How to Increase Your Affiliate Income by Using Bonuses

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Your main goal in affiliate marketing is to maximize your conversion rate. Bonuses serve as excellent incentives for consumers to click on your affiliate link. There’s a reason Matt Callen from PayKickStart said that “bonuses are a must when promoting anything, no matter the niche.”

They’re a powerful strategy that can push leads to take your desired action then and there. However, you can’t just implement bonuses without a well-thought-out strategy. You need a bonus funnel.

In this guide, you will learn how to create a bonus funnel for an affiliate offer. But first:

Why do bonuses work?

Providing relevant bonuses can incentivize a person to use your link over a competitor. Bonuses add value, making the product you’re promoting as an affiliate marketer more desirable. 

Assume the item you’re promoting costs the same when purchased from another affiliate. Consumers would choose you over your competitor since you offer something valuable apart from what they’re buying. People want to get the most bang for their buck, after all.

Then there’s the fact that bonuses can help you generate urgency. If you offer them for a limited number of time, they might just be the final nudge consumers need to click on your link. In human psychology, there’s such a thing as Fear of Missing Out. Bonuses can make people think if they don’t sign up now, they will have missed their chance to do so. 

How to choose suitable bonuses?

Of course, you still need to choose the right bonus to ensure the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing. Your goal is to get people to make a purchase using your affiliate link. It follows then that your bonuses should be valuable enough to those people that they’ll actually do just that. 

In other words, you need to know your target customers to determine the suitable bonus for them. The first thing you should do then is create your customer persona, a fictional representation of your ideal customer. A customer persona looks something like this:

How to choose suitable bonuses

Defining your prospective customer is a good mental exercise for marketing campaigns. It won’t just help you determine what you should offer your target customers to get them to take your desired action. It can also help you determine the language and tone you should use that resonate with them.

You can get the information you need for your customer persona by sending out surveys, conducting research and interviews, and by looking at your analytics. Once you determine your target audience’s problem, ask yourself this question: How can I solve that problem? The answer to that question should be the bonus you offer.

Let’s assume for a moment that you’re promoting an AI tool that helps write copy for ads on Facebook. You find that, based on your customer persona, your target customers who run paid ads find it difficult to improve their Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Then a relevant bonus for them could be an eBook that gives tips on how to optimize ROAS. Or you could offer online training on how to create optimized landing pages that can, in turn, help improve ad conversions. 

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one bonus, of course.

The practice of offering more than one bonus item, also known as “bonus stacking”, can help you maximize conversions. After all, you’re offering superior value to your target customer. If they spend X on the AI tool you offer, they get, not just the product but also an eBook and an online training course.

If you use this strategy, make sure you quantify the value of the bonuses you’re offering for the best results.

What types of bonuses work best

Now that you know how to determine the suitable bonuses for your target customers, let’s look at the different types that can boost your affiliate income. 

  • Software or add-ons: You can buy plugins and other products from marketplaces to give away for free.  
  • Service/consultation: It’s hard to scale your consultation or service offering, though. These types of bonuses are best suited to high-value items purchased by a small number of customers.
  • Online training: Short video courses or informative webinars can equip customers with the necessary skills to make the most of a product. They’re a good way to share knowledge while ensuring engagement. 
  • Case studies, eBooks, or white papers: These provide customers with relevant and in-depth industry insights.

Of these, information products like online training courses, case studies, eBooks or white papers are probably the most popular among affiliate marketers. It’s because they’re quite easy to create. True, online training courses and videos require an initial investment of money. You can shell out a minimum of $30 per hour if you outsource your course creation to a specialist.

However, you can reduce that amount if you create the course yourself or just make an informative video without fancy equipment. Either way, once produced, these types of bonuses are free to distribute. With case studies, eBooks, and white papers, it’s even possible for you not to shell out any money at all.

If you already have an existing document in Word format, for instance, you’d need $0 to convert it into an eBook, case study, or white paper. If you don’t have this and you create them yourself from scratch, you won’t have to spend money either. However, you’ll need to invest a lot of time in content creation, unless you already have AI SEO tools at your disposal.

These tools can expedite the writing process big-time when you insert the right prompts. But if all those are not options for you, you can engage the services of a freelance writer instead. Just be prepared to shell out up to $2 per word as payment for their services.

Whichever information item you choose, these types of bonuses are great for products you are promoting that might generate a high volume of sales. 

How to market your bonus

Let’s assume you already have the best bonus/es for your target customers. The thing is, that wouldn’t matter if your target customers don’t know they exist in the first place. That’s why if you want to increase your affiliate income, you need to pay just as much attention to how you market your bonus.

As an affiliate, you should consider how you'll drive traffic to the bonuses you have created for an offer. You can promote your bonus on your own blog. Use an exit-intent lightbox pop-up to highlight your bonus to visitors who are about to leave your page. Something like this:

How to market your bonus

For the best results, make sure the exit-intent lightbox appears when your website visitor is reading a post that’s relevant to the bonus. This applies especially if you’re promoting a wide array of products across different niches. Assume a website visitor is about to leave your post on email marketing tips.

In this scenario, it should be the lightbox pop-up promoting your eBook on email marketing trends that suddenly appears. Don’t promote that pet grooming video bonus you created to sell that pet brush. If you align the bonus you promote with your website visitor’s interest, you increase the chances of them signing up for it.

It's a good idea to funnel traffic from a source through a landing page to the sales page of the affiliate product you are promoting. There’s a decent chance that you’ll be promoting your offer to your email list. You already have a relationship with visitors, so they’ll trust your recommendations to some degree.

You can leverage excellent email marketing services if you don’t have the time to create your email campaigns yourself. If you take this approach, your email should publicize both the product you are promoting and the bonuses you have created.

Make sure you use a language that resonates with your email subscriber as well. By that, I don’t just mean you should use the right tone. Employ the language they use as well. Multilingual email marketing can help you connect better with your target audience. You can also use an email countdown timer to add some FOMO to your offer.

A countdown timer will evoke a sense of urgency in the customer and convince them to take your offer right away. On the landing page, it’s crucial to promote both the bonus and the product you are selling. Here’s an excellent example of a landing page that does just that:

How to market your bonus-2

You should lead with the product, though. Creating a walk-through demo video of the offer is a good idea. You want to make your target customers “experience” what it’s like to use your product. Then switch to a discussion of the bonuses.

In closing 

The world of an affiliate marketer can become challenging if the necessary tools and techniques are not used to increase income. When promoting products, there may be several options available to attract potential customers to purchase. But easy-to-use payment options or payment plans can only help so much.

Bonuses have been proven to help increase affiliate income, generate higher conversion rates, and potentially expand the customer base. After all, who doesn't love a good deal?

Just ensure that your bonuses perfectly complement the product you are promoting or make up for what it's missing. 

Apart from juggling the variety of bonuses available for you to offer, carry out the necessary research to understand your target audience and get creative with promoting your products. 

You’ll see how well-planned affiliate management can increase your income.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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