Author Archives: Jon M

Three Secrets to Starting Affiliate Marketing the Right Way.

With the introduction of the internet, a wealth of information is at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you have the potential to access millions of items on nearly any niche imaginable. It has been estimated that the internet is growing by over a million pages every day, as more countries become connected with the internet. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that with that many pages, that at least one person wants to look at pages similar to those, with the opportunity to cash in on any number of niches is now more accessible that ever!

Making money from the insane amount of niches available, is not restricted to businessmen with thousands in start up capital, even someone willing to spend an hour a day can earn just as much through the internet, you don’t even need a product or service to sell right away. This is done through the power of affiliate marketing, you almost definitely have heard of this phrase before. However, if you have been living under a rock for the past 15 years. Affiliate marketing is where a product or service creator will pay you a share of his profits whenever you recommend someone to buy their product or service. Usually the products or services are not physical products but are digital so the overheads on the creators side is very minimal, allowing you as the promoter to get 50% commissions on big ticket items.

Its a win-win for both the creator and the promoter. The creator will have his product or service promoted to a much larger market than if he tried to do it alone, which massively increases his earning potential, it also saves his own time so he can focus on the product and any support that it requires. The promoter will gain commissions on each sale they recommends, however, they only have to focus on marketing the product to as many people as they can, all product support, up sells, and content creation is handled by the creator, as they each only have to focus on their individual half. they can be much more efficient in generating as much profit as possible, during the launch stage.

If your goal is to become a dominant affiliate marketer, which I feel is still a very attainable goal in this saturated market, you will need to follow these three ways to start an affiliate marketing program.

  • Firstly you need to identify a niche you are passionate about so when writing content or answering questions you come off interested and engaged. Add personal touches to your site in its layout and how you write your content, this will give your visitors who are possible buyers an impression that you are an expert in your field. If you do this you will gain their trust and over time they will be happy to buy products are an affiliate for.
  • Secondly, when picking a product to be an affiliate for, it is always best to sell something you use and you know how it works, then you will look like an authority figure, and you wont accidentally pick an awful product that looks good on the outside, damaging your reputation with your fan base. If you do not have any products that you have bought, then always try and find out what other affiliates say about the product. Do not just focus on the level of commissions or how good their conversion rate is. if after a 2 months, the product is worthless, you have not only wasted your fans money by telling them to buy something bad, they will be less likely to buy from you in future. If an affiliate offer seems to good to be true, then it very well may be!
  • So you have found a niche you are passionate about, and you have selected a product that you believe in that you have potentially used or currently do use. You need to create a website that is engaging but not to much as to overwhelm your readers, having a catchy domain name is helpful but it isn’t make or break, the most important factor is that you are uploading content consistently, not just any old content, give value back to your customers, it makes no difference what niche you are targeting. As much as i dislike using cliches, content is and always will be king.

What a lot of new entrepreneurs fail to realize is that success as an affiliate marketer is not something that happens over night. A lot of the top ‘gurus’ in the industry have been doing this since the internet became what it is now. If you can look past the shiny object syndrome which affects far too many marketers (myself included for a very long time) and knuckle down and make content that is engaging, it is hard not to make some money, you almost certainly wont make a million in a month, but you are very likely to make a million in a year or two!

The One Key Section of a Sales Funnel Everyone Ignores

It has always bugged me when I see how nearly every marketer visualizes their sales funnel.

Most of the time, they seem to leave out any form of retention marketing, or they tend to describe it in a way that makes it appear far less valuable than it really is.

Obviously, the main focus of the sales funnel is the conversion stage, this is where the money is made for yourself or your company, however, statistics have shown that there can be up to a 700% increase in cost when converting new leads, rather than trying to keep a current customer.

We all love new customers coming on board, but isn’t it easier to just retain the customers you already have? Let’s dissect the standard sales funnel to understand more.

What Most Sales Funnels Never Show

Most sales funnel are designed so that uninterested/unqualified leads will ‘filter’ out through the funnel, ending up with engaged customers who want to buy your services. Always having a far greater quantity of leads than when you finish.

Traditional Sales Funnels

All of the above funnels are almost identical, sure some might label the sections differently or add in a few extra steps, at its core, these funnels all have 3 main principles.

Stage 1: Awareness

In this stage, the goal of the funnel is to be as visible to leads as possible, some if not all of your leads probably aren’t aware that even need the services that you provide, this is why the funnel is so wide, as to build exposure to your products.

Stage 2: Engagement

The engagement stage is where your now prospective clients may be researching other options to your provided product. It is now your goal to demonstrate to them why your solution should be their only choice, providing information on pricing, ROI, and ease of use will help them decide to pick your product over your competitors.

Stage 3: Conversion

The final stage of nearly all current sales funnels is conversions. The only goal here is to secure a sale, you have convinced your customer that your product is far superior to any others, and you can rest knowing you have made a profit.

All These Models Are Missing One Key Stage…

So you have collected your payment from the customer, surely you can kick back and can relax now? No way! you have missed the most important stage.

Stage 4: Retention

It seems sensible to combine all aspects of post-conversion into retaining the customer. This is where they will begin to not only make one sale but to continue to purchase your products, you have the opportunity to also get:

  • Recurring Revenue – Month after month, year after year.
  • Upsells – Pushing past the initial purchase level, to the big ticket items you have to offer.
  • Referrals – Free warm leads, marketing on easy mode.
  • Testimonials – Free reviews for yourself or your business.

It is no surprise, large companies have entire teams dedicated to making sure their customers are satisfied and feel like they are being oversold. A happy customer is a customer willing to spend their money on your products.

People who ignore this critical step may gain the easy sales, but miss out on the bigger picture, recurring sales with hardly any extra effort.

What Sales Funnels Should Look Like

When your focus shifts towards retention marketing, the sales funnels changes, and won’t look like a stereotypical funnel anymore. It looks more like an hourglass

This new funnel shape is wider at the bottom after the conversion stage, looking like this:

The Hourglass Sales Funnel

A new breed of sales funnels

At the core of all sales funnels is the goal of aligning your sales and marketing efforts. Turning visitors into leads, and turning those leads into customers when they make a purchase.

The hourglass funnel has the subtle benefit of bringing to light that customer retention is some that should not be ignored. With ‘normal’ sales funnels looking like they tend towards zero. Showing that the value of a marketing effort diminishes over time, when really it is an area of business growth. You will see satisfied customers praising your business, returning for more of your products, and persuading new customers to buy your products. This is why it continues to grow at the retention stage.

How To Increase The Value of Your Existing Customers

The main goal of retention marketing is to maximize revenue through happy customers. Or to put more technically, you want to aim to maximize the lifetime value of your customers.

But does this really matter? Yes! loyal customers have been shown to be work nearly 1000% more than their first purchase with you, and can account for nearly 80% of your companies revenue, the Pareto Principle

It isn’t very hard to promote loyalty with your existing customers.

1. Consistently Deliver Quality Products.

This shouldn’t even be a point of discussion if you aren’t providing as much quality as possible with your products, why would customers sing your praises? Find a niche you can dominate with passion and knowledge and quality services and products will follow.

2. Build Up The Relationship With Your Customers

Communities have the potential to be the largest driving force of new customers. If your customers are satisfied, they will like your content on social media, even share your content with their friends, boosting referrals.

Answer dissatisfied customers reactions if they try to reach out to you on social media, mediate their problems if they see you are willing to put in the effort then how can they not think you are a great company/person.

3. Encourage Repeat Customers

You should never just run marketing campaigns aimed at gaining new customers. Push to upsell to your existing customers with loyalty programs or bonuses just for already purchasing with you.

All big brands have some kind of loyalty scheme, Subway has a card that will give you a free sub when you spend enough money in their stores, it’s not even imaginative, however, it dramatically boosted their sales numbers

4. Testimonials & Referrals

What is more persuasive than other people saying how good you are? When your customers wholeheartedly believe in your product, promoting their positive recommendations on your website or social media page, it a free and easy way of getting shares and boosting the moral of your existing customers.

Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, the worst response you could receive would be people ignoring the request. There is nothing to lose!

5. Learn From Mistakes

Always ask questions to the customers who want to leave your email subscription or newsletter. They were going to leave anyway, asking them why can help you find out why they want to leave and save you losing more customers.

Sometimes offering an incentive to your customer when they want to leave your email campaigns or your loyalty program can make them stick around, you will be surprised how many customers this will work on.

On the same note, apply this same principle when you handle complaints, always try and answer them as quickly as possible. Caring about your customer’s complaints not only boosts the relationship with that individual customer if it is on social media or a comments section, it proves to others that you care.