Is affiliate marketing worth it

How to start affiliate marketing

Is affiliate marketing worth it - How to start affiliate marketing

How to Drive Sales and Traffic to Your Business Using Social Media Influencers

Did you know that some big influencers out there online can literally drive millions of dollars in sales, with a single post on social media, or mention on a big blog? In fact, there’s even billion-dollar businesses that have gotten their start from single big influencers mentioning their products.

And, surprisingly enough, it’s easier to do than you might think. Sure, it might be far harder to do a multi-million dollar launch overnight from a big star mentioning you just to be nice, but there’s plenty of well-known influencers that can still drive a ton of sales your way (and you never know when you might get lucky by landing a bigger one).

To increase your chances of this, you should take the time to reach out to these big influencers, blogs, news sites, etc., and offer them your products for free in the hopes that they’d be willing to review them.

Sometimes you can even pay these influencers to mention your products. And although some of the biggest influencers out there cost some serious money to do that, others will do it for virtually pennies on the dollar (think about it – $100 or so for a minute or two of their time is a very good deal for some even semi well known influencers).

Not sure how to find these influencers? Don’t overthink it! Search social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc., on top of forums, blogs, big news sites, magazines, etc., and then reach out to them directly on those sites (either via messaging or finding an e-mail address).

You can also do a twist on this method by reaching out to relevant blogs, news editors (magazines or big news sites), as well as others in the media, and then offer to write up an article for them on a topic related to your product. As long as it’s not just a promotion, several of these editors often times are tasked with writing new articles but don’t necessarily want to do all the research and writing themselves. If you do the work for them, allow them to edit it any way that they want, and aren’t too sales pitchy, you can land some big publicity with some big influencer sites.

So take the time to identify and reach out to influencers and big sites to see if they’d be willing to mention your product (even if for a price) or review it for a free copy. Just a couple of deals can create a big boost in sales for you!

For more ways you can use social media to drive sales to your business, check out this tool here News Poster.

How Affiliate Programs Are A Great Way To Bring In More Sales With Less Effort

Want a way to make sales without paying for any ads and with zero risk of losing money in doing so? The obvious answer is a big YES, but very few business owners take advantage of running their own affiliate programs, which can do exactly that!

Affiliate programs are where you offer others a cut of any sale that they send your way. When this is done online, there’s traditionally special “affiliate links” that they get from you. When they send people through those links that later buy from your site, they’d get credited for and paid a percentage of the sale. You can do a similar concept offline just by letting others refer your prospects directly (and manually crediting them), or even by handing out special “unique” coupon codes to others to hand out to their prospects so you know where they came from. This could be a special coupon that you hand out, with a code or ID on it, so you know where it came from. Regardless, in either case you only pay them after a sale is made, which makes it virtually risk free for you.

If you go the online route, there’s various places you can sign-up to, in order to have your offers on their networks, like Clickbank.com, Amazon.com (which is great to sell on just by itself), CJ.com, etc., as they can instantly let affiliates sign-up for and start promoting your offers. Alternatively, there’s also private affiliate programs/scripts out there that you can get free or for fairly cheap to run your own affiliate program without the need for another network.

Regardless of which route you go, don’t expect to magically get lots of affiliates signing up and promoting your offer without you raising a finger. It can take some work to reach out and recruit these affiliates to get them promoting you. It’s best to reach out to those who you can also help in return first, as well as to make sure that you truly have a great converting offer with good payouts to make your offer attractive to these affiliates.

So consider creating an affiliate program and recruiting affiliates to help promote your offers at little to no risk to you. Make sure that you have attractive offers and payouts, and that you proactively reach out to the best affiliate prospects out there.

Liked this strategy? For more tips to increase your sales, check out this book 50 Marketing Tips & Tricks Learned After $100 Million in Sales Over 20 Years!.

The Marketing Tip To Boost Your Sales: Sending “We Haven’t Seen You In A While” Cards With An Incentive To Buy

Most businesses tend to practically ignore their prospects and even their best clients. This is a horrible thing to do, as you’d be leaving a ton of money on the table in doing so.

One thing that you can do to help remind your prospects and customers about you is to send either an e-mail or a card with something like a thank you note along with an incentive to take some further action (like a discount or a freebie leading into a sales offer of yours).

For instance, if you have leads that haven’t bought from you but who’ve expressed an interest of some kind, you can either automatically (via an autoresponder) or manually follow-up with them by writing an e-mail saying how you haven’t seen them in a while, want to thank them for previously reaching out, and then letting them know about either a freebie you’re currently offering, which can lead into a paid offer, or a discount or other incentive/deal that you currently have. This can help revive old, “dead” leads into being active buyers.

Likewise, if you have existing clients that bought one of your offerings but haven’t been active since, you can send them a thank you for being a customer along with a similar freebie or special discount/offer exclusively for your members/customers into some other offer you have. This can be a great and easy way to make more sales without a ton of effort.

So follow up with old leads and past customers with a “we haven’t seen you in a while” message, thank you note, etc., along with a freebie, incentive, or discount to help drive more sales from them your way while also making them feel appreciated at the same time.

For more easy ways stay in contact with your customers and drive sales to your business, check out this tool BizFire’s Free Funnel Maker & Analyzer.

How A Themed Promotion Can Boost Your Sales

Any special promotions can help you drive sales, especially those sitting on the fence as to whether or not to buy from you. However, offering seasonal or holiday themed promotions can help even more, as prospects not only immediately understand that it’s a limited time deal for a good reason, but you’ll also hit them up during a peak buying period.

For example, the vast majority of people are probably already buying lots of stuff over Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, etc., so you can ride that wave while they already have their credit cards out, while also standing out amongst the crowd of competitors by having something that they perceive as a special deal.  

Similar to other promotions, it’s often best to have these be very limited time deals (even if you bring them back multiple times) so prospects don’t have the opportunity to sit on the fence too long. Three or so days is often the perfect amount of time to offer a special promotional deal, as long as you give them many reminders along the way.  For instance, if you have an email list and are offering a three day special promotional offer, we recommend mailing once on day 1, twice on day 2, and three times on day 3. Using this method will get you a lot of sales on that last day, especially during the last hours when they know there’s no time left!

One observation that we’ve had over the years, which many business owners seem to ignore or be unaware of, is that even “after the holiday” sales can be huge, especially for big holidays when people are often still at home, bored, and looking to buy or do something. We’ve run several webinars and special deals right after Christmas when most marketers in our niche were afraid to schedule anything then, yet that period of time would often get some of the highest amount of sales and webinar attendance. Don’t assume that everyone is out visiting with friends and family. Some (okay … maybe all???) are looking for a break or just aren’t traveling then, so it can be the perfect time to run a special offer or schedule a special event!

During holidays, different seasons, or any other special time of the year, it’s a good idea to create themed promotions with special offers to not only drive extra sales, but to also stand out from the rest of the competition during high sales periods.

For other marketing tricks to help increase your sales, check out this book 50 Marketing Tips & Tricks Learned After $100 Million in Sales Over 20 Years!.

How Creating A Sense of Urgency Can Help Improve Sales: Reducing/Offering Free Shipping Within A Certain Time Frame

Don’t you hate it when you’re searching for an item, find it at an amazing price, then see that shipping is going to cost you an arm and a leg? One way to increase your sales, especially over a short period of time, is to reduce the cost of your shipping, or offer a sale period time where shipping is free. By putting a time limit on when you make free shipping available, you add a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to buy now, as opposed to at a later date. It’s also a good way to encourage customers who may have been on the fence to make a purchase now.

For example, say you have a business that sells gardening supplies online. Reach out to your customers and let them know that for any supplies ordered by midnight on Sunday, you’ll offer free delivery. If you have regular customers that place large orders with you, you may even want to reach out and call them. On your website, make sure it’s clear that you have this offer available for a limited time – it may be a pop up on your website or the first thing your customer sees.

So consider, for a limited time, offering reduced or free shipping on your products. The limited time frame creates a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to purchase now, as opposed to at a later date, and encourages customers who may have been on the fence to make the purchase.

For more tips on boosting sales within your business, check out this book 50 Marketing Tips & Tricks Learned After $100 Million in Sales Over 20 Years!.

Make It Easy For Customers To Buy: How Offering Free Trials/Demonstrations Can Boost Your Sales

Sometimes it’s hard to see the benefit of something we haven’t seen in action or tried first. Offering a free trial period, or a demonstration of your product, can be a great way to alleviate a potential customer’s fears and make them confident the product will work for them. Also, once someone has tried something free they often feel obliged to reciprocate by purchasing from you – it’s the principle of reciprocity in action.

For example, if you have a software product, offer a free 30 day trial, so customers can see how it works, use it and see the results they get from it. You’ll get customers who may have sat on the fence or not purchased previously all of a sudden be ready to buy because they can get a chance to experience how great the product can actually be for them.

There’s one tip we’ve learned over the years that can greatly increase your retention rate here (or essentially how many stay on past the trial period), and that’s to offer a free trial, but require them to enter their credit card or payment details. Instead of charging them, which can decrease the conversion rates even more, just authorize their credit cards for $1 or so (this is typically where their card temporarily sees a charge for like $1 that never officially goes through – similar to what many gas stations do when you pay at the pump). If you use Paypal, you don’t even have to worry as much about this and can just do a straight trial for X days that automatically charges once the trial ends (Paypal is typically very good at getting money from customers, whereas for credit cards you often have to authorize them to make sure that they’re legit to start with).

You can also use trials as “special offers” whenever you want to run a sale. For instance, if you regularly sell a software tool for $997 / year, you can have a special offer where you do a free trial for 14 or 30 days. This can get a ton of people who’ve been on the fence to jump on this offer, as they know that the only other way for them to try out the software would be to pay $997 upfront.

So make it easy for customers to see the value in your product and purchase from you by offering a free trial or demonstration of your product. You’ll get a chance to make them feel comfortable with your product and see how great it is for them, before having to lay down their hard-earned cash. This in turn leads to more sales, especially from people who may have been skeptical about your product without the chance to try it first.

For more tips on sales and converting leads, check out this book 50 Marketing Tips & Tricks Learned After $100 Million in Sales Over 20 Years!.

How to Improve Your Marketing and Create Hot New Products That Your Customers Already Want

How can you improve your marketing and create new products – products that your customers already want? Simple. Ask for feedback from your customers and see what the common themes are. What do your customers like most about your product? How can you focus on that more in your marketing? What do they believe that your product/service currently lacks? Think about how you can use their feedback to create a new/improved service and offer that to your customers.

For example, perhaps you have a business that creates websites and the common feedback that your customers give is that they wish you also helped rank their site on search engines. You could create an additional service, where for a monthly fee you help rank their website. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, you could always outsource this part, but white label it as your own service – you still make a profit on the service, but don’t need to do any of the work. You can offer this to your current customers, saying that due to their feedback and the demand, you’ve created this service to help them with what they want most.

Ask for feedback from your customers, specifically on what they like most and what they dislike most/wish you offered. Use the feedback, on what they like most, and highlight it in your marketing. With what they like least/wish you did, create an additional or improved service/product and offer it to your customers.

For more great marketing ideas to improve your business check out this book 50 Marketing Tips & Tricks Learned After $100 Million in Sales Over 20 Years!

How Focusing on the Benefits of Your Offer Can Help Convert Sales

So how can focusing on the benefits of your offer increase your sales? It’s a marketing technique that encourages customers to focus on the end result that your product will give them, which is a powerful motivator to encourage customers to buy.

Your offer will have features (specifications) and benefits (the end result). In your marketing focus on the benefits of your service/product, instead of the features. It’s the benefits that sell your product, not the features. For example, does a person buying an anti-aging cream want to know that it contains the ingredient Q10 or that it visibly reduces wrinkles and makes them look younger? Think about how you can use the benefits your product provides in your marketing – you can still list the features, but link them to the benefit that the feature will give your customer.

For example, if you have a business selling a course teaching guitar lessons, you might have three main features that you could translate into benefits for your students:
Feature 1: Over 50 pages of guitar lessons
Benefit 1: Learn to play the guitar in under 3 hours!
Feature 2: Get training on how songs are made.
Benefit 2: You’ll be able to create your very own songs!
Feature 3: Practice on over a dozen songs with step by step instructions.
Benefit 3: You’ll be able to play over a dozen top songs in no time!
Each time, the emphasis is on what the student is actually getting out of the feature by explaining the end result that they’ll receive from that feature.

It’s amazing the difference changing your sales pitch from focusing on features to focusing on benefits instead can do. We’ve seen pitches go from poor conversions to great conversions just by changing that up.

One big trick that we’ve learned over the years is that you can even start your own side businesses mostly hands free by utilizing this concept! To do this fairly easy trick, all you have to do is look for other offers that seem to have lots of happy customers (testimonials, reviews, case studies, etc.) but don’t do a good job on the sales page of talking about the benefits. Many service providers on places like Fiverr.com and other “services for sale” type sites often do a poor job at this, but you can either create your own service (can also work with products) where you use them to fulfill the work for you but with a better sales page, or you can just reach out to them and ask if you can use their testimonials, case studies, etc. as long as you use them to provide the service that you’ll be selling to your prospects. Many are happy to agree to such a thing, and this allows you to literally be selling something within a day without having to do much of any ongoing work yourself. All you do is make a better pitch and sell it yourself!

So, in your marketing, look at how you can emphasize the benefits that customers receive from your service, as opposed to focusing on the features. You can still list the features, as they are important, especially with certain products, but link them to what the customers will get out of that feature. Why should the customer care about that feature – what end result does it deliver to them?

To find out how other simple tweaks can drastically improve your sales, check out this survey tool that helps analyze your business for areas of improvement BizFire’s Free Business Analyzer and Growth Tool.

How to Convert More Sales By Using The Power of A Guarantee

Offering a guarantee is a great way to make it easier for customers to buy. It takes the risk out of the purchase for them, as it gives them an out if they don’t like the product. Psychologically, it also gives them confidence in your product – as why would you be offering a guarantee if you weren’t confident in your product? Now, to be clear, make sure you do offer a great product before you whack an awesome guarantee on it!

For example, if you have a mattress company, you could offer a guarantee and word it like this: “Try our mattresses risk free for 30 days – In the unlikely event that you’re not 100% satisfied with your mattress we will give you 100% of your money back.” A guarantee like this takes the risk out of buying for your customers and gives them confidence in your product. Most people won’t take advantage of the guarantee and the amount of returns you’ll have versus the increase in sales will be well worth it.

And having said that, it’s often best to be fairly laid back on your guarantees. If you have crazy fine print or rules to claim the refund, you’ll just encourage chargebacks, piss off your customers (potential future buyers), etc.. It pays to be nice and laid back to an extent.

So consider offering a guarantee that takes the risk out of the purchase for the customer (make sure you have a good quality product that you’re willing to back). Make your guarantee bold and visible, and the amount of extra sales should far outweigh those that make use of the guarantee.

For other tips on increasing your sales, check out his book: 50 Marketing Tips & Tricks Learned After $100 Million in Sales Over 20 Years!

A Unique Way to Increase Your Customers Spend Per Sale: The Value of Offering A Gift With Purchase

Offering a free gift, with a purchase over a certain amount (or just with any particular item), is a great way to encourage people to buy from you, but also to spend more per sale if they have to spend a certain limit. A great way to take this strategy a step further is to make your free gift a sample of other products you want to promote, or a new product you want to encourage your customers to try so as to buy in the future.

For example, beauty brands use this strategy regularly, and to great effect, offering a selection of sample size beauty products in a cute looking case, when spending over $50, $70, $100, etc. in one transaction. Not only does the free gift encourage their customers to buy more beauty products in one transaction, it also allows them a chance to introduce their customers to new products or items they may not have bought previously, without the chance to try them first.

A twist on this method that we used with great success in building a couple seven figure businesses was to offer a free gift in exchange for signing up for a monthly membership program as an upsell. It dramatically increased the conversion rates (by many, many times over). However, the key there was to have the perceived value of the bonus be more than their total investment for the first month. That makes them feel like they’re getting a no brainer offer that they’d be dumb to turn down, yet it gets them into your recurring money maker where many of them decide to stay to make you even more over time. The bonus here has to be of real value to them, which is why we often times would include a physical item as a bonus even for a digital membership program.

Look at what you can offer as a free gift to customers when they spend over a certain dollar amount in one transaction. This encourages your customer to spend more per sale and also gives you a chance to get customers trying new products, if you make those products your gift. Or put a little twist on that method and include a free gift with the purchase of any particular product you want to push, or even as a bonus to push them into a recurring membership site (physical products can work really well here for a bonus even if the main offer is a digital one).

For more great tips to increase your profits and make more money from your sales funnel, check out this tool here: BizFire’s Free Funnel Maker & Analyzer