Geno Prussakov

5 Types of Affiliates or How to Get Into Affiliate Marketing

Shimon has asked me if I could talk about the different types of affiliates, and I have shot a video for you to view. In it I discuss the five types of affiliates that I have found to be especially successful. They are:

1) Coupon Affiliates
2) Paid Search Affiliates
3) Content Affiliates
4) Data Feed Affiliates
5) Video Affiliates

I am also providing brief guidelines as to how one may get started in any of the above directions.

There is a lot of room for synergy between all of the above-mentioned types of affiliates, and I encourage you to compliment data feeds with coupons, content with video, and so on.

The things that predetermine affiliate success are uniqueness, helpfulness, and ability to engage the user. Look at things through that end user’s eyes. Think of what would engage you, and make it click in your mind and heart. Additionally, always be testing and improving. Testing and optimization should be a never-ending cycle for every affiliate.

Success itself is measured by sales/leads, or conversions. And do not narrow your marketing down to one merchant (or product) only. Diversify between products, merchants, and types of marketing. It is not unusual for a successful affiliate to have coupons, content and Google AdSense units on the same website, and promote several merchants (or an array of complimentary products) on it.

I wish you the best of luck, and should have any questions, please post them below, and I will happily entertain every one of them.

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Follow Geno on Twitter: @eprussakov

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the great video. I’m somewhat new to affiliate marketing but learning fast. However, I was wondering if you can provide a bit more information about how data feed affiliate sites work. Seems interesting but technologically intimidating.

  2. Affiliate Rookie,

    Thank you for your question. Marketing merchants with the use of their product data feeds can be as intimidating as you allow it to be. If you’ve a novice, such tools as PopShops.com and GoldenCAN.com (mentioned in the video’s annotations) will make the project of data feed import not harder than a cut-n-paste job. Both will help you build search engine-friendly product pages quickly and easily.

    As you progress in your growth as an affiliate, and become more comfortable with data feeds, play with WebMerge. It’s a great tool for working with product feeds.

    Finally, when you have the time for it, I strongly recommend you to take some basic programming courses (or read a book or two) to be able to customize existing scripts, and build your own (to pull merchant product feeds provided through affiliate networks, and plug them into your website(s)). Of course, you can always outsource such tasks to people that are professional at it, but basic knowledge can do wonders.

  3. Great discussion, Geno. Your breakdown of the five types is helpful, and leaves me with a question about price comparison sites:

    For a price comparison to be useful it has to draw from as many different vendors as possible; the more you draw from, the more it may actually reflect what is truly a “best price available”.

    But of course it’s only worthwhile for an affiliate to provide this if they limit the compared offerings to those from merchants with which they have an affiliate account.

    This implies an unusual commitment to signing up for as many affiliate programs as possible, and even then may not yield a true “best price available” but merely the best price among the merchants the affiliate is signed up for.

    So my question is: How well do such comparison sites actually meet visitor expectations?

    I suppose some may find any comparison helpful, but the well-traveled visitor may know of a lower price and feel disappointed that it wasn’t included in the comparison, potentially eroding the essential trust that leads to conversion.

    Do you know of any research studies about the sales effectiveness of affiliate comparison sites?

    I’ve been looking into adding price comparison layout tools to WebMerge but it seems a tricky proposition, attempting to balance the usefulness of such a feature for site visitors with the need to make it worthwhile for affiliates to provide it. Any insight you can share would be valuable and much appreciated.

  4. No matter what route you take, you have to engage the user. Even if you are a master at driving traffic, and SEO, if your landing page doesn’t have the right content to trigger buying behaviors given your demographic, your conversions will not be what they could be. I’ve seen companies literally increase by a third just by behavioral targeting. I’m a young doc in psychology who does my own affiliate marketing, and consults for others – it’s way more money than anything else I can think of.

    Good luck out there. Just remember, catalogs hire psychologists to get people to buy…but rarely do online marketers do this…unless they want to see their profits go up. It’s catching on.

  5. Apologies for not replying to the last two comments earlier.

    Richard, I appreciate you posting your thoughts. Your point about price comparison affiliates being limited to comparing prices only of merchants that have affiliate programs is a valid one. Do they meet visitor expectations? It would be a question to the end users, but the ones I’ve seen (based on feeds of such large merchants as Amazon, Overstock, etc) appeared to be quite efficient to me. Polling *consumers* on this question would be really interesting to do. And no, I personally do not know of any “studies about the sales effectiveness of affiliate comparison sites”. If anyone does know of such, I would certainly love to see them too.

    Dr. Jag, I agree with your statement. It *is* all about the end user engagement. The big question, however, is: how exactly do you define “user engagement” and what is that ultimate recipe for a fully satisfying one?

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