Deciding Between CPS and CPA
Affiliate marketing is divided into two main models: CPS and CPA.
CPS stands for cost-per-sale, and under this model you’ll earn a commission whenever a visitor you refer to the merchant’s website makes a purchase. CPS commissions range from $10 up to $100 or more.
CPA stands for cost-per-action, and under this model you’ll earn a commission whenever a visitor you refer to the merchant’s website perform a required action, such as completing a survey or submitting his email address. CPA commissions range from $0.50 up to $2.
Which model should you choose? It depends on your skills. If you are good at generating traffic, then the CPA model might work better for you, because conversion rates are naturally high with those offers, since the visitor will not need to spend any money.
If you are good with copywriting, on the other hand, the CPS model might work better. As long as you can convince people to buy, you won’t need as much traffic to make a decent amount of money.
Finding An Offer
If you opted for the CPA model, you’ll now need to create an account with a CPA network. Max Bounty is one of the best around, with a wide range of campaigns and good payouts. Once your account is active, just browse through their market place and look for offers you could promote. Remember that offers in a niche you are familiar with should get your preference, since you’ll be able to promote them more easily (either by leveraging your existing website/contacts, or by writing new content related to the offer).
If you opted for a CPS model, you’ll need to make a further choice. That is, you need to decide whether you want to promote information products (e.g., eBooks and training programs) or physical goods and services. For the former, join ClickBank and browser their marketplace to find a suitable offer. If you want to promote physical goods instead, you can join LinkShare, Commission Junction or Share A Sale.
Designing Your Pre-Sell Page
Having a landing page to pre-sell your offer is very important, because visitors will see your information as an unbiased review of the product they are considering to buy (at least this is the goal). Secondly, the pre-sell page allows you to complement the sales pitch of the merchant, making sure the visitor will be ready to buy once he clicks through your affiliate link.
The same principles we listed for the eBook sales page apply here, with some minor modifications:
- Use a catchy headline to hook the attention of your visitors.
- Tell a story explaining where you are coming from, what problems you had, and how the product you are promoting solved them.
- Focus on the benefits the prospect will get from the product, and not on its features.
- Review important aspects of the product and add screenshots if suitable.
- Don’t be afraid to point out some negative aspects, too, as this will make your review look more balanced.
- Explain who would benefit from the product, and who would not.
- Highlight how much it costs, and explain why you think it is worth the money.
- Link to the merchant’s website using your affiliate link.
- Consider using affiliate banners in different positions of your landing page, too, as this will increase the chances of the visitor clicking through.
Keep in mind that the pre-sell page is not that important for CPA offers, because it is much easier to convince visitors to perform a task that won’t cost them money. You could test with it anyway and compare the results.
Driving Traffic to Your Offers
Whether you want to drive traffic to your pre-sell page or to your CPA offers directly, you can use the same methods we mentioned in the previous method. They include blog comments, posts in online forums, guest blogging and social networks.
Another traffic generation technique that works pretty well with affiliate offers is article marketing. That is, you’ll write articles on topics related to the offers you are promoting, and then you’ll submit them to article directories. Most article directories allow you to include a link in the author byline, and you can use that to send traffic either to your pre-sell page or directly to your CPA offers.
If you know a bit about SEO and link building, you could also try to get your articles ranked high for relevant keywords, which would bring you additional traffic from search engines.