Seven Steps to Evaluating Affiliate Programs

It’s interesting isn’t it? Through all the changes that have taken place in internet marketing, some things seem as rock solid as ever.

One of these is affiliate marketing.

I think that this will always be so. As long as there are people who need products and services to be sold, and as long as there are people who want to sell, but don’t want to create, you’ve got the ingredients of a good relationship.

Yet not all affiliate programs are created equally.

Some give their sales people much better results than others. Obviously, you want to hook up with the ones that do.

But how?

Here’s my short list of what I look at before I sign up with an affiliate program.

#1 - Fit with my website’s business.

If I have more than one website business, and I do, I make sure that the affiliate program is for something that fits with *that* website’s business. Example: If my site is about caring for hamsters, I’m not going to any affiliate marketing on this site about how to buy Porches cheap.

#2 - Popularity.

There’s a balance here. I generally don’t want to be some company’s lab rat, but I don’t want to get involved in a program that’s so saturated that my great-grandma (may she rest in peace) has heard about it.

#3 - The business’ professionalism.

When you visit their home website, do you cringe? Not a good sign. Do all the links work? Does the site navigation make sense? How well do they respond to your emails. I don’t mean just how fast are they, though that’s important. But do they actually read and answer your questions?

#4 - The products.

This is one of the most important things I look for in any affiliate program. Are the products things that people are really interested in? Do people in online forums ask about products like the ones being offered?

#5 - The price.

If it’s too cheap, I’m not going to make much money. But if it’s over-priced, I’m not going to be able to sell any, and so that’s not worthwhile either. The price must make sense.

#5 - The sales page.

This is also incredibly important. While I *can* create my own sales pages, and while I might do so for the right product (but see #6), it does take time that I could be using for other things. I’d much rather that the company has a dynamite sales page already. If they have that, I’m much more likely to sign on.

#6 - The freedom of the affiliate.

If the sales page is poorly done, am I allowed to make one of my own that’s better? If the answer no, odds are that I’m going to pass.

#7 - Finally, do I know anyone else who’s making real money from this affiliate program. Remember - I’m no one’s lab rat, so if I actually know someone who’s doing well with the program, I may very well sign up under him or her. Especially if the person I sign up under will be their to support my efforts.

So there you have it - seven rock-solid criteria that you can use to evaluate affiliate programs before you spend any time on them.

About The Author

To help internet marketers manage their time and resources “smartly”, Deepak Walia has created Your Marketing Buddy. This is a collection of seventeen online databases which let you store your business intelligence information in a safe, secure, and convenient way and you can access and use it when you need it. Available @