Alex GenadinikJust over a year ago, I decided to learn how to create mobile apps. I quickly scrambled and used a number of tech resources such as StackOverflow and g33kTalk and put up my first app in about two months. Using those resources and lots of analytics, I was able to quickly grow the app to be one of the top-rated business apps on Android. For those curious, it is this business plan app. The app was free and it was time to monetize the app. But how?



All entrepreneurs need websites, right?

One of the ways I thought the app would monetize was to offer people a way to create websites by adding affiliate links to services where they can have those websites built. The service I wanted to offer was Squarespace, which is one of the top services to help people go from not having a site to having a beautiful in just a day or two.

So I made my affiliate account on Squarespace and placed their affiliate link to my app which, when clicked on, went to the Squarespace signup page.



No one signed up

While the app was getting hundreds of downloads per day, and the affiliate link in the app was placed in a prominent and relevant screen on the app, I was getting absolutely no sign-ups that generated affiliate commissions. I even placed code in the app to tell me when people were clicking through to the Squarespace affiliate link. And out of hundreds of monthly clicks, I was getting not even one sign-up per month. I could not figure out why.




Then it hit me. The SquareSpace signup process was too involved and complicated to complete on a mobile device. People were typically performing simple tasks on the mobile devices, but when they needed to do more complex tasks, they would typically put down their devices and sit down at a computer to do the complicated things they needed to do in order to complete their SquareSpace registration and website creation.

But the problem was that when people were switching their devices from the phone to the pc, the affiliate link cookie was being lost. So even if those people ended up signing up with SquareSpace, I was not getting paid.



Solution and workaround

What I had to do as a workaround was to ask Squarespace for a unique discount code. That way, if people ever entered that particular unique discount code, no matter what device people used, Squarespace would know that this user came from my referral and would credit me the commission.

But this solution was not effective either. I had to reach out to SquareSpace’s marketing department and ask for a personal referral code. Between asking them to have something done for me specifically, explaining my situation, and waiting for replies, it took about 1-2 months for me to finally get that referral code. And the discount code still didn’t improve the situation.



Still not great

Even despite having a discount code, I was not able to dramatically increase my commissions. Since the mobile screens are relatively small, it was difficult to insert enough text explaining to people the exact steps they needed to take in order to get the discount, and at the same time maintaining the general user flow of the app.



Summing up

Due to absolute ineffectiveness, I ended up taking those affiliate links out of the apps. Now, when I come across an affiliate opportunity, I only consider it if the transaction process is very simple.


Alex Genadinik is a mobile developer and the creator of mobile business plan apps that help people plan and start their businesses. Alex holds a B.S in Computer Science from San Jose State University. Please say hello to Alex on Twitter at @genadinik.


If you are struggling to build your own high cash generating website, but don’t have the skills, then I can recommend you this service. Check out Create A High Cash Generating Business Online.



Jon Rhodes

Thanks for reading! I am a clinical hypnotherapist, musician, author, and internet marketer. I would love to stay in touch. Please sign up for instant delivery of my latest blog posts via email. UPDATE! For a limited time I will give you a free copy of my book (worth $29) Alternative Guide To Affilite Marketing - Please click here to sign up.

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3 Responses to How I Struggled To Make Money With Affiliate Sales On Mobile

  1. Jon Rhodes says:

    Thanks Alex. It’s good to hear what doesn’t work as well as what does!

  2. Matt says:

    From my experience it’s amazingly difficult to get people to click affiliate links. I’ve only met two people in real life outside of the internet who knew what ClickBank is, so while internet marketers oftentimes worry about their links not getting clicked on because people “know” they are affiliate links, most people who aren’t internet marketers don’t even have a clue about it – YET it still seems like it takes an enormous amount of people to a website (Even if they are “targeted”) before you get clicks. And even more before sales.

    • Jon Rhodes says:

      Good point Matt. Most people probably don’t know about affiliate links, however it si still difficult to gain sales. I think it comes down to how you present the links if you want more clicks.If it is a banner, or just a link in passing, then it will probably not get many clicks. To get far more clicks you should talk about it enthusiastically and in details, telling the reader how it will benefit them. However…

      A good click through rate might be 5%. So for every 1000 readers, only 50 click on the link. Then a good sales rate might be around the 2% mark. This means that out of the 50 people that clicked on your affiliate link, only one person should buy.

      So at these levels you would need 1000 visitors to generate one sale. So yes, when you break it down like this, you need a lot of traffic to generate a decent amount of sales. Generally people are not in a buying frenzy when browsing online. They generally seek information, entertainment and freebies. Give them what they want, and maybe you can keep them coming back, build some trust, and drive some sales over time.

      Check out these posts to help you generate more traffic

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