A ton of players in affiliate marketing are just middlemen, getting in front of audiences through SEO or PPC or email marketing and shooting them off to the storefront as quickly as possible. I’d wager that most of them never even touch or interact with products they review. Even really huge players in the game don’t really add much value, and this is where you can stand out from the competition and perhaps even develop your own dedicated audience. Try to provide insights that can’t be garnered by the end consumer alone, such as hands-on product review videos (great for gadgets, tech and fashion), custom pictures and images that aren’t available elsewhere and use-cases about how products fit into your daily life. All this is a lot of additional work but will end up with a final product that outshines your competition.
Giving away a free informational product such as an e-book, an email series or a mini-course is a popular tactic many affiliate marketers use. Usually, your readers will have to provide their email addresses to receive the product from you. You can then use this to sell to them via email marketing. Additionally, an informational product can generate interest in the actual product you're trying to sell. If your product is popular enough and brings enough traffic to your site, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways, such as AdSense.
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
Many voucher code web sites use a click-to-reveal format, which requires the web site user to click to reveal the voucher code. The action of clicking places the cookie on the website visitor's computer. In the United Kingdom, the IAB Affiliate Council under chair Matt Bailey announced regulations that stated that "Affiliates must not use a mechanism whereby users are encouraged to click to interact with content where it is unclear or confusing what the outcome will be."
At every step of campaign creation, marketers receive immediate guidance and feedback, from identifying the best audience size to the right channel choice. Campaign Composer enables marketers to proactively understand the future impact of their campaigns and optimize them for the highest engagement. In short, this takes the guesswork out of campaign creation and improves ROI of your marketing dollars.
Carolanne Mangles is the Digital Marketing Executive for Business Memberships at Smart Insights. She has worked on numerous channels across the full customer lifecycle including, search engine marketing, social media, email engagement sequences, CRO and planned and managed fully integrated campaigns to boost new customer acquisition and current membership retention. She has also spoken on search engine marketing and content marketing at the B2B Expo in London where she gave masterclasses on Transforming Social Media and Transforming Search Marketing. When she’s not in the office you’ll find walking her dog to tire him out so she can enjoy a big glass of red wine. Connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.
If you are selling someone else’s product you can “sweeten the pot” by adding something that only your subscribers will get. For example, if they buy the affiliate course you are promoting, you’ll give them special access to a private Facebook group filled only with people who have purchased it through your link. If you are promoting some else’s retreat or weekend intensive, you can bundle a free hour or two of consulting after they attend the intensive or retreat. They are already on your list because they believe in you, so this makes them feel like they are getting special treatment for buying your affiliate product.
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Take advantage of affiliate program freebies when available. Many affiliate programs provide free printables, guides, webinars or other lead magnets designed to get potential customers in their sales funnel. As an affiliate, you can share these freebies with your audience using your affiliate link so if they eventually make a purchase, you’ll earn a commission, but if they don’t they still get value upfront.
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