Mobile Marketing Affiliate Programs

Introductory Note

Mobile Marketing is affordable, it is efficient, and it is trackable. If you are reading this paper, chances are you are already familiar with Mobile Marketing. If not, take a look at some of our other papers; a good place to start is the EZ Guide to Mobile Marketing with Text Messaging.

The mobile marketing industry is no longer in its infancy, but the real growth is still ahead of us. As text messaging usage skyrockets in the United States, and smartphones like the Android and iPhone offer rich internet experiences, industry-wide revenues are expected to climb by billions of dollars a year. Why? Mobile marketing is new, it is personal, and it allows consumers to stay in control. Survey after survey shows that consumers are open to mobile marketing messages.

So short of opening up your own mobile marketing firm, how can you join this rapidly growing industry? Affiliate programs and reseller programs, offered by firms like EZ Texting, allow you to participate without putting up capital of your own. Of course, if you want to put together a more customized, comprehensive solution, an API-integrated reseller program allows you to do that too. Customization and greater control requires you to build your own platform, which includes software development costs. Whatever route you choose to go, this EZ Guide will show you how to get started.

 

An Introduction to Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs have been around since the early days of the web. As soon as commercial websites started to appear, affiliate programs quickly followed. Let’s start with a quick history of affiliate programs:

The concept of revenue sharing—paying commission for referred business—predates affiliate marketing and the Internet. The translation of the revenue share principles to mainstream e-commerce happened almost four years after the origination of the World Wide Web.

The consensus of marketers and adult industry insiders is that Cybererotica was either the first or among the early innovators in affiliate marketing with a cost per click program.

During November 1994, CDNOW launched its BuyWeb program. With this program CDNOW was the first non-adult website to introduce the concept of an affiliate or associate program with its idea of click-through purchasing. CDNOW had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors may be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take the visitor directly to CDNOW to purchase the albums.

Amazon.com (Amazon) launched its associate program in July 1996. Amazon associates could place banner or text links on their site for individual books, or link directly to the Amazon home page. [Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affiliate_marketing]

If you are reading this guide, you probably know what happened next:

MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs such as Google AdSense.

Currently the most active sectors for affiliate marketing are the adult, gambling, and retail industries. The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors. Soon after these sectors come the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix. [Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affiliate_marketing]

We added that emphasis above. As you can see, mobile marketing is already being embraced by seasoned affiliate marketers.

So how does a typical affiliate program work? You can go through a network like Commission Junction, or you can work directly with a merchant. If you join a network, you can sign up for many, many affiliate programs. Of course you will need to focus on developing content for each of those programs, as a website with nothing but affiliate links isn’t going to attract much traffic. Working directly with a merchant, like EZ Texting, typically offers greater support and larger payouts. In this guide, we are going to talk about direct relationships.

First, choose a program that appeals to you. Do your research, find payouts that are competitive (and remember, if they are too good to be true, they probably are), and choose a product or a service that is useful and easy to market. Found one? Great! Now it’s time to join the program. This typically requires filling out a short form. Approval can range from instantly to days or even weeks. It all depends on what type of affiliates the merchant is look for.

Once you have been accepted into an affiliate program you will receive a unique tracking URL. When people click this URL to visit the merchant’s site, they will be identified (usually with a tracking cookie) as a customer you have sent their way. This tracking URL is the most important aspect of the affiliate program to an affiliate, as you cannot earn your payouts if the merchant does not know who you have referred to them.

Now it’s time to develop a plan to market your affiliate links. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Display Advertising can be placed on your website. There are many different banner sizes, though they typically follow Internet Advertising Bureau standards. If visitor is interested, they’ll click the banner, and follow your tracking URL to the merchant’s website.
  • Write Content! If you have joined an affiliate program you believe that people will be interested in purchasing the product or service. Write some great content explaining why that product or service is awesome. The more unique content that you can write the better.
  • Social Media Marketing on channels like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter can be extremely effective. Have tons of friends? Send them a message letting them know about the great product or service that you are promoting. You have relationships based on trust with your friends, so they are more likely to respond to your message than strangers are.
  • Videos are a great way of promoting an affiliate program. Create a simple video and upload it to YouTube. For the description, be sure to place a link with your tracking URL. If you’ve got some basic editing skills, you can even display your URL at the bottom of the video. Be sure to post your video on the other popular video websites like Dailymotion, Viddler, Yahoo Video and Blip.tv.  Don’t have the time to upload your video to every site out there? There’s a great free service called Tubemogul that will automatically upload your video to over 25 different popular video sites!

 

Those are the basics of affiliate programs and how to promote one. Now let’s look at EZ Texting’s Mobile Marketing Affiliate Program.

 

The EZ Texting Mobile Marketing Affiliate Program

EZ Texting offers a pay-per-sale commission affiliate program. The way EZ Texting works is, a user joins, and in order to send our their marketing text messages, they need to buy credits. You get paid a percentage of the cost of those credits.

The program is free to join and there are no minimum performance criteria such as signups, sales, etc. Joining the program is simple, and you should get your approval within one business day. Once you have been approved you can log in to our affiliate program interface. Once inside you can generate custom links that you can promote in the ways that we described in the previous section. You will also find images and banners that you can use to promote the program. If you’re the creative type you can create your own banners, but most of our affiliates like to use the ones that we have already designed.

This is also the place to run reports and monitor your earnings. What sort of earnings? As an affiliate you are credited 5% every time a user who has signed up makes a purchase. 

Now let’s take a look at some of the features of EZ Texting’s Mobile Marketing Affiliate Program:

Payout

5%

Return Days (cookie length)

6 Months

Dedicated Management

YES

Custom tracking links provided

YES

Marketing material provided
(banners, images, etc)

YES

Period You Earn Commissions
On Your Referrals

Forever!

Commission Checks

Sent by EZTexting.com

The most important thing to notice in the table above is that you will earn revenues from customers who you have referred for the life of their accounts. So, the more customers you sign up, the easier it will be to increase the number of sales your customers make in a given month. Not every customer converts into a paying customer, but the rule is, the better your content, the more likely the customer who has responded to it is to make a purchase.

Interested? Sign up for our mobile marketing affiliate program right now.