For example, between my four online businesses, backends account for over ?of my sales (over $2,000,000 a year!). Yes, that is how powerful they are!!!
As I mentioned before... once I sell the Car Secrets Revealed book, I personally don't have anything else to sell them. So my back-end sales are the products and services offered by the Associate Programs I join!
For the participant, Associate Programs are the ULTIMATE BACK-END! The back-end is where you make your money. And the beauty of this is that once you've built customer rapport and trust you can just keep on selling to them again and again and again... and again!
As I mentioned before, we discuss back-ends in my Internet Marketing Course very extensively but I will go over a couple of very important points here. You ONLY recommend other products/services if you use them yourself and they are quality products/services, you believe in that product/service, and know it is a great value to your customers. Remember that it is your reputation on the line so if you are recommending a product that does not deliver 110% of what you claim, it is your reputation that will suffer and your clients will not trust in you again.
For example, at the Internet Marketing Center? we only recommend products or services, which we personally use, truly believe are the best out there, and offer great value to our customers. If I violate one of those principles, I have lost the trust of my clients forever and that is not acceptable to me. Do not get greedy only recommend products that you believe in.
There are some important things to consider if you are going to use Associate Programs as your back end.
The first and most important is to choose something to do with your target market.
This may sound really corny but I just HAVE to talk about it because there are so many people on the Internet offering a real "dog's breakfast" of products and services (I call this "the flea market" syndrome). You go to their website and you can't tell what they are about. I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about... the site has links to dog biscuits and jewelry and maybe a weight loss program and some books and CD's and then a stack of get-rich programs. If you're like me, you're probably out of there in an instant! All the products and services are totally unrelated and you can't figure out why you went there in the first place, let alone why you should stay! Would you believe in the claims a website has for an amazing weight loss program when he/she has 10 other links to jewelry and get-rich-quick books. There is no way in hell they are an "expert" in weight loss with their smorgasbord of items at their site that is for sure.
If you've read my course The Insider Secrets to Marketing your business on the Internet you already know that your website must have a focus... and the products you offer should be relevant to your target market!
Say for example that you are selling some kind of health products online... then all the Associate Programs you join should be somehow related to health. That's what your audience is interested in - that's why they came to your website. If your product happened to be vitamins and nutritional food, then your back end (Associate Program products) could be different types of nutritional products, exercise equipment such as AB Rollers, or maybe fitness videos and education on how to become more physically fit and how to get that "ripped" look, etc.
Just because we sell a book called Car Secrets Revealed doesn't mean that our Associate Programs have to be about car buying information. We can open up our universe a bit more! A survey we did showed that the majority of our Car Secrets customers were going to buy a new car within two weeks. So we asked ourselves what would these people be interested in?
We came up with a number of ideas, experimented with them and settled on a few Associate Programs that worked. Our customers were interested in getting free quotes from both a new and a used-car buying service. They also needed insurance so they were interested in getting quotes on insurance rates... and we found an excellent extended warranty program for new cars that we felt was of really good value and were only too happy to recommend because it's good!
In other words, we didn't recommend "car buying" related products - but what they may need after they bought a new car. Open your horizons and think of what you could offer your clients that would be a good fit.
If you want to see exactly how I do this, exactly what I say, and exactly how I make it fully automated so that all the customers who purchase my Car Secrets Revealed book automatically get follow up emails plugging my Associate Programs it is all revealed in my Internet Marketing Course, www.marketingtips.com/t.cgi/865420.
And all these backend products mentioned above for Car Secrets Revealed book have one thing in common they are all for new car buyers (73% of our customer base).
We're not recommending website services, or health products or music CD's or design services.
So the bottom line here is... find out what your target market wants and sell it to them!
You can join any number of related Associate Programs and just keep on making back end sales. As long as they are buying... as long as they are your customers... sell them something! The key here is that by joining Associate Programs you have an unlimited source of back-end products.
I will go over this again... Associate Programs are the ultimate back-end! If you don't have any of your own back-end products, (or even if you do) you can find an Associate Program that that fits your target audience. There are thousands of them out there. All you have to do is go to AssociatePrograms.com and Refer-It.com. They have a list of all the different Associate Programs you can join listed by category, and you can find out if the Associate Program is a good fit for you.
Look for all the different features we talked about in the first article. Make sure they are automated, look for real-time stats, make sure you are dealing with a credible company, and check them out to see if they pay on time. Is their software using a reliable tracking program? Do you get credit for sales made off-line? Do you get credit for sales made if your visitor leaves the site and then re-enters it and buys at a later date? It's imperative that they have a great product and a great service, that they have great customer service and a pleasing website, that they are honest and respectable. Your customers are counting on you to make good recommendations... your reputation depends on it. These are all critical things you want to go through before you join up an Associate Program and resell their product or service!
You know... it's really hard to give an honest recommendation of a product or service if you don't use it yourself. If you are really serious about joining a program... get the products and try them out... use the service. We use all the services and products we recommend. That's the only way we can KNOW for sure! It's a small investment in time and money. Make sure you get treated right as a customer... and what better way to tell than by actually being a customer! Use the product, use the service... if you are happy with it then recommend it. If you're not happy... stay away! If you recommend a shoddy or rip-off product or service to your customers, they won't trust you anymore... and there goes your back-end... there goes your gold mine!
If you have your own Associate Program you've already gone to the trouble of building a customer base. Now work it! If you need back-end products... I cannot recommend joining one or more Associate Programs too highly!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Derek Gehl specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable Internet businesses that make $100,000 to $2.5 Million (or more) per year. To get instant access to all his most profitable marketing campaigns, strategies, tools, and resources that he's used to grow $25 into over $40 Million in online sales, visit: www.marketingtips.com/t.cgi/865420
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