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Chapter 1 Section B

PREsell to Convert

Your strategies and actions as an affiliate directly affect your Conversion Rate. This section deals with how to PREsell effectively. 

Letís look at examples of how ďlow-cr affiliatesĒ create negative mindsets by making how-you-reach, what-you-say, or how-you-refer booboos.

  1. How to Reach Your Visitor

  2. Free-For-All Sites (FFAs) are a great example of how not to to reach people. For the most part, they have become so seamy and useless, that no matter what you say, youíre doomed from the start. A recent survey made a request to affiliates for FFA success stories; not a single success story!
    Compare this with how smart and open-minded your visitor feels when he finds you via a Search Engine!
  3. What to Say to Your Visitor

  4. Don't write a site purely devoted to hard-selling your merchantsí products. Imagine a visitor who hits your site and reads an immediate sales pitch. That person will resist because he does not know you. Then, if (and itís not likely) he clicks to your merchant, he gets another sales there 
    ==> Negative x 2!

    Never devote your site to one companyís product line. No matter what you do, no matter how sincere you are, this kind of approach always ends up smelling like a sales pitch. It simply makes no difference that you honestly love the products -- your visitor will mistake your devotion for selling. Remember they donít know you!

    Itís far better to develop a concept that relates to that companyís products and to other products from other companies that are complementary. Develop related content that presells. Then get the click through in-context text links.

  5. How to Refer Your Visitor to Your Merchant

  6. Banners are the best example of how not to refer your visitor to your merchant (unless itís for products that you are not so proud to recommend -- a banner is an ad, so youíre not putting your personal endorsement upon it). In plain and simple language... people feel pitched when they click on a banner. And people who feel pitched are difficult to convert into a sale.
Now for a critical action step

Review your site or whatever other means you are using to REACH, TALK TO, and REFER visitors to your merchants. Put yourself in your customerís brain. What will he think, how will he feel, at each of the 3 major steps from above?

If youíre doing everything perfectly, congratulations! You must have a high CR. If you donít have a high CR, or if you see some big mindset mistakes

Consider how much higher your CR would be if a visitor found you in a bona fide manner (ex., as a result of doing a search on a Search Engine), then became your friend or your trusting admirer if you do a truly awesome job, because you provided excellent content, and finally was led to a context-appropriate recommendation.

The bottom line? Always consider how these actions affect your visitorís mindset

  • How you reach your visitor
  • What you say to him
  • How you refer him to your merchant
Get inside your visitorís head -- realize how he will feel each step of the way. Whatever you do, consider the impact on your visitor -- if it does not make him more open to buy, donít do it.

Preselling is really all about selling yourself to your customer, every step of the way. You reach the right folks in a proper fashion, you deliver valuable, appropriate, editorial content, and you recommend visitors to your merchant after they have come to respect and like you.

Your CR will soar.
The "Most Wanted Response" ("MWR") is probably the most important lesson in all of Make Your Site SELL! 2002 (MYSS! 2002). The MWR is what you most want your visitor to do after reviewing your content.

Make Your Site SELL! 2002 has been proclaimed by most Web marketing experts as the "single best resource" about selling on the Net. From product development, to site-selling, to traffic-building, to store-selling, MYSS! 2002 covers it all. It's a must-buy that belongs in every e-commerce library.

Why does PREselling work so well?

Because a sale via any Affiliate Program is really a two-step process -- it requires the delivery of two Most Wanted Responses, yours and your merchantís.

As an affiliate, what is your MWR? No, itís not to get the sale. Thatís the second step Ė itís your merchantís MWR. Your MWR is to get the click (the click-through to your merchant) with the visitor in an open to buy mindset.

Let your merchantís site do its job and get the sale.

If I leave it up to the merchant's site to get the sale, I still donít see how I have any influence on the conversion rate. I'd much rather sell the visitor on my own site.

First, letís make sure we have our terms straight by using Make Your Site SELL! 2002 (MYSS 2002) as an example...

Letís say that you have a large, high-traffic site that is all about Web marketing, and that has lots of high-value content about marketing and selling on the Net. If you write a terrific review about ďthe BIBLE of selling on the Net,Ē Make Your Site SELL! 2002

You are not selling, youíre PREselling. After all, your high quality, content-filled site, has already done a great deal of PREselling your visitor. And your review itself should be a fair reflection of your feelings about MYSS! 2002, written in such a way that you address the major benefits for those readers who are assessing if they need it. Do this right, and your CR will zoom. But if it reads like a hard-sell sales pitch, youíll quickly lose credibility with your audience.

On the other hand letís say that you do not have a mega-content, ultra-high traffic site and a widely read e-zine. But you do really love SiteSell products -- thatís why youíre so proud to represent them. After all, youíd never just want to push stuff on people, products that you do not believe represent true value-for-dollar.

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