The best way to avoid wasting your money on affiliate marketing software is to take your time, carefully consider what the software does, and above all be realistic about whether the software can deliver real value to your affiliate marketing business.
Look, I’m all for an easier life and any tools that can help me achieve this are firmly on my radar. There are many wonderful software products around that can help you get things done more quickly and easily than you can manually.
In fact, some jobs would be impossible without the help of a piece of software and we have come to expect to find software or an app to achieve just about anything these days.
But, a word of caution – affiliate marketing software can be helpful or totally useless, it’s up to you to decide which applies to the latest all singing, all dancing affiliate silver bullet being aimed your way.
A piece of software won’t make you a successful affiliate marketer and useless products could damage your business badly.
The problem with affiliate marketing software
The biggest problem with affiliate marketing software is that it’s sold by affiliates.
If you’re a reputable affiliate marketer yourself or looking to become one, you should be prepared to stand behind every product you recommend.
For example, if you’re selling blenders through Amazon Associates, you’d spend time thoroughly reading customer reviews and making sure the products you recommend are the best available. You’d do this because:
- You want to serve your audience as best you can
- You want your customers to come back for more (you should always want this)
- You want to build a good reputation so your customers WILL come back for more
I said the problem with affiliate marketing software is that it’s sold by affiliates, the bigger problem is that many affiliates don’t care what they’re selling as long as they get a fat commission for doing so.
You should always factor this into your thinking when considering whether a particular piece of affiliate marketing software will deliver value to your business.
It’s easy to get pulled in by the hype, and I’m just as guilty as anyone when it comes to this.
I’ve bought hundreds of different software products over the years and if you asked me how many I’m still using; I’d have to say very few.
The rest? Well, they’re either sitting on my hard drive somewhere or they’re lost, gone forever along with the money I paid for them.
Types of software to avoid if you want to protect your business
It’s important you protect your affiliate marketing business at all times. Think about this carefully.
You don’t want to spend months, maybe even years building your business to the point where it’s your only source of income to see it crash and burn overnight, and this does happen a lot.
Say, for example, you’re building up your business writing helpful content, using carefully chosen keywords with the intention of getting found in Google search. It’s a solid business model that can be complemented with other traffic strategies and a good base to build your affiliate marketing business on – it’s what I do myself.
Then, someone launches the latest piece of amazing link building software, let’s call it LinkoMatic, and they convince you it will build thousands of backlinks for you at the push of a button.
Because backlinks are important to help your site’s authority and authority gets you found in Google, right??
How do you know this?
Well, because all the launch hype around LinkoMatic tells you so, and it has loads of testimonials and it’s backed by some pretty heavy hitters in the industry.
This latest piece of affiliate marketing software looks like just the thing to get your business flying with little or no effort on your part, so you jump straight in and buy it.
You just made a huge mistake.
Sure, at one point when the Google algorithm was way less sophisticated than it is now, you could throw thousands of backlinks at it with great success, and that approach was the basic strategy that many affiliate marketers used. And they made money with it.
Fast forward today, and most of those sites have been clobbered out of existence by Google while the quality sites with a few QUALITY backlinks are doing quite well.
Here’s the point. No one could have foreseen five years ago how sophisticated the Google algorithm would become and what worked then would spell disaster for your business today. Not even the big guns.
But they picked up $1,000s in commissions from LinkoMatic so do you think they really care?
I’ll leave you to answer that one.
My recommendation – AVOID any kind of affiliate marketing software that offers quick fixes or games the system in some way. You could be introducing a ticking time bomb into your business that could explode who knows when and bring your affiliate business to its knees overnight!
My suggestions for some software you SHOULD consider
Of course, there is some affiliate marketing software that can definitely add value to your affiliate marketing business, and you should definitely have in your tool kit. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
An autoresponder to capture email addresses
As you build out your business, one of your first priorities should be to capture the email addresses of potential customers and you should capture them to an autoresponder, the process looks like this:
Traffic -> sign up form (exchange something of value for email address) -> 1st email -> follow up emails
So, you offer something of value in exchange for your prospect’s email address, send them an initial email and follow up with a series of emails that offers useful help, advice and tips and ultimately offers something for sale that will be of benefit to them,
With an autoresponder, the whole process is automated from start to finish. You write the emails once and they are delivered automatically in sequence spaced apart as you want.
The point is it can take several emails before your prospect is ready to buy your recommendation.
Here’s a diagram from Microsoft that you’ll find interesting. It illustrates how many emails you’ll likely have to send to get a buying decision, and it also shows you that many people give up too soon and therefore fail with email marketing.
In order to capture emails, you’ll want to take your prospect through a funnel. Put simply, a funnel is just a series of steps you take your prospect through to encourage them to take an action of some sort.
That action could be to buy something, let you have their email address, sign up for a newsletter, attend a webinar and more. Regardless of the action you want them to take, capturing an email address should always be a priority because once you have a prospect on your email list, you’re in a position to help them and ultimately earn the right to ask for a sale.
It’s never a good idea to send a prospect directly to an offer without trying to capture their email address first.
It seldom works and it’s a real wasted opportunity if you do so.
Webinar software – a powerful tool
Webinars are a great way to engage with your prospects, help and educate them and offer something in return for all the great value you deliver.
A webinar doesn’t always have to offer a paid product at the end, but most usually do.
A well-structured webinar can generate $1,000s for a couple of hours work.
If you’re genuinely trying to help your audience and can show them that what you offer is likely to make them far more money in the long run than the cost of investing, you’ll do well.
Which affiliate marketing software should you choose?
I’ve just given you a couple of suggestions as to the type of software that will actually add value to your affiliate marketing business, and you should consider purchasing.
The problem is that the cost of buying software tools mounts up very quickly.
You can find yourself spending $100s each month before you’ve even made a penny from your business.
That’s why I would suggest looking at an “all-in-one” type platform that gives you the tools you need for a reasonable price and without having to go to a whole bunch of suppliers and pay them individually.
The best platform I’ve been able to find (and I use it myself) is Builderall. I use it for my funnels, my autoresponder and more.
Now, if you consider that a funnel software like Clickfunnels alone can cost about $300/month and an autoresponder another $15, you’ll probably be amazed at the value Builderall represents.
You can check it out here and there’s a free trial to get you started:
My final thoughts on affiliate marketing software
There’s loads of affiliate marketing software to choose from but it’s important to make sure that whatever software you opt for truly adds value to your business.
Don’t be tempted by sales pages that promise you instant results and definitely avoid anything that tries to game the system because you could be building up a whole load of trouble for yourself in the future. Something that delivers a quick buck right now could be just the thing to sink your business in the future.
The secret to success in affiliate marketing is not really a secret at all.
Hard work, consistent effort and using the right tools will get you there. You’ll build a business that brings in a regular monthly income and will be around for months and years to come.
If you’re prepared to put in the effort and build your business on a solid foundation, the rewards can be amazing.
Which affiliate marketing software can’t you live without and how does it add value to your business? Drop a comment below.