2 Proven Ways to Boost Your Ecommerce Sales with Affiliate Marketing
Are you looking for solid ways to boost ecommerce sales without draining your time and budget? Then you can’t afford to ignore the power of an ecommerce affiliate marketing strategy.
From generating brand awareness to converting leads, affiliate marketing can help ecommerce businesses scale their sales generation efforts without sacrificing company resources.
Today we’re covering what affiliate marketing is, the benefits of using it, and two proven ways to encourage sales using affiliate marketing. Ready to learn more?Let’s begin!
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a strategy where businesses partner with professional affiliates in order to promote and sell their products. These products are known as "affiliate products" because affiliates gain commissions anytime someone buys them using their affiliate link.
When you start an affiliate marketing program, you’ll use affiliate tracking software to track, manage, and organize your affiliates’ commissions, affiliate link clicks, and products sold.
Benefits of affiliate marketing
Some of the top benefits of affiliate marketing include:
- Builds social proof: When a trusted affiliate, influencer, or industry expert vouches for your product, you get extra worthiness points. Over time, this encourages more people to like, know, and trust your product.
- Saves time and resources: When affiliate marketing works, it removes unnecessary pressure/burdens off your marketing and sales teams.
- Affordable marketing strategy: Affiliate marketing is one of the most cost-efficient marketing tactics — you only pay if products sell!
- Exposure to wider, targeted audiences: Affiliates with curated audiences in your niche can give you targeted exposure to more people than you could’ve reached on your own.
- Seamless sales when you partner with the right affiliates: Affiliates that have high-intent-to-buy audiences in your niche can help you boost sales effortlessly.
And speaking of partnering with the right affiliates …
1. Lock arms with the right affiliates
When you’re hunting down potential affiliates, it’s crucial to be wise about who you partner with. Building a successful and aligned affiliate relationship is key — and you do that by making sure you share some key things in common.
Here’s a checklist to help you locate a trusted affiliate partner:
- Are they an expert in your niche?
- Do they share the same target audience or cater to a different target market you’d like to crack into?
- Do they share the same core values?
- Do they create quality content that aligns with your brand voice and business goals?
- Can they show you a proven track record? I.e., can they show proof that they’ve worked with previous brands in your industry and hit generous sales numbers?
If you answered yes to the questions above, it's time to set up a meeting and consider pitching an affiliate partnership offer.
Are social media influencers and affiliate marketers the same thing?
Social media influencers and affiliate marketers can share similar roles, but the titles mean two different things.
While both influencers and affiliates are content creators, influencers get paid per social media post, and sometimes, when products sell, too. They also charge quite a bit of money and are known for embracing a specific lifestyle or persona.
Affiliates, on the other hand, only earn commissions when someone buys a product using their affiliate links, making them more affordable brand partners. Affiliates are also professional product reviewers that use multiple marketing channels when creating content. These include email marketing, blogging, social media marketing, and guest posting.
2. Choose affiliate marketing tactics in line with your ecommerce business goals
When planning your affiliate marketing campaign, focus on strategies that complement your ecommerce business goals.
Be sure that your current operational systems such as product inventory and your courier service, are prepared to deal with increased demand generated by the affiliate program.
Here are six examples to help inspire you:
1. Product comparison blog posts
Great for: Boosting SERP ranking potential, raising domain authority scores, generating quality B2B leads, and nudging MoFu and BoFu leads to conversion.
Product comparison blog posts are online guides that compare two or more products. These articles are designed to help readers understand the pros and cons of similar product options so they can make an informed buying decision.
You should also optimize these articles with their target keywords by doing keyword research. This will help you rank for those keywords and bring more eyeballs to your blog post, which will help you generate more sales.
Check out the following comparison guide, which targets the keyphrase "Madkudu alternatives," to see what we mean:
In the above example, the article covers the key differences between Breadcrumbs and Madkudu, two lead-scoring tools.
By sharing an open and honest review of both tools, affiliates can encourage higher sales, and interested readers can review and choose the product that fits their needs best.
2. Email marketing brand intro campaigns
Great for: Introducing your product to ToFu leads, capitalizing on referrals, generating demand, and encouraging quick sales.
Email marketing brand intro campaigns are a great option if you’re a new ecommerce business that’s looking to introduce your brand to wide, targeted audiences.
With this example, affiliates present your brand and product offers over a series of segmented, targeted emails. They do so using compelling storytelling, beautiful product images and videos, and benefits-focused messaging. They might also weave in additional social proof from some of your happy customers.
And a simple way to earn more sales using this approach is by helping affiliates get set up with clickable email signatures. Why? The best email signature lets readers quickly head to product pages and check out carts to complete their purchases.
The best part? You can park them at the end of your promo emails, reducing friction and increasing conversion rates.
3. Branded hashtag contest to win a gift card
Great for: Demand generation campaigns, building awareness, and gaining social media followers.
Need a fast and easy way to build up your social media followers or generate awareness?
Try a branded hashtag contest where affiliates ask their audiences to:
- Follow your page.
- Comment on the promo post and tag their friends.
- Share the promo post on their feed or in Stories with a branded hashtag.
You can also give contest participants extra entries for each person they tag on the post.
To make it worth their while, give participants something exciting to win — like a generous gift card or a free one-month subscription to your SaaS tool or subscription box program.
4. Email newsletter sign up for free product samples
Great for: Encouraging more sales, gaining product testers, gaining product reviews and testimonials, and building your email list
Looking for a creative way to pass out product samples and build your email list?
Ask affiliates to encourage their audiences to opt into your email newsletter in exchange for a free product sample. Easy and effective!
5. Product reviews and landing pages
Great for: Encouraging SaaS trial signups, nudging MoFu and BoFu leads closer to conversion, and eliminating unnecessary barriers to entry (as people will feel more informed about their product options).
Ask affiliates to create content assets, such as online reviews and product landing pages, for leads that are ready to buy. These are great assets both affiliates and yourself can use to nudge MoFu, and BoFu leads to conversion. They’re also the perfect tools to explain how your products work in-depth, so feel free to use them in your ad campaigns, too.
Take a look at the following landing page, which covers everything you need to know about the AI writing assistant, Simplified AI, for example:
If you head to the landing page, you’ll notice it includes:
- Benefits of using the AI writer tool
- What you can do with the tool
- A tester field where you can generate an AI-simulated test copy
- Tool features
- Answers to FAQs
- Customer testimonials
- CTAs help users quickly sign up for a free trial
With robust information like this, readers have access to all of the necessary details they need to make informed buying decisions.
*Pro-Tip: Consider also reaching out to renowned review sites in your niche to ask if they can professionally review (or publish a premade review of) your product on their sites.
6. Explainer videos
Great for: Nudging ToFu leads closer to conversion, explaining complex products, and generating demand. This tactic can also work well for BoFu leads that are ready to buy but want to see your product in action first.
Have affiliates create explainer videos to break down complex features and demonstrate how your product works step-by-step. Or, you can collaborate with the affiliate directly to create a joint video. Simply add a promo code or affiliate link in the video description and in video annotations to encourage affiliate sales.
Here’s an example of an explainer video that Penn Tool Co. created with Robert Oberst, a well-known strongman and affiliate marketer for tool companies:
With a massive following on social media platforms, Robert has built a loyal fan base interested in strength training, fitness, and DIY construction projects — an audience that aligns perfectly with Penn Tool Co.'s target market.
Together, Robert and Penn Tool Co. wrote a script and filmed a fun and creative video featuring Robert using its power tools to tackle various projects. The video highlights the durability, features, and functionality of Penn Tool Co.'s tools while showcasing Robert Oberst's strength and expertise — a win-win approach.
Penn Tool Co. also showcased its collaboration with Robert in its website header, as seen here:
And there you have it.
Today we covered the basics of affiliate marketing and two proven ways you can use it to encourage ecommerce sales.
Now, over to you.
It’s time to meet with your sales and marketing teams to set up an affiliate marketing program. Then, reach out to relevant affiliate marketers in your niche and formalize your working agreements. Finally, launch your programs and track their success. Be sure to refine your approach as you see what works and what needs to be improved.
And that’s it!
Here’s to your success!
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