When you’re first starting out with affiliate marketing, one of the first things you’ll need to do is to look for an affiliate program.
You can always go for an independent affiliate program that is run by the merchant or the product owner himself.
But if you want to get access to more choices, you should consider joining an affiliate network.
In an affiliate network, you can join different affiliate programs so you can promote different affiliate products that are related to your niche and blog.
If you’ll do a quick search online, you’ll see that there are countless choices on affiliate networks.
But one thing that you have to know is that not all affiliate networks are the same.
Some are not even legitimate and trustworthy. Some are simply fake affiliate programs operated by scammers who are out to take advantage of people who want to make money online.
It pays to do ample research about an affiliate network before signing up with it.
If you’ll do a quick search online on top affiliate networks, one that will always appear among the top results is Clickbank.
What is Clickbank?
Clickbank is a top affiliate network that serves as a marketplace connecting affiliates with merchants. It works as a middleman between people who create physical and digital products and people who sell and promote these products.
It benefits both merchants and affiliates.
Merchant can use this platform to find and connect with hardworking affiliates who will promote their products on their behalf so that they can save time and effort, and focus more on product creation and development.
Affiliates, meanwhile, only have to do the marketing and promotion, and do not have to invest money and time in product creation and development. Here, they can find a wide range of affiliate products that have already been made.
The great thing about this platform is that it is easy and free to join for affiliates like you.
The registration is simple and straightforward. There is no need to pay any membership or registration fee.
All you have to do is to go to the homepage to register and set up an account.
Take note that for merchants, it does charge a one time activation fee of $49.95.
Here are the steps on how to start making money with Clickbank:
Step # 1 – Choose the right product to promote
This is the first step that you need to do when you first join this network.
One quick search and you’ll see that Clickbank has hundreds or even thousands of available products in each niche.
But you need to make sure that you are able to choose the right product.
Even if you are exceptional with marketing and promotions, if the product is not popular or does not satisfy the needs and expectations of your target audience, you are not going to make any money.
So how would you know if a product would sell or not?
- Initial amount per sale – This refers to the average amount that affiliates earn from a product for each sale made.
- Average percentage per sale – This is the percentage of the product price that affiliates takes as a commission
- Gravity – This refers to the number of affiliates that were able to sell this product in the last three months
- Average rebill total – This is the average amount that affiliates earn as a result of rebilling
It’s important to go for products that have a low cost initial offer for up to three upsales. It would also be a good idea to go for those that have a gravity measure of above 20. This means that the affiliate product converts well. Look at the reviews as well. Do not promote products that have high refund rates if you want to save yourself from great stress.
As for the percentage per sale, it’s not only the percentage that you should consider but also the price of the product. Even if the percentage is high but the product price is low, you still won’t earn that much from this product. For example, a $10 product that has a 70 percent commission rate only gives you $7 per sale. This is only a good option if you can sell a big quantity in a month. You need to sell at least 30 of these products each month to earn $210.
Step # 2 – Choose your method for selling your affiliate products
Here are some of the most common methods for selling Clickbank affiliate products:
# 1 – Affiliate banner
This is probably the most commonly used Clickbank affiliate method. It involves posting a banner that links to an affiliate banner somewhere within a related post in your website or blog.
For example, you are promoting an essential oil product, you will include a banner linking to an essential oil diffuser in your article about using essential oils to get better sleep and alleviate allergies.
Although this is a widely used practice, it is not known for its high conversion. Affiliates only make use of this method because of its convenience–no need to presell and connect with the audience or even introduce the product in the banner.
But because you’re skipping these important steps, it does not bring in significant earnings for most affiliate marketing businesses.
# 2 – In content links
In this method, affiliate links are placed within the content, as part of the post.
For example, you can write a post about the easiest ways to make money online. One of your recommendations is to set up a blog and monetize it with Google Adsense. In your content, you place an affiliate link to Bluehost, which you recommend as the best option for providing web hosting service to your blog.
If you’re able to do a great job in engaging your readers, and convincing him/her that a product is worthy of using, there’s a good chance that many of them will convert and buy your affiliate product using your link.
The only downside to using this method is that it only catches the attention of readers who are extremely attentive. The only reason they’d click the link is if they trust the affiliate enough.
# 3 – Product reviews
Many affiliates use this content format for good reason, and this is because it has been proven highly effective from then until now.
Review traffic is highly targeted. People who read product reviews actually have the intention to buy.
One thing you have to know about this content format is that it relies heavily on trust and credibility.
If you think that you’ll be able to get your audience to buy your products if you highlight only their features and benefits, you’re wrong.
What makes a product review effective is objectivity.
You need to write an unbiased product review so that your audience will be convinced that your purpose is to help them out, not to make money from them.
It’s imperative that you’re able to come up with one that does not in any way include hard selling strategies.
Step # 3 – Create a value-focused sales funnel
All the methods we’ve previously discussed work effectively for most affiliates.
However, since competition gets more and more fierce each day, you need to create a powerful sales funnel that you can use for your Clickbank affiliate marketing business.
Here are the elements that should be included in your sales funnel:
# 1 – Traffic and content
Since we are targeting to create value-centric sales funnel, you need to create the best kind of content that will drive traffic to your site.
There are three ways to achieve this:
- SEO – Optimize your content for the search engines by including keywords (primary keywords, long tail keywords and LSI keywords) in your post titles, introduction, content, meta descriptions and even image file names. Make sure that you create content that your target audience will find useful and will solve their problems so that the search engines will perceive your blog or website as high authority and credible, and give you a higher ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important for driving more traffic to your blog or site, increasing exposure and conversion, and so on.
- Facebook – Facebook is one of the most cost effective social media marketing platforms that give you extremely cheap traffic. First, create a Facebook page for your blog or website. Fill it up with lots of valuable content. Invite your contacts and anyone you know would be interested in what you offer to like your page. Build a community around it by joining related Facebook groups or creating your own. Moreover, consider using Facebook ads to target your specific audience.
- Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) – Many affiliates also use this option to drive traffic to their site. Some of the best CDNs to make use of are Taboola and Outbrain. Just see to it that you keep your content free from any aggressive and hard selling strategies so you can establish yourself as a credible and trustworthy expert more quickly.
# 2 – Opt-in
Another important part of the sales funnel that you cannot overlook is the opt-in process.
This is the process wherein you get people who are engaged with your content to sign up to your email list.
Here’s an effective way to get people to opt-in to your list:
Create a free valuable content and publish it on your blog. But don’t give everything away. Make the last three or four parts of the article downloadable as files. For example, if you’re writing top 10 strategies, convert the last three strategies into a PDF file that can be downloaded if the website visitor enters his/her email address in the signup sheet. If the reader is engaged enough, he/she won’t hesitate to signup to your list to get the last few pieces of your valuable content.
To make use of this technique effectively, you need three things:
- Opt-in pop up – This can boost your opt-in rate by up to 6 percent.
- Content upgrade – This refers to the additional content that you will offer to your audience in exchange of their email addresses.
- Retargeting methods – If your audience do not take your content upgrade offer the first time, use retargeting methods and send them a link to an opt-in page where they download your bonus information.
One of the best tools that you can use for this purpose is Thrive Leads. Another option you might want to consider is Elementro PRO.
# 3 – Thank you page and offer
Once your visitors have opted in to your list, the next step is for you to redirect them to a thank you page.
This is the only time you can start to promote your affiliate product.
When promoting the product, you need to establish a connection between the free lead magnet and the offer. This way, they will not think that they have to pay for the lead magnet. You don’t want making this mistake as this can ruin the connection that you’ve forged between you and your visitor.
So let’s say you’ve offered a free ebook that contains essential oil recipes to your target audience who is looking for natural ways to treat minor ailments and get better sleep.
But you must make it clear to your audience that a good way to achieve the results that they are looking for is to purchase an essential oil diffuser (which is your affiliate product).
You can build this thank you and offer page using platforms such as Thrive Architect and Elementor. With these platform’s drag and drop interface, you can make your landing pages in a few minutes.
# 4 – Email marketing
So now we go to the part where you’ll formulate your email marketing campaign.
Instead of simply getting people to visit your sale page once and never return again, the smarter move would be to get their contact information in order to engage your visitors and eventually turn them into buying customers.
One thing you’ll need is an email marketing service. This online tool enables you to send valuable email content to your email subscribers automatically. Just imagine having to manually send email everyday to your 1,000 subscribers. That would surely eat up all of your time.
Some of the best email marketing platforms you can use include:
- Constant Contact
Take the time to analyze your options. Compare these tools side by side, not only their prices but also their features and benefits. You can even use the free trial of each one so you can see which one is most suitable for your affiliate marketing business’s needs.
Use this email sequence for your email marketing campaign:
Email # 1 – Lead magnet
In this email, you will re-send the link to your lead magnet to verify if they’ve seen your offer.
Provide a bullet-point list of the reasons they should get the offer.
Include a few testimonials from some of the other users of the product.
Work on to appeal to the reader’s emotions.
Conclude the message with a thought-provoking question that will keep the recipient engaged enough to open your next email.
Email # 2 – Emotion
Use the second email to answer the hanging questions that you posted in the first email.
Go on to explain the scenario about your recipient’s problems and struggles, and how the product can be the resolution to all these.
Be as visual as possible in order to captivate the attention of your recipient.
Let’s say you’re promoting affiliate weight loss products, you can use any of these as central theme of the message:
- Having more self confidence
- Being more energetic and more productive
- Having a longer and healthier life
Make sure that you tap into positive emotions of your subscribers so that they can see more easily how this product can do wonders for them.
Email # 3 – Scarcity
The third email is the time to get your recipients to take action right away.
You can do this using a combination of special offers, limited availability, fear of missing out techniques.
For example, you can provide a 25 percent discount on your affiliate product for the next 5 hours.
Make your offer more convincing by tapping into the guilt emotion of your recipient.
Use lines such as, “Nothing good will happen to you if you don’t start taking action today” or “Change won’t come to you if you just sit there and do nothing”.
Of course, you have to make sure that you are promoting a product that actually works. Because even if you do a great job convincing a person to buy your affiliate product but it’s not effective at all, all your efforts will be useless in the long run. Remember, affiliate marketing is all about trust and credibility.
Also, if you are going to write about a limited offer, see to it that you keep your word. If you say that the discount is only available in the next four hours, close it on the fifth hour. If people see that it’s still open the next day, you’d easily lose their trust and loyalty.
Once your subscribers have read these three email messages, add them to your primary broadcast list and send them your next messages.
This is an effective way to prevent getting your email list burned out but at the same time, keep your affiliate products selling.
# 5 – Retargeting
More and more affiliates are starting to realize the great importance of retargeting strategies.
One of the best tools for this purpose is Facebook.
Use this social media site to create a group of people who have visited your website but have not opted in. Post ads of your lead magnets for the next four weeks.
Using Clickbank for your affiliate marketing business can surely do wonders in helping you earn money using the internet.