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How to Use Bonuses to Increase Affiliate Sales
Are you looking for a surefire way to boost your affiliate sales for just about any product or service? This affiliate marketing strategy is a game-changer, and I can’t stress enough how effective it is.
It’s an unbelievably simple practice: give something in order to get something.
There’s a lot said about that warm feeling you get from giving, but one rarely mentioned benefit is that you do get something in return. Maybe because it makes people sound like they have an ulterior motive for giving? Well, for affiliate marketers, that’s actually a good thing, as giving often results in astounding revenue growth and an exponentially larger audience reach.
How, do you ask, does this apply to affiliate programs? How does giving bonuses result in more customers and more income?
Make Your Affiliate Offer Stand Out With Bonuses
There are a lot of affiliate offers out there, so how do you distinguish your offer from the crowd? Despite having numerous readers, a recognized brand, and established relationships, some affiliate offers don’t live up to their promise. That’s because they fail to have this competitive advantage:
Offer MORE than just the affiliate product.
When I first started in affiliate marketing, just like most newbies, it was not easy to make sales. Finding traffic is already hard, but converting traffic is even harder. Luckily I stumbled upon Russell Brunson. His DotCom Secrets book has taught me everything about sales funnel and how to convert cold traffic into active buyers. Russell literally made me feel like I learned nothing in university despite my marketing degree… Yes, I am serious.
After I watched the 90 minutes presentation he did at Grant Cardone 10X event, where he made $3 million in sales, my jaw dropped. Even though I only watched the replay, but by the end of the presentation I was ready to pull out my credit card to purchase the Funnel Builder Secrets program, despite the $2,997 price tag… If you haven’t yet seen the presentation, then you can watch it here for free. There are tons of free value you can take from it.
One thing that made his presentation a standout was the way he offered bonuses. I then started noticing that almost all successful affiliate marketers offer some sort of bonuses when people buy through their links. That’s when it clicked for me: all super affiliates gave unbelievable bonuses on top of the primary affiliate offer. That moment, I saw what separated top-shelf affiliate marketers from the newbies.
Most affiliate programs have no problem with marketers offering incentives to people using their links. In fact, they might even encourage it (Amazon affiliate program is an exception).
Reality check: you can’t just give away bonuses willy-nilly. There has to be some sort of strategy so you don’t waste your bonuses on stuff that will only net you a couple of dollars. So, how can you maximize bonuses? Ask yourself these questions:
- What is your return on investment (ROI) for an affiliate sale?
- What would the bonuses cost you?
- What is an acceptable ROI?
For premium services and high ticket products, you definitely want to include more bonuses in order to get more conversions.
What Makes Bonuses So Effective?
Your product should be good enough to stand on its own, but offering bonuses will make your conversions skyrocket because:
- They turn hesitant leads into convinced (and purchasing!) customers. If you have people unsure about making a purchase, bonuses will definitely sway them in your favor. Most affiliate programs don’t factor in these indecisive customers, but bonuses can transform them into a loyal base.
- They give people a sense of FOMO. One of the secret weapons of marketers is the fear of missing out (FOMO) that’s quite common among consumers. It gives them added motivation to make that purchase. Don’t feel guilty about it, especially if your product or service provides good value. Sometimes, people just need the added impetus to buy your product within your desired timeframe.
- They enhance your product. The best bonuses improve your customer’s experience and make your product shine.
What’s the Best Time to Leverage Bonuses?
It’s always a wise move to take a look at your profits before offering bonuses. Do you have enough margins to allow you to “invest” in bonuses and get more sales? Can you afford bonuses? If that is a yes, then go ahead and offer bonuses.
Reminder: your bonuses should not cripple your ability to price your products for long-term profit. If you offer bonuses too often for an affiliate product, or if your discounts are too large, there’s a risk that customers will see the pattern and think that your original prices are not worth it.
What Bonuses Should You Give Away?
Here are some principles to follow in giving away bonuses that pay for themselves:
First, they should be connected to the affiliate product.
It does not make sense to offer a fitness plan as a bonus to a copywriting course. Instead, your bonus should close any gaps in your product or complement it.
Complement. As an example, let’s say you are selling gym equipment. A good bonus might be offering free installation for home gyms. If you’re selling a yoga class, then beginners will appreciate free yoga mats or gift certificates to athleisure wear.
Close the gaps. To extend the yoga class example, you could offer a link to a bonus video of basic poses that can be done at home. You can even offer targeted freebies like a special intro yoga course for expectant mothers.
Second, give a monetary value to your bonus.
Your audience needs to see the value of your bonus in terms of dollars and cents. Try to show that this dollar value is equivalent to the price of your affiliate product, or even exceeds it (but only if it really does!).
Obviously, you have to show realistic numbers, as people can smell from a mile away if you’re just pulling figures from thin air. Beware: exaggerating the value of your bonuses will quickly turn off potential customers.
Take note that the best bonuses are often things that you create yourself. So, try to offer the following:
- discounts or special deals to your own products
- educational material like web courses
- digital content
If you don’t have products, that is okay! There are other options:
- Personal coaching
- Partnerships with other product providers
- Purchasing alternative products for them
How Many Bonuses Should You Give?
Bonuses result in excited and enthusiastic customers, but you do have to factor in potential lost sales. The important thing is that your business is actually making money from offering bonuses.
When you’re part of a huge affiliate program (where other affiliate marketers are also offering bonuses), you need to stand out in order to make any money. If you’re talking about thousand-dollar commissions, then it’s probably a must to offer the highest bonuses possible in order to stay competitive.
However, if you’ve crunched the numbers and the bonuses would take too much from your profits, it’s okay to skip them. Don’t spite yourself and lose income just to get that best salesperson award, unless it’s worth it. Keep your eye on the cash!
Without being said, this concept of offering bonuses not only apply to affiliate offers, but you can also do this for your own products or services to increase conversion. A great offer will not only increase sales, but it will also allow you to charge more, thus increase revenue and profit!
Here is a video of Russell Brunson teaching how you can create an irresistible offer that people have no choice but to buy whatever you have