I got my first Aweber affiliate commission check in the mail today, for $21.54. This brings to my attention a very important message for all affiliate marketers out there – not all affiliate products are created equal!

Some products are always more difficult to sell than others.

My Aweber checks says it all. $21.54 is not bad considering it’s an additional stream of residual income, but considering it’s a tool that most people reading this blog will eventually need, it’s quite lame. I expected to make more sales for the Aweber affiliate program considering that it’s an excellent product, but as I said not all affiliate programs are created equal.

My conversion for the Aweber affiliate program is less than 0.8%. Most of my other products (even some affiliate products) convert at more than 3%.

I started promoting Aweber early 2006 when I switched to them and was extremely satisfied with their service. Here’s a few reasons I can think of to explain my low Aweber commissions:

  • Most of my blog readers already have it
  • Most of my blog readers are using a similar competitive product
  • Most of my blog readers are reluctant to invest in it

From my experience, is extremely difficult to promote these products on the front-end as an affiliate:

  • Recurring Memberships – Recurring payment programs are always more difficult to sell than one-time payment products. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is!
  • Backend / Support Systems – Things like an autoresponder, shopping cart system, support system etc are more difficult to sell because people have switching costs and they may already be using a similar program.
  • Business Opportunity / MLM – People tend to be more skeptical about MLM opportunities. Plus, each sign-up you make for an MLM program pays much less because of the commissions that need to be paid to your upline.
  • $7 Products – It’s not difficult to sell unless you’re using paid advertising, because the income may exceed the expenditure. Seven dollars is not a whole lot of margin to play around with. The exception is if it’s YOUR product, and the One Time Offer converts well. (Do the maths: at $7 you can only afford 70 clicks @ 10 cents per click before your campaign become unprofitable)

Products like the one I mention above should not be promoted front-end, but they do make a great affiliate products for back-end profits. In other words, don’t do an Adwords campaign or other paid advertising on them. Instead, built your list or blog, or sell your own product and then promote them to your existing customers.

A repeat blog visitor costs you nothing. An email sent to your list is free.

It’s a smarter affiliate marketing strategy!