Affiliate Teams: The One-for-All Approach to Greater Affiliate Profits
by Jon Benson
You know the old saying, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it?" Well, consider this as an alternative: "If it's working well, leverage it."
Over the past fifty years of marketing analysis, we've seen three kindred spirits of pass-along sales techniques that work undeniably well. Affiliate marketing, which you are probably familiar with, has come of age in the past ten years. Efficient affiliate management tools, combined with merchants like ClickBank, have enabled hundreds of thousands of people to earn fantastic money online.
Multi-level marketing (MLM), while a bit tainted in name, has gold under its foundation. Leveraging word-of-mouth to the nth degree, MLM strategies warrant examination by any serious marketer.
Then we have the second-tier reward system. A weaker cousin of both affiliate marketing and MLM, the two-tier approach can help you leverage the power of those closest to your top sales performers. Typically this is a tier-based commission system that rewards affiliates who refer other affiliates, by giving them a small commission rate on sales made by the affiliates they've referred. For example, if Joe refers Sally to your site as an affiliate and Sally makes a sale, Joe gets a bit of cash for the effort.
What if there was a way to combine all three of these affiliate sales techniques, while at the same time creating a spirit of friendly competition among aggressive marketers? Enter affiliate teams.
An affiliate team is a pre-defined group of affiliates who come together to mutually promote one or more products at a specific date or time. Unlike two-tier commission structures, team commissions are more lucrative in the shorter term and can be based on more than just who makes a sale. Teams can be rewarded on criteria ranging from the team leader who recruits the most active affiliates for a campaign to the team who makes the most diversified sales. Of course, the top sales performer is rewarded as well, but rewarding "team" sales performance allows smaller teams to reap bigger rewards.
Usually anyone can create a team in a matter of minutes. The team creator determines the bonuses and rewards he offers to members of his own team based on their sales. To attract affiliates to join your team, consider some creative rewards. Also, team members can recruit new members to join and be rewarded for their efforts.
Affiliate teams can work over the long haul to develop group-specific promotional bonuses for customers. For example, an affiliate team can create a series of videos only available if the client purchases through their affiliate link. This helps differentiate a team from the competition.
Additionally, tracking systems are often utilized that allow for team tracking based on the total number of sales in a given promotional period. The tracking for products driven through ClickBank.com is much easier to handle. Due to ClickBank's efficient tools and reporting system, there are no questions as to sales and payouts.
Of course, trust is a factor. The best out-of-the-box ideas involve a level of personal trust. As a rule of thumb, choose to work with affiliates you either know personally from prior joint ventures or by their reputation. If an individual applies to be a team leader and you do not know him or her, call to make contact. The team structure offers more lucrative rewards, far better networking capabilities, and some fun competitive energy to boot, but it does demand a bit of due diligence. The results are worth the effort.
The end result successfully fuses top marketing strategies, as well as making affiliate marketing fun again. Affiliates mingle and meet. New friendships are formed. Sales are rewarded, and top affiliates are given a nice cut of the net.
That's the best part about affiliate teams--everybody wins. That's what I call leveraging what truly works.
Jon Benson, www.jvprofitcenter.com., is the author of four e-books on fitness and nutrition, a year-long digital audio series on total mind/body transformation, and a digital video series on overcoming any challenge.