The dictionary defines SPAMming as the sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail – that is, email that was not asked for (unsolicited) and received by multiple recipients (bulk). A further common definition of SPAM restricts it to unsolicited commercial e-mail, a definition that does not consider non-commercial solicitations such as political or religious pitches, even if unsolicited, as SPAM.
SPAMmers have developed a variety of SPAMming techniques, which vary by media: e-mail SPAM, instant messaging SPAM, Usenet newsgroup SPAM, Web search engine SPAM, SPAM in blogs, and mobile phone messaging SPAM. The CAN-SPAM Act (enacted in 2003) applies to essentially all businesses in the US that use e-mail. It defines a “commercial electronic mail message” — which is regulated by this law — as any e-mail message “the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose)” The penalties for blatant SPAMming can be severe. To comply with the anti-SPAMming law make sure your unsubscribe system works.
Better yet, allow people to select what kinds of messages they wish to receive from you. That way you may keep some people that would opt-out entirely if they didn’t have a choice. Use a confirmed or double opt-in system. It is the only way you’ll be able to prove that people gave express consent to receive your e-mail. Yes, you may lose 30% of your new subscribers who never confirm. But they weren’t likely to be good customers anyway. Bite the bullet and institute a confirmed opt-in system so you’ll be ahead of the curve. Be honest in they way you obtain e-mail addresses and in your e-mail promotions.
Honesty is just good business, of course, since it shows respect for the customer. Business is all about meeting customer needs — not tricking them!
Telling Good Traffic from Bad
Everyday that goes by you can bet that any serious website owner is wondering how to get more traffic to their site. This intense desire to generate more clicks makes virtually any online entrepreneur easy prey to many of the traffic schemes and scams that pervade the Internet.
Wild promises of high volume traffic and big bucks often separate even the most savvy businessperson from their money because they want to believe the promises made by these traffic hucksters. The problem is that high volume doesn’t necessarily translate into a high sales rate.
The visitors who come to your website as a result of a desire to find out more on a specific, niche topic, not as a result of exit traffic or membership in a safe list where members simply pitch each other. Good traffic comes from people clicking links on topics targeted to their interests and getting directed to a website containing information they want and expect as a result of clicking the link.
The bottom line is that when you get right down to it the best and most dependable sources of targeted traffic come from links that people click. Being able to determine which clicks actually result in sales is vital. To track conversions from click to sales, depending on the type of shopping cart software you are using, you can then create a custom order confirmation page – i.e. the page that is displayed once the transaction is complete. This is very easy to do if you’re using a payment processing service such as PayPal.
It’s well known that each search engine and each web site has a particular type of user (age, interests etc.), and they’ll all have different triggers leading them to purchase. All of these things are important for you to know so that your advertising dollars will be spent in the most advantageous places.
Choosing the Wrong Products
Choosing what you think is a hot item instead of choosing what interests you is, in effect, choosing the wrong product for affiliate marketing. Take a look at any super affiliate and I guarantee you will see one common thread. They are actually interested in what they are selling. Pick products and services that appeal to you. Then, do some research and find out if they are in demand. If they are, find a suitable affiliate program and join it.
Affiliate marketing is all about trust. You need to really believe in the product or service that you are selling and you, also, need to check it out before you market it. I you are going to put your recommendation on something it better be worth every single penny the owner of the product/service is asking. If not, then you have let down the people you have referred to the site.
Buy the product or service before you sign up as an affiliate and see if in fact it delivers what is promised. Investigate the owner of the site, ask questions, and be nosy. After all you are going to be bringing them business. They should be able to answer all your questions.
Don’t choose products that pay ridiculously low commissions. Many affiliate programs offer peanuts when it comes to commissions. 1-2% is nothing more than an insult. You will work the same amount of time and put in the same amount of effort to sell 100 products at 2% commission as you would to sell 100 products at 30% commission. Why short change yourself? Without a doubt affiliate marketing is becoming one of the most powerful and affordable ways to earn a very healthy living online but you won’t earn that good living unless you have a product that you believe in, one that you know a lot about and one that pays a decent commission on sales.
Unable to Identify a Demand
There is always a demand for goods and services of every kind. You may not be able to identify how large or small the demand is but there is always SOME demand.
Demand is the quantity demanded of a good or service that consumers plan to buy in a given period of time. Demands are different from wants. Wants are the unlimited desires or wishes that people have from goods or services. How many times have you thought that you would like something if only you could afford it or if it weren’t so expensive?
Scarcity guarantees that many – perhaps most – of our wants will never be satisfied. Demand reflects a decision about which wants to satisfy. If you demand something, then you’ve made a plan to buy it. The quantity demanded is measured as an amount per unit of time. For example, suppose a person consumes one cup of coffee a day. The quantity of coffee demanded by that person can be expressed as one cup per day or seven cups per week or 365 cups per year. Without a time dimension we cannot tell whether a particular quantity demanded is large or small. A smaller but prolonged demand for a good or service may be preferable to a large and immediate demand because it will be sustained rather than here today and gone tomorrow.
When you are searching for goods and services for your affiliate marketing business, it is better to look for prolonged demand rather that immediate demand. Looking at raw demand numbers can be deceiving. Profit is based on more than just demand. Profit is determined by how much commission you are making on each sale. A $50 commission on 100 items is as much as a $1 commission on 5000 items. So, you see, demand isn’t everything.
Other Notable Common Affiliate Marketing Mistakes
It isn’t hard to set up a good website and start and affiliate marketing career. It isn’t hard at all to find affiliate marketing opportunities on the internet. However, it is a very simple thing to make deadly mistakes that will insure your failure to thrive at affiliate marketing. One of the most notable affiliate marketing mistakes is to think that all you have to do is find the ones that pay the most, sign up, drive traffic to that site through your affiliate link and you’re all set right? Not exactly. It’s great to choose an affiliate program that pays a high percentage, but that’s not most important thing to consider.
It’s much more important to find a quality affiliate program that meets certain criteria. Here are three mistakes you don’t have to make:
- You want to make sure the product is a proven seller. You don’t want to waste your time and money driving traffic to a site that doesn’t convert. Find one with a good conversion rate.
- Make sure the site you become an affiliate for protects its affiliates, and has your best interest at heart. Look for one that provides banners, e-mails, and other tools you can use to promote the site. Also, make sure that there is only one payment option. As an affiliate marketer, you need to be sure that you will get credit for your referral. If there is more than one payment method, you can get shortchanged.
- Do not choose an affiliate program that promotes an e-mail course. Nothing is worse than becoming an affiliate to a site that’s first goal is to capture e-mail addresses, and then tries to make the sale second. As an affiliate marketer, you need to capture e-mail addresses, then to convert that prospect into a sale. Stick with affiliate programs that aren’t focused on capturing leads because it’s simply not in your best interest. Build your own list, not someone else’s.