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Checklist: Selecting an Affiliate Program

Posted on 8.06.2006

When searching for a good affiliate program there are a few simple questions you should ask yourself.

1. Does this product really sell? Is it a pie in the sky idea (such as combination hair dryer and waffle maker), or is it practical and marketable?

2. Is the market flooded already with this product, or is it in demand? Is the product something like a DVD player that you can buy anywhere or something unique to your business?

3. Are the products priced competitively? Are your competitors selling it for less? Can you just walk in to a Wal-Mart and find it for less?

4. How much is the shipping? People abandon many checkouts on website shopping carts when they find out it costs $10 to ship an $8 product.

5. How long is the tracking cookie good for on your transaction? If they come back to make the purchase in a few days after thinking about it, do you still get paid? Many times a least 30 days should be a reasonable amount of time.

6. Is the website easy to use, navigate and checkout? Try using the sites checkout process for yourself. If you are confused, then most likely your referrals will be confused as well.

7. Does the commission plan seem too good to be true? Why are they paying that much? It may be a hard product to sell.

8. Is this site flooded with affiliates already? Do some searches and see if they have a lot of affiliates filling up the paid and the natural search results. If so, it could be hard for you to get your fair share of the traffic.

9. Do they offer deep links to the products of choice or do all the affiliate links take you to the home page? Taking your visitors directly to the correct product is much more likely to turn them into buyers.

10. Do the products match your site’s theme and audience? Matching the correct products to your visitors should be the number one consideration. If your website’s main visitor demographic is 18 to 25 year olds, you are most likely not going to do well selling life insurance, and could possibly do better with auto insurance.

Bret Fencl, Fencl Web Design.Com, LLC

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