Learn Online Business – Affiliate Marketing Basics 5
As you learn online business, in the fifth and final lesson of this short course, we will look at some ideas to pull together what we have learned.
Because we are in the business of selling, it is important to remember some general facts about your audience of potential buyers. It has been proven that most people do not make a purchase the first time they visit your website or read any ad you post. In fact, it can take several exposures (some experts say 7), to an offer, to get them to take action.
That is one reason why it is extremely important to do everything within your power to collect contact information from your website visitors, social media followers and customers who purchase through your links.
As mentioned in the third lesson, once you have a list of contacts, you can email them with updates and offers which will appeal to them. When it comes to collecting email addresses, there are a number of methods you can use. It is also a good idea to use an email service with an autoresponder (such as Aweber or Get Response), so that you can automate the follow up process and make your job easier.
Learn Online Business – Lead Magnets
A great way to encourage people to join your list, is to offer them a valuable free gift, like a report, ebook or even a short course like this one. You could also publish a newsletter, which will give you a great reason to stay in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis. This gift, which must provide genuine value, is designed to attract ‘sales leads’ for your business, so it is known as a lead magnet.
Your lead magnet does not necessarily have to be in text format; you could also use audio, such as a podcast, or even a video. In whatever form, it should be relevant to your topic and offer a sample of the kind of value your products and service will provide to them once they are your customer.
One of the biggest benefits of building your list is that it gives you the opportunity to develop a relationship – based on trust – with your subscribers. This goes back to the ‘know like trust’ aspect of marketing online, which was discussed previously. If people recognise you as someone who is honest and trustworthy, they are much more likely to purchase through your link.
This strategy is a delicate balance between providing useful information and making your sales pitch. If you continue to write informative emails and publish helpful reviews, you will be able to build a real relationship with your readers, which can often leads to making more sales.
Cloak your links and track your campaigns
Before we close this last lesson, there are a couple of final points I would like to make. They are the importance of cloaking your affiliate links and tracking your campaigns.
Link cloaking – or masking – is a process which replaces your long affiliate link URL with one that is shorter. There are a number of reasons why you should cloak your links; firstly, it looks better and is easier to work with. More importantly, it disguises your affiliate ID and helps to protect it from being hijacked by other (unscrupulous) affiliates.
There are several ways the you can do this. My preference it to use a WordPress plugin called PrettyLink, because it makes it possible to shrink, cloak, track, organise, share and test all of your links, so they look like they are coming from your own domain, which also adds to your credibility.
There are also a wide variety of free ‘link cloakers’, like TinyURL and GhostURL as well as some paid ones. They are very easy to use and can make a big difference in your campaigns.
Lastly, it is important to track the progress of your campaigns, so that you know what is producing results and what is not. This way you will not waste your time and money, promoting programs or products which do not convert. Again, there are many ways to do this, from using a simple plugin like PrettyLink to track clicks, to setting up a (free) Google Analytics account, where you can monitor the activity of your campaigns.
Many affiliate programs and networks, like JVzoo, ClickBank and Amazon have built in software, which will track your clicks, campaigns, conversions and sales, but is a good idea to have an outside tracker as well, because even though they are reputable it doesn’t mean they are infallible. When it comes to maximising commissions, it is always better to be sure than sorry!
So, as you learn online business and this fifth and final lesson comes to a close, I sincerely hope that you have learned something about how to grow your own profitable affiliate marketing business! Even though these lessons have ended, you can still feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to help.
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