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IDEA FILE

Use Associate Marketing

Associate marketing is similar to linking. You build a network of organizations that support your products and are willing to sell them for you. Either they sell your products directly from their sites, or they send customers to your site through linking.

The difference between associate marketing and linking per se is that associate marketing usually entails paying the associate a commission on sales, whereas linking is usually free of charge. What kind of commission? That’s negotiable, but it’s generally in the 5 to 7 percent range based on the net price the seller receives.

As with linking, the more associates you have referring potential customers to you, the better. If you publish gardening books, for instance, and you can set up associate marketing relationships with garden-supply sites, the National Gardening Association, organic growers, and other gardening-related organizations, your potential reach can extend exponentially. If it costs you 5 to 7 percent for the sale, it’s probably a bargain, because normal sales efforts usually cost 7 to 10 percent of net sales anyway, and if you add marketing costs, they’re in the 13 percent range.

Thomas Woll and Suzanne Lawlor

Cross River Publishing Consultants, Inc.

www.publishingconsultants.com

This Idea File item comes from the new PMA Report, ” Selling Online: An Introduction for Independent Publishers.”

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