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AFFILIATE MARKETING

A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A newly-created project should manage significant issues to survive the first year of operating. The key target to hit, especially in a highly-competitive market environment, is finding product-market fitting. Affiliate marketing is giving a variety of instruments to reach that goal. And even more: It engages potential customers, who can become a core — and some can even become brand ambassadors in the future.

Here are some bulletproof tactics of how to launch a new brand, service or app using affiliate marketing channels.

Related: Use Affiliate Marketing to Create a Loyal Audience

Why affiliate marketing can be an effective strategy channel to use

An affiliate partnership is based on a сost per acquisition model (CPA). The advertisement provides results in the form of sales and target actions, which gives direct profits. Worth noting, the affiliate marketing advantages are:

  • The absence of reckless risk-taking investments.
  • Promotion is taking place only among the relevant audience.
  • The wide range of different niches to be efficiently used.

But the main thing is that the budget spent is under your control. The basic operating principle of affiliate marketing is you get what you pay for.

According to Publift, 86% of audiences are suffering from ad blindness, meaning they simply do not see the ads. To get confidence that the budget won’t be wasted on irrelevant clicks (cost per click) or views (cost per view), the affiliate partners’ reward depends on the success of the promo campaign.

Having all these advantages of affiliate-based tactics, it’s time to roll out our very first affiliate marketing campaign step by step.

Related: An Affiliate-Marketing Program Might Be the Perfect Move

Step 1: Creating an in-house affiliate program or joining a travel affiliate network

Building your affiliate program is not a cheap exercise. However, big brands like or Booking.com could do that. So looking for a proper travel affiliate marketing network would be a more realistic option. Their framework and experience combined with the right tools should help you as well. The cooperation with external CPA platforms (i.e. Travelpayouts, CJ, AWIN, Partnerize or others) seems more manageable, especially for the newcomers.

Step 2: Propose a suitable affiliate offer

It must be based on an analysis of competitors and companies’ ROI models. The proposal should include commission rate, cookies lifetime and payout policy.

The cookies’ duration is the length of time when a customer and an affiliate are associated together. It starts from a client’s click on the link and may last from one session up to a year. If it has expired, the partner won’t receive a commission from a purchase.

Also consider determining a payout policy: a variety of actions, which are taken into account as target ones and being paid. Pay-per-click (PPC), pay-per-action (PPA) and pay-per-impression (PPI) models are concentrated on different aims — the number of clicks, lead generation and sales guarantee, respectively.

3. Get a list of top-notch affiliates

The subscribers and followers of a partner should be your final . For example, if you have a coupon service, the potential users’ audience from your partners should be interested in travel deals, coupons and discounts. Keep on the influencers with high-quality content. It’s okay if they’re local bloggers with fewer than 5,000 subscribers, compared to the more popular ones with 1 million or more subscribers.

The figures for the blogger subscribers are not as important as the quality of the audience — the major thing is how many sales a partner can attract. The affiliates with a low traffic volume can also become a great source for your actual sales among the loyal and active audience.

Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

4. Sharing your brand’s values with partners

The affiliates will recommend your service to their audience, so they should be aware of your brand values. A simple solution is to create a promo or landing page to share with potential partners. On this page, you can provide product features, strengths, tips, etc. Go even further, and create a media kit with a detailed description. But remember, not all the affiliates are willing to go through a 30-page document. So be sure to create a summary that includes all the basics.

5. Analyze the efficiency of the campaign

Usually, at the launch of an affiliate campaign, it’s enough to provide partners with affiliate links. By using them, an affiliate would provide and drive traffic to your site or link for app download. Efficient cooperation can also encourage other ways to contact the audience in the future as well. It could be such effective formats as search forms, banners or APIs. While affiliate partners attract their audience, your task is to analyze the quality of incoming traffic.

The essential point of the first stage is to inspect the affiliate campaign’s effectiveness (to improve it for the future). The initial traffic flow and sales will indicate further actions to be done. For example, you can try reaching partners with different target audiences or using additional tools to attract a new audience yourself. You could also try changing program conditions or pushing extra promotions. Traffic analysis is an everlasting process for the affiliate program optimization, as well as the identification of anomalies and possible violations on the partner’s part.

Related: How Affiliate Marketing Can Work for Entrepreneurs

Be patient

Affiliate marketing is not a one-shot game. So be prepared for different experiments with advertising formats and channels. Perhaps, you would figure out that social media promotion is a better way than traffic from travel blogs or vice versa.

This process demands flexibility, constant self-improvement and deep analysis of audience behavior. Don’t panic if the first results of the campaign don’t match your expectations. Launching an affiliate program is just the beginning of a long journey. Affiliate marketing is, in our humble experience, the most cost-effective marketing channel worth taking a chance on.


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Mirage Casino Giving Away $1.6 Million Before It Closes

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Mirage Casino Giving Away $1.6 Million Before It Closes

The famed Las Vegas Mirage Hotel and Casino is set to close for good on July 17, but gambling fans have one last chance to score big before the shiny doors shutter forever.

Since July 9, the Mirage has been giving out over $1.6 million in cash through a giveaway called the “Progressive Finale Cash Giveaway” for the casino to pay out its jackpots before closing as required by Nevada gambling regulations.

Related: An Iconic Las Vegas Casino Is Shuttering This Summer After 34 Years

Patrons can win up to $1.2 million through slot machine prizes and $400,000 in table games through July 16.

But videos across social media show that the giveaway is going about as well as you’d expect. Excited gamers have flocked to the casino to score a slice of the pie, leading to chaos and several fights on the casino floor.

@vegasstarfish Chaos and fights break out at Mirage Hotel & Resort Prepares to close permanently. All progressive jackpots must be paid prior to July 17th and random cash drawings are being given to any guest playing. This has caused huge lines, unhappy patrons, physical fights & exhausted employees. All animals at Mirage have been rehomed in anticipation of the Hard Rock renovation, Beatles Love by Cirque Du Soleil has shuttered and now all that remains are some additional funds to distribute. Add this to your list of places to avoid when visiting Las Vegas. #vegas #lasvegas #vegasstarfish #jackpot #giveawayalert #vegasnews #miragelasvegas #vegashotels #vegaslocal #vegasexperience #thingstodoinvegas #creatorsearchinsights #vegasonabudget #vegasvacation #vegasplanning #vegaswins ♬ Epic News – DM Production

According to Vital Vegas, the Mirage was only operating 400 machines as of Friday afternoon and shut all other machines to “end the progressive meters calculating and audit the numbers in order to properly give all the money away.”

The Mirage, part of the Wynn brand, opened in 1989 and was one of the first luxury resorts to open on the Strip. It was also the original home of the Siegfried & Roy show.

Related: Lisa Vanderpump Is Not Leaving Las Vegas, Opening New Venues

The hotel announced in May that it would be shuttering this summer. It’s set to rebrand to the Hard Rock Las Vegas, and the company will pay $80 million in severance packages to laid-off Mirage employees.

“Over the next two months we will bid farewell to this iconic and historic property and then we will commence an incredible transformation,” a notice posted to the Mirage’s official Facebook page read at the time. “We would like to thank all team members at The Mirage for their incredible commitment and helping us provide memorable experiences for our guests.”



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Nearly 50% of Parents Have Started Side Hustles: Survey

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Nearly 50% of Parents Have Started Side Hustles: Survey

Side hustles are soaring as Americans take on second jobs to be able to afford the normal stuff.

According to a new survey, one group in particular is feeling the crunch of rising inflation and home prices, and taking on extra work in response.

Bankrate released its side hustle survey on Wednesday and found that more than one in three U.S. adults make extra money with a side gig, like a weekend job or freelance work.

The survey noted that parents of children ages 18 and under are turning to side hustles more often than those without children or those with older kids.

Related: This Mom Started a Side Hustle on Facebook — Now It Averages $14,000 a Month and She Can ‘Work From a Resort in the Maldives’

“Many Americans are still finding that one job isn’t enough,” Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman stated. “The cost of living has risen sharply in recent years.”

Nearly half (45%) of parents with kids younger than 18 have a side hustle compared to 36% of childless adults and 28% of parents with adult children.

The average monthly side hustle income is $891 per month and the majority of Americans with side hustles (52%) have only been at it for less than two years. They’re likely using the money to pay bills, build their savings, or for discretionary spending.

Related: This 26-Year-Old’s Side Hustle That ‘Anybody Can Do’ Grew to Earn $170,000 a Month. Here’s What Happened When I Tested It.

“My schedule is mayhem,” 41-year-old Jordan Chussler, parent to a 5-year-old daughter and editor of a financial publication, told Marketwatch.

His daughter’s private school bill is $10,600; inflation has brought household expenses up for his family across the board. Chussler works during his lunch break and at night, as a freelancer and at restaurants, to make ends meet.

Chussler and his wife make about $165,000 combined at their main jobs; Chussler takes on extra jobs throughout the year to bring their combined income closer to $200,000 for more financial security.

He puts the extra money from side hustles into a Roth IRA and his daughter’s education fund.

Related: He Turned His High School Science Fair Project Into a Product That Solves a $390 Billion Problem: ‘This Has Not Been Done Before’

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How Success Happened for Stephen Lease of Goodr

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How Success Happened for Stephen Lease of Goodr

This week on How Success Happens, I spoke with Stephen Lease, the CEO and co-founder of sunglasses brand Goodr. He’s had an amazing career, and I was curious to find out about what inspired him to become an entrepreneur, how selling industrial water treatment systems to golf courses taught him to identify what his core consumer base actually cares about, and how he applied the lessons he learned from his time in corporate America to the founding of Goodr.

You can listen to our full conversation above, and below, I’ve pulled out three key takeaways.

Don’t let sunk cost keep you attached to something that’s not working

When you launch a business and feel confident that it’s a great idea, your loved ones will root for you no matter what. Lease founded five businesses prior to finding success with Goodr, and despite feeling confident in all of them at the outset, it eventually became clear that hope was not a solid strategy when a business was simply not working. At the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey, it was painful to come to terms with folding a company he had invested energy into, but eventually, he got good at starting companies cheaply and identifying quickly whether or not they would be a success.
Timestamp — 8:50-10:30

When you shift your mindset to celebrate the work over the results, the ups and downs of the day-to-day grind become a gift

Lease started Goodr as a side hustle, which meant that he worked round the clock for several years before running the company full-time. He’s often asked how he found the motivation to put in that time, and the only answer he can think of is that he found joy in the day-to-day. As a leader, he wants to inspire his team to take big swings, and sometimes, that means putting a ton of effort into something that fails. However, he assures them that failure is okay so long as you celebrate the work over the results.
Timestamp — 19:40-20:50

You can’t be a master at everything — identify your north star as a brand and double down on it

When Lease and his co-founders launched Goodr, they weren’t sure if it would be a lifestyle brand or an eyewear brand, but after a few years, they took an honest look at the business and realized that eyewear is what it did best. That opened up a world of possibility, but they also needed to identify what their differentiators were as a brand — those differentiators are function, fun, fashion and “‘ffordability.” Honing in on that has given the brand a clear decision matrix as it expands its product offerings, and Lease is confident that with those differentiators top of mind, Goodr will continue creating products that its customers love.
Timestamp — 21:28-23:35

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