David from Charitees4life.org asked the following question:
I have a website which caters to the Jewish audience. I read up on affiliate marketing. I wanted to know if there are specific affiliate marketers for the Jewish business world. What results can I expect from an affiliate program in the Jewish market?
I’m going to give my answer to this question, but first lets hear some answers from some fellow web marketers in the Jewish niche:
Shoshana Raff Answers:
From the looks of it, I’m also guessing that you would like to have an affiliate program to offer to bloggers and other websites. You can offer your own unique affiliate program and market it through your own PR and marketing channels.
Jewish Businesses like Feldheim, Jdeal, Jewish E-Books, CoverYourHair are examples and do this very well [See a full list of Jewish Affiliate Programs]. They use their own programmers to create the affiliate marketing code, links and banners and their own marketing and public relations team to sign up affiliates/bloggers to help promote their brand. This works best for them because the commissions they would have to pay a large third-party affiliate network is probably not worth it since they are selling to a unique niche market, the orthodox Jewish world, a world that the large affiliate marketing programs don’t yet target or reach.
The size of the Jewish niche is not very large and it is challenging to sustain a successful affiliate program right now. I don’t know of many that are successful. But the secret to success is the same with all marketing channels: What you put in is what you get out. Everything takes planning, time and strategy.
Keep in mind as well that an affiliate marketing program is only one part of a complete and effective Internet Marketing plan.
Wishing you much hatzlacha in your business.
Myriam Miller Answers:
Yes, there are affiliate marketers in the Jewish world – they’re the Jewish bloggers and Jewish-themed websites out there. Getting them to do your publicity and sell your products for you can be a win-win arrangement.
Ideally, you want to associate yourself with quality, trustworthy websites that attract focused visitors, preferably lots of visitors, who are likely to want what you offer. The more traffic you have, the bigger your clout with potential affiliates, and the better sites you’ll be able to enroll. By “better” I mean sites with good reputations and lots of traffic.
If you are looking specifically at the Jewish world on the net, you’ll find that, although it’s growing, it’s not that large of a community, especially once you narrow it down to sites that may meet your own criteria.
To get the best results, you’ll need to sell your program just like a product. Make the “affiliate program” page of your site really good, telling potential affiliates what’s in it for them – why promoting your product will be good for their site visitors, and when and how they will get paid. Make it worth their while, with high commissions, especially if you’ll only be paying out once an affiliate’s sales reach a minimum threshold. Affiliates give their prime online real estate to the programs that pay out the most for them.
Look at as many Jewish-themed websites and blogs (food, news, music, politics, charities, whatever you can think of) as you can find. You’ll see the same ads over and over. Those companies have affiliate programs that work. Look at what works for them and design your banners accordingly, but so yours stand out from the rest. Then network – in person and also by getting involved on Jewish blogs like this one where people get to know you – and contact potential affiliates with your offer. If a site already displays Jewish affiliate links, its owner is likely to at least look at your offer, too.
Once you have a few affiliates, you’ll probably find Jewish bloggers start coming to you after spotting your ads on other sites and things will, G-d willing, grow from there, assuming you keep your affiliates happy, with accurate tracking, a varied choice of great banners and links, and of course, timely payouts.
(By the way, have you considered attracting charities who want to design their own T-shirts to sell, on your site and on their own as your own affiliates?)
Naomi Elbinger Answers:
Most of the affiliate markers in the Jewish world are the kind of people who first built an audience, and are now looking for a product sell to their audience (usually bloggers and social media mavens). Most often these people started out due to their own passion for that particular topic and community, with only vague ideas of how to make money from their project in the future. Later on they look for “monetization options” and will join affiliate programs that are relevant to their Jewish niche. Some are successful in making reasonable affiliate sales.
There are many Jewish bloggers and social media mavens who make some extra cash through Jewish affiliate programs this way. This list of Jewish Women’s blogs will make it easy for you to find some popular blogs that you think are suitable.
If you want affiliates to join your program, make sure you have a high conversion rate and attractive commissions. For example, if your visitor conversion rate is 1%, your commission rate is 5% and your average sale value is $25, no experienced affiliate will agree to give you valuable real estate on their site for this offer. They would have to send you 500 visitors just to make a 3 dollars! Remember: your affiliate program competes with other monetization options, such as Google Adsense and other affiliate programs, for the attention of quality affiliates with relevant traffic. Make sure you stand out from the competition.
Recently I was approached by someone representing a well-known brand in the Jewish market for my advice about their new affiliate program. They were going to set the commission rate at 12%, but only 2% for sale items. I told them that I thought this was a mistake. Affiliate marketers work hard to make sales – it is not easy! It’s a bad idea to make it difficult for them to make real money with your program. They will simply not bother promoting you!
In conclusion, before you spend time promoting your affiliate program, think seriously about how you can make your program worthwhile for potential affiliates. Affiliate marketers are a clever bunch. If we see that your product sells and makes us commissions, we will do amazing things to promote you – for free.
Jerusalem-based Naomi Elbinger is Blogger-in-Chief at My Parnasa – The Jewish Business Blog. That’s this blog – Subscribe here.
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