As someone who not only runs affiliate launches but also is an affiliate, I am constantly on the lookout for new tools. I’m always looking for faster, cheaper, and better ways to do things. Today, I’ll share my top five favorite tools right now.
In the past year, I made $124,813 in affiliate commissions from nine launches and two evergreen promotions.
That represents a good-sized chunk of our business. In other words, affiliate marketing is not an afterthought for us. It’s something we are always looking to get better at.
In order for me to even consider trying a new tool, it needs to promise one or more of the following:
- Ease of use. I’m at the point in my business where I am not interested in complicated things. I want easy and fast.
- Saves money or makes money. If I am going to try something new, it needs to be clear how it is going to either save me enough money or make me enough money that it’s worth the hassle.
- Better user experience. As much as I like making things easier and more profitable for me, my number one interest is always my audience. So I want things that make the user experience better.
Over the past year, I’ve started using five new tools with regularity that I absolutely love. Here they are.
1. Advanced Ads
Advanced Ads is a super easy to use WordPress plugin that allows you to select your display ads for specific pages, categories, or whatever other criteria you choose. It also allows you to select whether you want to display a certain ad on mobile-only, desktop-only, or both.
This means that the ads (and ads can be anything from a banner in the sidebar to an in-post graphic) your readers see are relevant to the content. This means more clicks, which means…more conversions…and more money.
To see it in action, here’s an example.
Let’s say you have three topics you typically write about:
- Investing for retirement
- Debt reduction
- Real estate
All of those could be summed up as “personal finance,” but they will tend to attract different audiences.
Below are three different posts, each of which should have a different ad:
As you can, each post gets it’s own ad. This can be determined on an individual post level or at a category level (or whatever other level you choose).
This is great for promoting optins, products, and affiliate offers.
I wrote an entire review about SmartBribe before, so I won’t go into too much detail here.
Read the review and check out the 3rd way I suggest using as an affiliate, “Ask Product Owners to Use It.”
Here’s what I wrote about how that could work:
Step One: Product Owner (or her Affiliate Manager) sets up a special page for you. This could be a cloned page but with a special link.
Step Two: Product Owner uses SmartBribe to offer an upgrade.
Step Three: They insert YOUR affiliate link into all the social media posts and emails.
You get credit every time someone shares. Imagine the extra commissions (and how much more you’d be willing to share in the first place). I call that a win-win!
Well, this actually works incredibly well. I’m definitely seeing commissions coming from this use of SmartBribe.
Here’s a key takeaway that most people miss out on:
It never hurts to share your crazy ideas with affiliate managers. Be bold and speak up!
This one crazy idea could be worth thousands of dollars to me this year. It’s definitely worth asking about.
Since I promote so many different products in addition to my own, LinkTrackr is a great tool to keep them all in one place. It allows me to track different ads, different email copy, different graphics or placements. Basically I test anything I can think of.
The thing I like most about it is it not only gives me specific information about a single campaign or promotion but allows me to see the bigger picture. For instance, I discovered that my emails about webinars aren’t converting very well. If that continues, my strategy needs to change.
There are tons of great products out there for tracking ad performance and the like, but this one works for me.
Get all of my recommended tools for increasing affiliate commissions, recruiting affiliates, running your affiliate program, and building your brand. Click here to view my entire toolbox.
4. Live Chat
This is another one I’ve written about before in-depth. I made $2,269.85 in affiliate commissions in just 90 minutes using live chat.
Since writing that post, I’ve expanded my use of live chat. It is by far one of the easiest ways to drastically increase your affiliate sales. When you are available to answer potential buyers’ biggest questions, it crushes their objections.
If you haven’t read the full post I originally did, do so here. I show you exactly how to install live chat and make it work best for you.
My biggest challenge is that I haven’t figured out the best way…YET…to train my team to handle some of the harder questions. Once I can do that, I believe live chat alone will be worth close to six-figures a year for our business.
I recommend Live Chat, Inc. which you can get here.
5. LeadBoxes by LeadPages
LeadBoxes (and LeadPages in general) is a great tool to grow your email list. But, most people don’t use it when promoting affiliate offers.
Here is a cool way I’ve been experimenting with more and more that you can use to increase affiliate sales and grow your list (at the same time).
Instead of linking directly to an affiliate offer, you have a form (LeadBox) popup that has them enter their name and email. Then you direct them to the offer.
This is a great way to collect early bird interest contacts as well. For instance, if I were to write about someone who is doing a launch in three months, I could have a LeadBox to collect emails of people interested in learning more about the upcoming launch.
There are a ton of great ways to use LeadBoxes to not only increase sales but grow your own list at the same time. Get creative and be willing to try new things.
Adding any of these five tools to your toolbox would make great a great addition to your toolbox, but all five of them make for a killer combination.
What is your favorite affiliate marketing tool right now?