“Buy this course through my link and get $24,897 in bonuses!” We’ve all seen these elaborate (some might say “over the top”) bonus packages that come with affiliate offers. But do they actually work? I decided to put it to the test and share my results below.
This post was originally published in April 2016. New and updated information is italicized below.
How Bonus Packages Work
You may have used this strategy and you’ve certainly seen it done. You offer an exclusive bonus if people buy a product through your link.
I’ll go into more detail about what makes a good bonus package below, but for now, what you need to know is that an effective bonus package is one that takes an on-the-fence buyer to an actual buyer.
In other words, it’s something attractive enough to cause a person to take action.
Myths About Bonuses
There are two myths about bonuses that I will debunk here:
#1 – They don’t work
#2 – They have to be extravagant
Both are FALSE.
How I Know Bonus Packages Work
I’ve personally tested promotions with and without bonuses. And bonuses won…by 240%!
I believed the myth that they don’t work (despite having actually fallen for this “ploy” myself). I thought it was a waste of my time. I only offered bonuses because “every other internet marketer was doing it, so why not me?” I never took the time to ask if they actually work.
So I tested it with two promos last year. Here’s what I found:
Promo #1 ($200 product) – Bonus group made me $9,000. Non-bonus group made me $4,500. Not a huge lift, but still noticeable.
Promo #2 ($1000 product) – Bonus group made me $13,000. Non-bonus group made me $2,000. Just a little difference, there.
Overall, my sales increased nearly 240% WITH a bonus.
In subsequent launches I have had people tell me that they purchased through my link specifically for my bonuses, so I know that they are making a difference.
Bonuses Don’t Have to be Extravagant
In both examples above, my bonuses were SUPER simple. I used a proven formula for coming up with my bonuses and made it easy on myself.
You may have seen the extravagant bonus packages and thought, “Good grief, I can never put together something like that.” And you DON’T HAVE TO!
In fact, the effort you expend might be almost nothing.
How to Put Together an Effective Bonus Package
Here is the three-part formula we use when we promote launches and that we share with our partners:
1. Use What You Have
Put together bonuses that you…wait for it, this is the good part…you already have! In the first promo I mentioned above, I created a special bonus just for that launch, but now I reuse it over and over.
2. Aim for 50-200%
Try to get the total value somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% to 200% of the value of the course.
You can go up to 400% of the course value, but 50% to 200% is the sweet spot.
If you go higher than 400% it starts to seem ridiculous and it destroys the effectiveness of offering a bonus.
The only exception to this is if you are offering a single bonus and it happens to be worth 5x the value of the product. That would be ok. The issue is when you are stacking 10+ bonuses and the value exceeds 400%.
3. Fit the Offer
Your bonus must fit the offer. While your course on writing might be worth $500, it’s basically worthless to someone buying a weight loss product.
The two best ways to fit an offer are to complement and close the gaps.
Complement: If the course you are promoting is about copywriting, for example, a good bonus might be a mini-course on sales page tactics or a software tool that allows you to create easy landing pages.
Close the Gaps: Gaps mean that the course is missing (or not super in-depth) something specific to your audience. If your audience is specifically writers, a mini-course on copywriting for book sales would be a great bonus. Or if you teach social media marketing, your 25 Keys to Social Media Headlines That Go Viral ebook.
RELATED POST: Learn how I dramatically increased conversions on my bonus page with this one simple tip.
The Key to Effective Bonuses
Sell your bonuses!
Seriously, play them up big time. Talk about them in every email.
Use them to close the deal.
Like a tree falling in the forest with no one around, bonuses are not effective if you don’t mention them repeatedly and really sell them.
In this post on how to close sales on the final day of a launch, I shared how the majority of the affiliates who converted 3x better than the average affiliate offered bonuses and mentioned them in 75% of their emails on the final day of a launch.
Offering a great bonus package is one of the five things that I found that the top converting affiliates did consistently.
One Last Note
Make sure you don’t deliver your bonuses until after the refund period is over.
Otherwise, people will buy through you just for the bonuses and return the course. Lame, but it happens.