Monday, June 4, 2007

The Risks of Blind Affiliate Marketing

You've found the perfect product to promote as an affiliate marketer. The sales copy is so good that it left you salivating. The angle is fresh and new. The product appears to be on the cutting edge of the "next big thing". The price is right, the commission is good, and even the graphics are beautiful. Full speed ahead, right?

Not so fast. You might be able to send traffic to the sales page and start racking up the sales, but there's a risk in embracing the program at face value. What happens if the actual product stinks?

You already know the answer: Refunds. If the product doesn't live up to the sales page, it will generate chargebacks and refund requests at a rapid clip. All of those commission earnings you were so excited about will disappear in the black hole of refunds before you see a check.

There's another risk in blind affiliate marketing and it can be even more devastating than losing out on commissions. You can ruin your reputation. If you throw your weight behind a lousy product, it damages your relationship with your list, makes you a question mark to those who saw just how lousy the product was, and can put you in a pickle for months, if not years, to come.

You don't want to see earnings evaporate as angry customers yell for returns. You don't want to see your good name permanently tainted by a drag through the mud, either. That's why you don't want to blindly promote any product.

What's the solution? You have to see the product before you promote it. You have to know whether it's any good. You need to find out if it measures up to the sales claims and if it's the kind of thing that's going to score a knockout with the targeted audience.

You can make sells without knowing the product. Affiliate marketing is a nice, streamlined business model and it lends itself to glossing over the details. You can pick a program, drive traffic to it, and collect some checks. However, you run a long=term risk of reduced earnings and a short term frustration with excessive returns if you run your business that way.

Get an advanced copy. Seek out information from those you can trust who have firsthand experience with the product. Find out if there's a consistency between the sales page and the product.

If you do all of that, you'll be in a great position to promote the product. You'll be able to target traffic more effectively and make the possibility of a purchase more attractive, too.

If you're choosing products and programs to promote, approach the matter with care. Keep your eyes open and don't act blindly. A little bit of vision will supply a substantial head start on the road to affiliate marketing success.

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