Today, we’re going to talk about a very interesting niche that starts with a smile. People who ‘wear’ them are often seen as confident and beautiful and those who don’t, could have, among other issues, some problems with the appearance of their teeth.
If you can relate to this situation, then you’ve probably heard of the Smile Direct Club affiliate program. In this review, we’ll be discussing the niche opportunity, what the product can achieve, where it falls short and whether it’s worthwhile joining.
Let’s dive in…
The Market Outlook for the Orthodontic Niche
For the longest time, orthodontic is traditionally confined to the job of a dentist. If you’ve got malpositioned teeth or jaws, you will be thoroughly examined and prescribed a treatment plan using dental braces as the solution.
The problem is that wire braces aren’t really oral-friendly – they cut and poke the gums frequently making simple tasks like eating and brushing teeth very cumbersome. I know that from personal experience. Needless to say, the treatment is usually an expensive one plus, it’s not really that cute to smile with either.
Then somewhere in the 1990s with the use of 3D technology, plastic braces were invented and they started selling like hotcakes. Why? Because it offers the exact opposite of the typical dental braces – comfort and aesthetic – two elements most patients would gladly pay no matter the cost.
With more information on orthodontic treatment flooding the internet, the popularity for clear aligners, as they are now called, only escalates with time. This scenario is evident on Google Trend as we compare dental braces over the course of 16 years in the US.
Clearly, the market demand isn’t slowing down anytime soon for either product. If anything, it only makes people with misaligned teeth more eager to fix their problems. And they are digging deep online, hovering interest on the following topics;
From a marketing perspective, these inquiries make good keywords to enter the orthodontic market – whether you’re a local dentist providing a service or an affiliate promoting clear aligners online. They can be used strategically on blog posts, YouTube videos, online ads, and social postings to reach out to a wider audience. Even people who never thought of getting clear aligners may think twice.
Smile Direct Club at a Glance
Enter Smile Direct Club, a startup launched in 2014 that aims to provide DIY dental treatments using custom-made BPA-free clear aligners. The company partners with over 200 certified dentists and orthodontists in the US to provide professional advice on teeth straightening using the device.
Here’s how it works in a nutshell;
- An impression of your current teeth alignment is taken. This can be done by ordering an impression kit or via 3D scanning (the more accurate technique) at the nearest Smile Direct Club shop in your area.
- The impressions and images will be examined by a licensed dentist to determine your eligibility for wearing the aligners.
- Once approved, you can order the device online for a one-time payment of $1895 OR for $85/month (over 24 months) + a deposit of $250.
- A brand new set of aligners will then be made and delivered to your home. You will wear different sets of aligners every 1-2 weeks up to a minimum of 6 months to achieve the desired adjustment.
- During the course of treatment, you will check-in with a dentist remotely to ensure everything is going according to the plan.
- Towards the end of the treatment, you’re advised to wear a retainer (order separately for $99) and change to a new set every 6 months, to keep the new alignment permanent.
- Pretty neat for an orthodontic solution, right?
In 2015, the company took it a step further by launching the Smile Direct Club affiliate program on the ShareASale network. This opportunity has significantly increased its brand exposure online, allowing more people to make money with the device through online referrals. Currently, the program offers a commission of $50 per sale with a tracking period that lasts for 30 days.
While participation is free, the ideal candidate for an affiliate is someone who has tried AND is happy with the outcome of using their aligners. This could be anyone from professionals working in the dental/orthodontic industry to regular people like you and me.
In addition, it’s important to have a website in place to show your experience and knowledge about the product. This will increase your chances of being accepted and monetized from the program. If you’re new to website building or never seems to get around creating a nice looking blog, here’s a simple free WordPress tool to get you started.
So where does the company stand amidst all these market opportunities? Let’s start by highlighting the advantages first.
The Advantages of Smile Direct Club Affiliate Program
(1) Given what we’ve seen so far on Google trends and keyword findings, it’s quite obvious that the trend is favoring clear aligners more than dental braces. Prominent factors like aesthetics, affordability, and convenience are likely to transform it into an evergreen product so I think there will be a long term demand in the orthodontic market.
(2) Unlike its competitors, Smile Direct Club invested a lot in its marketing forefront. Their official website is easy to navigate, their knowledge base is informative and they even use 3D imaging to project what your future smile may look like. They also have a ton of positive reviews (and plenty of beautiful smiles) to prove the product really works.
(3) The pricing of the product is worth mentioning as well. Tagged at $1895 (assuming you pay all at once), it’s still cheaper than going for other types of orthodontic braces such as metal, ceramic or the renowned Invisalign. That’s why the company is so popular amongst college students and people with limited budgets who would otherwise not get a chance to fix their teeth.
(4) The company is currently one of the top 100 merchants (ranked number 14) on ShareASale which basically means it has a very good sales performance through affiliate marketing. These stats more or less reflect the status of their funds and the ability to pay your commissions promptly.
The Disadvantages of The Program
(1) As a remote dental solution, many things could go wrong from misunderstanding to the misfit of the product itself. This can happen to many products and services that are fully or partially automated.
If you read the fine print thoroughly, Smile Direct Club claims only to work on mild to moderate alignment cases – NOT ALL of them. That’s why the first stage of assessment is important to determine one’s eligibility. And because the dentist only checks in with you online and not through traditional oral examination, your progress could turn out unexpectedly different from the 3D projection.
Many negative reviews about the company tend to stem from these unexpected areas so make sure your readers are aware of these risks before placing any orders. Otherwise, you will induce a lot of disappointments in your review.
(2) As innovative as it may sound, Smile Direct Club is only available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. That means they partner with local dentists and ship the aligners within these countries. If your targeted audience happens to come from outside of these regions, the offer will be irrelevant despite their interests in getting one.
Is Smile Direct Club Affiliate Program Worth Joining?
The $50 commission makes the Smile Direct Club affiliate program very attractive yet to come up with a genuine review, I think it’s best to personally try the product yourself. It may take some time (at least 6 months) to see the results, but if your experience is a positive one, then you should definitely take advantage of what the program has to offer.
If the product didn’t turn out the way you expect it to be, then see if you’re qualified for a refund. Instead, find a product solution that works for you and go from there. There’s really no point promoting the aligners unless they serve some merits in comparison to other brands within the same category.
I hope you’ve discovered some golden nuggets here on how to go about making money with clear aligners in the orthodontic market. Meanwhile, to learn more about building a successful affiliate business, check out my recommended training platform here. It’s free to get started!
Do you have any experience using clear aligners or being affiliated with one? Please share your thoughts and comments below.