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How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Level Up Your Ecommerce Strategy

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How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Level Up Your Ecommerce Strategy

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ecommerce continues to gain relevance as people find it more convenient to shop online, especially when 2020’s pandemic hit. Now, the ecommerce vertical is 2021-ready. But the initial obstacle remains: How to position a given product before the precise audience?

To remove this barrier and grow customer reach, you need to know a thing or two about affiliate marketing and advertising networks for ecommerce players.

How ecommerce players can leverage affiliate marketing 

Imagine there’s a digital shop selling children’s bikes, and it’s about to launch an international seasonal sale campaign. The store has a variety of options: The owner can place paid search ads, approach a multinational agency for sales conversion or hire an international marketing team.

What works most, however, is localized and personalized promotion. And this is where a partnership between ecommerce players and affiliate marketers becomes profitable. See, thanks to the influence they have on their viewers, affiliates are the pros of campaign optimization and local targeting.

How does it work? A blogger or website owner (an affiliate) recommends a merchant’s goods and gets paid each time a user buys goods via this recommendation. Purchase is the only action that is paid.

Related: 8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting Affiliate Marketing

Advantages of using affiliate marketing in ecommerce 

If you’re wondering why merchants should take advantage of this style of online marketing, here are some of the perks:

  • Generates the right leads to your website.
  • Helps you keep track, control and measure your marketing success.
  • Gives you serious value for your money since it’s performance-based.
  • Widens your brand awareness and business reputation.
  • Drives repeat sales.

How to promote an ecommerce offer

With the aid of a fitting associate offer and promotion strategy, you can maximize leads and sales from your advert.

Whether yours is a small store or a business empire, to get the most out of your ecommerce affiliate programs, here’s what to keep in mind. 

1. Come up with an ecommerce offer

Before you start looking for affiliates, you should decide what you are going to promote and what results you expect. This will be your offer. So what exactly is an offer? It’s an arrangement provided by an advertiser to attract individual marketers. It may detail things like your brand or business, the commission rate, shipping information, product descriptions, landing page, creatives or images related to the product. 

2. Direct the right products to the right people

One of the most common mistakes to avoid is shoving the whole ecommerce website down the throat of potential clients. Your efforts, instead, should be directed toward meeting their demands. Identify the right products that meet the needs of each set of audiences.

Users are quick to disregard unspecific ads and campaigns that are irrelevant to their current needs. This is why online advertising needs to be targeted with pinpoint accuracy. 

3. Be time and location sensitive

Time and location are two critical factors in ecommerce. As you plug into a partner program, give consideration to time and location when developing your campaign.

Pay attention to differences in time zones. When are prospects most likely to see your ads? These ads should be shown only to those within the geographical reach of your distribution services. 

4. Prepare your landing page

First off, your home page shouldn’t be your landing page, mainly because a majority of viewers won’t pay attention for long, as we all get distracted easily these days. Remember that the ultimate goal is to convert as many leads as possible to sales.

You want to focus on the main headline (make it grabby and punchy), social proof, CTA (call-to-action), eye-catching media content (images, videos, etc.) and compelling copy (containing benefits and product features). Timers, containers, lots of white space — these are the little details that make your landing pages even more effective.

Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

5. Provide your affiliate marketers with visuals

The more attention it grabs, the better. The higher the quality, the better. Visual content often works better than words. Or combine the two masterfully, and you have an affiliate offer that marketers are dying to promote.

Affiliate marketing in ecommerce calls for high-res images visualizing the products, their descriptions, their benefits and sometimes social proof. That’s why you should always create and share high-quality visuals with your publishers.

6. Think of how to track your affiliate offer

To find exactly how affiliate marketing impacts your ecommerce site, you need to have a distinct idea of how many people click on your ads or links, how many of those clicks turn into prospects and how many of those turn into conversions. Tools such as Google Analytics or traffic trackers can provide you with the needed analysis to measure the success of your affiliate campaign.

7. Choose a promotion strategy (or let affiliate network experts do it for you)

Another vital aspect is choosing a suitable promotion strategy for your offers (that’s if you’re working with publishers directly). If you’re going with an advertising network like Google, you provide all necessary information about your offer, and affiliate marketing experts decide how to best promote it. The same is fair for affiliate networks.

Creating the best affiliate offers starts with the right products. Identify which segment of people would be drawn to your products and services. Draw patterns from their online behavior, target them where they can be found and tailor your ad to their biases.

Related: This Is Why Teenagers Are the Affiliate-Marketing Experts

This covers working with pubs they are in constant contact with. When you understand the target market, you can create a highly productive affiliate marketing campaign in a collaboration that results in increased leads, conversions and sales.


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The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

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The Top 5 AI Tools That Can Revolutionize Your Workflow and Boost Productivity

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Discover the top 5 AI tools for marketing and content creation that every marketer needs to know! As AI transforms the business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. In this video, I dive deep into essential AI marketing tools that can revolutionize your workflow and boost productivity.

Download the free ‘AI Success Kit‘ (limited time only). And you’ll also get a free chapter from Ben’s brand new book, ‘The Wolf is at The Door – How to Survive and Thrive in an AI-Driven World.’

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

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4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kicking off hours after an assassination attempt on a presidential candidate, the Republican National Convention took on heightened significance this year. In my role as President and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), I traveled to Milwaukee for a policy roundtable entitled “Franchising, the American Dream,” with U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK), who is the co-chair of the congressional franchise caucus, McDonald’s franchisee Jimmy Williams, and hotelier Jyoti Sarolia.

Matt Haller and Jyoti Sarolia Credit: Matt Haller

To be clear, IFA is non-partisan and does not take sides in presidential campaigns. We will be in Chicago for the Democratic National Convention in August, and we work with anyone from any party who champions our priorities and fights for our franchise small business owners. That’s also why we partnered with POLITICO and CNN with Milwaukee-based Batteries+. We created a brand activation at the POLITICO/CNN Grill, where over four days we gave away wireless battery chargers to over a thousand attendees, communicating the economic benefits of franchising to convention-goers, with a QR-code that linked to IFA’s Open for Opportunity campaign.

Related: Check out the 2024 Franchise 500 Ranking

Political conventions are always exciting, and this year was no different, especially after COVID-19 curtailed the in-person festivities in 2020. The buzz and energy were palpable. In my conversations with various stakeholders from all walks of life, certain commonalities emerged. Here are four of them.

1. Unions and franchising are not incompatible

The fiery speech from Sean O’Brien, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, got people’s attention. It marked the first time a teamster addressed the RNC in its 121-year history. The Wall Street Journal headline read, “Trump Courts the Union Vote.” The GOP is not used to speakers at their convention railing about “economic terrorism.” But as O’Brien pointed out, the Teamsters have supported Republican candidates before, including Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

For the franchise community, O’Brien’s presence served as a reminder that we have a compelling story to tell and we need to tell it.

First of all, our model provides nearly 9 million direct jobs, and not a single one is being outsourced overseas. Second, jobs in franchising pay up to 3.4 percent higher wages and provide higher rates of paid leave and other benefits than those at non-franchises, according to data from Oxford Economics. Third, franchises ARE small businesses, and that is the benefit of our business model.

Related: 7 Ways The Expanded Joint Employer Rule Would Hurt Franchises — And Your Wallet

While we are not going to agree with the Teamsters or other unions on much, one thing we do agree on is that policymakers should be focused on creating good jobs right here in America, and that’s what the franchising community is doing. Even when our brands open new franchises overseas, we are bringing money back ashore to the U.S. via the royalty stream paid to operate a U.S. brand abroad, creating a net-trade benefit to the U.S. economy.

We must push back on the idea that the franchise model and unions are incompatible. It’s false. We can and do have both. It is true that the union’s top policy agenda, the PRO Act and an expanded definition of joint employer, and franchising cannot co-exist, but unions are not inherently an opponent. It’s their history of policy priorities that would bring down franchising that we oppose.

2. Franchising is re-aligning party lines

Second, the traditional political and party lines are re-aligning, creating another golden opportunity to expand the franchise tent. For example, public polls have shown former President Donald Trump receiving as high as 30 percent of the Black vote — nearly three times higher than the 12 percent he earned in 2020.

Here again, franchising has an important role to play. Franchising has higher rates of business ownership among women, veterans and minorities. In fact, more than one-quarter (26 percent) of franchises are owned by people of color, compared to 17 percent of non-franchised businesses.

1721501763 1 4 Takeaways For Franchising From the RNC

Paul Calkins (IFA), House Speaker Mike Johnson and Matt Haller (IFA) Credit: Matt Haller

As Clement Troutman, an IFA member, U.S. Navy veteran, author, and Maryland-based Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee, wrote in a column for the Washington Times observing Juneteenth, “the last few years have been challenging for Black entrepreneurs. From challenges accessing capital to a disproportionate impact stemming from the pandemic, Black small business owners face major obstacles.”

Clement noted, “Franchising can help, but only if elected leaders do their part in creating the right business environment.” These are wise words and lessons that all candidates should take to heart if they want to expand their political base of supporters.

3. J.D. Vance has sided with franchising in the past

There was a lot of scrutiny on Senator J.D. Vance after his selection as the vice-presidential nominee, and nearly every conversation I had with members of Congress and others in Milwaukee centered around what to make of Senator Vance’s selection. In the event of a Trump victory, many view him as the natural GOP standard-bearer in 2028. Throughout his two years in the Senate, Vance has raised eyebrows by deviating from traditional Republican orthodoxy. For example, he has marched on union picket lines and famously praised Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan as “one of the few people in the Biden administration who I think is doing a pretty good job.” Yet when it came to franchise issues, particularly joint employer, Senator Vance sided with franchising. When the stakes were the highest during this spring’s repeal of the joint employer rule, Vance stood with us, and that is telling.

4. The next president will have a huge impact on franchising

Members of the franchise community — like all voters — are assessing their presidential choices through the prism of past policies. We have a sense of what a second Trump and Biden administration could look like by evaluating their previous time in office. Certainly, IFA is focused much more on economic and regulatory visions than we do on political ideology. What is the plan for job creators?

Related: Decoding the Massive Impact of the NLRB’s Joint Employer Rule

For example, the individual tax provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) are set to expire next year. The law significantly restructured numerous aspects of the federal tax system for small businesses, including reductions in individual and corporate tax rates, a new 20% deduction for income from pass-through businesses, 100% bonus depreciation for capital investments, and a new limitation on the deductibility of business interest. The GOP platform expressly calls for tax cuts and many Ways and Means Committee members who will write the next tax law, including Chairman Jason Smith of Missouri, Vern Buchanan of Florida, and Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania, have all highlighted the importance of ensuring pass-through businesses like most franchises are treated fairly in the next round of tax reform.

Beyond tax issues, the next president will choose their own FTC chair, who can in turn update the Franchise Rule, something that hasn’t happened since 2007 — the same year the first iPhone was introduced — and will make appointments to the NLRB, including the general counsel, who is arguably the most powerful position at that agency.

The stakes are high for franchisors and franchisees alike. We do not vote as a monolith or along strict party lines. But one thing is clear, the list of issues facing franchising is long, and the importance of having a seat at the table is more important than ever. Thanks to the support of so many IFA members, and what our brands, franchisees and suppliers do every day, I’m confident that whatever November brings, franchising will continue to thrive and IFA will be at the forefront fighting for the best interest of franchising.

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Earn $680K a Year with This Wedding Industry Franchise

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Earn $680K a Year with This Wedding Industry Franchise

3 Benefits of Owning a Wed Society Franchise:

  1. Recession-resistant with a stable market due to consistent demand for wedding services.
  2. Potential for high revenue with low overhead costs and strong unit economics.
  3. Offers flexibility and control with a work-from-home model and virtual customer interactions.

Wed Society is a comprehensive franchise specializing in digital, social, print media, and event planning within the wedding industry. The franchise offers a unique niche market, providing a robust platform for wedding vendors to showcase their services and for couples to plan their weddings. Click Here to connect me with Wed Society.

Key Facts:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $97,750 – $121,000
  • Initial Franchise Fee: $45,000
  • Liquid Capital Required: $100,000
  • Net Worth Required: $200,000
  • Veteran Incentives: $10,000 off franchise fee

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