The majority of new people to the internet marketing trade with no SEO skills head straight over to websites such as ClickBank and Commission Junction to get their affiliate links so that they can start promoting straight away. Truth be told, a lot of them are not successful from the word go, most haven’t taken the time to learn SEO, and wouldn’t have an idea on what something as basic as keyword optimization is. Becoming an affiliate marketer is no longer as simple as finding a referral link and placing it around your blog or website in the hope that someone needs to buy that product, and this in itself is what is holding a lot of new internet marketers back.
So, what can you do to increase your sales? Let me give you a few pointers that have worked wonders for me….
Selling Online Vs Floor Selling
When you get a job working at the local music store, from the very second that you start wearing that work uniform, you have earned trust from customers based on the authority that glows from you whilst wearing that uniform. You are already established as an expert, and someone that can help. You could know nothing about the high grade maple cap on that guitar body, or those real ‘rock and roll’ T90 pickups, at the end of the day, if you wear the uniform, people recognize you as an expert, and will approach you for the sale.
Online, you don’t work on the floor, you are one out there in a sea of millions. Much like you would approach customers on the sales floor and ask if they need a hand, in the online world, you use your SEO skills to optimize for specific keywords. Not just any keywords, but buying phrases. Search queries that indicate that a visitor is either ready to buy, or that the visitor is ready to be closed on the sale.
Don’t Go For The Hard Sell Too Fast!
Imagine that a customer walked into a store, and without batting an eyelid, a sales person walked up and asked that customer, “Would you like me to wrap that book up for you today?”. This is the equivalent of selling too strong on your website.
A typical sales scenario on the floor:
- ”Hi, how are you today?”
- ”Is this what you are looking for”
- ”Does this suit what it is that you need it for?”
- ”Is there anything else that you need with that today?”
- ”How about I throw this extra impulse item in at half price?”
- ”Would you like to pay by cash or card?”
This is very basic (my personal method is much longer mind you…), however, you can see that you are aiming to get the answer “yes” from the customer as much as possible. This generates a positive buzz, and then by adding something else at the end of the sale as a bit of a bonus, you are going to ease the pain of the transaction on the conscience of the customer, making them more susceptible to purchasing from you again.
Lets put that into the perspective of the way that we sell online, keeping in mind that there are various methods online to do just that:
- -Visitor searches in Google for a phrase
- Visitor finds your website
- Visitor reads your informative content, plus the small recommendation on how they can enhance their experience using this other product
- Visitor sees the results that you have achieved using that product
- Visitor reads about the bonus that you are offering if you purchase from their affiliate link today
- Visitor clicks your affiliate link, and purchases
- You close the sale by sending the bonus via mail
This is a very generalized method, and this can be used to construct many more ways of selling. At the end of the day, generating an income online is not that much different to selling in a store, the only main difference is that online, your SEO skills will determine in large part how people find your web page, if they find it at all. Remember, people need to find your website first before you can sell an affiliate product to them.
How Can I Use My Mailing List?
Mailing lists are very handy to have if you are an affiliate marketer. There are many services out there that will enable you to start communicating with your visitors via e-mail, the better of them being Aweber and Get Response, and there are also other solutions such as MailChimp that will allow you to start a mailing list with no outlay at all.
A mailing list will allow you to send offers directly to those who are on your list, and even in some cases, you can be a little creative. The problem with this is that people generally will not join your mailing list if there is no incentive. To combat that, think about offering the customer something for free that requires a name and e-mail address capture before receiving that item for free. This is one of the oldest, yet most effective methods that exist, and can easily generate a list of targeted subscribers who would not even stop to consider purchasing your recommendations.
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is not the easiest thing to get into. In my early days, it took me months to see my first ever sale come through. At the end of it all, the one thing needs to be remembered above all else. If you decide to promote a product, the main keywords that you choose need to be winnable in the search engines, more importantly, you need to be able to win those keywords, and this depends on your own SEO skills. What is my recommendation? Before you go too hard, take some time to learn SEO first, even just the basics so that you can start winning those buying phrases in Google. After this time, you need to be able to find a creative way to sell that product to those visitors that are actually finding your website. How you choose to do that will be the determining factor at the end of the day.