This is a question debated ad nauseum, especially in the ‘make money online’ niche. A common practice by many affiliates is to stack 20 to even 50 or more ‘free bonuses’ for buyers who buy through their affiliate link.
Very often, the products are digital in nature and taken off one of the many private label rights (PLR) membership sites out there. The bonuses are then given an inflated value such as ‘$20,000 real-world value’… yet, you can’t buy a bag of chips with these ‘expensive’ bonuses.
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you follow the herd, you’ll end up stepping in manure.”
This is one area where that maxim holds true. While offering bonuses can be a way to tempt the subscriber to buy through your affiliate link, the bonus needs to be unique, relevant and not hyped up.
How many bonuses is too many? What is the buyer going to do with 40 bonus products?
Very often, the top affiliates have maybe 2 or 3 very relevant and worthy bonuses that buyers wish to get their hands on. If you have your own product that’s not offered for free on over a hundred PLR sites, the buyer will know that it’s of value. This is especially applicable if you’re selling the product and people are paying for it.
For example, if you’re selling a WordPress plugin that you created and is popular, offering that as a bonus to another vendor’s software offer will see much higher conversions for you. Offering 40 eBooks that you yanked out of a PLR site and which date back to 1999 is not going to help your cause.
So, it’s best to exercise common sense in your marketing. This brings us to the next question – where does it all end?
There are some marketers who insist on not offering bonuses and instead rely on the goodwill and loyalty that they’ve built with their list to help get the sales. This does work too… but one needs to be pragmatic. Many marketers make a mistake here and fail to observe the pool they’re swimming in.
You must look at the market you’re in. If you’re promoting a product that’s just been launched and every other affiliate is offering bonuses, greed very often is going to win the day. Your subscribers will be tempted by the other affiliates’ bonuses and may be lured to buy from them instead of you.
That’s just the way it is. In this niche, buyers are on several lists. When a product is just launched, there is often a frenzy over it and everybody and their grandma will mail for it.
Now subscribers are exposed to many offers and incentives to get the product through the different affiliates. It’s a buyer market, they’re spoiled for choice… and they’re going to be bonus shopping.
If you do not have a bonus, you’ll probably lose out. Even if you do make sales, you may be leaving quite a bit of money on the table.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your niche and what your market and competitors are doing. Sometimes offering a bonus or incentive just may help to convert a hesitant visitor who is sitting on the fence into a buyer. You just need the right bonus at the right place at the right time. No pressure.