Web Partnering Helps
‘United we thrive, individually we simply survive’, is generally true for all businesses – online and offline, in all parts of the world. As more customers means more business and consequently more revenues, affiliates or business partners can quickly add to your bottom-line with minimal investment. Web affiliates agree to display a company’s web links and/or banners on their website. They can even go a step further by advocating their benefits in their online newsletters and e-mails. This affiliate marketing is a win-win proposition for both the businesses and affiliates as affiliates receive payment for every customer transaction that comes from their promotional links, while the original merchant / website owner gets a marketing head start with almost zero investment. The website can quickly encash the affiliates’ incoming web traffic and also leverage the affiliate’s brand as co-branding does help in establishing brand reach in unknown customer domains /territories. For example a health drink can choose a popular sports portal as its affiliate to promote its range of drinks. In addition to a steady stream of web visitors to its website, the health drink would also benefit from a high reputable sport portal’s brand endorsement, as it would not promote inferior products on its portal.
The web offers almost limitless opportunities to select your affiliates and for affiliates, more ways of making money than they originally visualized. However, affiliate programs need careful selection, nurturing and sustenance for them to succeed in both the short term as well long term. Successful affiliates treat their partner’s business as their own when promoting it with seriousness and consistency. Both the partners need to research consumer behaviour and find commonality of interest and promote it in the most innovative way(s). For example, in the above sports channel example, it can promote health drink branded scholarships for selected sports disciplines for aspiring school students. As sustainable affiliate programs do take considerable time and effort, it is not a good idea to spread the efforts thin by taking on too many programmes. While most affiliates can be had for free, there are some premium paid lists at proven affiliate networks like Charlie Page’s ‘Directory of E-zines’.
Selecting Super Affiliates
Making the right choice of affiliates is critical to giving your promotional efforts the right direction. The chosen affiliate should ideally be in a similar industry and at the same time should never be your direct competitor. Ideally the chosen affiliate should have its own brand status which its partners can easily leverage. Their websites should rank high in search engines and they should be good in such promotion activities like running successful e-newsletter and blog posting campaigns. Using super affiliates could jumpstart your marketing and conversion rates too. While there is no single golden rule for selecting super affiliates a right combination of the following measures have been known to help:
Attend Web Promotion events
Online and offline web promotion / marketing conferences and seminars are places where serious affiliates congregate, especially the paid variety (and expensive ones). Nothing can replace the advantage of having a one-on-one interaction and the ability to choose from good affiliates. Remember to leverage a well prepared speech on the advantages of your web business to create a good impression on your chosen affiliates.
Do place advertisements in popular affiliate forums / newsletters / blogs / directories / networks where affiliates can easily see the many benefits of joining your programme. Remember to include a professional ‘sign-up’ form in the online advertisement.
Post details on affiliate directories
Submit your web business details to paid as well as free affiliate directories. Since they have different rules / requirements for different categories it is a great idea to hire professional vendors to do this on your behalf to ensure accurate posting and regular tracking of the responses.
Using controversial and outspoken blogs
It is always a great idea to create a ripple with professional postings on controversial blogs famous for their outspoken views. You could even use professional help to start one and use SEO to make it popular. This attention grabbing technique can easily net you some curious affiliates who are really worthwhile.
Business allies, vendors and even your existing affiliates could be requested by you to share a list of their friends and associates who could sign up to promote your web programme.
Poaching Competitors’ Affiliates
Only the smart thrive in today’s era of choices, so you could track down your competitions’ successful affiliates and persuade them to join your programme with better offers.
Polishing Your Own Act
To be able to attract the right affiliates, think like an affiliate and create a great SEO website which the probable affiliate would be proud to be associated with. Paying commissions higher than the prevailing industry norms is a great idea to attract good affiliates. You should also provide for a range of process innovations that would endear you to probable affiliates like a 24X7 live chat assistant to assist curious web visitors.
Contact ROI to see how we can help you with your search engine requirements.