Affiliate Marketing Myths (The Top 5 Affiliate Marketing Myths)
Bad information keeps many people from making money online.
People give a half-hearted effort to one form of marketing, get disappointed that it didn’t work, and then cry out to the world that it no longer works…
“Email Marketing Is Dead!”
“SEO No Longer Works Thanks to Google…”
“Content Marketing Has Lost Its Luster…”
Or the big one:
“Affiliate Marketing Is for Scammers!”
When something is proclaimed dead or not working any longer, it’s probably because someone was gaming the system and the system owners plugged the hole.
Ethical marketing always works in the long run.
That’s why Affiliate Marketing has worked for decades and will continue to work for the non-scammers of the world.
But the headlines persist, and the myths and misconceptions flourish. Let’s take a look at affiliate marketing myths (the top 5 affiliate marketing myths) and reveal the truth about them!
Shall we begin…?
1) Affiliate Marketing Is Easy…
There’s a misconception out there that the newbie online marketer can grab an affiliate link, put it on their Facebook page, and the money will start rolling in.
Not so fast…
Affiliate marketing like any other business model IS a business.
And it should be treated like a business.
While affiliate marketing may be the exact business model you need as a new entrepreneur, it’s important to understand and accept that it is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme.
Is this beginning to sound like work yet? It should.
Affiliate marketing can be VERY rewarding, but it is not easy, especially if you have no business experience. But affiliate marketing can be best way to learn how to build a business with very low-risk.
Your investment as an affiliate marketer is low because you don’t have any product or delivery costs. Your focus must be on building a market, knowing that market inside out, and learning how to sell.
These are essential skills for any business owner to master.
Driving traffic and measuring conversions to build your marketing list is the primary tool of every affiliate marketer.
2) Affiliate Marketing Doesn’t Work Any More…
The days of throwing a link up on the social marketing sites and making a million dollars over night are gone…if they ever existed.
Social media has heightened the importance of building relationships with your target market, and that can be a slow process.
Your followers and email subscribers must feel a connection with you. If they don’t, they find someone else where that connection is real.
Affiliate marketing not only works with an audience that knows, likes and trusts you, but they will ask for your affiliate link for new products. Sometimes, they feel such a close relationship that they’ll pass around your affiliate link for you.
Affiliate marketing without real relationships (even if they’re automated) is hard but can be done with a lot of effort.
But affiliate marketing with real connections with an audience that has been nurtured and embraced works like a charm because you’re genuinely looking out for their interests.
3) The Competition Is Too Steep In Affiliate Marketing…
First, let’s agree competition is good.
That means there’s a market for the product. If not, no one else would be trying to sell that product.
Competitors can also become your best traffic source. Using the right tools like iSpionage.com, you can target your competitors, and step in front of their traffic with better offers, Facebook ads, or other techniques.
Sound a little cutthroat?
Nope, it’s just business. Once you become the Big Dog, everyone will target you too.
Your job is to offer better bonuses, better services, better support, and better experience to that market. And by doing that, you’re building a better relationship.
Find out how your competitors are building their audience (keyword research) and jump in there to grab that audience yourself.
Business is about competition, so if that bothers you, you probably need to get a job.
4) The More I Promote My Affiliate Links The More Money I’ll Make…
Listen, this one is tricky.
In theory, this is true. But there are other considerations like…
Does your message match the right audience? This is where you’ve got to get good at know your market including their hopes, dreams and issues.
In the consulting world, they call these the FUDs – Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts.
What is your audience trying to do? And how can the solution you put in front of them solve that issue?
Promote to the right audience and you don’t have to “sell them” often because you become part of their go-to-problem-solver while you’re building a relationship.
5) Affiliate Marketing Is High Risk And Low ROI…
Ok. There is risk in any business endeavor. In affiliate marketing, you could make a lot of sales for a product only to have the product owner go out of business.
That’s always a risk.
And the return on investment could be very low, but only because you’re not making sales.
That usually means you don’t have the right message for the right target market. Conversions are much easier and ROI much higher when you convert prospects to customers.
Opponents of affiliate marketing will jump in here and declare you’d be better off building your own products, selling them online and keeping ALL the money.
Here’s the truth about that:
Affiliate marketing is awesome because the risk is extremely low. You don’t have to create a massive infrastructure to support your products. You’re letting someone else take that risk on.
And the low ROI? Wrong.
The potential in affiliate marketing for those people who learn how to build an audience and convert that audience to paying customers is HUGE because it’s a pay-for-performance model!
The more you convert, the more you make and the higher your return.
Of course, like everything else, affiliate marketing only works if you know how to do it correctly.
To keep you on track, it is a great idea to use checklists and if that sounds like a good idea to you then please look at these checklists here: warr.us/NAMSAffChecklists
Benefits Of Video Marketing Pt2 (5 Secrets Of Highly Lucrative Video Marketing)
As I said in my last post, you simply MUST be using video in your marketing because if you’re not using video yet, you’re losing customers, clients and revenue.
So how can you use more video in your business? And how can you make those videos perform as well as possible in getting your viewers to take action?
By the way, if you want to learn ALL about video marketing, you really need to look at Video Marketing Insider. It is the best course I have ever found encompassing all things related to video marketing, and the creator really supports his stuff and has already added more to the training as well as some exclusive software. Check it out here: warr.us/VMI
Here are five more tips to get you started in the right direction:
6: Optimize your videos for search in Google AND YouTube
Here are a few tips for doing just that:
If you can, host your video to your own domain first, before uploading it to sharing sites. This has the potential to get people to link back to your own domain, which will also help your overall SEO efforts.
Enable embedding on your video to increase the likelihood of receiving inbound links.
Add your videos to your sitemap to give Google information about your video. This gives Google useful metadata that can improve Google’s ability to include your video in search results. Here’s a handy page to tell you how https://developers.google.com/webmasters/videosearch/sitemaps
Use tags for the relevant keywords. Write full descriptions and add a unique title.
7: Educate your audience
Some of the best videos you’ll ever make, that your prospects and clients will love, are videos that teach your viewers something useful.
Whether it’s to get a result they want, show them how to best use your product, or provide useful tips, people enjoy short ‘how to’ videos that teach them what they want to know, when they want to know it.
Which of course means you need to be found when they are looking. To do that, go back to #6 and make sure your video shows up in the appropriate SEO searches.
8: Make the most of social proof from existing customers
Social proof is best done by your customers on your behalf. For example, you can ask customers to film themselves talking about how they use and love your product.
Case studies are an excellent way to showcase your product while teaching your audience how to achieve the result they desire.
Your customer might talk about their buying decision, what might have stopped them from buying, and why they went ahead and got the product.
Next they might talk about their results of using the product, what specific features they like, and the biggest benefits of using the product.
9: ALWAYS add a call to action!
Whatever kind of video you’re making, don’t forget to add a call to action at the end. It might be to visit your website, go to a landing page to grab a free report, check out a sales page or whatever.
Just remember that your videos should be 90-95% great content and just 5-10% sales.
10: Add a video to your landing pages
Video is incredibly powerful so any page that uses video well should convert better.
Naturally you’ll want to test this out, but odds are you’ll see a nice bump in your conversions on your landing page if you add a short video.
The video should quickly introduce yourself and let them know what they’re getting when they subscribe. Make it friendly and fun for the viewer and try to inject a little humor.
Most of all, give one very clear and immediate benefit of subscribing to your list and grabbing your free offer.
I know a marketer who never sells a thing on his videos. All he does is provide helpful tips, tell silly stories about his industry and act as a helpful friend to his viewers.
And his sales are through the roof. Why? Because people love him and trust him.
So, there are 5 more “secrets” to make your video marketing more profitable. Now you have 10 of these secrets to boost your video marketing efforts, so go out and get video marketing.
And don’t forget to check out Video Marketing Insider:
Benefits Of Video Marketing Pt 1
(5 Secrets Of Highly Lucrative Video Marketing)
When I thought about writing this article, I started to compile a bunch of stats to show you how popular video marketing is becoming. And then I realized – the last thing you need are more stats about how video is taking over the internet.
So how can you use more video in your business?
And how can you make those videos perform as well as possible in getting your viewers to take action?
By the way, if you want to learn ALL about video marketing, you really need to look at Video Marketing Insider. It is the best course I have ever found encompassing all things related to video marketing, and the creator really supports his stuff and has already added more to the training as well as some exclusive software. Check it out here: warr.us/VMI
And if you want to learn how to use the power of Camtasia to really make your videos pop then take a look at this video here (don’t worry, it is free! 🙂
Here are five tips to get you started in the right direction:
1: Make your video about the story, not just about the sale.
Anyone can slap up a sales video and put it on YouTube. “Buy my product!” But will it get views? Not likely.
Instead, tell stories and deliver value. Let’s say you’re selling a course on how to do marketing for chiropractic offices. It’s tempting to tell the viewer why your course rocks, why it’s exactly what they need, and how it’s only available for a limited time. But what if you make a series of short videos, with each video providing one powerful marketing tip just for chiropractors?
I guarantee those videos will be watched and shared among the chiropractic community. You’ll establish massive credibility. And of course, you can politely refer them to your website at the end of each video.
These videos won’t sell your course for you. But what they will do is make it far easier to get the sale.
Think of it as romancing the client…
First you take them out on a date or two or three…
And THEN you close the sale.
Your success rate will be much higher than if you try to close the sale while the two of you are still strangers.
2: Make the first 10 seconds the BEST 10 seconds ever
One stat says that 20% of viewers will click away from a video within the first 10 seconds. Now you’ve got to ask yourself – why would they do that? They came to watch something, yet they leave almost immediately.
There could be a few reasons:
- Your video doesn’t appear to be what they expected. If they are coming from a link that says, “Free iPad!” and your video is about growing organic veggies, you’re going to lose them. Continuity is key here.
- You have a long, boring, “Look at me!” intro. You’ve seen those intros where it’s 30 seconds of how great the company, video creator, brand or whatever is. The problem is, no one cares but the person who made the video. Lose the long intro.
- You dilly dally around. Taking the first minute of the video to finish setting up your recording equipment is a major no-no.
- You don’t start out with a bang. You want to get right to the meat of the subject by quickly introducing what’s happening and then making it happen.
Think about movies back in the 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s – they all had long boring intros filled with lots of credits and no action.
When it comes to writing fiction, teachers often tell their students to lop off the first page or two, because they’re usually full of long, boring intro stuff to set up the first scene. But when you lop that off and start with the action, BOOM – the reader is captivated.
Videos are the same way. Start with the good stuff and let it just get better from there.
3: Lighten up!
Your video might be to inform and instruct, but that doesn’t mean you have to sound like a boring, stuffy college professor.
Find ways to inject fun and humor into your presentations. This doesn’t mean to inject knock-knock jokes that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. Instead, find the humor in what you’re teaching or talking about. It’s always there, you just need to look for it.
Now I know that when you get in front of a camera if you’re like most people you get nervous. And when you get nervous, you might not be able to find the humor in anything, except perhaps your own nervousness.
Three things I can tell you – if you practice beforehand in front of a friend, you’ll be surprised at the funny things that come to mind. Go ahead and try your humor on your friend and listen to their feedback. They’ll tell you which one’s parts and which to leave out.
Second, when you’re filming, continue to think of the camera as your friend. You’re just having a friendly conversation, regardless of whether it’s you on camera or you’re using slides.
Third, have fun. If you’re having fun, then the viewer will likely have fun as well.
4: Be yourself; don’t strive for perfection!
No one really likes someone who is perfect, or even someone who comes across as perfect. That’s why it’s okay to make mistakes on camera.
If you are nervous or if you do something wrong, just acknowledge it and move on. For example, you drop something you were showing the viewer. Laugh, pick it up, make a joke about your nerves or your butterfingers or whatever, and move on.
It’s a funny thing when we admit to the audience that we’re human and we can laugh at our own foibles – the audience begins to like us more, and they root for us, too. I even know people who purposely make a mistake or do something clumsy, just so they can get the audience on their side.
It’s a truly effective technique when done right.
5: Tell embarrassing stories about yourself
As an extension of the last point, use yourself as an example of what not to do. Let’s say you’re teaching dating tips. You want to tell the viewers what not to do.
Instead of saying, “You should never, ever do this or that because it just annoys the other person,” say this:
“I was once on a date and I made the dumbest mistake possible. What happened was…”
And then go on to tell a story about yourself doing something stupid or wrong or whatever. Notice that now instead of lecturing the viewer, you are sharing a valuable story about how you goofed up.
This does a couple of things…
It teaches the viewer in a way they will remember, because people remember stories much better than lessons. And it’s yet another opportunity to show just how human you are and make the audience like you even more.
So, there are 5 secrets to make your video marketing more profitable. I will do a follow-up with 5 more “secrets” so until then, go out and get video marketing.
And don’t forget to check out Video Marketing Insider:
Content Curation Tips
Whether or not you created or curated the content for your website – YOUR #1 goal was to attract and retain readers. Getting and keeping readers is the name of the game! It doesn’t matter if you use your website to sell your own products and services, or if you sell affiliate products. It doesn’t even matter if you profit from advertisers like Google Adsense.
All of the content you utilize will help you attract new readers – but without a retention strategy (even if your content is awesome) it will be difficult to get your readers to come back again and again. There is simply too many other distractions on the internet to build a following of loyal readers without implementing a proven readership retention strategy.
There are many proven readership retention strategies that you can choose from, which will prompt first time readers to come back to your website again and again.
I’d like to discuss one of those strategies in greater detail today…
Even before social media, bloggers and marketers learned to harness the relationship building power of “The List” to grow their audience and profits.
A simple “What’s New!” email from you sent out to a vast list of subscribers will boost the exposure of any new article on your website exponentially! You surely follow some of your own favorite topics – thanks to reminders sent via emails that are sent to your inbox.
For example, I like to follow the progress of the “Solar Impulse” – the record-breaking solar powered airplane. I first learned about “Solar Impulse’s website” via a news article and was intrigued by the team’s solar powered flight endeavors. However, after not hearing anything about them for quite some time after they crossed the continental US I began to wonder what was happening to the team. HAD THEY CRASHED?
Worried, I did a quick Google Search, but I could not remember the name of the plane. Google search sent me in a million different directions – and it was only by chance that I discovered their website again. http://www.solarimpulse.com/
THAT EXACT SAME THING COULD HAPPEN TO A FAN OF YOUR WEBSITE! ONLY THEY MAY NEVER FIND YOUR WEBSITE AGAIN!
Thankfully, now I am signed-up to the Solar Impulse newsletter. Now, I can keep track of these aviation pioneers in my spare time by opening and clicking on their latest link at my leisure – from my inbox! I have revisited their website many times since then – all thanks to their email reminders!
However, you may find that collecting email addresses from first-time readers – is no walk in the park! For example, I rarely give my email address to anyone because I don’t like getting spam any more than you do!
There has to be a very good reason for me to give away my email address. You probably feel the same way – and agree that most people do also.
That is why most successful websites will offer something special to potential subscribers (a bribe) just for signing up to their list. If you create the perfect bribe, you’ll have no problem attracting subscribers – and your list will grow like the weeds in my backyard!
What is the perfect bribe? It’s anything people believe is worth giving you, their personal email address to get! It could be…
- An Informational eBook or Report
- A Newsletter
- A Coupon Code
- Instant Access To Private Content
- A Secret Link, etc. Many things can make for the perfect bribe!
However, you are not done – once you have created the perfect bribe. You also need a system that…
- Showcases The Value Of Your “Bribe”
- Collects Emails
- Delivers The Bribe
- Thanks Your New Subscriber For Signing Up!
Most importantly, this system needs to work INSTANTANEOUSLY and AUTOMATICALLY!
If you make people wait to receive the gift they have been promised, you can bet they will not readily become your #1 fan! That’s why to collect emails you must use an AUTOMATIC landing page system. Once upon a time, I would hire a graphic designer and together we would code an automatic landing page system from scratch. …Or I would buy an off-the-rack landing page software to create the landing page system. However, since the advent of HTML5 and with more and more people using different devices like phones, tablets, etc. to visit my landing pages – I’m finding it increasingly difficult make these pages work properly. That’s why I was delighted to discover the online landing page app:
Landing Page Monkey’s landing pages…
- Work on all browsers and devices
- Don’t require me to buy or host another website
- Doesn’t require me to write html/css code
- Looks great, and is fully brandable and customizable!
Why not visit the “Demo” link at the website link I’m giving you below to see some of the example landing pages that this app has created. warr.us/LandingPageMonkey
While you’re at that website looking at demo pages, why not grab some of the giveaways they are offering? If you do, then you can watch how the entire process works and get a bunch of awesome gifts! In addition, while you are collecting all of those gifts it will help you to realize how you could have landing pages just like these awesome working examples! You’ll also see how these landing pages could help you build your list automatically!
Increasing Lifetime Customer Value (sales funnels explained) Pt 3
Tools to Make It Simple
Working out upsells, cross-sells, and downsells might seem like a lot of work. For sure, it takes time to set everything up properly, but once you do it will be truly simple.
- Visualize Your Product Funnel – This will help you set up your upsells more easily. If you can see your entire funnel at a glance, it’s going to make it easier to ensure that you have the right products at the right time. Being able to see how it all works together is going to keep everything working better. You can add to it as you create more products where you see potential gaps. FusionCharts is a product that helps you create charts to visualize your product funnel.
- Marketing Automation – You’ll need email autoresponder software. There are many choices to choose from, such as AWeber.com, ActiveCampaign.com and GetResponse.com, and others. Check out as many as you can to find out which ones have the features that you most need within your budget. You need to be able to change segments based on your customers’ behavior every step of the buying cycle. Most autoresponder software comes with opt-in lead capture forms.
- Developing Marketing Strategies – To make upsells work, you need more traffic. Marketing properly is a good way to ensure that you get the right traffic. A good marketing strategy that considers every step of your buyers’ journeys will have higher conversions. You can use tools such as Google Webmaster Tools to accomplish this.
- Setting Up Automated Sales Pages – There are tons of different options when it comes to software to help you set up sales automation. You can use Leadpages.net, ClickFunnels.com, OptimizePress.com and many others to help you set up innovative and beautiful funnels that get results.
- Shopping Cart Software – You’ll need a good way for people to pay, and a lot of shopping carts offer landing pages and the ability to upsell already. Some of your choices are 1ShoppingCart.com, aMember.com, Infusionsoft.com, and others. You can even use some affiliate software such as ClickBank.net, JVZoo.com, and others for this purpose, but you’ll still need a payment account like PayPal, Stripe.com, or an Authorize.net account.
- Website – Of course, you need a good website. Most of these ideas can be implemented on any type of website that you’ve built. But, right now the best software to use to build your website is self-hosted WordPress. It’s not harder than using a builder if you have the right website host like MomWebs.com.
- Analytics and Reporting – You can use Google Analytics for this, as well as the analytics native in each type of software that you purchase. If you don’t know how well your sales pages are converting, and you don’t know how well the upsells convert or how well your email marketing messages convert, then you are just shooting in the dark.
How to Upsell Successfully
As you know, upselling will make your business more profitable by encouraging your customers to buy the more expensive item over the less expensive item that you sell. But what are some of the ways this can be accomplished?
- They Buy – Your customer has clicked your “buy” button to put the product in their cart. At this point, you can set up your automation, using whichever software you chose, to either send them to an upsell offer or send them to the cart to check out.
- You Encourage – If you send them to an upsell offer instead of the shopping cart, you need to ensure that your sales page for the upsell offer is amazing. You don’t want to upset your customer.
Also, you want to give them a chance right from the start to turn down that offer and buy right now. Don’t be mean to them about it. Use straightforward anchor text so they know where to click depending on what they want to do.
The other way you can do it is to let them make the entire purchase including paying. Then, you can market the upsell to them either on the download page or via email autoresponder. If you do it on the download page, let them know where their product is, but that they have one chance to upgrade their order for just an “additional” cost. If they upgrade, send them directly to a download page without further delay.
If you choose, you can send the same offer via the autoresponder emails that you send to buyers. But, give them just a short time to upgrade to the larger version of your product or service.
One final point about upsells is that it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want the upsell price to be out of their range. You’ll need to know your audience to know that information but in general, you don’t want to sell them a product for $27 dollars and then upgrade it to $450 dollars. That’s too big of a difference.
How to Downsell Successfully
A downsell is not something you really want to make a habit of offering, therefore consider how you might need to offer a downsell to keep a customer. There are a couple of reasons to use downselling – cart abandonment and clicking away from the sales page.
Have a Pop-Up
To provide a downsell opportunity you need to have the right technology installed. For example, you might use Leadpages.net to set up a pop-up that is shown to the customer when they click away or abandon the cart.
There are several ideas of what to offer:
- Percent off coupon
- Free white paper
- Free webinar
- DIY cheat sheet
- Inexpensive eBook
- Email course
Your item should be either free or considerably less expensive than the first product. It should also relate very closely to the more expensive product. The reason you need to do this is because you’ll get them into your sales funnel by getting them on your email list. There you can educate, inform, and persuade them toward your other products and/or services.
Another way you can handle downsells is to install a special pixel on your website and run Facebook ads directed toward retargeting/remarketing the people who abandoned carts, visited your site and didn’t sign up for anything or buy anything. Remarket to them via the Facebook ads using a free offer or very low-cost offer to get them into your funnel.
You can offer them the same types of offers as in the pop-up. But, it will feel even more personal due to it showing up when they’re not even on your site. They’ll see it every time they get on Facebook until you stop the ad from running.
How to Cross-Sell Successfully
Probably the most popular form of making other offers is cross-selling. Some people call it upselling but it’s not. It’s offering purchases in addition to the chosen item, not instead of. The items should be related to the first purchase and either the same price or less expensive, with one exception. This is a good time to offer an “I’ll do it for you” option which will, of course, be more expensive.
Make the cross-sell laser targeted, such as software to help them follow your instructions in the info product. Or, a “done-for-you” option for what you’re teaching them how to do, such as a private label report that they can use as their own.
For example, when you click on a product to buy a pressure cooker in Amazon, you’re given recommendations of what to buy with it. Usually, it’ll be more lids, parts, or cookbooks for this item. You can do the same type of thing regardless of whether your product is physical or digital.
What to Do Now
The best place to start is to go over your product funnel and your customers’ buying cycle. Ensure that you have all the right types of content and products to meet your customers’ needs and desires. Then get the technology set up that you need set up so that you can automate everything that’s possible to automate – other than direct one-on-one contact with your customers.
When you start using upsells, cross-sells, and downsells, you’ll find that you increase your profits by at least twice. Some people report even more improvement. Why? Because you’ll increase your customers’ lifetime value, improve customer relationships, differentiate yourself from other brands, enhance customer engagement, build brand loyalty, and build a bigger and stronger audience ready for any new products you offer.
Increasing Lifetime Customer Value (sales funnels explained) Pt 2
How to Use Them Effectively
There are a lot of sellers who are using upselling techniques in ways that simply make customers mad. You don’t want to do that. You want your customers to feel good about their purchase. Follow these tips to ensure that you use the techniques effectively.
- Know Your Customer – You may get tired of hearing it, but you really need to research your customers continuously. Don’t just research them at start-up and then assume they haven’t changed in some way. Think about the difference in how TV commercials look today for some products compared to 30 years ago, for example. A good one to look at is Dove. Dove has the same audience it’s always had, demographically speaking. But their marketing has changed, because their audiences’ values have changed.
- Understand Your Products – As you create more products for your audience, you should know how they relate to each other. For example, if you wrote the guide for sales funnels, how does your “create a lead magnet” guide match up to it, and would the same customers want both products? Knowing how things go together will help you write better marketing copy.
- Ensure That They’re Related – When you offer an upsell, downsell or cross-sell, the items must be related in some way, and you should be able to explain how they’re related to your customer so they can make a good choice. If they’re not related, they won’t really work because it’s not what your audience is looking to buy.
- Help Your Customers Feel Like Winners – Your job as a seller of any type of product is to improve your customers’ lives and make them feel like they won something even though they paid for it. The more help you can give them to make their dreams come true, the happier they’ll become.
- Limit How Many You Offer – This is where knowing your audience and your products come into play. You need to understand how their minds work during their buying journey. How do they feel when they see your sales pages, go to your shopping cart and are offered additional or replacement products? You can only know by asking them. But, for the most part, you want to limit your immediate offers to one or two. Remember, you can always remarket to them later once they’re on your list.
- Use Your Shopping Cart – Many shopping cart solutions can offer additional products at checkout. In any case, most at least offer you the ability to send buyers or those who leave the system to certain URLs which can enable you to provide the additional or replacement offer. In the shopping cart, cross-sells work better than other methods, so you’ll want to implement that.
- Use Bundling – One good way to offer your customers a variation on your offer (and this can work with all forms of upselling and cross-selling), is to combine offers into one big bundle to offer them an “all-in-one” option that doesn’t break the bank but adds to your revenue nicely.
- Know Your Pricing – When you begin to offer upsells, cross-sells, and downsells, it’s important to really understand your pricing and create a pricing strategy that involves value-based pricing that your customers understand.
- Make It Seamless – Don’t make the process very difficult for your customers to understand. If you make the checkout process too confusing, they may abandon buying at all. Try to make the checkout process smooth so that nothing stops them from finishing the purchase.
- Don’t Be a Pest – You’ve likely experienced it. You wanted to buy that great new WordPress plugin so and so offered. You hit “buy”, and then before you could really buy you were offered more. Then you must click, “no, I don’t want more” a few times before you can check out. This is not a good way to get on the good side of your customers.
How to Position Yourself for the Biggest ROI
The truth is, in many ways selling is just mathematics with some persuasive writing thrown in. If you’ve convinced someone to buy, it’s now time to offer them more. Because they’re in a buying frame of mind when they click “add-to-cart”, it’s best not to just toss them aside. Instead, you want to get more out of the relationship and offer them more as well. It’s a win-win situation.
- Use Email Marketing – One of the best ways to get your customers to buy more from you is to make some of your new offers via email. For example, when someone buys product A and they didn’t take advantage of your immediate upsell opportunity, you can market to them that very thing via email within a week or two of their purchase.
- Offer Discounts on Upsells – If someone is already your customer, consider offering discounts on upsells. So, for example, if you normally sell item D for $997 and your customer is trying to buy item B for $497, and item D is a bigger, better, more awesome version of B, let them know and then offer them a discount. Perhaps you can halve the difference. If it’s a digital product, your expenses don’t go up.
- Promote Only Relevant Products and Services – Don’t confuse your customers by offering items that have nothing to do with the product they want to buy. If you were buying a car, it doesn’t make sense that they’d throw in a dishwasher. But it does make sense if you’re buying a house.
- Build Relationships – One way to encourage your customers to buy more is to get them to join your communities. For example, you can start a Facebook group for your customers where you give added value in the form of live events, tips, and more.
- Offer Exclusivity – One thing that all customers love is the feeling of being in on something that is exclusive. They like feeling included. They like feeling special. If you can provide offers that won’t be offered to the public (or them again for that matter), then you can evoke the idea of exclusivity and scarcity.
- Create Behavioral Triggers – You can set up your entire website, shopping carts, and autoresponders to react in certain ways based on what your customer does. If they click to join your email list, they get an email. If they buy product C, they get specific emails geared toward people who bought C and now need F.
When Not to Make Additional Offers
While upselling and its cousins have been around for ages, some people do take offense at it and think it’s some sort of scam. You can avoid that impression by knowing when you should not make any additional offers to your customer.
- When You Feel the Need to Pressure – If you feel like you need to threaten or use harsh language to make your buyers buy more, it’s probably not a good idea to offer any sort of upsell like that. You want your customers to feel happy about the upsell, not angry. No one likes being told their stupid. You’ve seen the trend to put something snarky in the “no” box such as “No, I don’t want to earn more money.” That’s ridiculous and not very friendly.
- When It Would Be Disrespectful – If you make a sale by being extremely pushy, it’s very disrespectful to the buyer. It shows that you don’t care about your customer at all. Customers are humans and should be treated as if they’re special. If you call them names or insult them to push them into buying, you’re doing the wrong thing when it comes to effective upselling.
- When Your Customer Has a Complaint – If you receive a complaint from a customer, it’s not the time to offer them an upsell to solve their problem. It’s commendable if you have products that will help them better than the one they bought, but it’s not really the time to tell them unless you’re willing to give them the product instead of giving a refund.
- When You Can’t Add Value – If your upsell, cross-sell, or even downsell doesn’t add value to your customers’ life, then what’s the point of it? Your job is always to put your customers’ needs first. You want to always seek to build trust with them by not wasting their time with things that send them off to another path instead of the path you’ve set within your product funnel.
- When It’s Not Ethical – If you feel uncomfortable in any way by making an offer to your audience, just don’t do it. You need to be honest with your audience – always. You don’t want to offer them any type of product or service that is questionable. If you stick to this, you’ll reap the rewards by earning more faith and trust from your customers.
- When the Upsell Is Needed to Make the Product Useful – The worst upsell trend that has come along is the upsell that is required to make the first purchase work fully. Now let’s be clear – this is common practice with software demos where they don’t work as fully until you pay. This isn’t about different levels of software or product access, though. This is about paying good money for a product that won’t even work without an expensive upsell. This is not fair to your customers at all.
- When You Can’t Be Transparent – If you can’t be fully transparent and feel the need to lie about limiting sales, never selling for less, or other things that you have no intention of sticking to, this is not only dishonest but can also end up ruining your entire business. There is no need to lie about anything if you have a good product or service.
In the final post in this series, we’ll look at some of the tools that you can use to simplify all of this and how to upsell and downsell successfully…
Affiliate Recruitment Strategies (19 Proven Tips For Recruiting The Best Affiliates)
Did you know that all affiliate marketers are not created equal? I’m sure if you are a product seller that you are only too aware of this fact!
So how do you recruit great affiliates?
While there is no one answer, there are many ways to find and recruit those key affiliates who will take your business to the next level.
OK, without further ado, let’s talk about recruiting affiliates
1. Social media
Yes, you can find great affiliates on social media. Target people who are interested in affiliate marketing and blogging in your niche.
On Twitter, search for your keywords to find who is talking about your niche, and then follow them and start interacting.
LinkedIn is a great place to meet affiliates and just network in general. You can post and participate in discussions and connect with people in a professional atmosphere.
2. Affiliate networks
One of the quickest ways to attract affiliates is to launch your product on an affiliate network. There are many to choose from, including Clickbank, Commissions Junction, JVZoo, Linkshare and Sharesale.
3. Affiliate forums
Build and maintain a presence on affiliate forums. These are great places to meet and recruit affiliates.
Here’s a few to get you started:
4. Recruit your customers
This is a great way to get new affiliates who truly use and believe in your product. These people are fans of your stuff and would probably have no problem recommending it to others, especially for a bit of cash too!
Reach out to your buyers and see who would like to be your affiliate, and take it from there.
5. Your own website
Place a link on your website! This is perhaps the most simple, yet most overlooked technique of all. Place a link at the bottom of your website, and anywhere else you choose, pointing people to your affiliate page.
6. “Wanna Promote?”
Contacting websites, blogs and other web publishers. Send them a well-written email to ask them in a very polite way if they would like to become your affiliate.
You’ll likely have to contact a lot of people to get results, but it can be totally worth the effort.
7. Use a Service
Use a service such as Affiliate Leads https://affiliateleads.net/ to locate potential affiliates by category, keyword or advertiser.
Group High http://www.grouphigh.com/ is a site that will help you find the best bloggers and influencers, as well as manage your relationships.
If you have the funds, you can hire a service such as Experience Advertising https://experienceadvertising.com/ to do your outreach and recruiting for you.
10. Use PPC Search Ads
Did you know that affiliates are actively looking for great programs to promote? You can find them by running PPC ads in Google Adwords and Bing Ads.
Don’t forget to track to see which ads are bringing in the most effective affiliates.
11. SEO’d Affiliate Pages
Create a page just for affiliates. Then optimize that page for SEO results, so when people are searching for affiliate programs in your niche, they can find you in the organic search results.
12. Press Releases
Write press releases for online distribution. Press releases can be another way to gain traction in the organic rankings.
13. In Person
Trade shows, summits and conferences are great places to meet new affiliates. You might even consider getting a booth at some of these events, so affiliates are coming to you instead of you hunting them down.
14. Customer Referral Program
Plus it automates the process, so you can put your focus elsewhere.
15. You Promote Mine, I’ll Promote Yours
Approach other product sellers and offer to do a deal in which you promote each other’s product. A few notes about this one: Obviously you want to find product owners in your same niche. You want to love their product enough to promote it – don’t promote junk just to make some sales of your own.
I can tell you right now that your customers are not buying just one product on generating traffic – they’re buying several. You can be the affiliate who introduces them to a traffic course you truly believe in, and in return get your own product promoted as well.
16. It’s Super Affiliate!
Look for super affiliates – the top affiliate performers who can generate significant revenue for the merchants they choose to promote.
They’re going to be looking for high conversion rates and a decent percentage of the profits.
Be sure you’ve got everything running smoothly and converting well before asking them to promote. If they make a lot of sales, they may continue to promote you into the future.
But if there are technical glitches or low conversions, you will never hear from them again.
Watch to see who is promoting similar offers. If you’re about to launch that traffic program, so some research to find out who the top affiliates were for previous traffic programs.
Perhaps the easiest way to do the research is proactively. Sign up as an affiliate yourself so you can see who the top promoters are, and contact them well in advance of your own launch.
Run an incentive contest, promote it everywhere. Running a contest with cash prizes for top performers will entice new affiliates to join your affiliate program.
19. Affiliates Recruiting Affiliates
Offer an incentive to current affiliates to bring in new affiliates. Affiliates know other affiliates. And offering a percentage of profits on their affiliate recruits is a great way to incentivize them to do your affiliate recruiting for you.
Above all else take care of your best affiliates and keep them happy. Affiliates can make or break your business. If just one affiliate has a bad experience with you, they can potentially tell dozens of others to steer clear. Once this happens, you’ll find it very difficult to recruit new affiliates.
A half dozen of these affiliates promoting you on a regular basis can move you into the 6 figure range. All for just recruiting and taking care of your best people.
OK, there you have it; 19 top tips to add to your affiliate recruitment strategies to help you attract and recruit the best affiliates.
Increasing Lifetime Customer Value (sales funnels explained) Pt 1
If you have ever been to a restaurant or fast food chain you have probably been exposed to a “sales funnel.” Think about it; when you go out to eat don’t they always try to get you to buy dessert or have fries with that? And when you shop at retail stores they always try to get you to buy one more thing as you are checking out, normally something which enhances your original purchase.
These are basically cross-sells and are a tried-and-true way of increasing the value of your shopping cart; in short, they are a sales funnel at work. In this series of 3 posts, we’re going to discuss this and two other ways to increase your profits.
What Are These Types of Sale?
What we’re talking about is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase either products which enhance the original purchase at a fraction of the original cost (add-on), or more expensive products (upsell), less expensive alternatives or entry level (downsell), or just additional products – sometimes complementary and sometimes just related (cross-sell). In other words:
- Add-on – Encourage customer to buy additional product which further enhances the original purchase but at a fraction of the cost e.g. accessories.
- Upsell – Encourage customer to buy a more expensive item instead of the item they thought they wanted.
- Downsell – Encourage customer to buy a less expensive item if they are wavering about buying the first item.
- Cross-Sell – Encourage customer to buy additional products, sometimes complementary to the first purchase but sometimes just related products or services.
It’s important to understand how and why each of these practices helps increase your revenue. Even if you get the terms mixed up, as many people do, these options should always exist in your business practices. Luckily, with technology it’s easy to set up your funnel so that all of this is automatic.
How Do They Work?
Most people who are in a buying frame of mind don’t really like leaving without anything. They also like to feel as if they’re on the inside and getting a good deal. As a business owner, you want to ensure that you never leave money on the table. As a customer, you want to ensure that you get a good deal.
- Add-on Example – Let’s say that you sell digital products online, and you are promoting your “Guide to Sales Funnels” for $27 dollars and your customer clicks on that item to purchase it. When they checkout, you may also have a handy checklist to help them implement the training quicker and easier and you offer this for $17. And because this enhances the original offer AND is cheaper, many buyers will take you up on the add-on offer.
- Upsell Example – Let’s say that with your “Guide to Sales Funnels” you also have a “done-for-you” option for $127. This means that right at checkout, you can offer anyone wanting to buy the 27-dollar guide the option to upgrade to the “done-for-you” option and get the guide for free. This is a wonderful example of upselling.
- Downsell Example – Let’s say that your customer goes to the sales page for the 127-dollar offer for the done-for-you sales funnels, but they’re not really ready, so they leave the shopping cart without checking out. You can set up the page to send them directly to the 27-dollar guide offer, or you can use remarketing ads and send them to the 27-dollar guide offer.
- Cross-Sell Example – With either of these options, you can include some additional options. Right on the checkout page or after they check out, you can send them to the download page where you can offer additional items to them. Either way, these additional items are somehow related to the same topic as the original offer.
So, for example, you may have an affiliate link to software such as Leadpages.net or ClickFunnels.com that you can recommend. Or, you may have a graphics package that will work for them to help create their sales funnels that you can promote now. Or, any number of reports, books, or offers that relate. The point is that the offer is in addition to whatever they’re buying.
Getting Started with Upselling, Cross-selling, and Downselling
The key to creating just the right sale at the right time is to understand your customers’ buying process. But, unlike most sellers, you’re not going to stop when they choose to buy.
Most buying processes are similar and look something like this:
- Awareness – How does your customer find out about your offerings? They usually search the internet, ask friends, or look on social media. This means that you’ll need to have social media updates, blog posts, articles, and information out there so that your customer learns about your solution.
- Investigation – When your customer is doing their research, you want to ensure that you have enough information for them. Usually, at this point they might sign up for your email list to get a white paper, eBook, view a webinar or get other types of industry reports that you’ve created.
- Evaluation – At this point your customer likely has signed up for other people’s lists too, so you need to ensure that you are filling in all the gaps of information by offering case studies, demos, testimonials, free samples and anything you can reasonably offer so that they can make the choice you want them to make.
- Commitment – Finally your customer decides to buy what you’re offering. This is where most people stop. But this is not where you will stop if you learn to create powerful funnels using upsells, cross-sells, and downsells to keep people inside your funnel and increase their lifetime value.
Once you’ve worked out your customers’ buying cycle, you can focus on what happens after commitment. What do you do after they buy? Now is the time to focus on upselling and cross-selling. Depending on what they’ve bought, you should determine whether customers who buy that item will want additional add-on items that you can cross-sell, or whether you have a bigger and better offer for them that they can switch to.
In the next post, we’ll look at how to best use these effectively and how to position yourself for the biggest Return On Investment (ROI)…