You’ve probably seen affiliate programs before, but have you ever thought about creating your very own affiliate program for your digital product or online shop? When you have other people pushing traffic to your product, this increases your reach and your sales. Plus, when other people are talking about your business or products, you instantly boost your Know, Like, and Trust factor.
If this doesn’t make you want to create an affiliate program for your digital product, let’s take a look at even MORE reasons you should start one.
The concept behind affiliate marketing is fairly simple. First, you reach out to other people in your industry or who have complementary audiences. For example, let’s say you sell ice cream. Wouldn’t it be perfect to partner with an ice cream photographer or a brand that creates custom sprinkles?
These individuals or brands share your product with their own audiences, usually with a promo, discount code, or other incentives to buy. When the sales roll in, you share a percentage of the sale with that individual or brand. Most affiliate commissions range from 10% to 50%, depending on the value of the product or offer and the size of the affiliate’s audience and conversions.
When you think of an affiliate program, you may think of larger influencers like Jenna Kutcher (who’s actually an affiliate of my shop, The Contract Shop®!) But actually, affiliate marketing is a fantastic resource for small businesses and even solopreneurs, too! Even when you have limited resources and budgets, affiliate marketing is a cost-effective way to promote your product.
Here are just 5 ways that affiliate marketing can help your digital product shop, no matter what size it is:
This is one of the more obvious benefits of affiliate marketing; it’s practically the point of it. Your affiliates are influencers in their own right, and as such, they have an audience who trusts and looks up to them. When these affiliates share your product, their audiences trust their judgment, and therefore will automatically assume your product is worth their time.
Obviously, that was already true, but by partnering with affiliates, you don’t have to go through as much effort to convince them of it. Affiliate programs help boost the authority and credibility of your business. Even if you are a new product creator, affiliates are a great way to set yourself apart as a leader in your field.
While your affiliates will likely be in the same industry as you, they may not have the exact same audience as you — and that’s okay! In fact, that is what you are aiming for. Your affiliates may have a certain niche, different skills, or just different communities they are plugged into. Since they’re not constrained by the same things you are, your product can reach audiences that it would have never contacted before!
Note: Just make sure their audience is complementary to yours. You don’t want to be an ice cream seller and then go to a car manufacturing company for affiliations. (Yes, this is a very dramatic example, but it works.)
This one is sometimes overlooked, but it’s actually a huge benefit of affiliate programs. We’ve seen conversion rates skyrocket when we employed our affiliate program versus advertising products on our own.
Why? Basically, it’s the trust factor. The affiliate’s audience already trusts them and those people are therefore more likely to listen to what they have to say. The audience is more likely to try a product that the affiliate recommends. It’s the Holy Grail for digital product sellers (or any sellers, really): you get your product in front of more people, those people are more likely to try it out, and you don’t have to go through all the work of convincing them that you’re a trustworthy source.
Affiliates don’t have to just be business partners; a lot of times, you’ll create genuine connections with these other awesome people in your industry. I’ve gone to the Grand Canyon with my affiliate partners before, and we often get to voice texting to vent together. It’s a great way to cultivate personal connections! I may have never come to know some of these smart, incredible people otherwise, and now they’ve gone from being my IG-crushes to being my genuine friends.
This part of affiliate marketing is my favorite, and I suspect it will probably be yours too: saving money on advertising and marketing.
Advertising your product tends to be a bit challenging — especially when you’re just starting out. Facebook Ads seem to always be changing and, usually, those changes make it more and more expensive to get our products to our audience. Plus, that’s all upfront costs and you don’t always know if you’ll see any return on that investment.
Affiliates programs, on the other hand, get your products into the hands of people who will actually use them, via channels they trust. Literally, every part of the process is made easier. That takes out some of the educated guessing involved and, in the end, helps you streamline your marketing budget to make it go farther.
An affiliate program is an incredible opportunity for your digital product shop — one you don’t want to miss out on. So how do you take that to the next level?
To really take advantage of this amazing resource, check out my Simple Sustained Shop Sales course. You’ll get all my secrets for building a successful affiliate program, plus 7 other digital product sales strategies I’ve developed over the last 6+ years.
Join us in S4 if you want to learn how to expand your reach and supercharge your sales — I can’t wait to see you there!
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[…] Affiliate marketing is a great resource for small businesses and, when things are tight, you won’t have to worry about wasting your money on ad spend that might reach the right people. Plus, you only pay your affiliates a commission once a sale is made — which means you’re still making revenue (ads can’t do that!). […]