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Whether you create and sell your own products, buy reselling rights or rebrand other people's products, adding value with bonuses is a well-used tactic in affiliate marketing. Why? Because a good bonus is valid, honest, and truly does add value to any offer. Perhaps most importantly, it makes the customer think that NOT to purchase would be a very unwise decision.

The challenge is that almost every marketer is using bonuses, so customers are wearying of the hype. What you need to do is offer them bonuses that do add genuine value to your product, and off them at the right place and time, and in the right way.

Some examples of good bonuses are:

*your product is an ebook about how to buy a used car, and your bonus is a report on how to check to see if a vehicle has sustained damage.

*your product is software designed to simplify obtaining reciprocal links, and your bonus is a report about how to create search engine optimized website title, description and keywords.

A bonus with genuine value:

*can be put to use immediately and is directly related to your product.

*provides motivation that is a match for the motivation to sign up for the newsletter or buy your product, and serves to add to that motivation, not detract from it.

*can allow you to put a price on a product that others give away for free.

The right placement of a bonus is:

*immediately before your prospect makes the last click to complete a sale. This will eliminate any last minute hesitation and will reinforce what you are asking for your product.

A bonus works well if you will only be selling your product for a limited time:

*If you can tell people that if they order by July 15th 2006 they will get a discount or free bonuses, there will be a sense of urgency compelling the customer to buy now rather than risking missing the bonus.

Here are examples of appropriate free bonuses:

1. Physical Product
If you are selling a physical product, it's easy to slip in a  free sample or free gift. Anything with your logo, url and/or  contact info reminds your customer to return to your website. Pens, mousepads, coffee cups, and refrigerator magnets all get used frequently.

2. Special Report
Information in a condensed form that relates to what you're offering and would be very helpful for the customer makes a great bonus. If your product is information explaining how to do something, your bonus can be a detailed description of some aspect of that. A great bonus to add to Opt In Master Course would be a report outlining how to get the most out of your favorite traffic exchanges or safelists; or, how to write a good email advertisement.

Titles that are exciting and include numbers, such as "10 Killer Steps to Writing Email Ads  that Sell", are proven to be highly successful. An easy way to write your report is to write it in Microsoft Word, format it so it looks professional (using white space, highlights, and bulleted lists, for example), and then use Adobe Acrobat to save it as a PDF file for easy downloading. Be sure to promote your business, website, and relevant affiliate programs in there too - remember it may get passed around. If you would like to make your report available for rebranding, then use pdf995 instead of Adobe Acrobat. Rebranding rights encourage other marketers to pass it around. You can offer your report for free, and sell rebranding rights.

3. Resource List
Compile a list of your personally recommended resources, websites, books, and vendors that will help your list grow their lists and run a successful business. You can set this up as a PDF file as well, or create a password-protected area  of your website that your list can access.

4. Checklist
Are there any checklists that would be a good tie-in to what you offer? That help people do what you're teaching them to do, better or easier? A checklist of a daily traffic exchange surfing schedule, or weekly website promotion activities, would help your list members run their businesses more efficiently. A common question I receive is, do you really use ALL the resources in OMC? Your answer to that could be your checklist of what you use.

5. Collection of Articles
My favorite way to advertise my site and add valuable content is to write articles and post them to article directories and on my website. Your list of article directories, or a collection of your best 10 articles, would make a valuable bonus ebook.

6. Workbook
Since OMC includes marketing principles, strategies and tactics, put together a separate guide to help your list members do assignments, stay on track, and document their progress. A workbook is something people recognize and appreciate because it infers step by step guidance, with measurable results. This would be a step up from a checklist.

7. A Coaching Session With You
A consultation is a great bonus to offer, for several reasons. First, it helps you get to know your list members and their questions will
help you decide on the direction your website should take. Second, it's a great opportunity to add backend sales to your free products. For example, if they appreciated the coaching you provided, they may be interested in buying an ebook that expands on this info.

Digital or Physical?

If you're offering printed material as a bonus, don't go nuts spending a ton of money making it look great. "Good" is okay! A simple printed-on-demand report from Cafe Press fits any budget and is fine. First you sign up for a Basic Shop  for free. On the " My CafePress" page, click on the "products" link under Shop Management. Next, click on the "add  products" button at the top of the page. This will direct you to the product list where you can select the products available for you to choose from. The book is the last product in the list.  The system will then walk you through each step of creating your book.

What's most important is the cover -- even if you only produce a digital report or audio product, having a graphic of it will help
increase your response and make you look more professional.

Give Your Wallet a Bonus This Month

So get some bonuses together, make note of your sales so far, and then add some bonuses and watch how your sales rise.

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