Want to make money even when you’re not actively working? Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money while you sleep, workout, shower or run errands. Sounds like a dream come true! Or is it too good to be true?
Done right, it’s totally possible!
Or are you already running a business that’s selling a product or service and need some cheap, effective advertising? Affiliate marketing means paying someone a small fraction of your sales to actively promote your product and recommend your service.
Whether you’re in the business field and looking to hire a marketing company, or you’re a blogger who wants to promote well-made, useful products, here are some affiliate marketing training tips that will help you to be successful.
Merchant or Affiliate
When discussing affiliate marketing training, there are two positions you can hold – the merchant or the affiliate.
If you are the merchant it means that you are the party trying to sell a product or service and are using marketing to help do so.
The affiliate, or publisher, in this equation, is the one doing the marketing. Affiliates can be companies or individuals.
Most people can tell when they’re being sold something. The typical sales-pitch is easily sniffed out. When entering the affiliate marketing world as the publisher, focus on generating great content, this will gain consumer’s trust (which we’ll discuss later), which can lead to loyalty and repeat purchases.
As the seller, customers referred to your site by well-crafted content are informed and making a purchase based on a need or desire. Customers that purchase because of a one-time promotion, deal or coupon, are usually price-driven. This means they are less likely to show loyalty or return to shop when there’s no deal being offered.
There’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, this is one affiliate marketing training tip I hope you don’t ignore.
Working with affiliate managers, as a merchant can save you a lot of potential heartache and headaches down the line. An affiliate manager will recruit affiliates, motivate them to actively promote your products, verify they comply with your terms of service, communicate with your affiliates and work at improving your affiliate program.
Another bonus of working with affiliate managers is receiving recommendations for some of the best, most successful affiliates. This could potentially help you as an affiliate if that’s the career path you choose.
Word of mouth is huge! Referrals mean everything. Ironic, since referrals are basically the root of what affiliate marketing is all about! So, crafting exceptional content and referrals that lead to purchases for your merchants, could result in more companies that want you!
Trust is Everything
If you aren’t a trusted affiliate, then you won’t gain much traffic, followers or business. Another important affiliate marketing training tool is how to gain the consumer’s trust.
Only promote products you use and are familiar with. If you’ve had a good experience with a product or service, it should be easy for you to share that with readers. Point out why it’s so amazing, what it did for you and why you can’t live without it!
It’s important to be honest about your dislikes, as much as your likes. I’m not saying to badmouth or bash the product (this probably wouldn’t generate many sales, or make the merchant very happy).
But, you can absolutely say something like, “I love how hot my coffee stays in this mug, but I did notice the color faded slightly after washing.” Customers want the truth and will most likely see past small flaws if the overall product review is a positive one.
It also never hurts to inform the company before posting something negative about their product or service. Perhaps they will make adjustments based on your comments and you can add that in your post – “Improvements coming soon!”
We already know that as a merchant trust is key when identifying and avoiding poachers and scam artists.
Affiliate marketing has grown so much over the last decade. As the merchant, there is a lot of information to keep track of including old and new customers, click-path and the length of time between the referral and transaction.
Affiliates can now use videos, tutorials, blogs and social media, among other avenues, to help promote products and services. Consumers are also shopping on a multitude of devices from Smartphones and tablets to laptops. The world of affiliate marketing is quickly developing, and both merchants and affiliates must keep up on changes and opportunities for increased revenue.
Affiliate Marketing Training for Offline Businesses
Though online marketing seems to rule the day, especially in the growing world of e-commerce, you can also apply affiliate marketing training when working with off-line businesses. This is an interesting prospect for not only affiliates but merchants as well.
If you are entering the affiliate marketing world, there is no reason why you can’t earn money reviewing and recommending off-line businesses to your readers. Lots of businesses and merchants will offer bonuses, discounts on products and other perks for referrals. If there’s an off-line product or business you swear by, talk it up on your blog and ask the merchant “What’s in it for me?”
As an off-line merchant, generating customers and business without using some type of online tool might prove difficult. You may have a website or social media page, which is a fabulous start. But having an online affiliate to promote your awesome product or business will most definitely earn you added customers. Be sure to use these affiliate marketing training tips to help find a good fit.
Email Is Where It’s At
This goes for merchants and affiliates alike. Obtaining someone’s email address is like Charlie finding that golden ticket in his chocolate bar. And here’s why…
If affiliates wait until potential customers visit their blog or website before sharing information about an awesome new product (merchants, that’s your awesome product), they might be waiting a long time. Email is the perfect way to contact customers and let them know something great is available that they need to check out!
Of course, we all know being bombarded with promotional emails can be infuriating. Some ways to combat the “bad wrap” that mass emailing has is to make it brief, casual and purposeful. An interesting subject line and direct content can increase readability.
There are some crafty ways of obtaining customer’s email. These include the use of a Hello Bar at the top of your page, an exit gate which will pop up when your visitor’s are leaving the page or a sidebar widget. But don’t crowd your sidebar, it can be overwhelming to the user.
Another great way to get people’s email addresses is by offering something in return like a free product, service or subscription.
To Disclose or Not to Disclose
As an affiliate marketer, you have the choice of telling your visitors that you are receiving a financial kickback based on their purchase or keeping it under wraps. Referring back to the “honesty is the best policy” belief, most affiliates choose to be upfront with customers.
Others choose not to, feeling it’s not necessary and the customer will make the purchase regardless. However, the decision is not yours.
The FTC says you must have an affiliate disclosure if you recommend or endorse a product or service and receive any benefit.
Know Your Audience
Another affiliate marketing training tip that will help produce revenue is knowing your target audience. This goes for affiliates as well as merchants.
Price drives most consumers. You need to know your customer’s relative budget and advertise products that are appropriate. Someone on a budget won’t be able to purchase high-end handbags or shoes. Perhaps they’d be more apt to click on an offer to buy one pair of jeans and get one 50% off.
But this doesn’t mean that if your customer base is generally clicking on links for lower-priced items that you can’t promote a high-quality product that costs a little more. If it’s a product or service you stand by and believe is worth the price, then it’s worth your attention.
You need to figure out who your target audience is. What do they want from a product? What problems do they have? How can you solve their problems? It would be nice if your audience stayed the same, unfortunately, this isn’t the case they will change just like you! They’ll want to try new things, the latest trends, to stay up to date.
Probably the most important aspect of affiliate marketing is to build a relationship with your audience. When they know you and trust you, they will be happy to buy from you. And your sales will increase rapidly!
Provide Ample Information
Your affiliate can only talk up your product if they either, A – use it or B – know a lot about it. As we mentioned above, an affiliate can’t effectively write about a product if they’re not familiar with it. Sometimes, this responsibility falls on the merchant.
Some relevant information that will help affiliates craft quality content include certain ways your product can be used if the product is purchased together with another item and sales spike trends. As a merchant, an important affiliate marketing training tool is keeping in communication with your affiliates and offering them assistance when needed.
Overlap Marketing Tools
Using multiple avenues for your affiliate marketing will only serve you in the long run. If an affiliate crafts an especially motivating or effective blog, it might be a good idea to use it elsewhere, let’s say on Facebook.
In marketing, attribution provides an understanding of what combination of events and actions a user performed before reaching the desired outcome. Basically, what avenues and links did your consumer click on before arriving at your page and making a purchase.
Because there are so many ways for customers to reach you and many marketing techniques being used, it actually works to your benefit to use affiliate marketing in partnership with other marketing techniques, not in competition with.
There are so many affiliate marketing training tips that could be offered. As a viable work from home option, becoming either an affiliate marketer or a merchant could prove very lucrative.
Want to learn more about developing an e-commerce business or entering the world of affiliate marketing? Need additional affiliate marketing training? I recommend joining an online training platform that teaches you everything from setting up your website to making your first sales, with easy step by step lessons.