Here's a commission-increasing tip that Willie Crawford picked up from the Super Affiliate Handbook and then wrote about in his blog. (I'd point you to the entry, but Willie isn't moderating comments on his personal blog and some of that stuff is just nasty!)
Rosalind Gardner has put the most direct dollars in my pockets. When I read her Super Affiliate Handbook it was a real eye opener. Here was a woman earning nearly half a million dollars a year selling affiliate products and she's telling me exactly how she does it.
OK… one of the biggest tips I picked up and ACTED UPON in her book was that even though affiliate programs have stated commissions, you CAN negotiate that. So I now get a higher than advertised commission for many of the affiliate products that I sell.
Yup, it's that simple. Just ASK for a better deal.
Want to increase your own commissions? Here are 4 questions that you should consider asking your merchants…
1) What can I do to receive a commission rate increase?
Chances are that your merchant will base their response on the number of sales you've already sent to their program, so BEFORE you ask that question, do whatever you can to drive traffic and sales to that program.
Write an article about the problem the product solves. Send the article out along with a promotion to your newsletter subscribers. Then tweak your PPC campaign and add new keywords to your list.
Now, watch your results improve and your earnings increase. Not only will you make more money in sales from that product, but you will stand a better chance of getting that raise.
2) I'd like to improve my sales for “XYZ Company”. Is there any information in addition to EPC that you can share regarding XYZ's performance metrics?
Because most merchants want to help you improve your sales, they should be willing to share information such as clickthrough and conversion rate stats, and which promotional methods work best for their program (email, search, content site, etc.). Ask also for information about the size of their average order, return and exchange rates and whether you will be compensated for gift certificate sales. Answers to those questions may help you determine whether or not you really want to promote the product.
3) Is additional content or creative available beyond that available through the affiliate interface (eg. CJ).
Many Super Affiliates are provided with creative that is specially designed or written especially for them by the merchant. Once again, you will need to PROVE to the merchant that you can sell their product before they put that task in front of their designers, but if you've done that, it certainly doesn't hurt to ask.
Furthermore, if you are participating in their program through CJ, they may have additional creative available through their in-house program from which they will let you choose.
Is there an article on their site that you think would work particularly well with your audience? Ask whether you may have permission to use it on your site. Also inquire about dynamic links, branded tools, datafeeds and banners in specific sizes..
4) Can you provide me with a list of suggested keywords?
Many of the merchants with whom I work closely will tell me which keywords convert best to sales. Better yet, they'll also supply me with a list of keywords to stay away from.
Keyword information can be used to improve your pay-per-click marketing campaigns or better otimize your site's pages for both your visitors and the search engines.
Just like you, merchants want to earn more from their programs and by helping you, they help themselves.
So don't be afraid to phone or send an email to your merchant or affiliate manager. If you don't already know them personally, introduce yourself and provide him with information about your site and/or promotional methods and your success. You may be surprised by what they are willing to share with you!
Do it — and then you too can write a blog post about how I put MORE affiliate dollars in your pocket. 🙂
Rosalind Gardner is author of the best selling “Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made 436,797 in One Year Selling Other People’s Stuff Online“.