Wednesday, April 29, 2009

10 Tips for Making Your Affiliate Marketing Program More Effective


Marketers with successful affiliate marketing programs know that the affiliate channel is a cost-effective way to drive incremental revenue.

But as with any marketing strategy, if you don't consistently apply best practices to your tactical efforts, you're likely to have disappointing results. Here are ten things you should focus on to improve the performance of your affiliate marketing program:
  • Effective Creative: Publishers spend time and money promoting your products or services, so you need to make sure you provide effective creative to help them sell your products. Effective creative has consistent brand messaging and a consistent look and feel every place the consumer interacts with it in the buy-or-try conversion funnel, from the banner on a publisher's site to your landing page to your shopping cart or lead form. Effective creative also has a clear and highly visible call to action and a compelling offer.

  • Competitive Offers: Are your offers in line with your vertical or industry? Take a look at what your competitors are offering for similar products or services and evaluate whether or not your margins allow you to provide a comparable or better offer. The trend of offering free expedited shipping proved successful for online retailers during the 2008 holiday shopping season and is continuing to be popular with consumers in 2009.
  • Deep Linking: It's well known that deep linking (linking directly from your offer on a publisher's site to the landing page where the product or service can be ordered) converts better than linking to your home page. The fewer pages a consumer has to click to before reaching the item, the more likely that shopper will complete the purchase. An easy way for online retailers to provide publishers with their complete and up-to-date product catalogs is through the use of data feeds, which we can set you up with.
  • Optimized Landing Pages: Your publishers can drive quality traffic for you all day every day, but if your landing pages aren't optimized, then your conversion rate will suffer. Make sure that there's visual consistency between your ads and landing pages, that your copy resonates with your target audience and that you follow through on the promise of your ad by making it clear what shoppers need to do next to get the special offer.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)/Search Engine Optimization (SEO): If you're not using paid and/or natural search campaigns to test the effectiveness of your ad copy, you're essentially just guessing at what works. Often the success you see in search can be the best indicator for the success of your affiliate program.
  • Simple Checkout Process: Streamline your checkout process to reduce the steps required to purchase a product. To prevent shopping cart abandonment, list shipping charges early in the checkout process and include thumbnail images of items next to their descriptions to provide a visual reminder for customers returning to their carts from previous visits.
  • Incentives: Top-performing publishers drive the majority of your revenue and expect to be compensated accordingly. So don't let them down by offering the standard commission you give to all your publishers. By offering special incentives that you tie to a specific product or to a volume or time-based goal, you're letting your best publishers know that you'll reward them for achieving the results you need.
  • Communication: Lack of communication with your publishers is the cause of many failed relationships. Make it a priority to communicate frequently and clearly with your publishers using the methods they prefer. Many publishers rely on email or instant messaging, but there may be times when they'd appreciate it if you picked up the phone or visited in person – this especially applies to your top revenue-producing publishers.
  • Professionalism: What you communicate to your publishers can be just as important as how. If you don't have marketing copywriters on staff, make sure to run your affiliate program description page and publisher newsletters by your company's corporate communications or documentation teams so they can flag typos and make sure the copy reads well.
  • Quality Online Presence: When was the last time you looked critically at your Web site? If it takes forever to load, has confusing navigation or amateurish graphic design, then consumers are likely to perceive your products and services negatively. Invest in a graphic designer or user interaction designer (or a talented intern) who is skilled at presenting information from a consumer's point of view rather than from a corporate perspective.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Marketing Tips : Use The Law Of Attraction


Successful people are using the law of attraction in every aspect of their lives. These same principles can be used in marketing. Attraction marketing has a lot to do with mindset.

Here are fours tips from people who have successfully integrated the law of attraction into their marketing campaigns.

Seek Clarity First
The most important thing to remember is to get clear on who you are and why you want what you want. Wallace D. Wattles warned against having only a 'vague and misty notion' of your goals. If you can see clearly, then you can move with certainty. You won't have to rely on others to tell you what to do. You won't need to look outside yourself to know what fits, what clicks, what energizes you and makes you pop out of bed in the morning. Once you have a firm understanding of what motivates your life you can easily and effortlessly connect with the right people, at the right time, and in the right ways.
- Phillip Davis branding and naming expert

Don't Forget the ACTION in Attraction!
Don't forget that ACTION is a part of the word "Attraction". We can create happy thoughts, work up positive feelings, envision the ideal customer, and even create vision boards for high sales figures, swelling bank accounts, and all the things that we will buy with our profits. But without adding the actual action to the overall process, we're really doing nothing more than day dreaming. For me, the action step isn't about "forcing" what I've attracted but it is my way of saying to the universe, "I am expecting to receive what I have asked for and I am proving that by taking these steps to prepare myself to receive it." As I write my ad copy, create my email messages, and follow-up with prospects, I do it with a sincere gratitude and expectation that the steps I am taking are working to manifest the intentions I have set in my mind.
- Brian Rooney autoresponders expert

Dare to Own Your Special Gifts - Now THAT's Attraction!
A big part of Attraction Marketing is daring to own your own special gifts. You do have them. You have a unique style of bringing your work into the world. There are people out there who can only hear what they need to hear from you! Attraction Marketing is not about backing down and being modest. It's about stepping into your greatness because when you step into this powerful place--opportunities, synchronicities, and all sorts of help truly show up. And so do the clients, media opportunities and speaking events! People want to work with confident and successful people. This has been the hardest area for me in the evolution of my business and I know it's the one of the biggest growth areas for my clients. Owning your greatness so that you can create the best experience for others! As Marianne Williamson is often quoted, 'It is not our darkness that frightens us, but our brilliance.' Get your free Business Attraction Success Kit
- Laura West attraction marketing expert

Develop a Prosperity Mindset to Attract Business
Unsuccessful people only focus on price and the immediate expense they have to incur to take the next step. They make decisions based on whether or not they can afford things. Successful people think differently. They focus on the reward of taking the next step! They keep in mind what they want to achieve in life and business, and look for opportunities to invest in themselves or to get the resources they need to reach their goal. When considering new investments they ask questions like: 'If I make this investment, what kind of return can I expect and how fast?' and 'What will it cost me not to make this investment?' That's Prosperity Mindset!"
- Adam Urbanski information marketing expert

Following the advice of these experts will help you use the law of attraction in your marketing. Give it a try, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!


Monday, April 13, 2009

How To Drive Traffic To Your Site Without Spending Big Bucks


The first thing that you have to consider in building a business online is sending traffic to your site. How would you be able to obtain this traffic without paying that much money then? You have to look into several ways on how to generate free traffic through the web.

Let's face it, even if you have all the money in the world, you still would like to avail of that free stuff that you can get from the web, as long as it's going to help you keep up with this fast paced industry, that are filled of challenges and competitions. It is true that it is somehow difficult to be able to generate traffic, but if you follow methods to help you out on how to go about doing it the easy way, then it wouldn't be much of a problem for you.

There are several strategies that you can use to drive traffic to your website without costing that much money. You may even combine them according to your preference, so you can get more traffic that you expect. Let's say for instance using article marketing and email marketing at the same time.

Article marketing allows you to drive traffic to your website through article submission, while having it go together with an email campaign would work out perfectly. After your online users read your article they are interested with it and will be clicking on the resource box linked to your website. From there you get traffic, and then you have them opt in to a weekly newsletter for free for more information, then you will be able to capture their email addresses.

Being able to acquire their email addresses would now allow you to contact these people. You then send them newsletters as you have promised, together with your sales pitch for the product that you are offering. Eventually you will gain their trust and they will buy your product.

But of course for you to be able to send those emails in a shorter period of time, you will need assistance for it. You may opt to use a bulk email sender software that could help you organize your mailing list, and send out those emails for you.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How To Get Clients To Buy Your Products and Services In This Market


by: Kendall Summerhawk
Small Business Coaching

The number one question I'm asked in every interview I give is, "Kendall, HOW do I get my clients to buy my products or services in this market?"

First of all, I have both GOOD news and even BETTER news for you. The good news is that this problem IS solvable IF you know how to wisely position yourself and your services.

Even BETTER news is that by brushing up on a few simple skills right now you'll actually make your business stronger than ever, which means that as the economy begins to turn around, you'll be sitting pretty.

So what do you do when your clients seem to be clutching tight to their purse strings? Well, what you're NOT going to do is panic. In fact, I recommend taking several deep breaths because you need to be clear headed, creative and focused.

Your clients haven't stopped searching for help in solving their problems, they've just gotten a lot choosier in WHO they select. They're also expecting some extra attention and service, which, using my marketing tips, will be a snap for you to provide, without breaking your budget or requiring you to burn the midnight oil.

So let me help you out here by sharing THREE simple secrets for getting clients to choose YOU as their solution so cash and clients flow steadily into your business.

Small Business Secret #1: Focus Your Client Conversation On The "What" And The "Why" - NOT The "How"

Okay folks, I'm not going to pull any punches here. If you're talking to your prospective clients about HOW you work, you're going to lose them. This is your opportunity to brush up on your "values based" conversation skills.

What this means is a full 98 percent of your prospective client conversation is focused on WHAT the problem is they want to solve, WHAT the solution is they want to see and WHY it's important to them.

Here's a great question I love to ask (from my "7 Money Mindset and Pricing Strategy Secrets" home study course):

"So tell me, what's the problem you REALLY want to solve?" followed up with, "And how do you know that's a problem?"

Yes, these questions sound simple but I promise they'll help you uncover the rich, juicy information you need to help get your clients focused on YOU as their solution . . . and keep you from getting side tracked talking about features.

Small Business Secret #2: Add In Additional Services and Bonuses

Clients are expecting either discounts or deals right now. Sure, you won't make quite as much by pampering your clients but you WILL make more sales.

This is not the time to penny-pinch! Going to extra lengths for your ideal clients will secure their business. Look for where you can add additional services and bonuses they'll value. Even better, choose items not dependent on your time (such as gifts, books, samples, templates or even services provided by a complimentary vendor). This way, you'll be the hero without working harder.

Small Business Secret #3: Keep Your Money Flowing Too

Money is like water -- it needs to flow or else it damns up, stagnates and goes septic. Ugh!

If you want your clients to spend their money with you, YOU need to be a model for spending your money with others. Period. Now, I'm not suggesting going into debt. But what I AM recommending is you continue to invest wisely in your business.

Yes, I know that right now can seem like a scary time to let loose of some funds but truthfully, it's the people who invest in learning HOW to improve their business who will still be IN business, stronger than ever as the economy turns around.

Plus, on an energetic level there is no way you'll get prospective clients to invest with you if you're not walking your talk. The trick is to invest in products and services that add VALUE to your life or business. Once you practice this for yourself, you'll understand first hand what it feels like so you can authentically guide your prospective clients to do the same.

My Platinum clients understand this principle well and are experiencing some of their best months ever.

In upcoming articles I'll share with you how to pay attention to the clarity of your message, how to create a clear "brand personality" and how to create packages focused on solving the problems your clients WANT solved.

In the meantime, focus every client conversation, marketing article or presentation you have this week on WHAT problem your prospective clients want solved and why it's important to them. By doing so you'll be creating a values-based conversation with them that's much more likely to turn into a new client for you!


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