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Joel Comm Talks About the Value of an Affiliate Network

Joel Comm is a brilliant marketer and is someone I have come to know and respect as a mentor and friend. He sent this email out today about attracting, recruiting, retaining, and supporting the affiliates in your affiliate program, and I thought it had some really great things to say to anyone who has affiliates.

So here's Joel Comm talking about Your Affiliate Network:

When it comes to generating sales for a commercial website, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better system than a network of affiliates. The affiliate system is just a no-brainer for anyone selling products on a website. You only pay out when a sale comes in, so there's absolutely no risk. Pay a fair cut of the sales price and choose your affiliates well, and you can have a giant team of marketing staff promoting your site and delivering customers while you sit back and watch the sales come in.

The problem is that so many online entrepreneurs stop there.

In fact, the relationship between entrepreneur and affiliate is a complex one.

While you can do nothing but sign the checks and take the sales, if you decide to do something extra, you'll make a lot more.

The first thing you can do is hand out special bonuses. Award special prizes to each month's top affiliate and you'll inspire everyone to work harder for the extra sales. An iPod Nano, for example, is always attractive. But you can find them for just $150. How much would you have to increase your sales by to make enough to cover the cost of a tempting prize like that? Just making the prize available could be enough to do the trick.

And the second thing you can do is highlight the people who win.

This is like a prize that costs you nothing but gives to everyone. Every so often, you can focus on your top earner. Talk to him about what he does to make such high commissions. Pull out all of his secrets and praise his expertise to the skies. You'll reward him with fame and give everyone else the means to fight for his position.

And finally, you should be handing out promotional tips on a regular basis. At least once a month, your affiliates should be getting a newsletter telling them about the products you're about to launch and the new banners you've just designed. You want your affiliates to feel that earning huge amounts of money is within their power. All they have to do is follow your advice and make the effort.

If you make that effort for your affiliates, they'll make it for you too.

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