Learn how churches can capitalize on affiliate programs online.Fundraisers are a are a great route for many church organizations that are in need donations and funds to support their ministries, but there are a few out of the box methods that can create multiple streams of income.
Many companies, large and small understand the power of word of mouth or referral marketing to boost sales and gain exposure. These customer referral programs, better known as affiliate programs, are flourishing online. The fact is affiliates give products a real boost. Inbound links help a websites ranking with search engines. It helps traffic and the more visitors you can drive to a site, the more potential for sales. So yes referral marketing will definitely make a difference.
If your church is large enough, you may have enough potential customers to make pursuing an affiliate program lucrative.
If you have a church with buying customers, make it easy for them to get what they need and want while helping the church at the same time. Affiliate programs are an easy means for anyone who is comfortable making purchases online. Here are a few examples.
Amazon is one of the top online marketplaces, and many of your church members are familiar with and may have purchased from the site before. Why not encourage them to buy through an affiliate link and donate the profits to the church? Amazon gives affiliates 4% and up, depending on sales volume.
You can develop your own Amazon store and recommend items of special interest to your congregation, including recommended books. There is no fee to become an affiliate and commissions are paid out when you earn at least $10.
Has your church pastor or other congregation members written a book? If so, consider publishing a digital copy of that book on Smashwords.
Smashwords supplies authors with a free ISBN number for the digital version as well as distribution for the book to major online stores like Amazon, Apple, Sony, Barnes & Noble, and more. Smashwords also has an affiliate program. As an affiliate, you earn over 10% on sales after accruing $25 in your account. If the author of the book you are promoting offers a higher commission than what is standard to increase the number of affiliates, you have the potential to make more.
Does your church have a website? Why not create a page that promotes products directly from the church site. You can announce or list weekly deals in the church bulletin and encourage your congregation to support the web store, letting them know all proceeds go to growing the ministry.
If you are looking for more than eBooks and digital products to sell in your church web store, Zazzle is a print-on-demand company that offers a 15% commission on sales. They have a number of products to choose from, which can be listed in the online store.
Another option is to create a link to Zazzle’s homepage, getting credit for referrals. There is no charge to become an affiliate, and you are paid when you reach at least $25 in commissions.
Pull from the expertise and talents of your congregation. Are there graphic designers, photographers, and designers that can contribute their skills and artwork? Combine the talents provided by your church members with affiliate products you select to promote from the Zazzle marketplace to expand your store’s product lines.
Zazzle provides online tools that can be used to create high quality products. Of course, the more products you have, the more money you will make. When you have dozens and dozens of products listed, search engines such as Google and Bing can and will rank your site higher helping you to generate more income.
You can promote any of your affiliate products and programs via social media, by collaborating with other churches and adding your links to their site and by sharing the information with your members.
These are just a few ways to begin increasing revenue through affiliate programs for your church organization. Take the time to explore what is available online and choose a program that not only serves as an additional source of income, but serves the church as well