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AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate Marketing vs. COVID-19: Industry Movement and Expert Advice on Surviving the Impact

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Just like every other sector, COVID-19 has impacted affiliate marketing in several ways, as well. However, the pandemic influence was both positive and negative. Though many affiliate marketers revamped their tactics from scratch, others did not feel a big difference. It is because remote work was already in their practice.

Let us understand the detailed market condition for affiliate marketing after the pandemic:

Current Market Condition

The contagion has left a deep impact on two factors, niche selection and ad revenue. Many marketers shifted their niches for increased profitability. Areas like health care, home hygiene, entertainment, apps for small businesses, and skills were high in demand. On the flip side, home improvement, luxuries, and real estate lagged severely.

These ups and downs of the corporate sector have massively changed consumer behavior. 64% of the blog owners reported severe traffic changes on the blogs during a pandemic, directly decreasing ad revenue.

Case Study

Z-Skin Cosmetics reported a huge hike in sales. The company’s CEO gave this credit to the hand-sanitizing product line, which is high in demand. The sales for hand sanitizers exploded, and affiliate programs became big support in this regard.

In the same way, the owner of My Supplement Store explained the impact of buying behavior. The company faced a great decline in sports supplements, whereas immunity boosters had record-breaking sales since the pandemic started.

Online learning tools and memberships for online classes are expected to stay high in demand because the virus is back in action. Markets were beginning to open, but they have shut down again. People are confined to their homes once more. Thus, remote learning tools are expected to show an increase in sales. Since remote work is a new normal, video conferencing software like Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Microsoft are in full swing.

These changes show us a clear picture of the current market. Many affiliate marketers have already changed their niches. If the pandemic continues, a huge chunk of affiliate marketers will shift towards more profitable segments, leaving their present ones.

No matter you change your niche or not, one thing is clear, remote working practice will continue for a long. Therefore, you should have a good grip on tools essential for working remotely.

Let us have a look into these tools:

Remote Working Tools

Affiliate marketing experts recommend using various tools for automating the repetitive tasks in remote working, boosting productivity, and reforming the collaborative remote work. Some of these tools are mentioned below:

1.   SEMrush

This renowned SEO tool can be used for performing a blog SEO audit, finding great keywords, and looking at back linking opportunities.

2.   Slack

Slack is high in demand these days. This is a collaborative tool that helps in sharing tasks, communicating, and organizing shared projects.

3.   Get Response

It is used for email marketing. You can easily create your list and develop a strong customer base.

4.   Yoast SEO

The tool gets integrated with Word Press. You can use it for Meta tags and optimizing the content.

5.    Elementor

This works as a Word Press plugin and can be used with various layouts.

6.   BuzzSumo

If you are looking for content ideas and particularly interested in knowing the highly searched topics, go for Buzz Sumo. It also assists in finding influencers and give alerts based on brand name, domains, links, and keywords.

7.    KWFinder

If you are in search of some best long-tail keywords, use this tool. You will easily find the ones with low competition and high searches.

8.   Ahrefs

You can search keywords, find backlinks, perform a website audit, and dig into competitors’ strategies with Ahrefs.

Thirsty Affiliates

If you need to optimize your Word Press website with affiliate marketing, go for Thirsty Affiliates. It is a hub of tools that helps you in affiliate marketing.

Now, let us see how the industry experts are playing their affiliate marketing game and dealing with the disruptive situation.

Experts Advice on Affiliate Marketing

1.     Shawna Newman at Skipblast

Shawna is an affiliate marketer and has been working from home for the last 10 years. Therefore, when others shifted towards remote working, she felt no change. However, she is focusing on new blogs these days, while others are kept on hold.  In total, Shawna has 10 blogs, and only 4 of them are high in demand these days. She is focusing on these 4 but happy with the increasing sales on these 4 blogs.

Shawna recommends Ahrefs and Buzz Sumo for affiliate marketing. She feels creating a new site for high demanding areas is a waste of time, money, and effort. Every site needs time to develop and gain traffic. By the time the site is good to get huge traffic, the market condition will change. She further suggests investing in problem-solving areas as they reap great benefits in the long run.

2.   Lior Amar at Journeyborn

Lior Amar thinks about the current situation as an opportunity for newbies. This is the best time to experiment and perform detailed researches in various niches, he suggested. Affiliate marketing is all about research, and we can do maximum research at this time when we have no other commitments.

The only hurdle is the distractions that we routinely get while working from home. However, if we follow a strong morning routine, we will be able to combat every distraction and stick to our mission, he added. According to Lior, Ahrefs is the best tool for finding keywords and performing an audit.

As per his suggestion, we should only work for niches in which we have a deep interest. Besides this, working on products that we have personally used is the best idea. Though some segments are at peak sales these days, we cannot jump into them directly until we have interest and detailed research about the topics.

Wrapping It Up

In short, COVID-19 has changed the entire map of affiliate marketing. Changes in consumer behavior, interest in a few segments, and global financial crises. Segments like health, hygiene, and online learning tools are in full swing. However, other areas like luxuries, real estate, and home improvement are facing a difficult time. Experts recommend focusing on the high-demand areas if you already have a site on it. In another case, try utilizing this time for researching future segments.

Author:
Nouman provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Apcelero.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

7 Best Mailgun Alternatives to Boost Your Email Marketing Success in 2023

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7 Best Mailgun Alternatives to Boost Your Email Marketing Success in 2023

Are you an entrepreneur looking for a reliable email delivery solution? Tired of dealing with the hassles and limitations of Mailgun? We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the seven best Mailgun alternatives to revolutionize your email marketing efforts.

From robust analytics to automation capabilities, these solutions offer powerful features that can take your business communication to the next level. So read on and find the perfect fit for you!

7 Great Mailgun Alternatives for Your Business

1. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is our top pick among Mailgun alternatives and is a perfect marketing solution for any SMB or enterprise-level business. You can send transactional emails and SMS to the desired recipient and track their effectiveness. The Detailed Analytics reports will help you fix any potential problems in email delivery or click performance.

You can use this all-in-one tool to create:

  • Email marketing campaigns – design emails with the drag-and-drop editor or ready-made templates to send user-friendly emails
  • Marketing automation – send responsive emails that are triggered once a condition in the workflow is fulfilled
  • SMS marketing – communicate with customers on a more personal level
  • Push notifications – send reminders for abandoned carts

Pricing

Sendinblue provides users with four plans to kickstart their business. The platform charges based on emails sent rather than on the size of your contact list.

Additionally, with the free plan, you can send 300 emails/day, along with the added features of SMS and Whatsapp campaigns.

The business plan is the most popular amongst entrepreneurs. You can send 20,000 emails/day for $40 a month. You will also gain access to a number of bonus features, making it a perfect choice for marketing managers and professionals.

Pros


  • User-friendly interface
  • Forever-free plan
  • Access services in more than 6 languages

Cons


  • Lower free email sending limit compared to some of the other alternatives

2. Amazon SES

Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) is one of the cloud-based Mailgun alternatives used to send bulk marketing and transactional emails to customers. Small to large-scale businesses can use the platform to send emails through different methods. These include Amazon SES API, SMTP relay, and Amazon SES Console.

Amazon SES also provides support for owned, shared, or dedicated IP addresses to provide security and fast deliverability.

You can use the platform to send automated emails based on triggers and gain insights into their performance. Amazon SES is also known for its:

  • Mailbox Stimulator – test how different scenarios will affect your application
  • Email receiving – complete control over which emails to accept based on IP address and domain of the sender
  • Reputation Dashboard – track issues of email performance such as bounce rate and feedback loops

Pricing

Amazon SES offers a pay-as-you-go scheme for sending emails. However, users hosting their applications on Amazon EC2 can send 62,000 emails a month for free.

You can also use the platform to receive up to 1000 emails for free and use pay-as-you-go to receive any additional emails.

Pros


  • Increased sender security through multi-factor authentication
  • Affordable rates for sending and receiving emails
  • Generous forever free plan

Cons


  • You’ll have to buy separate plans for inbound emails and outbound emails

3. MailerSend

MailerSend is another alternative to Mailgun that provides a transactional email service along with a transactional SMS service.

You can use the platform to send and receive emails with SMTP relay and get hold of the following features:

  • Multiple domains – manage multiple products and domains with just one MailerSend account
  • Email verification – advanced verification process to ensure messages are received in the intended inbox and avoid landing in spam
  • Dynamic email templates – send bulk emails that are tailored to suit different customers
  • IP allowlist – make your account more secure by adding IP addresses to a whitelist

Pricing

MailerSend offers a forever free plan with 12000 emails/month. It is best suited for startups or SMBs to benefit from bulk emailing, a drag-and-drop builder, and analytics tools.

The paid plan includes a Premium plan and an Enterprise plan. The Enterprise plan is specifically designed for large enterprises and offers unlimited domains and templates along with 30-day data retention.

Pros


  • Bulk email sending
  • Effortlessly integrate sending transactional emails with your technology
  • Efficient sender reputation management using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC security protocols
  • Provides resources to get you started

Cons


  • No SMS marketing service available in the free plan

4. Postmark

Postmark is an email delivery service platform that differentiates itself from other Mailgun alternatives with its email deliverability.

It uses a separate but similar infrastructure to send promotional and transactional emails. The latter is delivered through a secure and faster network.

Other features of Postmark include:

  • Analytics tools – 45 days of data retention that ensures you don’t miss any detail
  • Email templates – choose layouts for common transactional emails
  • Webhooks – get notifications on important events such as bounces, clicks, or any spam complaints

Postmark offers a forever-free plan that includes 100 emails per month. However, more is needed for growing organizations.

The paid plans start with 10,000 emails at $15/month. Any additional emails sent in the month are charged with pay-as-you-go. You can also add dedicated IPs at $50 a month to any package.

Pros


  • Complete email marketing software to send transactional and broadcasted messages
  • Free expert advice
  • Fast and reliable email delivery
  • Email and application security

Cons

 


  • No SMS support
  • Marketing automation and segmentation features are not available
  • Pricey for the number of emails allowed

5. SendGrid

SendGrid is a marketing and transactional email service provider that uses web API and SMTP relay to send emails. It is trusted by startups, enterprises, developers, and high-volume senders to increase customer engagement and experience.

Other than sending transactional emails, you’ll also get access to:

  • Email marketing campaigns – send crafted automated messages to build meaningful relationships with customers
  • Email testing – spam test and create flawless emails that look perfect in every inbox
  • Deliverability insights – scalable email delivery measured using primary metrics and trends to improve the health of your email programs
  • Email templates

Pricing

SendGrid allows users to choose between Email API plans and Marketing Campaign Plans. Both categories offer forever free plans, with the email API plan starting at 100 emails/day.

Additionally, The Marketing Campaign Plans offers a free plan where you can send up to 6000 emails/day along with segmentation, email automation, and design & code editors.

However, you need to upgrade to the Advanced Plan to get access to a dedicated IP address. It will provide you with faster site speed and a secure sender reputation.

Pros


  • Forever free plan
  • Free resources to initiate the correct email program
  • The platform supports different programming languages

Cons


  • You can not receive Email API plans and Marketing Campaigns Plans under one package

6. SocketLabs

SocketLabs is an email delivery solution for IT pros, developers, and high-volume senders. It offers SMTP relay service and transactional email APIs. It’s one of the best Mailgun alternatives on the market because it offers many of the same features.

Users can trust the platform to deliver bulk emails that are fully verified and passed through strict anti-spam processes. With a tedious job cut out, the marketing teams can focus on using SocketLabs to create tailored solutions for priority accounts.

If you like SocketLabs for its ability to forward a high volume of emails, check out these best email forwarding services for even more options. 

Pricing

SocketLabs offers a 30-day free trial for the Core plan. Then you can send 40,000 emails/month for $39.95.

The more expensive plans include the Pro Plan and the Concierge Plan. You can send 100,000 emails per month starting from $79.95.

You’ll also get access to “Insight History” and “Performance History” reports with all plans.

Pros


  • Useful resources and code libraries to easily set up sending emails
  • Integrate with any application
  • Useful analytics tool to improve email performance

Cons


  • No SMS marketing service
  • No forever free plan
  • Ongoing training and email performance review are not available for low-tier plans

7. SparkPost

SparkPost is a reliable platform for brands to send and deliver emails. You can use advice from high-level industry experts to create email programs that engage and retain customers.

SparkPost is not just like any other Mailgun alternative. It goes beyond the basic deliverability of emails to provide an all-in-one marketing tool that increases customer engagement through:

  • SparkPost signals – track email health and recipient behavior to improve email performance and reduce the risk of hitting spam traps
  • Taxi for email – use segmentation and personalization to create powerful email campaigns
  • Recipient validation – verify email addresses before you send them
  • Inbox tracker – receive a higher return on email ROI by reaching more subscribers

Pricing

SparkPost has a free test account that limits the sending volume of emails but gives unrestricted access to API or SMTP relay.

Also, as a new sender, you can choose the Starter plan that offers 50,000 emails at $30 a month. This includes alerts to increase engagement and email health.

With a Premier plan, you can send 100,000 emails at $75/month and also get access to advanced templates and snippets, AB testing, prioritized support, and a dedicated IP address.

Pros


  • Easily track how consumers are responding to competitors’ email campaigns
  • Affordable plans for sending transactional emails
  • Integrates with different apps and websites to fit user’s needs

Cons


  • Limited volume for sending emails with free test accounts

Bottom Line: What’s The Best Mailgun Alternative For Your Business?

All in all, there are a host of excellent Mailgun substitutes that can completely transform your email delivery process. 

Selecting the right alternative depends on your organization’s specific needs and requirements. So be sure to do some research before making a final decision. But in general, we believe that Sendinblue is a very excellent choice for most cases.

Hope this guide helps make it easier for you to find the best Mailgun alternatives for your entrepreneurial needs! 



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4 Gen Z side hustle and passive income ideas

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4 Gen Z side hustle and passive income ideas

Everyone is getting in on the side hustle craze. More than a third of Gen Xers, 36%, currently have a side gig, according to a May 2022 Zapier survey of 2,032 U.S. adults. And nearly two thirds of both Gen Zers and millennials have one, 59% and 61%, respectively. Gen Zers, specifically, make an average of $9,537 per year on their side hustles.

If you’re a member of that younger generation and are looking to cash in on the trend, there are plenty of hustles for you to consider. “Think about what stage in life you’re in,” says side hustle expert Kevin Ha. “You’ve got more time, probably, you’ve got the ability to live unconventionally because you’re probably by yourself.”

Here are four side hustles for Gen Z to consider.

Affiliate marketing

If social media is already second nature, you may have wondered or looked into how to monetize it.

“According to Instagram’s Trend Report, two thirds of Gen Z plan to use social media to make money this year,” says Jen Glantz, founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and the creator of the Monday Pick-Me-Up and Odd Jobs newsletter. “And the best part about that is you don’t need to be an influencer or have a million followers.”

One way to do this is through affiliate marketing. “What that means is that you promote products with a special link and if people click that link and buy, you make money,” says Glantz. You can apply to Amazon’s affiliate marketing program for example, or log onto your favorite brands’ site to see if they offer affiliate options.

Influencer Shannon Smith makes $8,600 per month in passive income from affiliate marketing on her social media posts. She suggests taking note of how other people are creating popular content and focusing on a niche subject matter and product.

Virtual assisting

Secret shopping

If you’re a fan of buying things or eating out, you might consider secret shopping.

Sites like Secret Shopper or BestMark pay or reimburse shoppers for checking the customer experience of retailers, restaurants and other business, usually between $10 to $25 per shop, according to Sidehus.com. Reviewers have been sent to a salon to see if they honored a free first visit coupon and to a video game store to see if they’d sell a game for mature audiences to an underage kid.

When it comes to restaurant assignments, “for Gen Z, it’s a good option because it’s free food,” says Ha, adding that at a young age, “you probably have more flexibility to go out to eat.” Ha himself says he made $1,700 in 2022 using secret shopping website Market Force.

Food delivery

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Exploring the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing Technology

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Exploring the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing Technology

 

With technology constantly evolving, the world of digital marketing is experiencing a rapid and ever-changing landscape. It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding and utilizing the latest trends in digital marketing technology.

From using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to working with a local digital marketing agency, there are plenty of exciting trends that marketers need to be aware of if they want to remain competitive in today’s market.

What tools and resources are available for creating effective digital marketing campaigns?

There are a variety of tools and resources available for creating effective digital marketing campaigns. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer powerful advertising capabilities that can be used to reach target audiences. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important tool for improving visibility in organic search results. Content marketing is also essential for driving traffic to websites and increasing brand awareness.

Other useful tools include email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, video marketing, influencer marketing, and more. It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each tool before deciding which ones to use in your digital marketing campaigns. Data-driven analytics tools can be used to measure the success of campaigns and optimize future efforts.

What strategies are used in digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses many different strategies and tactics. Some of the most popular digital marketing strategies include search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, influencer marketing, and affiliate marketing.

SEO involves optimizing your website for organic search engine rankings by using keywords and other techniques to make it easier for people to find you online. Content marketing involves creating valuable content such as blog posts, videos, infographics, ebooks, etc., to attract potential customers and build relationships with them. Social media marketing involves leveraging various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc., to promote your business or products. PPC advertising is a form of paid advertising where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Email marketing involves sending emails to potential customers in order to build relationships with them and encourage them to purchase from you.

Influencer Marketing is when businesses partner with influential people in their industry who have large followings on social media in order to promote their products or services. Affiliate Marketing is when businesses reward affiliates for referring customers through special links or codes they provide them with.

How can digital marketing help to reach a wider audience?

Digital marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to reach a wider audience. With the right strategies, you can target potential customers who are interested in your products or services. You can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to create content that resonates with your target audience. You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure that your website appears at the top of search engine results pages when people search for relevant keywords. You can also leverage email marketing campaigns to send personalized messages directly to potential customers.

You can use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Google and other search engines to drive more traffic to your website and increase conversions. By utilizing these digital marketing strategies, you will be able to reach a larger audience and grow your business.

In conclusion, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in digital marketing technology to keep your business competitive and successful.

 

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