Using Promotional Domains to Avoid Problems and Increase Sales
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November 21, 2006
|Willie Crawford has been teaching Internet marketing for over 9 years.
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I've had extensive conversations with my mentors, and affiliate
marketers who do extremely well. We all agree that you should always
use a promotional domain when promoting an affiliate product.
A promotional domain is a domain that you buy just to promote an
affiliate product. To use a promotional domain, you can:
1) Redirect that domain to your affiliate url at the registrar
2) Put some redirect code in the index page that's physically loaded on
the promotional domain itself
3) Pre-sell the affiliate product on the index page of the promotional
domain, and then have them click through to the affiliate site
There are several reasons that you should use a promotional domain.
One reason you should use a promotional domain is because, during a BIG
product launch, there are often a lot of spam complaints against the
primary domain for the affiliate product. This is due to tons of overly
aggressive affiliates "hammering" their lists so much that list members
get irritated and file spam complaints. These spam complaints lead to
that domain getting blacklisted. When you send out emails containing
references to that blacklisted url, your emails are often blocked by
Using a promotional domain can increase your email deliverability
substantially. This can lead to a massive increase in sales!
A second reason that you should use a promotional domain is that many
people hate clicking on affiliate links. The very thought that someone
is earning a commission from their purchase upsets some people who
understand affiliate marketing. They just have a psychological hang-up
against an affiliate profiting from their purchase. It doesn't matter
that they often would have never known about the product if it wasn't
for the hard working affiliate.
A third reason to use a promotional domain is that it allows you to
pre-sell the affiliate product and to also build your list. You can set
up a page on the promotional domain where you do a review of the
product, or pre-sell it in other ways. On that page you can collect the
visitors' email addresses prior to forwarding them on to the affiliate
site. Do this by offering a free report, or using other standard list
building techniques. Then, instead of sending them to a standard "thank
you page," you send them to the affiliate site.
The sales page on many affiliate sites really stink. If you can do a
better job of selling that product, then perhaps you want to post your
own sales letter on your promotional domain, and then have your order
link "deep link" into the affiliate site, bypassing the "sucky"
homepage, and linking directly to the order form. If you do this you
just need to make sure that the order is tracked properly. If you're
not sure how to do this, ask the owner of the affiliate program, or a
trusted programming expert who understands cookies, etc.
Bypassing terrible sales pages works so well that many professional
copywriters spend a lot of time writing better sales pages for great
products that they know would sell IF the sales letters were better.
They sift through places like the Clickbank Marketplace, looking for
niche products that would be in demand if properly marketed. They do
the standard market research, and when they discover these hidden gems,
they fix the webpages and make lots of sales on products largely
ignored by other affiliate marketers.
As an aside, if you do discover one of these gems, and it's obvious
that the sale page is not working, you may even want to offer to buy
the rights to the product from the owner. You know that he's not making
much money, and you know how to fix the problem! Buy the business, fix
the website and then resell the business at a profit.
My friend Dr. Mike Woo-Ming, and his copywriter, have the rewriting of
terrible sales letters down to such a science that they run a
membership site where they pass along revised sales letters to their
members. That's how important the sales letter is and how impactful it
can be to rewrite "sucky" web pages. You can check out what Dr. Mike.
Getting back to using a promotional domain, if you are a serious
affiliate marketer, it's often a non-decision. A domain costs you less
than $9 per year. Just one sale of an affiliate product more than pays
for the domain for a year. If you sell big ticket items, as I do, the
commission on a single sale is often $700 or more. Just one extra sale
covers the cost of 80 - 90 promotional domains for a year (I buy my
If using a promotional domain means that 20% more of your email gets
through, since it's not mentioning a domain that may be blacklisted,
you've just increased your sales by 20% (all things being equal). If
that's just one or two extra sales paying you a few hundred dollars
extra commission, it's certainly worth it.
I buy my domains through a domain name reseller account that I have. I
pay $90 per year for this account, but earn a commission every time
that I sell a domain.
I also save every time that I buy or renew a
domain. You can check out the service that I use at:
http://875PerYearDomains.com If you click the link at the top of that
page labeled "Become A Domain Reseller" it tells you how to get setup
as I am (so that you can buy your own domains at wholesale).
By now you should be convinced that you really should be using
However, let me give you two additional reasons.
Many online communities, and discussion forums, have stopped allowing
you to post affiliate url’s in your signature file. They've done this
largely because many affiliate program managers were teaching their
affiliates to post to some of the more popular forums and then leave a
link. Many inexperienced affiliate marketers were making a lot of
"spammy" posts that really said "nothing," just to leave a link. Forum
and community owners noticed this and thus the backlash was a
prohibition against posting affiliate links.
At the same time, many of these forum owners have said that it's ok to
post links pointing to your own domains where you then mention
affiliate products. So, in those forums, you would post links to your
own domains. On your domains you have pages that pre-sell the product,
or perhaps even offer a bonus for buying the product, and THEN you have
them click through to the affiliate site. This is the PERFECT place to
explain your bonuses if you are offering some extra inducement for them
to buy through your affiliate link rather than your competitors'.
A second and final reason for using a promotional domain is that it
looks better to ezine publishers and owners of article directories.
These publishers want to offer their visitors and readers professional
looking material, and frankly... affiliate url’s with all kinds of
strange characters don't look very professional. Articles with those
obvious affiliate links scream "He wrote this article to sell me
something!" Articles with less obvious affiliate links allow your
readers to "lower their shields" and be less defensive. They are more
open to your marketing message, so you will make many more sales... and
isn't that what it's all about?
Copyright 2006 Willie Crawford