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Easy Fundraising with the help of Affiliate Marketing
Your school, church, boy scout troop or any other charitable group that you belong to, is always in need of funds and donations to keep operating. Instead of doing another bake sale or asking people to donate (yet again) you can have a fundraiser by joining an affiliate program.
What is an Affiliate Program?
An affiliate program is a system of revenue sharing developed by online stores. Advertising is expensive and does not always work. So online stores are willing to pay you for every buyer you send to their site. Online stores enjoy affiliate marketing since they only pay you if you send them a visitor that buys a product or service from them or does some other specific action that the online merchant wants (like filling out a quote form or signing up for a free trial). This saves them from wasting money on advertising that does not work. This is good for you since you can raise money when your family and friends do their normal online shopping.
How does it work?
In order to identify the visitors you send to a website apart from an online stores regular customers you will be given a website link that your visitors will need to use. For example here is the link I use to send people to Amazon.com:
If a person visits Amazon.com by clicking that link and buys anything during their visit on Amazon.com, I earn around 5% commission. You can put your affiliate link on your group’s website or you can email it to your family and friends or include it in your newsletter. Be careful to only email people you personally know. Sending spam emails is illegal.
What are the rules?
Each affiliate program has their own set of rules. Some of them do not want you to use their brand names while others encourage it and provide free images and graphics. Don’t worry. Each affiliate program has their rules available online and also have a person called an affiliate manager who is the liaison between the online store and people in their affiliate program. If you have a question affiliate managers can be helpful in answering it. Affiliate managers are normally paid a percentage of overall affiliate sales, so it is in their interest to help you earn more.
Do I need a website?
Some affiliate programs do like to see that you have a website with related content to their industry. There are many programs that you do not even need a website. I would encourage you to build a website since it is easy and will help you in the long run.
Who provides affiliate programs?
Some of the bigger brand name companies that offer affiliate programs include Amazon.com, Overstock.com, TigerDirect.com, Diet.com, Sony, eBay, Expedia, Pfaltzgraff. There are affiliate programs for almost every industry. Here are just a few industries that have companies that provide affiliate programs : finance, insurance, clothing, toys, games, books, magazines, food, automotive, religious items, travel and many more. Most industries have affiliate programs and more are being added everyday since they are more cost-effective than advertising.
How much can my group make?
It depends on what affiliate programs you join and how many sales you can refer. Here are some sample programs you can join and how much you could make with a typical purchase.
- Telephone Services – 6% to 15% of every monthly bill for the life of a new customer
- Amazon.com – 5% commission not including reorders
- Magazine Subscriptions – 20% to 30% of each sale
- Cigarettes – 2% to 5% commission including reorders
- Dish TV Sign-up – $100 per every person
- Dental Savings Plans – $50 for every sale
- Rent DVD/Video Games – $20 for every membership
- Garden/Nursery Supplies – 10 to 20% of each sale
How do I start?
- First identify what you can drive targeted traffic for. Remember you only get paid when you deliver people to a website and those people take a specific action (buying something, completing a form, etc.) It does not make sense to join every affiliate program, only the ones that match you and can make you money.
- Read the rules of any affiliate program you are thinking of joining and find out if they require anything specific. Do you need a website? Does the website need to have any specific content?
- Make sure all of your tax and legal paperwork is in place. Just like anytime money exchanges hands, the tax man will be around.
- Promote the program to your audience make sure they understand they need to use the special tracking website links. For example if a user types in www.Amazon.com, I receive no money. A user needs to go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect-home/goodroicom-20 for their sales to be tracked and for me to be paid.
- Make sure someone in your group monitors the reports the online merchants provides you to make sure you are receiving a check in the right amount.
-There are no fees to join legitimate affiliate programs
-Having a website is helpful, but not always necessary
-It costs your members no extra money
-You make money when your family and friends do their normal online shopping
Here are a list of affiliate programs that I personally recommend.
Please feel free to submit any questions or comments in the form below.