Affiliate marketing has gotten more and more competitive over the years. Today’s digital product consumers have been trained to shop around for coupon codes and BONUSES. A new affiliate marketer might ask, “Should I offer a bonus?” And the answer to that is a resounding YES, in today’s marketplace, you should absolutely offer a bonus when recommending a product.
There’s a good chance that your prospects are also on other marketer’s lists — marketers in the same niche as you. And there’s also a good chance that your customers will start to compare bonus offers to decide who’s link to use when they make their purchase. After all, the vendor’s product is the same, but the affiliates’ bonuses are on different levels of volume and value. Therefore, whatever bonus offer is the sexiest to them will “get the cookie.”
PRO-TIP: When a customer clicks your affiliate link, a “cookie” is set in the user’s browser. JVZoo reads that cookie when determining who gets credit for the sale.
Many people start out in affiliate marketing because they want to avoid creating digital products. We get it, after all – promoting someone else’s products for a commission is quicker and easier than creating your own. But the catch is that in order to be competitive, you should offer bonus products as a way of incentivizing prospects to purchase the product through YOUR link.
As an easy solution to this, you can buy Private Label Rights (PLR) products and just slap those on a quick bonus page. But some marketers avoid doing that in fear that it could give prospects the wrong vibe. Using un-modified PLR can appear rushed, slapped together or even just plain lazy. Even though you’re an affiliate, you may still need to ramp up some product creation skills to make unique bonuses.
Once you’ve committed to creating a bonus campaign, you’ll need to plan out your bonuses. There are two things that set bonus pages apart from one-another: Value and Volume. Value is the relevance and total quality of the bonus — Does the customer say “Wow” when they see it available. Volume is the number of bonus products on the page. You’ll want to ensure that you have a full page of bonuses that offer value even if it becomes more valuable than the product itself. Actually… it becomes ESPECIALLY appealing to the prospect when the bonus products appear even more valuable than what they were already thinking of purchasing!
Being an affiliate won’t completely get you out of the process of creating products. But the good news is that you don’t have to go through a ton of complicated processes to create compelling bonuses. You just need the right plan and the knowledge of what makes a bonus page sexy. All the other pieces will fall into place.
THE HUNGRIEST AFFILIATES MAKE THE BEST BONUS SANDWICHES
When you’re ready to plan your bonus campaign, you might want to think about creating a “Bonus Sandwich”. The Bonus Sandwich is a methodology for deciding what bonuses to give with each product. On your bonus page, you’ll place a series of products that complement the vendor’s product in a particular way. Each bonus fills a role either before, during, or after the main product is used. Using the Bonus Sandwich method, you’ll be able to determine what bonuses you should offer.
When you want to make a sandwich, you first put a slice of bread on your plate. The same is true with the Bonus Sandwich. The bonuses you’ll offer as the first slice are the things the customer will want to use prior to the main product. These could be simple PDF guides, business blueprints, and mind maps to name a few examples. If the main product teaches how to make affiliate commissions, then you might want to make a mind map showing the traffic arrives on the bonus page.
With your first slice of bread down, you can add your meat and cheese. The meat is the main product and the cheese is bonus products the customer can use with the main product. This area is the easiest to make a lot of high-quality bonuses. For example, if the product is a video creation tool like VideoBuilder, you can offer templates, graphics packs, audio packs, stock footage, etc. This section of the sandwich can be the easiest area to add value.
The top slice of bread is the final part of your sandwich. It’s the products they will want to use after the main product. Using a video creator tool for example again, once they’ve created their videos, they’re going to want to deploy them to websites. Maybe you offer different video-centric web page templates they could use. Maybe you have a video hosting service they can use.
In order to use the Bonus Sandwich method, you’ll need to figure out where the product fits in a series of products. Then offer products that are needed just prior to using the main product, with the product, and afterward. The Bonus Sandwich is an easy way to start building the value and volume you need for a high converting bonus page.
ATTRACTIVE BONUS OFFERS CAN BE SUPER DUPER EASY TO CREATE
Creating bonuses doesn’t have to be hard. Nowadays, there are so many different places for you to find materials to use for bonuses. One of the most common sources of bonus material is Private Label Rights materials (PLR). There are hundreds of sites dedicated to PLR materials. They offer all types of stuff that you can modify and use as your own, from eBooks to video courses and even software plugins. Used wisely, you can find everything you need for your campaign in just a couple hours.
When you have Private Label Rights, you typically have the right to redesign the materials to claim it as your own. PLR materials allow you claim authorship of the product, change or modify the product’s content, its graphics, and other details about the materials depending on the license. The main goal when using PLR is to have a basic product you can modify into a completely new, unique product with only a little effort and cost.
PRO-TIP: You must read and abide the terms of the license for each Private Label Rights product you purchase. PLR licenses differ depending on the intent of the seller. DO NOT ASSUME you can use the product as you intend without checking the license first. Contact the seller if you have any questions.
You can find lots of quality PLR to use for your bonus offers right inside of the JVZoo marketplace. Go to “Product Library” from the main navigation menu and then do a search for PLR. You’ll find hundreds and hundreds of products to select from. You can even narrow your search down by niche and category!
You can also create your own products from scratch. Mind maps showing how an affiliate commission method works could easily be created in an afternoon using simple software like Bubbl.us. You can download the PDF and or PNG versions and combined with an attractive box cover, you’ve got yourself a bonus product.
Some affiliates may offer Done-For-You services like One-on-One consultations and video critiques of a product or website. These bonuses are easy to give since you only need the graphics for your bonus page prior to the sale. Only after the customer has bought through your link and requested the critique or consultation is it necessary to fulfill that bonus claim.
PRO-TIP: Know your numbers when it comes to fulfilling Done-For-You services! You may find that many of your bonus claimers will not request the service even if they’re entitled to it. Some experienced affiliates have reported less than 10% of claimants request the services. Your experience may differ, but understand you may not have a lot of work to do when fulfilling service offers.
There are many options for bonus products. You’ll just want to make sure the products complement the main product and have a unique appearance. Specially created graphics, especially box covers and eBook covers, will help your bonus products stand out. You’ll also build brand loyalty in the process!
16 BONUSES YOU CAN OFFER
3. Quick Start Guides
4. Audio Courses
5. Video Courses
6. Ideas Lists (eg 100 Email Subject Headlines)
7. WordPress Plugins
8. Exclusive Interviews
9. Case Studies
10. Exclusive Webinars
11. One-on-One Consultations
12. Video Critiques of Website or Product
13. Templates (Web Design, video scripts, swipes, etc,.)
14. Graphics Packs and Audio Packs
15. Stock Footage
16. Done-For-You Services
YOUR BONUS PAGE IS THE BATTER’S BOX FOR THE SALES PAGE
Your bonus page needs to look good. Your bonus page prefaces the vendor’s sales page. It warms up the traffic so they’re at the highest likelihood of buying the product. And don’t forget that, just like the sales page, your bonus page has a conversion rate — not everyone will click the button to the sales page. Therefore, you have a lot of factors to consider when designing the bonus page.
When designing the bonus page, many affiliates start with the colors of the target product sales page. You’ll can ask the seller for a bonus page template. This will make it a lot easier to match the specific colors of the sales page. The rest of the page will start with a layout similar to the sales page. The headline, subheadline, video and CTA button. As you scroll down the page, you get to the list of bonuses; each in its own row.
Each bonus will need a few parts. We generally recommend a title graphic at the top of the row; for example, “Rapid Profit System Bonus #1.” Each bonus should have its own box cover, title, and description. You’ll want to dedicate a paragraph or two to each product. You should show the customer why they need or want each bonus. You’ll also want to add an estimated value or MSRP for each product and state it in the headline and/or in the bonus video.
The CTA button is similar to the Buy button on a sales page but merely guides them to the sales page via YOUR affiliate link. The button typically says something like: “Yes! I want this Awesome Bonus!” Only when the customer clicks your link does their browser get “cookied”. SUPER IMPORTANT: You want to be the last person who “cookied” the customer because you will get the credit for the sale.
PRO-TIP: To ensure you get the sale, you’ll want to instruct your customers to look for your Affiliate ID on the checkout page. You may even want to tell them to clear their cookies, return to your bonus page, and then click the link.
You need to take care when setting up your bonus page. As an affiliate, the bonus page is your last point of contact with the customer before they see the sales page. They need to be warmed up and excited to see the sales page. You also need to show why they should buy from you versus the other marketers in their inbox. A killer bonus page will close the deal for you!
THE BIGGER THE BONUSES THE BIGGER THE LEVERAGE
Many newbie affiliates may have small lists, but if they have an awesome bonus, they can still make big bucks and compete with the big dawgs. If you have a big list that’s segmented by interests, you can consistently make money. But even if you have a small list, you can still compete with established affiliates. It’s still a numbers game, and you can decide what factors count.
A great way to make money as a smaller affiliate is making your bonus go viral. If you can get the people on your list to share it with their friends – who are not on your list – then you have a chance to pick up additional sales even from people who don’t know you. Your customers’ friends will hear about your bonus because you’ve used a viral bonus strategy that incentivizes sharing your bonus page.
We’ve seen this done very effectively by marketers who create a contest to start the sharing process. People love to compete, it doesn’t matter what they’re competing for or what they have to do to win. So if you’re holding a “sharing contest” you’ll be able to set up a leaderboard and give shout-outs to the people who are sharing your bonus page the most. As long as you get people excited about sharing your bonus page, you’ve got the opportunity to leverage a small amount of traffic into BIG PROFITS.
PRO-TIP: You’ll need a method for keeping track of the shares on your bonus page. There are various apps and plugins out there that you can use to do this effectively without any manual tracking.
You’ll have to ethically “bribe” your bonus page visitors with prizes in order for them to share your page repeatedly. We’ve seen many marketers do this effectively by offering digital items, and even physical goods to the visitor that accumulates the most points for sharing the bonus page. You can give out physical prizes as well. GoPros, cruises, Super Bowl tickets are just a few ideas. (Obviously, keep your budget in mind.) Ideally, you should choose a prize that you can give out instantly or very quickly. This way they’re likely to make a positive public statement on Facebook about your contest… driving more people to your bonus page.
Even if you’re not at super affiliate status yet, there are still many ways you can leverage the tools you’ve already got to make more sales. You’ll need to be strategic and MAKE A PLAN for the campaign. Many marketers chose to create a website dedicated to their contests. Remember, you don’t have to rely on just your existing customers, with a little effort and an enticing “sharing contest” you can MAKE YOUR BONUS PAGES GO VIRAL!
DELIVER YOUR BONUSES LIKE A BOSS
What if I told you that it’s possible for you to make a commission even after a customer has bought another product through your link? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Some of our brightest and most successful affiliates have built their own “store” to showcase all of their bonus offers. If you’ve built bonus page after bonus page after bonus page, why not make sure your customers have the opportunity to buy all of your bonuses?
Let’s step back for a minute. As mentioned in our previous post on Affiliate Marketing, JVZoo offers the ability to deliver ZIP files containing your bonuses to your customers automatically. This is a great feature if everything you’re offering can be included in the ZIP. Your customers won’t have to wait since it’s in their customer’s area. If you’re doing a One-on-One consultation, then that might not work as well. More importantly, it doesn’t offer you the ability to show them MORE bonus offers for other products that you’re promoting in other campaigns.
If you create a bonus delivery site, you can easily advertise your other bonus offers to your customers. Since they’ll have to log into an account you create for them on your delivery site. When they log in, they’ll see a list of bonus offers from your other campaigns. They can click to check them out, but if they don’t have access to that level, they’ll have to buy through your link!
PRO-TIP: You may want to hire an outsourcer to work your help desk and set up the accounts for the customers as they start to claim their bonuses. That way it’s a hand’s off process for you!
A delivery site also gives the customer a higher sense of quality. You can set up video players on your site so they don’t have to download huge ZIP files to watch a video course. Your bonus site can take on its own branding and theme that makes your customers want to come check out the latest promotion you’re doing.
A bonus delivery site is a fantastic way to deliver your bonuses. Your customers will love it and you’ll be able to make additional affiliate sales. Better yet, once you’ve mastered the bonus delivery site, you’ve got a business model you can sell!