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7 Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Increase Website Traffic Fast

7 Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Increase Website Traffic Fast

Admit it, every business owner wants to increase website traffic fast.

Whether your website is brand new or 5 years old, if you’ve never looked into how to get more traffic, chances are people won’t find your website.

99% of blog posts are never seen. Business websites without blogs often fare even worse. But there are other ways to get found by your target customers.

These 7 clever techniques will increase website traffic fast.

7 Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic

1. PPC Ads (Super Fast!)

Let’s start with the super fast way to increase website traffic fast. That’s PPC. PPC or pay per click is when you pay a search engine like Google to show your ad in the search results in a special and very visible section for ads.

Over 50% of website traffic comes in through a search engine. So this is a great place to be when you need to increase website traffic fast. Nearly half of all query results will include ads. If you’re not advertising here, your competitors are.ppc ads increase website traffic fast

Chart courtesy of Neil Patel

Google Ads platform, formerly known as Google AdWords, is the most common and advanced PPC platform. Let’s take a closer look at the most clever and effective ways to use it to generate more visits to your website.

Set a Budget

This applies to all of the methods we’ll talk about to increase website traffic fast. Research your costs and write them down. Know that costs involve more than just the ads.

You’ll also either pay in money or time for the following:

  • Copywriter and/or ad designer to create compelling text or display ads
  • Web designer to create conversion-rate-optimized landing pages.
  • Research and Planning — This takes more time than you might realize.
  • Campaign Management & Analytics — To avoid overpaying, someone needs to monitor and adjust the campaign to make sure it’s running efficiently
  • Ad costs — the price you pay each time someone clicks the ad

Failing to budget can lead to a “spend as much as it takes. It will be worth it in the long-run.” mentality. When people think like this, they don’t realize how inefficient their campaigns are running.

Or people end up spending the whole budget on ads. They don’t realize there are other expenses. The result is spending too much to increase website traffic fast. It’s simply not necessary.

Know How You Pay

With a TV ad, you pay up front. The cost is based on viewership. But with PPC, you only pay when someone clicks your ad to go to your site. That makes PPC much more cost-effective for small businesses.

Pay for what you actually use. That’s a good system.

You can set a daily max for your campaign. This is the most you are willing to spend in one day. You can set this as low as $10/day. But to increase website traffic fast you generally need to set it a bit higher. That way more people are seeing your ad again and again.

The repetition helps increase clicks.

You’ll also set a max bid for each keyword on which you want your ad to appear. A keyword is a phrase that someone enters into the Google search box like “Best Chicken Wings in Atlanta”. If you’re a restaurant that sells them, this is a great search for you to appear in.

You’ll do keyword research to determine how high your bid should be. We’ll discuss that a little later. But first…

Don’t Overpay for Ads

Cost per click in on the rise. But you can also note from this chart that ad spend is staying steady as people get smarter about how they use PPC.

increase website traffic fast

Chart courtesy of marketing influencer Neil Patel

One of the worst things you can do in PPC is overpay for ads. You’ll wipe your ad budget out fast with little to show for it. People who are new to PPC often don’t apply basic best practices.

They think of it like a magazine ad. You just show the ad. People like it or they don’t. The ones who do, buy. The others, you don’t really worry about.

But in PPC, quality matters above all. Google wants people to only see ads that are very relevant. When they do, more people click.

Quality matters so much that Google gives you a grade. If you get a good grade, they reward you with lower priced ads. If you get a bad grade, they can increase how much you pay by as much as 400%.

At that price, Google Ads are cost prohibitive.

Monitor and Keep a High Quality Score

To keep this Quality Score high:

  • Only bid on relevant keywords
  • Watch your analytics closely – see how people are reacting
  • Create an ad that aligns with the searcher’s intentions
  • Create a compelling ad
  • Greet the clicker with a great website user-experience and a landing page optimized for conversions. Yes, Google looks at that too.
  • Use negative keywords to keep your ad from appearing in searches that don’t make sense. These are keywords that you don’t want associated with your brand.

Now let’s move on to keyword research, the centerpiece of an effective PPC strategy.

Do Some Keyword Research

A keyword is a phrase a person might enter into a search. It will often have 3-6 words in it.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner to learn more about what people enter in searches. When you enter a word, it will offer suggestions to add or replace the word you entered. For the example below, I entered the keywords “wedding packages” and “wedding planner”. Google ads came back with over 1,200 more keywords related to these.

Now, as a small business owner, you would just have to sift through those words and see which ones apply most to your target audience and fit your budget. This can be very time consuming, so consider hiring an experienced advertising agency to do it for you.

increase website traffic fast

As a general rule, you’re looking for keywords that:

  • Have decent traffic. But know that the more specific the word is the less traffic it will have. That’s okay as long as it’s getting something.
  • Are lower competition. It will be easier and usually cheaper to show your ad. But going too cheap hurts your Quality Score. Lower competition can mean less relevant. Find a balance.
  • You can build an ad campaign around.

It’s okay to select words that are expensive. You can set a max bid for that word. Then when you get that Quality Score up, your ad will display without that high cost.

But realize that some words are worth paying more for. If the word suggests that someone is ready to buy now, it might be worth paying a premium.

Always enter negative keywords as well. A person looking for “Where to Get a Great Steak” probably isn’t the same person looking for “Great Steak Recipes”. But you could appear in this search is you chose “broad match” instead of “exact match”. Negative keywords prevent this.

You may want to add “recipes” as a negative keyword. Once your campaign is running, you’ll see what searches you appear in.

Check this regularly to add more negative keywords.

2. Social Media Ads

Social media ads are similar to PPC. The main difference is that you’re using the data that the social media platform has collected to send ads to the right people.

The exception is Pinterest, which is keyword based like Google Ads.

But why social media?

There are around 3 billion active social media users around the world. That’s 42% market penetration rate. 50% of people check Facebook daily.

That’s more people than watch TV now.

popular social networking sites

If a person has Internet, they have 1 or more social media accounts. Your target customers are here. But are they buying?

41% of people say they use the Internet to stay in touch. 40% want to stay informed.

39% use it because they’re bored and looking to be entertained.

The number 8 reason people use social media is to learn about new products and services they may want to buy.

50% of people say that social media is the best place to show them an ad. 57% say social media ads are more relevant to them. And that’s why they like it.

But advertising on social media isn’t like running a radio commercial. Here’s what you need to know to use social media ads to increase website traffic fast.

Target Narrowly

Your goal in social media is not to get in front of the most people. It’s to get in front of the right people.

These are the people who are most likely to visit your website and buy what you’re selling.

Target major traits like male/female, income levels, education, etc. Then dig down to who the likely customers are.

audience targeting increase website traffic fast

For example, consider targeting life events. If it’s close to someone’s anniversary, show an ad for anniversary gifts. If someone is a new parent, they may want to treat themselves to a spa day or a buy new baby clothes from your ecommerce store.

To increase website traffic fast through Facebook or other social media platforms, be very selective about who sees the ad.

Select the associated traits when you’re setting up an ad. Then build an ad that is very relevant to that group.

That’s how to get the best click-through-rate and the best conversion rate once they reach your website.

Target Locally

If you’re a local business, don’t forget to target your local area only. Don’t pay for clicks from people across the country who will never become customers. Facebook will also allow you to target people visiting a certain area or who’ve just moved into an area.

If your business appeals to tourists or people new to town, take advantage of these options.

targeting by location increase website traffic fast

Even if you’re not a local business, you may find geo-targeting effective. Create an ad that’s highly relevant to a local group of people to gain a foothold in an area.

Bring People Back

Use the dynamic remarketing function in Facebook ads to bring people back to your website who’ve already visited. If someone left without completing the transaction, this is your big second chance. It’s valuable. Companies who use remarketing can double their revenues.

An Adobe study found that the click-through-rate on remarketing ads is 400X that of marketing to someone who doesn’t know you. The Internet can be a very distracting place. Cut through distractions and gently guide people back to your site.

In Facebook’s Ads Manager, you can choose to have the ad appear on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and/or Facebook’s partner sites. This allows you to be where your target audience is.

Relevance Score

Google Ads has a Quality Score that determines your cost. Facebook and Instagram have a Relevance Score. Keep the Relevance score high in much the same way you keep the Quality Score high, with slight differences:

  • Only target audiences who are likely to be customers. Targeting 1,000 likely customers is better than showing the ad to 1 million random people.
  • Make the ad very relevant to the traits chosen to target. The most relevant ads appear to be speaking directly to a person.
  • Track your progress. If your response rate isn’t what you expected, dive in and figure out how to improve it.
  • Align the landing page on your site with the ad. You want to increase website traffic fast. But sending them to a home page, service page or category page is rarely effective. Greet them with a landing page that requires them to take one action like click a button. The simpler your landing page is, the more relevant your ad will appear.

Time Your Ads

Some businesses get more foot traffic at a specific time

social media adsof day. For example, if you’re a restaurant serving dinner, the best time to run ads is 1:00pm – 5:00pm when people are still at work and thinking about dinner.

For seasonal or time of day oriented businesses, showing the ad at the right time is as important as the ad itself.

This ad for a local diner in Oregon is best shown late at night or early morning to put the idea of their diner for breakfast in the viewer’s head.

3. Boosted Posts

Do you already have a post that did very well with your social media fans? Get the most out of it by boosting that post. Think of your social media fans as your testing area in addition to potential customers.

If they like something, then that means your target audience does as well. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will allow you to send the post to a wider audience of people similar to your own.

You can create a lookalike audience that looks like your followers. You can upload your own list of contacts to re-engage your existing customers. Or select traits and locations to target similar to a regular ad.

But not every ad that does well is worth boosting. Remember, your goal is to increase website traffic fast. Let’s look at what makes a great boostable post.

Criteria for Boosting a Post

  1. The post was popular among your fans. If you don’t currently have many fans, you can also use boosted posts to get more fans.
  2. The post directs them to your website. Sometimes you share the content of others on social media to engage in between original content. But don’t pay for free advertising to other people by boosting a post that links to someone else’s site.
  3. The post has a video or image attached. Posts with a visual have a 650% higher engagement rate.
  4. It appeals to a larger audience. If the post was about an employee of the month or a contest that’s already over, it may not appeal to a larger audience. It appealed to your fans because they had unique interest in the post.

boosted posts

4. Social Media Posts

If you already have a following on social media, this is one of the cheapest ways to increase website traffic fast. Time is still involved, of course.

Share content on your website with a great headline and image/gif. If you don’t have a following, it’s time to start building a social media following. Reap the rewards of an instant audience when you have something to share.

Here are some important best practices to apply to increase website traffic fast with social media posts.

Social Sharing Best Practices

  1. Don’t be salesy. Rarely, if ever, link to your product or services pages directly. Instead get people invested in great content on your site. Or lead them to a landing page with a special offer just for your fans. Keep direct promotion to a minimum. This is the social way to promote your website.
  2. Write Compelling Headlines. Don’t just share and expect people to click. Research what makes a great headline and use analytics to find out which headlines perform best.
  3. Use Images and Videos. People on Twitter are 18% more likely to click a link if there’s an image. Remember, people have endless feeds of content. You have less than 2 seconds to get attention. A visual is the only way to get attention long enough for them to check out what you have to say.
  4. Time your posts and be consistent. Do you save all of your social media tasks for Saturday? You’ll have lackluster results. The only way to engage and keep people engaged is through regular sharing.
  5. Use social media automation.  If you have trouble managing social media every day, use automation. This isn’t the best solution. Daily monitoring of social media is advisable. But it’s a good start. Ensure you have full monitoring when you work with a social media management company.

5. Permission-Based Email Marketing

We’re discussing how to increase website traffic fast. The method that will work best for you depends on what tools you have at your disposal. Some methods are much more cost-effective in the long-run. They’re better in the long term as part of a comprehensive strategy to drive traffic.

Email subscribers are 3X as likely to share your content with others. 88% of retail marketers say emails are the best way to retain customers and keep them buying more. The ROI on email is 44:1, which beats out any other channel by far.

In permission-based email marketing, build an email list of people interested in your brand. Then send content to them regularly to nurture that relationship.

77% of consumers (and 86% of B2B buyers) say permission-based email is the preferred way for you to communicate with them. Let’s take a look at the best way to use email to drive website traffic.

email ROI

Build a List

To build a list, you must have something of value that people want. Some of the best ways to start building a list are to offer the following in exchange for a person’s email:

  • A chance to win in a contest
  • An exclusive report
  • An eBook that people want
  • Access to an online calculator or quiz results
  • A downloadable app
  • A freebie or add-on to their first purchase
  • An ongoing loyalty discount

Segment Your List

Next, you’ll begin segmenting the list to deliver the most relevant content. If your customers are plumbers, carpenters and roofers, you might segment by profession.

If you have people around the country signed up, it makes sense to segment regionally.

You can segment by age, employer, interests and many other traits. You can also segment by behavior. For example, send certain content to people who’ve never purchased or haven’t purchases in a while.

As you grow your list and learn more about them, find new ways to segment.

Create Segmented Content

For each segmented group, create highly relevant content for that group. Use automated editing tools to change keywords and re-purpose content for each group to avoid having to create all completely new content.

Automate Your Emails

Segmentation and automation go hand in hand. Automation helps you get the email in front of the right person at the right time. This may be a certain time of day or week. It could be after the person completed some action.

Certain emails will be more relevant at certain points in the buying cycle. For example, welcome emails are the most viewed single piece of content a business ever creates.

Use them wisely. Send them out automatically.

6. Influencer Marketing

Want to increase website traffic fast? Hire an influencer. An influencer is a person who already has a following and influence among your target audience. Generally, they’ll share something with their social media followers.

Don’t think “superstar” like an NBA player. Think more practically to get influencer marketing without the million dollar price tag.

It could be a:

  • Non-competitor in your industry
  • Local celebrity
  • Subject matter expert
  • Someone that aligns with your brand (it’s not confusing or harmful to each other’s fans/customers)

There are now available tools that you can try to search for these influencers. There’s NinjaOutreach and Awario that lets you search and filter influencers to find those who are fit for your brand. It also helps to check their social and other online activities first. What are the things that they usually write or talk about? And how do they interact and engage with their followers? These factors are worth noting when searching for the best influencer to represent your brand.

Reach out. Ask them to share your website with their fans. They may ask for some compensation. Don’t pay anything crazy. But do recognize their value. They’ve spent time building a following even if it only takes 2 seconds to share something.

Here’s a fun fact. Today, influencers don’t even have to be people. There are pets who have a huge social media following. They’re paid to share brands just like a real person might be like these instafamous doodles promoting Waffle House on National Waffle Day.

influencer marketing

7. SEO

SEO is the best way to increase website traffic. It increases your visibility in search engines. It’s best because it delivers long-term, sustainable results with ongoing SEO maintenance. But it’s not exactly fast in comparison to the other options we have given you to increase website traffic fast.

Here are some things you need to know if you’re considering SEO.

SEO isn’t SEO without an SEO Tailored Website

SEO stands for search engine optimization. You can’t optimize a website (at least not easily) after the fact. SEO starts with how a website is built from scratch. If you’re serious about SEO, you’ll invest in an SEO website. When you build an SEO website from scratch, your existing customers and new visitors will instantly notice.

Everything runs more smoothly. It’s easy to find what they’re looking for. There are never distractions or confusion. It feels like the website was built specifically for them.

You’ll notice the difference too. People who visit your site will stay longer and click on more pages. You’ll have much higher conversion rates and fewer people abandon the site.

SEO Requires Research

It’s impossible to optimize anything without research. Guessing what terms people use to find sites like yours will not help your website. Learn what your competitors are doing. Use online tools to learn more about how people find sites like yours.

Then start building strategies around what you learn.

SEO Requires Ongoing Maintenance

A lot of work goes into SEO up front. It can take 3-9 months or more to see significant visibility increases in searches that matter. But once you’re visible, it’s important to maintain that visibility by applying ongoing SEO strategies like:

  • Updating your website as Google changes its algorithm
  • Creating fresh content to stay relevant and current
  • Learning how people use the site and continually improving user experience
  • Keeping an eye on the competition and counteracting their efforts to overtake your competitors

Increase Website Traffic Fast with These Techniques

These useful techniques will help you increase website traffic fast. Remember to set a budget and use analytics to keep any campaign on track.

Are you struggling to get more traffic fast? We can help you apply proven traffic-generation techniques. Contact us for a free consultation.

Do you have more ideas on how to increase website traffic fast? Share them with us in the comments below.

Why these role models succeeded with affiliate marketing

Why these role models succeeded with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the foundational business models that almost everyone who has made money online has some experience with. It can be incredibly lucrative, but provides its own set of benefits and flaws, as every business model does.

At its basic level, affiliate marketing is simply where you sign up with a company or a network (a network is just a company that houses many offers from different businesses) to sell their products or services. You get paid typically every time someone either buys something or executes the desired action.

You are paid a commission every time you succeed, and this money is more or less from the marketing budget of the company who is offering the affiliate program.

Some affiliate programs will pay you long after you make the sale as well-known as rebills. These products can be harder to sell, but with the right angle, they can be worth it in the value they offer with their monthly paychecks.

While there are far too many affiliate networks out there to list them all, here are a few common ones that many people use:

Affiliate Website Examples

It is often hard to visualize what affiliate websites would look like, so I gathered a few here for you to gain inspiration from when you go about designing or redesigning your own affiliate site.

Money Saving Expert

MSE is a great example of an affiliate site that has become an authority site. It is not offering thin content and barely veiled “reviews” that are trying to sell something. Instead they are offering actual actionable advice and maintaining a strong code of ethics in the often dirty personal finance niche. They make their affiliate commissions by linking out in their posts and pages to affiliate products they have agreements with.

DatingAdvice.com

Dating Advice is another affiliate site that makes money by promoting their affiliate links to different dating apps and websites (like Match and eHarmony). The dating niche is an incredibly profitable niche for internet marketers of all stripes. They often attracts people who want to make a quick buck, unfortunately, selling gimmicky info products or shady memberships.

This website takes a different tack on that, and offers good advice while keeping its ethics alive by promoting quality offers that aren’t out to scam those who buy.

The design is also a great design, one that you might be inspired by when you go about creating your own affiliate site.

The Pros of an Affiliate Marketing Model

There are many benefits of an affiliate marketing model. For one, it is a fairly passive model if you go the SEO route with your website. Unlike Amazon affiliates, there is a bit more of link management to do, which we will get into below.

Affiliate marketing can be incredibly lucrative with just one website and a bit of content. This is different than the Amazon affiliate model, which often takes several sites to create a great income with their sliding tier of commissions. In addition, there is an incredible variety of products to promote and sell. Almost every business has an affiliate program of some kind, you just scroll down to the bottom of their site and their affiliate program will be hyperlinked right next to their Contact Us link.

While every affiliate program is different, you are less likely to be hit by a ban hammer in the affiliate space than in the Adsense space.  In general, affiliate networks can be a bit more lenient with their terms of services. You also have the benefit that many networks are hosting the same offers, so if one does ban you, you can usually replace that income with the new network offer.

Or you can do what many affiliates do and go direct to the company.

The vast majority of affiliate offers come direct from the company rather than affiliate networks.

In addition to all of this, you don’t really have a store to look after. You have zero products to ship or be held responsible for. You are literally just the marketing arm, unlike the ecommerce business model where you are sourcing the products that you are selling and dealing with the customer service portions of the business, along with logistics.

With affiliate marketing, you have next-to-zero need to do any kind of customer service. That is taken care of by the company that created the offer in the first place.

Unlike an Amazon affiliate business model, affiliate marketing tends to be more lucrative in terms of the profit margins you can earn per sale. This makes paid advertising easily profitable, so it can be a valid choice to grow your website. Many affiliate marketers focus almost 100% on paid traffic. They create a landing page, a sales letter, and off they go with Facebook ads or Google Adword campaigns.

While you should not invest in paid traffic without knowing a little bit about it first, having this opportunity can really boost your sales quickly, and almost overnight, versus having to wait around for rankings like you do with SEO.

Finally, one of the major benefits of affiliate marketing is that you can get paid a commission, even if you don’t sell a single thing.

This is usually called Cost-Per-Action or CPA offers. CPA offers typically require the visitor to take some kind of action, and if that visitor takes that action, then the affiliate network pays you. Often this action is submitting an email to become an email lead for a company, or filling out an entire form, whether a lead form or a survey data collection form. While CPAs pay lower than offers that pay you per sale, they often convert at a much higher rate, since there is no money that the visitor has to put down for the conversion to be complete. This higher conversion can often more than make up for the lower profits earned on an individual basis.

The Cons of an Affiliate Marketing Model

Affiliate marketing done right can be ethical, extremely helpful to the end consumer, and an overall good thing for both the company that created the offer and the affiliate promoting it (and, of course, the customer). Even still, there are drawbacks to the business model you should know about.

In fact, affiliate marketing often has a reputation for being sleazy, cheesy, or scammy in nature. This is something that affects the industry, mainly because of the low barrier to entry. Anyone can become an affiliate marketer, you just need to sign up for an offer and start promoting.

As you might imagine, this attracts a lot of unsavory characters to the field.

Because of this low barrier, affiliate marketing can also be incredibly competitive. After all, you are all selling the exact same product or service using the exact same sales letter and checkout process. If you don’t find a way to differentiate yourself, it is unlikely you are going to be able to succeed.

First thing to pay attention to, once you decide to go ahead with “good” affiliate marketing, is the affiliate offers themselves. Affiliate offers can come and go. I mentioned above that there is more link management involved with affiliate marketing versus Amazon affiliate sites because of this. If your affiliate link is pointing towards an offer that an affiliate network is no longer offering, you’re missing out on all the commissions you could be earning.

Secondly, while an offer might not disappear, you might be earning far less than you should be, because that offer suddenly has a max cap. In other words, the company that set up the offer only wants to spend a certain amount to get a certain number of customers or leads. The network limits how many paid leads/sales count towards the affiliate marketer in this case. You might end up giving away free leads or sales by accident in this case, so it is something to watch out for.

Finally, you don’t control the entire process.

That ultimately means there is less growth ability. For example you can’t just go in and change a checkout process to split test which one will perform better. You only really control the front or what is also known as “top of” marketing funnel. This makes your options more limited than if you were running a full blown business where you sourced the product yourself and controlled the logistics and check out processes.

Increase traffic to my website with Pinterest

Increase traffic to my website with Pinterest

Want to increase traffic from Pinterest back to your site? Here are 10 ways to drive more organic traffic to your site with Pinterest.

1. Create Pins that Direct to Valuable Resources

At the beginning of 2016, Pinterest made an algorithm change that affected how pins are shown to users on their home feed. Based on what I’ve observed, it seems Pinterest now focuses more on showing pins that lead to blog posts and valuable resources.

Beautiful images that do not lead to a helpful resource are being shown less. This generally includes sites like Flickr or uploaded images that don’t direct to any site.

If your business doesn’t have a blogging component yet, I strongly encourage you to create one that has pinnable images.

 

2. Aim to Grow Your Followers and Reach

Having a large number of followers is important, but surprisingly it’s not as important as you might think. I’ve worked on boards that have fewer than ten thousand followers and see the website generate as much traffic and repins as a board that has a hundred thousand followers.

The trick is not to just think about growing your followers, but create pins that will reach non-followers on Pinterest.

To do this you need to post relevant pins that will attract your core audience. When you start to provide more relevant pins, Pinterest will start to display your pins in “Picked for You” on a user’s home feed more often, allowing you to potentially reach millions.

Picked For You

Pinterest has also put a lot of stress on getting people to follow interests more than specific users or boards.

To find out how many people follow a particular interest you can type: http://www.pinterest.com/explore/(your-words)

As an example you can type in http://www.pinterest.com/explore/batman-robin.

In the picture below, the interest group of backpacking Europe has approximately 16.35 thousand followers. You want to have your pins show up on these interest feeds to expose your website to all those people.

PInterest Interests

In order to do this you need to have the right keywords in your board title and pin descriptions.

3. Use Relevant Keywords in Your Board Names

The best way to increase the odds of your pins showing up in the “Picked for You” and on the interest feeds on Pinterest is to ensure that your board has a relevant title. If you’re trying to reach people who want to travel, then naming your board Travel or Travel Tips will inform Pinterest of the topic. If you try to get clever and name your board Great Adventures of Willy Wonka your chances of showing up are less.

4. Use Several Keywords in Your Pin Descriptions

Pinterest doesn’t like to call itself a social network. It’s more of a discovery tool for inspiration and information. Pinterest acts as a visual search engine and millions of people conduct searches to help them plan for their weddings, look for gifts to buy during the holidays, and ideas on how to make their life easier.

This is why it’s important to go beyond growing your followers and think of Pinterst as a visual Google. And like a good blog post, each pin that redirects to your website should have 2-3 keywords in its description.

Ensure that you also use the same keywords in 5-10 different pin descriptions as you never know which one is going to get higher levels of engagement and rank higher within search results on Pinterest.

5. Use Guided Search

To know what type of words people are searching for on Pinterest, use Guided Search to assist you.

When you type in a word on the main search bar you will notice that there are tiled words below it.

Look for relevant words within those tiles that you can put in your pin description.

Guided Search

6. Increase Your Repins and Engagement

If you’re looking to rank number one for certain keywords on Pinterest, the number of repins that you receive in a specific time period is a strong factor in search rankings within Pinterest.

A pin that receives 100 repins within 2 days is more likely to outrank a pin that receives 100 repins in 10 days.

Other factors that influence your search results on Pinterest include who the repinners are and the click through rates of pins. If your repinners are active users on Pinterest, you are more likely to rank higher on search than non-active users.

What’s also interesting about higher levels of engagement of pins is that they increase your chances of showing up in multiple interest feeds as well. Let’s say that you’ve named your board Travel Tips and a particular pin receives 200 repins in a short period of time. That pin may show up on the interest feed for travel tips, backpacking Europe (if the pin is related to Europe) or culture travel.

7. Join a Group Board

Joining group boards to get your pins more traffic was more effective in the past, but if you’re starting off and you’re looking to get your pins exposed to as many people as possible, then joining group boards is still a great start.

Group boards are boards that have more than one contributor. Each contributor can add their own pins and each board may have their own guidelines and moderator.

Finding the right group board is a great way to expose your pins to thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people when you’re first starting off on Pinterest.

To discover a comprehensive list of group boards, you can visit PinGroupie.com.

PinGroupie

8. Apply for Rich Pins

Rich pins are pins that contain extra information that help pins stand out on the Pinterest feed.

There are rich pins for articles, products, recipes, movies, places, and apps. The two most popular rich pins on Pinterest are rich pins for articles and rich pins for products.

Rich pins on mobile devices will show a favicon next to an article, while on the desktop they show a favicon and bolded title. The bolded titles on rich pins can help them stand out on a user’s Pinterest feed, increasing the chances of it being noticed and clicked on.

Look at the pin on the left hand side. This is a rich pin for an article. Notice the pin on the right hand side doesn’t have a bolded title. That’s a regular pin.

Rich Pins

Another side benefit of having rich pins for articles is that when a person clicks on the pin and scrolls down to the pin description area, the meta description of the blog post always shows up first. This is unlike a regular pin where the description can be changed by any user who repins that pin, the meta description area of a rich pin for article can never be changed by another user.

Rich Pins (Meta)

The great benefit of having rich pins for products is that these pins will show the price of the product so this can help filter quality traffic back to your site.

Rich Pins 2

To get rich pins, you do have to do some back end work and go through a validation process. Pinterest provides a guideline on how to get rich pins.

9. Pin Consistently

What I love about Pinterest is that pins generally have a very long half-life for clicks when compared to Facebook, especially if you’re providing evergreen content. But to increase traffic to your site you need to pin consistently, and that means doing it on a daily basis.

I would suggest pinning at least 10 different pins a day. These should be a mix of pins leading back to your website and pins that would be helpful resources to your audience.

Pinterest does reward people who pin consistently by ensuring that their pins are seen by more of the followers over time, and by more people.

10. Be Patient

Generally when social networks mature, it can be harder to gain more followers, but like most social networks Pinterest can pay off handsomely if you’re willing to put in the time and pin consistently.

Working with Pinterest clients over the years, I have noticed that those that are able to provide valuable resources and create great pins will see more traffic if they are willing to stick with it for at least a year.

But don’t expect great traffic results just from pinning. If you want to get quick results then you will most likely need to pay for them using Promoted Pins.

These are ten ways to drive more organic traffic to your site with Pinterest. If you’ve got a great tip to share then please feel free to share it in the comments below.

My 10 Favorite Affiliate Affiliate Programs Compared

My 10 Favorite Affiliate Affiliate Programs Compared

AFFILIATE MARKETING

THE TOP 10 AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

Today we are going to look at the top 10 affiliate programs. As you already know, affiliate marketing is one of the largest online industries and has become a key source of online income for many thousands of professional bloggers, webmasters, and entrepreneurs.

For those new to this powerful online merchandising concept, affiliate programs work as intermediaries between the affiliate marketers who will sell products and services and the merchant who provides those products and services as well as the affiliates programs.  Merchants work with affiliates to help get their products or services to their consumers.

top-10-affiliate-programs

In short, both the affiliate marketer and the merchant will benefit in this program as the merchant will sell more goods and the affiliate marketer will get a commission for every product bought through his/her website.  Many affiliate marketers earn a nice monthly income from selling other peoples’ products!  Later, YOU TOO could be producing your very own products and collaborating with one of the top 10 affiliate programs below to enlist an army of bloggers and website owners to help you become financially free.

But, let’s not put the cart in front of the horse here.  If you’re totally new to affiliate marketing, I highly urge you to visit my number one affiliate marketing program for training as a marketer first.

How to Earn Money Online for Free

This is how countless six-figure earners first began before stepping into the big leagues and producing products (or services) on their own and becoming the “merchant”.

“US Affiliate Marketing spend will increase to an estimated $6.8 billion industry by the year 2020.”

Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Programs

One great thing about this market is that as the affiliate marketers increase, more merchants are becoming onboard meaning that there is an opportunity for everyone. If have a website that gain has lots of traffic, it is the high time to consider affiliate marketing.

As a website or a blog owner, there are more than one ways in which you can benefit from affiliate marketing. Remember, the affiliate marketing program does not require the affiliate marketers to have their own products or services. Thereby, way fewer headaches with shipping and customer service for the affiliates.

You just need to place an advertisement on your sites for other merchants, and you will get a commission of every product bought from your site. Before looking at the Top 10 Affiliate Programs, let’s look at important some quick introductory information that’ll you need to know about these programs.

AFFILIATE PROGRAM BUSINESS BASIC PAYMENT METHODS

Generally, the most popular affiliate programs offer three types payments.

PAY-PER-SALE (COST-PER-SALE)

This is the most popular payment offered by most of the affiliate programs. Under this program, the affiliate marketers earn commissions from the merchant each time they will send a client to the merchant website, and that client makes an actual purchase. Various affiliate programs offer a specific percentage of the sale as commission while others will pay you a fixed rate for every sale.

PAY-PER-CLICK (COST-PER-CLICK)

Pay-Per-Click is also considered as widespread and common affiliate agreement. Under this agreement, the affiliate marketers will get fixed rates depending on the number of clients who click on the links placed on the affiliate website that leads to the merchant website. Here a purchase is not necessary to earn commissions, all that has to be done is that the client clicks the link and stays at least thirty seconds on the merchant website. Regardless of what the visitor does on the merchant site, this will not affect the commission.

PAY-PER-LEAD (COST-PER-LEAD)

Here the affiliates are paid depending on of how many visitors are sent to the merchant website and then sign up as leads. For the visitor to sign up as leads, it means that the visitors will fill out the information request form on the merchant site.

Although affiliate programs offer you a very good opportunity to earn money online, choosing the best affiliate program may not be quite so straightforward, especially if you are a beginner. Remember, the affiliate programs are both beneficial to the merchant and the affiliate marketer. It’s a win-win situation.

top-10-affiliate-programs

However, just like many other things, there are some affiliate programs that will benefit the merchant and the marketer more than the other. For this reason, we have prepared a list of the Top 10 Affiliate Programs that are not only the most popular but guarantee marketers and merchant mutual satisfaction.

While many affiliate marketers will list affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates, e-Bay, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. We will discuss affiliate programs that can actually make you money. These other big brand names do indeed have affiliate programs, but your earning percentages are horribly low. Many times we are talking about 2-5% per sale. You would have to move huge volumes of products just to make ends meet. Keep this in mind when reviewing our top 10 affiliate programs. These programs make us and many affiliate marketing entrepreneurs a lot of money monthly!

1. WEALTHY AFFILIATE

Best Affiliate Program - Wealthy Affiliate

WHAT’S WEALTHY AFFILIATE PROGRAM ABOUT?

Founded in 2005, Wealthy Affiliate is an online training platform that offers affiliate marketing courses to people. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or an expert affiliate marketer, this program is a place for everyone to learn and master how to make money online. It’s both a course and a community for people to learn and share knowledge.

Wealthy Affiliate offers both free and paid membership plans. Although there are some benefits to gain on their free membership plan you’ll gain way more benefits upgrading to their paid premium membership.

For those experts who have already made successes with affiliate marketing, their reasons for signing up for this program might be different – to vet the system and stuff like that. But for a beginner just starting, you’re most likely looking for an opportunity to learn how to build a website, how to blog and make money off of it legitimately, among many others.

So, if you’re in the latter group, you’re probably going to start with the free membership option and upgrade later when you start to see a prospect in the business. For whichever option you opt for, here is what there’s in each for you…

WHAT YOU GET WITH THE FREE WEALTHY AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT?

Like I mentioned earlier, the benefits you gain from being a free member of this program is by no way comparable to those you’ll get from its paid premium membership. With the free account, you get only limited access to their dashboard with some other features which may or may not last for long. Here are the benefits that come with the Free Wealthy Affiliate Membership:

  • Beginner Training Course
  • 2 Websites
  • 2 Training Classrooms
  • Free Website Backup
  • Personalized Affiliate Blog
  • Live Help – only for the first 7 days
  • Video Tutorials
  • Affiliate Program
  • Access to Affiliate Bootcamp Training – only Phase 1 of their
  • Keyword Research Tool – 30 searches only
  • 1-on-1 Coaching – for the first 7 days 

WHAT YOU GET WITH THE PREMIUM WEALTHY AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

This option offers unlimited access to the dashboard and other exciting feature. I think you’d rather go for the Wealthy Affiliate Premium Membership if you’re serious about making money online.

Here are few of the benefits you stand to benefit from the Wealthy Affiliate Premium membership.

  • Live video classes
  • 50 websites
  • Unlimited live help
  • 2 Training Classrooms
  • Unlimited Private Messaging
  • Personalized Affiliate Blog
  • Website Backup
  • Unrestricted Access to Beginner Training Course
  • Affiliate Bootcamp Training – All the 7 Phases
  • Access to Keyword Research Tool with Unlimited searches
  • Unlimited 1-on-1 Coaching
  • All-Year-Round Website Support

Pros

  • Very easy and friendly for new users to get started.
  • Saves you cost on blog as it already offers you free blog to start with.
  • Offers high-quality and regularly-updated products
  • Provides all the tools you’ll need in one place. For example, you don’t need to buy a domain in one place and hosting in another place.
  • Offers step-by-step training for new members on how to use all the tools they provide.
  • Offers excellent and responsive community and live chat sessions.

Cons

  • Trainings are mainly targeted at the beginners and inter-mediate members.
  • Non-dedicated hosting platform (shared hosting)

2.  POWER LEAD SYSTEM

WHAT’S POWER LEAD SYSTEM ABOUT?

Call to Action

Founded in 2013 by the two multi-level marketing experts, Michael Price and Neil Guess, Power Lead System is a business whose product type is in the online marketing. Its main idea is to help people grow their business using the tools and resources they offer, and through marketing techniques. Currently, their membership subscriptions are broken down as follows:

  1. Free Lead System: This is their free subscription plan and it gives customers to the Free Lead System.
  2. Basic Power Lead System Product:  Here, you’ll get access to Lead Lighting, which means you’ll earn $6 for every sale you made. But to join you need to make one-time payment of $7.
  3. Power Lead System Diamond: This is also known as Free Ad Secrets. It goes for $147 to join. How this works is once you sell the product, you retain only $100 and $25 is passed up to the next qualified affiliate.
  4.  Power Lead System Master Traffic System: This cost $1,497. When you sell the product you keep $1,000 and pass on $200 to the next qualified affiliate.
  5. Platinum Lead System: This gives customersaccess to their profit academy. To join the Platinum Lead subscription you’re required to make a one-time payment of $497. And each time you sign up another customer to this subscription plan, you earn $400. And for very person you recruit sign up you also earn $50.
  6. Gold Lead System: Here you get access to the Power Lead System. What this means is that you’ll get access to a lot more resources and tools. However, upgrading to the Gold Lead level cost $30/month. The benefits here include earning a 50% commission on your personally recruited affiliate and $20/month for every member who signs up to Gold using your affiliate link.

Pros:

  • There’s return policy which I believe is great for the affiliates should they have issues with the product.
  • It’s a legit business.
  • Their different levels of subscriptions meet all budgets.

Cons

  • It’s not beginner-friendly as it’s fairly difficult to setup.
  • Their upper level products and training are outdated.
  • The marketing system is made to promote only the platform.
  • Earning big and real money means you need to invest huge amount of money. This can be very expensive for people

3.  AFFILORAMA

Top 10 Affiliate Programs - Affilorama

WHAT’S AFFILORAMA ABOUT?

This Zealand-based company was founded in 2006 by both Mark Ling and Simon Slade. They offer courses and tools for marketers looking for ways to make money online through affiliate marketing.

WHAT’S IN THEIR TOOLS AND TRAINING FOR MEMBERS

There are many awesome tools and training offered in this program. Some of these tools and training are free but others are not. Here are some of the Affilorama’s tools and training:

  1. Free Training: This consists of over 100 videos, text lessons, and guides for beginners. But the most disheartening thing is that most of these resources are outdated.
  2. Pathway to Passive: Just like the Free Training,the information provided here is also outdated.
  3. AffiloTools: You’ll find tools here a bit useful if you’re a fan of Clickbank.
  4. AffiloJetpack: This is also one of their products but it’s yet to be verified by people.

Others tools are AffiloBlueprint and Affilorama Premium, but these are as of 2020 no longer available.

Pros

  • They offer 60-day refund policy.
  • They offer both free and affordable training to their members.

Cons

  • Outdated training and tools.
  • Lack of verifiable positive reviews and testimonials for some of their products.
  • Lack of practical instructions.

4.  AWEBER

Top 10 Affiliate Programs - Aweber

What’s Aweber About?

Aweber is email marketing app founded in 1998. It’s designed to help online marketers and bloggers build their email lists, send emails and, stay connected with their customers. Breaking it down, here is some of the things you can do with Aweber:

  • Create email lists
  • Capture your audience data.
  • Design newsletters using the Smart Designer feature.
  • Automate your email marketing using “Autoresponders”.
  • Import and host email list.
  • Do split-testing.
  • Build a landing page.
  • Integrate it with third-party apps.
  • Aweber Campaigns – a newly-introduced marketing automation that allows certain user actions like opens and clickthroughs. This helps determine the type of user action that can trigger mailouts.

Pros

  • It’s user-friendly.
  • There’s free plan for person in a tight budget.
  • There lots of ready-made templates
  • It has relatively excellent customer support services.
  • They offer very reasonable prices for their plans.
  • The import functionality is great.
  • It allows third-party integration.
  • There is built-in landing page builder.

Cons

  • Some of the templates appear outdated.
  • The RSS to email templates are poor.
  • There is option for A/B testing on the landing page.

5. GETRESPONSE

Top 10 Affiliate Programs - Get Response

WHAT’S GETRESPONSE ALL ABOUT?

Getresponse is an email marketing software that offers all-in-one services like advanced automations, landing pages, and a CRM. With extremely exciting landing pages and automation functionalities, Getresponse is the app you need to take care of your traffic generation and email marketing campaigns.

Pros

  • They offer very interesting list automation that allows users to add many conditions for automatic subscribers’ list segregation.
  • Their landing pages and conversion funnel features are extremely exciting.

Cons

  • Their prices are very competitive.
  • Poor deliverability rates.
  • There is no free plan.

6. CONSTANT CONTACT

Top 10 Affiliate Programs - Constant Contact

What’s Constant Contact All About?

This is another major business in the email marketing industry. As a provider of email marketing tool, this company came around since 1995 and has since been adding several features to their platform. Specifically, over the years, they’ve added exciting features like surveys and social campaigns. These are in addition to their automation, newsletters, and email list building services. However, there has also been a major change – to use their built-in event management tool, you’ll now be prompted to integrate with Eventbrite.

Constant Contact is mainly targeted at small businesses starting on a shoestring budget. Their plan starts from around $20/month with only 500 subscribers.  

Pros

  • They have high deliverability rates.
  • The event management tool can be great for certain businesses.

Cons

  • Their prices are very expensive when compared to their competitors offering newsletters.
  • The automation feature is basic and limited when compared to other tools.

7. WPENGINE

Top 10 Affiliate Programs - WPEngine

What’s WPEngine All About?

WP Engine offers a WordPress-specific web hosting solutions to help businesses create websites and apps for their businesses on WordPress. If you’re looking for inexpensive WordPress managed hosting, this might not be your best pick because WP Engine plans aren’t exactly cheap. But if all you care about is performance and concierge service, then you should go for this service. To help you out, here are some of the exciting features in WP Engine for you:

  • It’s easy to migrate from your old host to WP Engine.
  • They offer free Secure Socket Layers (SSL) Certificate.
  • There are features for performance tracking and diagnosis.
  • They provide for setting up staging sites
  • Free daily backups with easy restore options

Pros

  • They offer high-quality managed hosting services.
  • Well-optimized for WordPress.
  • It makes managing your website quite easy.
  • Single-Sign-On (SSO) to all your websites

Cons

  • Their plans might very expensive for a tight budget.
  • They offer only managed hosting on shared servers.

8. SEMRUSH

Best Affiliate Program - SEMRush

What’s SEMRush All About?

For those already familiar with SEO, they know what SEMRush is meant for. But if you’re just starting out you might want to ask the question: What’s SEMRush all about?

Simply put, SEMRush is the tool for optimizing your website for search engines. With over 5 million users (as claimed by the company), SEMRush started in 2008 as a brainchild of Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov. Some of what you can achieve with this great tool include:

  • Building links.
  • Creating new web content that tends to attract traffic to your website.
  • Improving your site technically for a higher ranking in the search.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface.
  • Easy domain analysis.
  • Excellent link building functionality.
  • Outstanding competition analysis.
  • Adequate support channels.

Cons

  • Provides data for only Google.
  • Interface are not mobile-friendly.
  • Allows only one user on their plans.

9. SHOPIFY

Top 10 Affiliate Programs - Shopify

Whst’s Shopify All About?

If your business is in the ecommerce industry, you most certainly have used one ecommerce solution at one time or another. The question is, are you getting the most out of your ecommerce service provider? If not, now is the right time to make a switch. If you’re confused whether or not Shopify will do the trick for you, then I suggest you read through this brief review.

If you don’t already know Shopify, it’s an ecommerce solution created in 2006. And, since its creation it’s become one of the leading ecommerce solutions in the world. Reports show that it has over 800,000 online stores and offices around the globe.

You can get started with as low as $26 for its basic plan. With this, you can sell as many as possible products online but at a 2% transaction fee if you choose not to use Shopify payments. There are also other plans you can explore and they offer more features than the basic plans. Learn more on how to get started with Shopify and their various plans here.

Pros

  • The designs are excellent and easy to use.
  • There are guides and documentation to get you started.
  • You can scale to suit all sizes of business.
  • There is excellent support team 24 hours.

Cons

  • For those operating multi-language store, the feature here isn’t standard.
  • There is extra fee for other payment processors other than Shopify payment.
  • There is difficulty when creating regular content on the platform.

10. SHAREASALE

ShareASale is another larger affiliate network that has more than 4000 merchants listed where a thousand of them are exclusive to ShareAsale. One of the features that may make you fall in love with this program is the ease of use. As a beginner either a seller or an affiliate marketer, this site is extremely easy to use. Additionally, the platform offers various features such as Average Commission, Reversal Rates, Average Sale Amount, and Earnings per Click. With these payments, it is possible for you to access a campaign and let you know where to put more efforts on.

shareasale-affiliate-marketing-program

Pros

It is easy to compare offers

You can easily compare offers offered and decide to take the one that promises a better income

Large partner network

The site has over four thousand merchants and has more than a thousand exclusives. This means that the products offered will be sufficient for your clients.

Quick payment cycle

Unlike other companies where you will have to wait for 60 days or more to receive your check, this system will pay you on the 20th of every month.

Cons

Old reporting tools

The company still uses the old reporting methods such as reporting dashboards that are hard to navigate.

Amazon for Affiliates: What are my options for making money?

Amazon for Affiliates: What are my options for making money?

One of the easiest and fastest ways to create an additional stream of revenue from online sales is through an Amazon affiliate website. Although it’s more the exception to the rule, some affiliates even earn six-figure incomes.

“Realistically, if you’re a full-time online business you’ll monetize in several different ways, while the average person can earn a few hundred to maybe a couple thousand dollars,” said Brian T. Edmondson, an internet income expert and coach based in Levittown, PA.

Building your own site is low-cost, requires very little effort, and, in most cases, only takes a day to set up. Launching an affiliate site, however, is just the first step. The challenge is attracting the right traffic that will turn into product sales once a consumer clicks through to Amazon. The best results come from choosing the right niche—don’t do what everyone else does. Focus on these methods to increase your odds of success:

1. Learn Basic HTML

Learning Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to create web pages and applications is less complicated than it was 10 to 15 years ago. Website platforms like WordPress, Wix or Weebly have simple templates that require only the push of a button to activate a website. But you’ll still need to know how to insert images, create hyperlinks, and format text.

If you’re unfamiliar with HTML and basic concepts for managing a website, carve out time to learn. It will be well worth the outlay in the long run.

2. Pick Your Niche

Anything that’s sold on Amazon, such as electronics, books, music, cosmetics, and kitchen appliances, can be part of your inventory referred for a sales commission. However, low-ticket items like books will yield only pennies on a sale because commissions range from 1% to 5%, according to Edmondson.

“Those who are more successful as affiliates pursue markets with a high volume of buyers or are engaged in selling higher-ticket items on Amazon,” he said.

Select product lines with mass consumer demand that you enjoy or have some expertise in, but be sure the niche is narrow enough to be distinctive. These niches could be bands from your city, left-handed guitarists, music for line dancing or salsa, books written by authors from a certain religion, or arts and crafts resources such as beading, knitting, or pottery.

3. Set Up Your Web Hosting

Amazon affiliates can pay next to nothing for web hosting service. For example, Wix offers a free basic blogging service while Web.com starts at $5.95 monthly (as of July 2019). Resources like Online Business Guide have a list of affordable web hosting services. Some require a small monthly fee with unlimited domain names, which means you can run several sites for various niches on the same hosting package.

4. Choose Your Domain Name

If you’re launching a personal brand as an author, expert or lecturer, building a following using your name as the domain is common—especially among YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram influencers. Another path is to give the website a name that reflects the niche, such as MyBestSkincareProducts, MyFavoriteAccessories or SupplementsForWeightlifters.

Make the name keyword-rich, not clever. Think about what search words the average person might enter into their search engines to find your website. Be sure to check your name against other sites already in the market.

5. Register Your Domain Name

Registering domain names is not costly for one or two sites, but it can add up for 10 to 20 niche sites. Save by choosing a lower-cost provider, such as Site Ground or GoDaddy. There’s also 1&1, also known as I0N0S, where prices start on the low end of the spectrum—$1 for the first year with incremental increases for subsequent years, depending on the plan.

If you’re not technically inclined, register the domain name with your hosting company. GoDaddy offers discounts like 12 months of basic managed WordPress for $1 per month after which the price increases to regular list price.

6. Install WordPress

Content marketing is one of the best ways to drive traffic as well as buyers. WordPress, which has a free option, is easy to install and simplifies posting quickly. It is popular for publishing content, such as blogs and articles.

Many hosts have a one-step installation process for WordPress. These include GoDaddy, Wix, and Weebly.

Product reviews sprinkled with keywords are another avenue for content marketing. After installing WordPress, it’s as simple as writing an article and linking out to Amazon to get paid—once a product is purchased, of course.

7. Make It Pretty

Although content is king, design is queen, and it’s increasingly important among consumers who want to trust a credible website. One benefit of WordPress is its flexible design options.

You can customize the site as much as you want with WordPress plug-ins. If you want to outsource a task, it is easy to find expertise because of the popularity of WordPress.

WordPress offers a variety of templates, which gives you much more freedom and control in the design of your site. “Add on an email marketing tool so you can capture the names of people that come to your website and follow up with them for other opportunities to show other products they may be interested in buying,” said Edmondson.

8. Set Up Categories

Attributing a category or subcategories to your article can help consumers find your website in a search engine. Most blog software, including WordPress, Wix, and Weebly, will have the function to assign an article to a category or subcategory that will help organize your entries.

Categories also help visitors hone in more specifically on their interests. For example, BandsFromTexas.com might have one group of categories for the genre, such as rock, country or blues, and another for the city of origin like Austin, Dallas, Houston, or Lubbock.

9. Sign Up as an Amazon Associate (Affiliate)

It’s simple and free. Simply visit Amazon and click on the Join Associates link at the bottom of the page. Your site should already have at least the basic setup done, even if you don’t have any content there yet. Amazon reviews the site manually before approval.

Amazon will provide a legal disclaimer to include at the bottom of the website if you don’t already have it visible. It’s to notify people, for purposes of full transparency, that you are an affiliate for Amazon and that in some cases you do get compensated.

10. Create Your Blog Posting Bookmarks and Links

At the bottom of the posting page of your blog software, an item called a “bookmarklet” should appear. Click on the link and drag it to your Links toolbar in your browser or Favorites menu. This allows you to update a blog about a product with one mouse click.

11. Create Your Amazon Build-A-Link Bookmark and Link

This step allows you to build a link with your affiliate ID built into it. Log in to Associates Central, peruse the left navigation sidebar for Build-A-Link, then under Static Links, click on Individual Items and drag to your Links toolbar or Favorites menu.

12. Build Your First Link

Once logged in to your Associates account, search the products you want to review and then use the Site Stripe, which is the gray stripe at the top of the screen, to get a personalized link to the item. Amazon also offers a host of other options for creating links and banners.

13. Blog Your Review

Click on your blog posting link. With WordPress, two pieces of link code will appear. Delete through the first one ending with “<Associates Build-A-Link >< /a >”. The second part is a link to the product with your Amazon Associate ID built in. Write the product review, choose the appropriate categories for it, and then hit Publish.

14. Build Out Your Amazon Affiliate Site

Before promoting a site, create enough substantial content to hold a visitor’s interest. Write several product reviews in at least two to three categories. You may also want to write articles, news, and commentary related to the expertise or niche. The more written content the better, because while writing, the search engines are notified automatically if notifications are on.

15. Promote Your Amazon Affiliate Site

The best free way to promote is to communicate with other bloggers writing on similar topics and to participate in online communities where your subject matter is discussed.

My best 10 e-books for affiliate marketing in comparison

My best 10 e-books for affiliate marketing in comparison

There are nearly 130 million books in the world, and there are at least 600,000 books published each year in the United States alone.

At the same time, more readers are turning to e-books, and more authors are self-publishing.  This gives authors the opportunity to be more involved in the marketing of their books, and it opens the door for affiliate marketers, who can help sell e-books to readers and publishing packages to indie authors.

If you’ve got a niche site that can make use of these top 10 e-Book affiliate programs, then you should also look into my list of book affiliate programs and education affiliate programs, but honestly, ebooks could be marketed to any niche. For example, you could promote ebooks about hydroponic gardening for your gardening website, or ebooks about keto cooking on your keto website.

E-book Affiliate Programs

  1. E-books.com
  2. Free Ebooks.net
  3. Success Consciousness
  4. Kobo
  5. Feels Like Home
  6. Books A Million
  7. Writer’s Helper
  8. Book Baby
  9. Blurb
  10. Amazon Kindle

1. Ebooks.com

This screenshot of the home page for eBooks.com shows the images of several books, which are available on this website, against a white background.

E-Books.com has more than 1.2 million books in twelve different categories that affiliates can link to.

With Ebooks.com, affiliates can link to individual books from any category they choose as well as to the site itself. This can be helpful for affiliate marketers who want to target specific books that support their niche websites.

The commission is tiered. It starts at 8% for up to $499 in sales. As sales volume increases, so does the percent of commission. It tops out at 15% for affiliate marketers who are selling more than $2000 in e-books each month.

The affiliate program is run by Commission Junction.

Why You Should Promote Ebooks.com: Ebooks.com has been around for about 20 years, so it’s one of the most credible e-book companies out there. It also has more than 1.2 million books in twelve different categories that affiliates can link to.

2. Free Ebooks.net

This screenshot of the home page for Free e-books.net shows a woman reading an e-book outside near a metal arched bridge, and there is also a white box with an orange call-to-action box inviting people to read five books for free.

Free e-books.net has thousands of books that customers can read for free.

Free Ebooks.net has some fun and easy features for customers, including thousands of free e-books to read. People who register can read up to five free e-books a month.

More is available in the bookstore, where there are options for unlimited book downloads, audiobooks, and pre-loaded libraries.

Fiction categories include romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and more, and there are a lot of areas that nonfiction books cover, too.

For affiliate marketers, payouts are once a month, with a $50 minimum worth of sales.

Why You Should Promote Free EBooks.net: The 25% commission is a great rate, and the five e-books per month is a nice loss-leader that could help convert free readers to book buyers.

3. Success Consciousness

This screenshot of the home page for Success Consciousness includes black text on a white background underneath a photo of a golden sunset with a man stretching out his arms triumphantly, along with the words 'Skills for Success, Positivity and Inner Peace.'

Success Consciousness e-books are focused on self-improvement.

Rather than being a large e-book distributor with a wide range of categories, Success Consciousness focuses on self-improvement books. The books include titles such as ‘Visualize and Achieve your Dreams’, ‘Focus your Attention’, and ‘Build Up a Strong Willpower.’

This company gives customers a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee. They can return the book for a refund if they read it and follow the advice the book contains but don’t feel that it was helpful. This could be a conversion factor for potential customers who don’t want to spend money to try out a new author.

Why You Should Promote Success Consciousness: Because the category for this company is already fairly narrow, it can be easy to use with a niche market website. The commission is nice, too.

4. Kobo

This screenshot of the home page for Kobo includes three photographs of women who are smiling, along with captions about Pride and LGBT books that are available in the Kobo store.

Kobo has more than 5 million titles to choose from.

Kobo is one of the most widely known e-book providers, so it’s a credible, safe source to download e-books. There are e-book sales and lists of free e-books to access, and customers get their first audiobook download for free.

There’s also Kobo Super Points, which is a rewards system for customers who buy e-books often. Loyal customers who refer friends who buy a book from Kobo can also get $5-$10 in Kobo promo codes, which they can apply toward future purchases.

Affiliates earn 5% commission on e-books and 10% commission on e-book reading devices and accessories.

Why You Should Promote Kobo: All the perks that customers get can add up to some high conversions. Also, Kobo has more than 5 million titles to choose from, and the variety could be another draw for e-book buyers.

5. Feels Like Home

This screenshot of the Feels Like Home blog includes a photo of a smiling woman in a hot pink shirt, as well as an advertisement box and a list of things that teens should do during the summer.

Feels Like Home is a family-friendly, Christian-based company with around 27 products, including several e-books, in the store.

Feels Like Home is a family-friendly, Christian-based company geared toward helping women take care of themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. This includes overcoming challenges such as food addiction and loving yourself through imperfection.

The products include calendars, printable posters, and books, and categories range from cooking and family life to hobbies and mental health. There are 27 products listed in the online store. Most of them were written or made by Tara Ziegmont, who owns the website.

The books include titles such as ‘My Healthy Marriage Solution’, ’25 Simple Steps to Make Money Blogging’, and ‘The Lift Up Your Husband Challenge.’ Product prices range from $2-$22.

Why You Should Promote Feels Like Home: Besides the great commission rate and decent cookie length, a niche market website with a similar theme could possibly generate some significant click-throughs.

6. Books A Million

This screenshot of the home page for Books A Million is a 20% weekend sale pitch in white and gold lettering on a dark blue background.

Books A Million, also known as BAM!, is one of the largest bookstore chains in the United States.

Books A Million, also known as BAM!, is one of the largest bookstore chains in the United States. It has a wide range of books in a number of categories. Affiliate marketers can leverage this with the affiliate program for e-books, which is run through Commission Junction.

The promotional banners for Books A Million link to the full site, but affiliate marketers can also link to specific book titles. This can be helpful for niche marketers who want to target certain book categories or for book reviewers who want to share direct links to the books they’ve reviewed.

Why You Should Promote Books A Million: The large number of products could be the biggest draw for promoting Books A Million. With plenty to choose from, there’s a potential for repeat customers and high cart values, which means more commissions for affiliates.

7. Writer’s Helper

This screenshot of the home page for Writer's Helper has a mauve sidebar on the left listing the company's editing services, a white section with black text in the center of the page, and a photo of the administrator and editor in the upper right-hand corner.

Although there is only one product for affiliates to promote, the commission rate is high.

Writer’s Helper is a small business owned by editor Audrey Owen, who provides editing services world-wide. For affiliate marketers, there is only one item to sell, and that’s her e-book, ‘Get Your Writing Fighting Fit.’ The affiliate program is administered through ClickBank.

Why You Should Promote Writer’s Helper: Although the company is small and there’s only one item to sell, it could be a good fit for niche market websites that deal with developing writing skills. The commission rate is relatively high, too.

8. Book Baby

This screenshot of the home page for Book Baby shows an e-book reader and a phone, both with a book pulled up on the screen, and the words 'The Complete Self-Publishing Platform' in white lettering.

Book Baby exists to help Indie Authors get their books published.

The Book Baby affiliate program takes a slightly different twist on e-books. Rather than focusing on readers, the program targets authors who would like help publishing and marketing their books. Niche marketers get 5% of every sale of short-run book printings or e-book publishing packages that start with their affiliate links.

The full packages run around $1699, so they’re high-ticket sales. Affiliates get a great commission, and authors finally get their books out into the world.

Why You Should Promote Book Baby: Because the ticket price is so high, one or two sales could bump up an affiliate marketer’s income nicely, even at just 5% commission.

9. Blurb

This screenshot of the home page for Blurb shows a plain orange background, with a man in a white shirt in front of it, hiding his face behind a blue book, near some black text that reads 'Beautiful Books Made By You.'

Blurb is in business to help authors design the layout of their e-books and print books.

Blurb is a self-publishing platform with a high emphasis on layout, including photography and graphics. Users can create both digital and hard-copy books that look great.

The affiliate program gives marketers 15% of the sales for new customers and 2% of sales for existing customers. Most orders are close to $90.

If an affiliate refers someone else to the affiliate program, the referring affiliate earns $10. Affiliates also get $1 for every book purchased through their links to the Blurb store.

Why You Should Promote Blurb: Blurb covers both e-book and printed book formats, so it could have a wider appeal for potential customers than a program that focuses only on one or the other. Also, since it’s focused on photography and layout, affiliates could use it to tap into visual communication niche markets.

10. Amazon Kindle

amazon affiliate program screenshot

Amazon is obviously THE most famous seller of ebooks online, and their Kindle devices are sold world wide. They don’t explicitly say how much you get paid for each ebook your sell, but I imagine it’s in the “other” category or Kindle Device category, which would be about 4%. Not much on a $15 item, but mostly I think this is a good ebook affiliate program because you can earn $3 to $5 per referral to the Kindle Unlimited service. Readers pay a monthly fee, and they get access to any ebook which is participating in the program (most are).

You get $3 for the free signup, then $5 upon completion of a paid subscription.

Why You Should Promote Amazon Kindle eBooks: Wide selection of books. Well known brand. High quality e-readers for a few different price points.

Affiliate Website Ideas

These top 10 eBook affiliate programs can be helpful, but how will you apply these ideas to a niche marketing website? I’ve thought of a few website ideas that can get you going.

First, you could create a niche website that focuses on e-books specifically for productivity. This could be geared toward busy entrepreneurs, and the website could also promote productivity software, convenient at-home gyms, time-saving meal planning services, and audiobook programs.

A second idea is to focus on e-books covering historical events. This type of website could also promote video and audio equipment or software for preserving family stories. Historical tourism travel packages, collector’s items such as coins or firearms, and even replicas of vintage clothing, toys, and tools could be featured on a site like this one.

What about an e-book site for sky watchers? Besides e-books about astronomy, stars, and planets, the website could promote telescopes, planetariums, sci-fi video games, and online astronomy or sky watching courses.

 

Boost Your Affiliate Earnings

 

These 10 affiliate programs are just the beginning of what’s possible. There are hundreds of ways to earn affiliate commissions with your website, including product reviews, top 10 lists, how-to guides, and more.

But what about traffic and conversions? How do you make sure your affiliate links get clicked?

I used the affiliate training here to turn my brand new website into a six-figure income generator in less than two years. Build a business, not just a pocket-money side project!

 

Diggistore24 for Affiliates: What opportunities do I have to earn money?

Diggistore24 for Affiliates: What opportunities do I have to earn money?

1. ​The Digistore24 marketplace – here you can find products to promote

On the Digistore24 marketplace, vendors offer their products to affiliates to promote. In the affiliate view, click on Marketplace in the menu to get to the Digistore24 marketplace. Take your time to look around until you’ve found a suitable product to promote. Key figures such as popularity, commission and earnings per sale etc. will help you here. You can find more about the key figures here​.

In addition, looking at the vendor’s sales page or the affiliate support page will help you in the decision making process. The links to these pages can be found in the bottom right corner of the marketplace entry.

The sales page is only relevant for you as an affiliate insofar as it gives you an idea of what the product is and the professionalism with which it is offered.

On the affiliate support page, the vendor has provided you as an affiliate with all the information you need to know to promote a product. All the available advertising material will also be made available to you on here. In addition to the obligatory promolink, this also includes email campaigns, banners, blog articles and social media messages. However, please note that not every vendor provides an affiliate support page.

You can find more information about the Digistore24 marketplace here​.

You integrate the promolink on the page where you advertise the product. When customers click on your promolink, they will arrive at the sales page of the vendor. The promolink sets a cookie that is valid for 180 days and correctly assigns the purchase to you – that’s why the promolink is so important for you as an affiliate!

To get the promolink, click on Promote now in the marketplace entry. A new window will appear immediately with the notification that your request has been accepted. Below you will see a box with a page URL – that is your unique promolink!

Do not worry if you misclicked. You can cancel affiliations at any time. An affiliation with a vendor does not involve any costs or obligations.

In addition, you will receive the promolink on the affiliate support page – if they have created one – or the vendor will send the promolink directly to you.

You can find more information about the promolink here​.

3. ​How to see your commissions

This is probably the most beautiful part of being an entrepreneur: seeing in black and white the amounts you have earned with your affiliate business and that your efforts were worth it.

There are two ways for you to view the commissions you’ve earned on Digistore24:

  1. On the dashboard: here you will directly see if you have generated commissions
  2. In the affiliate view under Reports > Purchases​.

You can find out more about commissions here​. Here we also show you which additional commission models you can use to earn extra money on Digistore24.

4. ​Enter VAT ID and set up payout account

In order for us to be able to pay you your commissions, you need to enter your VAT ID on Digistore24 and set up your personal payout account.

Step 1: Enter your address details and your VAT ID

  1. In the affiliate view, go to Account > Details​.
  2. Enter your address details in the Address window.
  3. In the Tax number window, enter your VAT regulation and your Tax number/VAT ID.
  4. Finally, click Save at the bottom.

You can find more information about VAT ID here.

Step 2: Set up payout account

  1. In the affiliate view, go to Account > Payout account​.
  2. Select when your Payouts per month should occur and how high the Payout threshold should be.
  3. Select the Payout method and enter your PayPal email/bank details accordingly.
  4. Finally, click Save.

What I have to consider in affiliate marketing with regard to the cancellation rate

What I have to consider in affiliate marketing with regard to the cancellation rate

Wake up at an ungodly hour. Drive to the office through total gridlock, streets jammed with other half-asleep commuters. Slog through email after mind-numbing email until the sweet release at five o’clock.

Sound terrible?

What if, instead of dealing with the monotony and stupor of the rat race to earn a few bucks, you could make money at any time, from anywhere — even while you sleep?

That’s the concept behind affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a popular tactic to drive sales and generate significant online revenue. Extremely beneficial to both brands and affiliate marketers, the new push towards less traditional marketing tactics has paid off. In fact:

  • 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage the power of affiliate marketing, a statistic that will continue to increase as affiliate marketing spending increases every year in the United States.
  • There is a 10.1% increase in affiliate marketing spending in the United States each year, meaning that by 2020, that number will reach $6.8 billion.
  • In 2018, content marketing costs were gauged to be 62% of traditional marketing schemes while simultaneously generating three times the leads of traditional methods. In fact, 16% of all orders made online can be attributed to the impact of affiliate marketing.
  • In March of 2017, Amazon’s affiliate structure changed, offering rates of 1-10% of product revenue for creators, providing the opportunity for affiliates to dramatically increase their passive income based on the vertical they’re selling on.
  • The affiliate marketing of Jason Stone, otherwise known as Millionaire Mentor, was responsible for as much as $7 million in retailer sales just in the months of June and July in 2017.

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What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make. The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another.

Best Affiliate Marketing Definition

Source: JustLearnWP.com

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How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Because affiliate marketing works by spreading the responsibilities of product marketing and creation across parties, it manages to leverage the abilities of a variety of individuals for a more effective marketing strategy while providing contributors with a share of the profit. To make this work, three different parties must be involved:

  1. Seller and product creators.
  2. The affiliate or advertiser.
  3. The consumer.

Let’s delve into the complex relationship these three parties share to ensure affiliate marketing is a success.

1. Seller and product creators.

The seller, whether a solo entrepreneur or large enterprise, is a vendor, merchant, product creator, or retailer with a product to market. The product can be a physical object, like household goods, or a service, like makeup tutorials.

Also known as the brand, the seller does not need to be actively involved in the marketing, but they may also be the advertiser and profit from the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing.

For example, the seller could be an ecommerce merchant that started a dropshipping business and wants to reach a new audience by paying affiliate websites to promote their products. Or the seller could be a SaaS company that leverages affiliates to help sell their marketing software.

2. The affiliate or publisher.

Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.

Affiliates often have a very specific audience to whom they market, generally adhering to that audience’s interests. This creates a defined niche or personal brand that helps the affiliate attract consumers who will be most likely to act on the promotion.

3. The consumer.

Whether the consumer knows it or not, they (and their purchases) are the drivers of affiliate marketing. Affiliates share these products with them on social media, blogs, and websites.

When consumers buy the product, the seller and the affiliate share the profits. Sometimes the affiliate will choose to be upfront with the consumer by disclosing that they are receiving commission for the sales they make. Other times the consumer may be completely oblivious to the affiliate marketing infrastructure behind their purchase.

Either way, they will rarely pay more for the product purchased through affiliate marketing; the affiliate’s share of the profit is included in the retail price. The consumer will complete the purchase process and receive the product as normal, unaffected by the affiliate marketing system in which they are a significant part.

How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?

A quick and inexpensive method of making money without the hassle of actually selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable draw for those looking to increase their income online. But how does an affiliate get paid after linking the seller to the consumer?

The answer can get complicated.

The consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product for the affiliate to get a kickback. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently.

The affiliate may get paid in various ways:

1. Pay per sale.

This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.

2. Pay per lead.

A more complex system, pay per lead affiliate programs compensates the affiliate based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate must persuade the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete the desired action — whether it’s filling out a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files.

3. Pay per click.

This program focuses on incentivizing the affiliate to redirect consumers from their marketing platform to the merchant’s website. This means the affiliate must engage the consumer to the extent that they will move from the affiliate’s site to the merchant’s site. The affiliate is paid based on the increase in web traffic.

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  • Industry-leading commissions
  • Pre-made content for your website
  • A dedicated account manager focused on your success

JOIN TODAY

Why Be an Affiliate Marketer?

What are the reasons to become an affiliate marketer?

1. Passive income.

While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as consumers purchase the product over the following days and weeks. You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it. Even when you’re not in front of your computer, your marketing skills will be earning you a steady flow of income.

2. No customer support.

Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased.

Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.

3. Work from home.

If you’re someone who hates going to the office, affiliate marketing is the perfect solution. You’ll be able to launch campaigns and receive revenue from the products that sellers create while working from the comfort of your own home. This is a job you can do without ever getting out of your pajamas.

4. Cost-effective.

Most businesses require startup fees as well as a cash flow to finance the products being sold. However, affiliate marketing can be done at a low cost, meaning you can get started quickly and without much hassle. There are no affiliate program fees to worry about and no need to create a product. Beginning this line of work is relatively straightforward.

5. Convenient and flexible.

Since you’re essentially becoming a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.

6. Performance-Based rewards.

With other jobs, you could work an 80-hour week and still earn the same salary. Affiliate marketing is purely based on your performance. You’ll get from it what you put into it. Honing your reviewing skills and writing engaging campaigns will translate to direct improvements in your revenue. You’ll finally get paid for the outstanding work you do!

7. Do Not Underestimate the Power of SEO.

There’s a ton of organic traffic you can get from search engines if you do SEO properly. The days when Search Engine Optimization was about cheating Google are gone. Today, it is about making your website better for visitors. People naturally look for information online. That’s why you should learn the basics of on-page SEO, keyword research and link building to be the information source they find first. Who wouldn’t want to rank #1 for terms such as “best product” or “product review” in Google?

Common Types of Affiliate Marketing Channels

Most affiliates share common practices to ensure that their audience is engaged and receptive to purchasing promoted products. But not all affiliates advertise the products in the same way. In fact, there are several different marketing channels they may leverage.

1. Influencers.

An influencer is an individual who holds the power to impact the purchasing decisions of a large segment of the population. This person is in a great position to benefit from affiliate marketing. They already boast an impressive following, so it’s easy for them to direct consumers to the seller’s products through social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with their followers. The influencers then receive a share of the profits they helped to create.

2. Bloggers.

With the ability to rank organically in search engine queries, bloggers excel at increasing a seller’s conversions. The blogger samples the product or service and then writes a comprehensive review that promotes the brand in a compelling way, driving traffic back to the seller’s site.

The blogger is awarded for his or her influence spreading the word about the value of the product, helping to improve the seller’s sales. For example, my article on the best email marketing software includes product reviews and affiliate links throughout.

affiliate marketing blog

3. Paid search focused microsites.

Developing and monetizing microsites can also garner a serious amount of sales. These sites are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. They are distinct and separate from the organization’s main site. By offering more focused, relevant content to a specific audience, microsites lead to increased conversions due to their simple and straightforward call to action.

4. Email lists.

Despite its older origins, email marketing is still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists they can use to promote the seller’s products. Others may leverage email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning a commission after the consumer purchases the product.

Another method is for the affiliate to build an email list over time. They use their various campaigns to collect emails en masse, then send out emails regarding the products they are promoting.

5. Large media websites.

Designed to create a huge amount of traffic at all times, these sites focus on building an audience of millions. These websites promote products to their massive audience through the use of banners and contextual affiliate links. This method offers superior exposure and improves conversion rates, resulting in a top-notch revenue for both the seller and the affiliate.

Tips to Help You Become A Successful Affiliate Marketer

1. Develop a rapport.

When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.

2. Make it personal.

There is no shortage of products you’ll be able to promote. You’ll have the ability to pick and choose products that you personally believe in, so make sure that your campaigns center around truly valuable products that consumers will enjoy. You’ll achieve an impressive conversion rate while simultaneously establishing the reliability of your personal brand.

You’ll also want to get really good at email outreach to work with other bloggers and influencers. Use a tool like ContactOut or Voila Norbert to gather people’s contact information and send personalized emails to garner guest blogging and affiliate opportunities.

3. Start reviewing products and services.

Focus on reviewing products and services that fall within your niche. Then, leveraging the rapport you have created with your audience and your stance as an expert, tell your readers why they would benefit from purchasing the product or service you are promoting. Almost anything sold online can be reviewed if there is an affiliate program – you can review physical products, digital software, or even services booked online, like ride-sharing or travel resort booking. It is especially effective to compare this product to others in the same category. Most importantly, make sure you are generating detailed, articulate content to improve conversions.

4. Use several sources.

Instead of focusing on just an email campaign, also spend time making money with a blog, reaching out to your audience on social media, and even looking into cross-channel promotions.

Test a variety of marketing strategies to see which one your audience responds to the most. Make frequent use of this technique.

For more information, you can check out this article on how to start a successful blog this year.

5. Choose campaigns with care.

No matter how good your marketing skills are, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one. Take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it. Make sure to research the seller with care before teaming up. Your time is worth a lot, and you want to be sure you’re spending it on a product that is profitable and a seller you can believe in.

6. Stay current with trends.

There is serious competition in the affiliate marketing sphere. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of any new trends to ensure you remain competitive. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to benefit from at least a few of the new marketing techniques that are constantly being created. Be sure you’re keeping up to date on all these new strategies to guarantee that your conversion rates, and therefore revenue, will be as high as possible.

1. Improved affiliate reporting and attribution.

Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together.

For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click.

2. Influencer niches are becoming hyper-targeted.

In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupons and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates.

3. GDPR is changing how personal data is collected.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is a set of regulations governing the use of personal data across the EU. This is forcing some affiliates to obtain user data through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even if they are not located in the European Union. This new regulation should also remind you to follow FTC guidelines and clearly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your recommendations.

4. Affiliate marketers are getting smarter.

Merchants receiving a large percentage of their revenue from the affiliate channel can become reliant on their affiliate partners. This can lead to affiliate marketers leveraging their important status to receive higher commissions and better deals with their advertisers. Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are a lot of high paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are in the driver’s seat.

What Affiliate Marketing Strategies Should You Employ in 2020?

1. Only recommend products you are extremely familiar with.

Building trust with your audience is paramount in affiliate marketing, and the quickest way to lose trust is to recommend products either you haven’t used before or that aren’t a good fit for your audience. Also make sure you never tell anyone to directly buy a product, you are simply recommending the product. The more helpful you are and the more you make quality recommendations, the more likely your web visitors will come back for your expertise.

2. Promote products from many different merchants.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products.

This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the number of commissions you make and create a steady stream of revenue when building an affiliate website. Some examples of affiliate merchants include brands like BigCommerce, Bluehost, and SimplyBook.me.

3. Constantly test and optimize your conversion rates.

Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%.

Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building Domain Authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort.

affiliate marketing strategies

4. Focus on your affiliate traffic sources.

It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to customize your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product recommendations. You shouldn’t just focus on the vertical you’re in, but on the traffic sources and audience that’s visiting your site. Traffic sources may include organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic.

You can view traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as time on page, bounce rate, geo location, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more so that you can focus your effort on the highest converting traffic. This analytics data is crucial to making informed decisions, increasing your conversion rates, and making more affiliate sales.

Benefits To Joining the BigCommerce Affiliate Program

1. Industry-leading commissions.

In the BigCommerce affiliate program, you receive a 200% bounty per referral and $1,500 per Enterprise referral, with no cap on commissions. Plus, the more referrals you drive through the program, the higher your commission tier will go. BigCommerce uses an industry-leading 90-day cookie, so you will receive credit for up to three months for the referrals you generate. Also, there are no obligations or minimum commitments to join the program.

2. Strategic growth.

BigCommerce provides unique strategies to help you grow, increase your website’s visibility, and drive more sales. You’ll be able to save time and money on content creation by linking to WordPress blogs, webinars, and more with content developed by BigCommerce for your audience.

3. Powerful tracking.

Our affiliate dashboard offers a comprehensive look at your clicks, trials, sales, and commissions. You can view your earnings, track performance, and get paid at the same time every month.

4. A dedicated account manager.

You will have direct access to an affiliate expert who understands your business and your goals. BigCommerce will work with your team and our conversion rate experts to maximize your commissions and earnings per click. We provide 1-on-1 support through phone and email, quarterly affiliate contests, and our latest product updates.

5. Promotion made easy.

In your dashboard, you will have easy access to our pre-made text links, banners and content. Promote BigCommerce anywhere on your site by simply inserting our affiliate links on your pages.

How I can increase my website traffic with video marketing

How I can increase my website traffic with video marketing

The real question is: “How do you increase traffic without video?” because it would be pretty difficult! As we already mentioned in the introduction, video is an excellent tool for increasing traffic to your website, keeping people there for longer and, as such, reducing your bounce rate.

However:

Video is great an’ all…

…but it needs some help from its buddies when it comes to increasing web traffic.

Video works best as part of a larger content strategy. When you’re trying to grab the attention of consumers and become a thought-leader in your industry, variety is key.

To keep people interested, you need to find the right balance between written and visual content. This could be different for every company, you just have to find the perfect balance for you.

It helps to consider what you want to achieve with each piece of content. For example, you may want your articles to inform, your videos to entertain, and your eBooks to educate. Once you have decided what each content piece will do, you then need to strike a balance between the fun, entertaining pieces of content and the informative, educational pieces of content.

One brand that strikes a good balance with their content strategy is BuzzFeed – and no wonder — they brand themselves as a “social news and entertainment company”, so they need to find that balance between news and entertainment. On their website, the top bar allows you to choose what kind of content you view:

Buzzfeed-website-header

Take a look at the below examples to discover the breadth of Buzzfeed’s marketing strategy:

Buzzfeed-article

The best way to find your perfect mix of content and video is to experiment. Some people say it’s 80/20 (80% content and 20% video), but the 80/20 rule is thrown around a lot these days and it won’t apply to everything, so experimentation is key. After a month or two experimenting, you should have all the data you need to create an awesome content calendar.

Another way to increase traffic with video is to, quite simply, have one on your website homepage!

Videos don’t just grab user attention, they hold it. According to MistMedia, 88% of visitors will stay longer on a website that has a prominent video displayed. Plus, those that stay longer are 64% more likely to purchase a product!

In addition to having a video on your website, you should use video to engage viewers on different sites. This may sound counter-productive as the whole point of this post is to drive traffic to your site, but the truth is, having a presence elsewhere will drive more people to your website as they will want to find out more about you.

Here are a couple of great places to post videos:

Instagram

As Instagram is a mobile platform, the content on it must be tailored for people on the move – meaning it’s got to be visual and bitesized. Instagram has a 60 second limit on video content, but most videos are much shorter.

Why?

Short videos create just enough intrigue to leave people wanting to know more. And when people want to know more, they will no doubt end up on your website. Here’s a great example of an Instagram video that would increase traffic:

 

 

Facebook

Facebook is officially the largest social network in terms of daily visitors to the site, so it’s a great place to find potential customers.

The fairly new feature, Facebook Live, allows you to create stronger and more personal relationships with your fans. People love watching live videos because it allows them to see in-the-moment action, and gives them a feeling of exclusivity. Throughout live videos, you can remind users to visit your website in order to increase traffic, this will be particularly effective if you have a promotion running.

One brand rocking Facebook Live with diverse and engaging content is Asos:

Twitter

Similar to Facebook Live is Periscope for Twitter. Periscope is a ‘live video streaming platform’ which basically means it is an app that you can use to transmit a live recording to Twitter.

Periscope is better suited to marketers aiming content at B2B industries as Twitter is a network that attracts a larger B2B audience than Facebook. Studies have shown that 97% of B2C marketers have Facebook accounts, and 86% of B2B marketers have Twitter accounts.

A good example of a business using Periscope to highlight their features is Adobe:

 

adobe-periscope-video
All the above places are great, but video is not their main function. One such app that, in the past, has been a great way to raise awareness of your brand and increase traffic to your website through video was Vine. However, it has recently been announced that Vine will be discontinuing in the coming months.

But there’s still a major player missing from this list. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten. YouTube is the biggest video site on the internet. So big, in fact, that it deserves its own subheading:

YouTube and Video SEO

YouTube is a gigantic website. If the internet was an ocean, YouTube would probably be a North Pacific right whale — the second largest animal after the blue whale. No guesses for which site the blue whale would be…

Google-Logo

The determining factor of deciding how big or small a website is (or how popular or unpopular) is traffic. YouTube boasts an incredible 3 billion daily views, so if you’re considering video to increase website traffic, you should think about posting to YouTube.

But how do you direct viewers from YouTube to your website?

For starters:

A great call to action (CTA).

Your CTA is what you want viewers to do after watching your video. In this case, you want them to visit your website and increase traffic. The best way to do this is to be clear and compelling.

Watch this video to the end to see a perfect example of an engaging call to action:

Worried people won’t watch your video to the end?

You should be! 60% of people won’t make it to the end of a one minute video. To tackle this, you can also use a call to action overlay.

An overlay is kind of like a banner for your video. It is positioned at the bottom of the screen and can be removed any time by the viewer, so it doesn’t distract from the content of your video.

 

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to install these overlays to your video:

Another positive of having a video presence on YouTube is the SEO boost it can give you. SEO is of vital importance for marketers looking to increase website traffic because 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, and 33% of people always click the first organic result!

Keywords

We have to talk about keywords here…

Just like a search engine, YouTube finds videos for viewers based on the keywords they type into the search bar and the overall popularity of the video. If you want your videos to appear in search results, it’s important to choose keywords that are optimized for search engine marketing. Place these keywords in the video file name, the video title, the description box, and the alt tags. According to Backlinko, Google tends to favour video results that include the following keyword:

 

  • How To
  • Review
  • Tutorial

Types of Video for Increasing Website Traffic

There are many different types of videos you can create to showcase your business, it all depends on what you want to achieve. For the purposes of increasing website traffic, here are 3 types of videos you can use:

Pre-Roll

Pre-roll videos are short ads that appear before the main video content that people are looking for. They are great for sending users to your site because they are short enough to evoke curiosity and leave viewers wanting to know more.

The more targeted your pre-roll videos are, the better the reaction will be. Burger King created a great, extremely targeted, ‘anti’-pre-roll marketing campaign. Here’s a quick overview:

How To

As mentioned above, “How To” videos are favoured by search engines, so they are perfect for increasing web traffic.

In addition to encouraging people to visit your site, how to videos show viewers how to better use your products and services, and this can result in increased sales.

Take a look at this example of a how to video from cosmetics company, Birchbox:

Review/Testimonial

Review videos, or testimonial videos, are great for all aspects of the buyer journey. They introduce your brand to new customers in a positive light, and they also encourage visitors to your website to convert.

Now you may think you’re not really in control when it comes to someone creating a review or testimonial video of your product, but you can be. All you have to do is get in touch with existing or potential customers!

Testimonial videos are usually better suited to B2B companies that provide a service. To create one of these videos, simply ask your best customer to step in front of the camera and then post the results on your website! Here’s a Wyzowl example:

{{ script_embed(‘wistia’, ‘5cn4o8cluf’, ‘ ‘, ‘thumbnail=159px,282px,popover’) }}
Review videos are better suited to B2C companies, and it’s also best if people find them on YouTube and social media, rather than on your website. To increase the amount of review videos about your products, contact some potential customers that are influencers in your industry and ask them to post an honest review in exchange for a freebie!

This technique worked wonders for Castrol when they teamed up with gaming vlogger, Austin Evans:

The Results

It’s all well and good for me to recommend different techniques to improve your website traffic, but if you can’t successfully measure the results of your efforts then what’s the point?!

First of all, you’ll need software that can track your website traffic. Luckily, Google Analytics offers this feature completely free of charge! To find out all you need to know about this, click here to visit their website.

To further prove that video gets results, here are 5 impressive stats:

  • Videos have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text
  • 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video
  • 84% are using video for website marketing
  • 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week
  • 55% agree or strongly agree that video has increased organic traffic to their website

How I can increase my sales rates with simple text links

How I can increase my sales rates with simple text links

Practicing good inbound marketing means sending emails to people who actually want to hear from you.

But oftentimes, your emails still end up getting lost in your customers’ inbox clutter — or worse, their spam folder. And then, when someone actually opens your email, they don’t actually click through.

Click here to download our free lookbook that’s packed with our favorite email newsletters.

You might think to yourself, “Ugh, I just can’t win.”

Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here are 23 tips that are perfect for small and growing businesses, but anyone can embrace right now to improve their emails’ open rates, clickthrough rates, and lead generation potential.

1. Do not buy email addresses.

I know what you’re thinking: In the early stages of an email marketing newsletter, you want to do whatever it takes to kickstart the campaign and get eyeballs on your business. I get it. Whatever options you see online, however, you should resist the urge to purchase an email list.

There are lots of ways to buy an email list, but none of them will actually benefit your campaign. Why? Since the owners of these email addresses didn’t explicitly agree to receive content from you, there’s no telling how interested they are — or if they’re even a fit for what you have to offer. A bought email list is also in violation of GDPR (we’ll talk more about this in just a minute).

Purchasing email lists is always a bad idea. Get more reasons why in this blog post.

2. Abide by CAN-SPAM rules.

CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) is an act that was passed in 2003. Essentially, it’s a law that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law.

In order to be CAN-SPAM compliant, it’s important that your email messages follow these rules, which are available on the FTC’s website.

A few highlights:

  • Include your valid physical postal address in every email you send out.
  • Give recipients a clear and obvious way to opt out (i.e., unsubscribe) of every email you send. (HubSpot customers: Don’t worry — you can’t save an email template unless it includes this element.)
  • Use clear “From,” “To,” and “Reply to” language that accurately reflects who you are.
  • Avoid “no-reply” or similar sender names, which prevent recipients from opting out of an email newsletter if they’d like to.
  • Avoid selling or transferring any email addresses to another list.

Note: Because I am not a lawyer, please do not construe the contents of this article as official legal advice. Check out the FTC’s website for extensive advice on this subject, and read this blog post for more tips on improving email deliverability.

3. Ensure your opt-in process complies with GDPR.

You’ve probably heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new law enacted across Europe in May 2018 to better protect internet users’ personal data.

We don’t expect you to have this long piece of legislation memorized. However, if some of your email recipients live in Europe, there is one key guideline by which you should develop your email marketing campaigns:

When your website users land on a page that solicits their personal information, tradition might tell you to include a pre-checked box that opts the user into an email campaign so they can receive updates and special offers related to your business. Today, having this box pre-checked is in violation of GDPR. So, to comply with GDPR, make sure your European users and customers are given the clear option to opt into your email newsletter themselves — don’t make the decision for them.

This rule might sound like bad news for your email marketing campaign, but it can actually improve your open and clickthrough rates. Limiting your subscriber list to just those who specifically asked to join you will ensure only the most interested people are receiving your messages. This maximizes the chances that you’ll convert readers to qualified leads as a result of an email send.

4. Email new contacts within 24 hours.

It’s important to take advantage of the window of opportunity when your company or brand is at the top of your prospects’ minds. You can really get a pulse of what future engagement will look like by what people do when you email then within 24 hours of their subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for an offer, and so on. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for branding and setting expectations.

If you don’t have any automated email workflows set up, you’re likely missing out on some major opportunities to nurture and engage your existing contacts.

(HubSpot customers: Use HubSpot’s Workflows App to create personalized, automated email workflows that can get triggered in a number of different ways: when a contact gets added to a list, submits a form on your website, clicks a link in an email, views a page on your blog, clicks on one of your AdWords ads, or becomes a marketing qualified lead.)

5. Send your emails from a real person, not your company.

When you send email from a real person, your email open rate increases. Plain and simple. This is because — based on past tests we’ve conducted — recipients are typically more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one. People are so inundated with spam nowadays, they often hesitate to open email from unfamiliar senders — and they’re more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one.

At HubSpot, we found that that emails sent from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” perform better in terms of open and clickthrough rate than emails sent from just “HubSpot.” So, it may be best to do this …

  • Sender name: Paul Smith
  • Sender email address: psmith@company.com

… instead of this:

  • Sender name: Marketing Team
  • Sender email address: marketing@company.com

 

Note: Our tests showed personalization works, but we’ve also found that a combination of a person’s name and a company name together in the sender name works well, too. You’ve just got to A/B test what works best for your particular company, brand, and industry as well as what’s ideal based on to whom you’re sending emails.

6. Pre-set the preview text.

Email clients like the iPhone Mail app, Gmail, and Outlook will display the first few lines of text from the body of your email alongside the subject line. In other words, it’s a text preview of the content inside the email. The exact amount of text shown depends on the email client and user settings.

Use it to provide a short, to-the-point synopsis of what you’re offering — and keep it to 50 characters or less.

email-preview-text-in-inbox.png

When you don’t set the preview text, the client will automatically pull from the body of your email, which not only looks messy, but is also a wasted opportunity to engage your audience. (HubSpot customers: Click here to learn how to set the preview text of your emails.)

7. Write clear and clickable subject lines.

Speaking of the subject line … your marketing emails have a lot to compete with in recipients’ inboxes. The best way to stand out is to write compelling, “can’t-help-but-click-on-this” subject lines.

To entice readers to click, be sure your subject lines:

  • Are super clear and understandable.
  • Are fewer than 50 characters so they don’t get cut off, particularly by mobile devices.
  • Use language and messaging that your target buyer persona is familiar with and excited about.
  • Include verbs and action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency and excitement.
  • Include an exclusive value proposition (like 20% off an item or a free ebook) so people know what they’re getting.
  • Avoid spam triggers like “Cash,” “Quote,” and “Save.”
  • Are timely, if applicable. (One of my favorite subject lines came from Warby Parker and read: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring”.)
  • Include their first names sometimes (it could increase clickthrough rates), or even add something about their specific location. (You’ll want to do this sparingly, like for your most important offers, rather than over-doing it and being repetitive or intrusive.)

 

8. Keep your emails concise.

Everyone’s busy and their inbox is already full. Why add to the problem with a longwinded email? People generally like short, concise emails better than long ones because concise emails have an obvious focus. Plus, when your users are scanning through all their emails in a short amount of time, they’re more likely to find the overall message before deciding to take any action.

Another reason to keep your emails short? Too much copy is actually a red flag for spam filters, too.

To keep your emails short and compelling, write your email like you were talking to someone in real life. If your email has to be on the long side, break it up into multiple paragraphs to provide visual breaks. This’ll make skimming it much easier on your reader. (Read this blog post on how to write compelling emails for more tips.)

Here’s a great example of a concise email:

free-lattes-concise-email-language.png

9. Include one call-to-action button per email.

Remember when I said a lot of your email recipients will scan your email without reading all the copy? That’s why you want to have a clear call-to-action (CTA) button that’s easy to spot for even the quickest of email scanners. Without a CTA button, you won’t be calling on your recipients to take any action that actually benefits them — and the growth of your business.

You’ll want to place your CTA in a location where it’s easily visible and where it makes sense for someone to click on it. For example, you might put a CTA to download a free ebook in an email that describes new strategies for using your product.

Once you’ve determined where you want to put your CTA, it’s time to create the button itself. Click here to download 50 free CTA button templates to get you started. (HubSpot customers: Learn how to add CTA buttons to emails in HubSpot here.)

10. Add alt text to your CTA image.

Many email clients block images — including your CTA buttons — by default. That means a good chunk of your audience may not see your beautiful, optimized CTA. Instead, they see this:

When you set an image’s alt text, though, you let recipients who can’t view images in their email know exactly where to click to complete the action:

CTA image with alt-text in an email.

You can either edit the alt text in your email tool’s rich text editor (just right-click the image and edit away), or you can manually enter it in the HTML editor of your email tool like this:

<a href=”HTTP://YOURLINKHERE.COM“><img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”YOUR CTA BUTTON IMAGE SOURCE HERE.JPG” alt-text=”YOUR ALT-TEXT GOES HERE“/></a>

11. Hyperlink your emails’ images.

Your ultimate goal in email marketing is to get people to click through to a web page. One way to increase the clickthrough rate without littering the copy with links is to hyperlink the images in your email to the webpage that corresponds with the content of the image.

If you’re inviting readers to download an ebook, for example, and you have a picture of the ebook included in the email, don’t just hyperlink the text next to the image telling people to “download it here.” Hyperlink the ebook’s picture, too. People are drawn to images much more commonly than text, and you want to give your email subscribers as many options to get your ebook as you can.

You can simply click on the image and then use your email tool’s “Insert/Edit Link” option, or you can link an image in the HTML editor using the following code:

<a href=”HTTP://YOURLINKHERE.COM“><img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”YOUR IMAGE SOURCE HERE.JPG“/></a>

12. Include noticeable text links.

In general, it’s a good idea to link to your featured offer in multiple places in addition to the clear and focused call-to-action button. In addition to your main CTAs and images, consider including a noticeable text link (or two) when applicable, as having more links increases the opportunity for engagement.

13. Place at least one clickable item above the fold.

One way to make your emails more clickable? Place one or more of your clickable elements — whether it’s a CTA button, a text link, or a clickable image — near the beginning of your email.

This is especially useful for mobile users. Mobile tends to require a lot of scrolling, and sometimes squinting, pinching, and zooming. Giving a recipient something actionable that is seen upon opening can lead to more clicks in this environment.

14. Add alt text to all of your images.

Again, a lot of email clients out there block images by default. (Here’s the full list from Campaign Monitor.) In those cases, images won’t load unless the recipient clicks a button to show them or change their default settings.

Adding alt text to your email images helps recipients understand your message — even if they can’t see the images right away. (HubSpot customers: Click here to learn how to add alt text to your email images in HubSpot.)

add-alt-text.png

You might consider making the language in your alt text actionable, such as “Click here to download the ultimate content creation kit.” Actionable alt text will essentially turn every linked image into another CTA. So, even if someone doesn’t see the snazzy GIF of my latest offer (or if they hover their mouse over an image that does show up), the alt text will beckon them to click.

15. Avoid background images.

This is especially important if your target buyers tend to use Outlook as an email client.

Microsoft Outlook doesn’t recognize background images, period. Given that Outlook is the fifth most-used email client with 7% of the market share — and that’s in total; your industry might have a lot more — it’s best to avoid using background images altogether.

Instead, use a background color and use images in other ways in your email, like Harry’s did in their email below:

harrys-email-example.png

 

16. Add social sharing buttons.

Increasing the number of people who see your link will increase the number of people who click on it. So, be sure to extend the life of your email by adding social sharing buttons.

Social Sharing Buttons

Many email tools will come with templates that have built-in social sharing buttons that make it easy — just fill in the destination URL and you’re good to go. If you don’t have built-in capabilities, here is a cheat sheet for easily creating your own social sharing buttons.

Important Note: If you want to increase clicks, you want to add sharing buttons, not follow buttons. The former will allow your email recipients to pass along the offer URL in your email to their followers. The latter will prompt them to Like, follow, or add your company social media channels.

17. Simplify sharing with ready-made tweets.

People are far more likely to take an action if you make it really, really easy for them. For recipients out there who are too lazy to tweet the wonderful content you sent them via email, you can make it easy for them by creating what we call a “lazy tweet.”

One simple way to do this? Using ClickToTweet, a free custom tweet link generator. First, go to ClickToTweet’s basic tweet generator. Then, type in your tweet, desired (trackable) destination URL, and hashtags:

click-to-tweet-example.png
Click “Generate New Link,” and then grab that link. Then you can link it to your Twitter sharing button. Or, if you’re segmenting your list by attributes such as “has Twitter” or “topic of recent conversion: social media” (you’ll need marketing intelligence software like HubSpot for this), you can even include it in your main email copy, like this:

18. Add an email forwarding option.

Another way to extend the clicks on your email beyond its shelf life is to prompt your audience to forward the offer. The folks at Litmus found that the most forwarded emails were 13X more likely than the typical email to include “Share With Your Network” calls-to-action. By including forward-to-a-friend (or social sharing links, as we discussed above), you put it in recipients’ minds to share.

You can add a little post-script to the end of your email copy, such as “Not responsible for your company’s social media? Feel free to forward this ebook to a friend or colleague using social media marketing.” Link the call-to-action to a pre-made email, complete with subject and body text. That way, all someone has to do is enter their associates’ email addresses and hit “Send.”

You can highlight text or an image and add the URL via your email tool’s rich text editor and then enter a mailto:? link. Here’s what this looks like:

mailto:?subject=Your%20subject%20here%20&body=Your%20email%20body%20text%20here.
You can also create this in your HTML editor. Here’s how to attach a mailto:? link to text:

<a href=”mailto:?subject=Your%20subject%20here%20&body=Your%20email%20body%20text%20here.”>
forward this ebook</a>.
And here’s how to attach your mailto:? link to an image, such as a sleek call-to-action button that says “Email This Offer”:

<a href=”mailto:?subject=Your%20subject%20here%20&body=Your%20email%20body%20text%20here.“><img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”YOUR IMAGE SOURCE HERE.JPG” alt-text=”YOUR ALT-TEXT GOES HERE“/></a>
Just make sure you use the “%20” tag to separate words! Otherwise, your message willreadlikethis (not too appealing, right?).

19. Clean up the plain-text version of your emails.

Not every recipient is going to see the beautiful, HTML, rich-text version of your email. Some clients don’t support HTML-rich emails, while other times, a person may simply choose to only view messages in plain text.

When you don’t optimize the plain-text version of your email, this is what happens when someone views it:

Plain-text email done wrong.

Scary, isn’t it? I don’t think many people are going to bother to read through this garbled mess.

So, cut out the extra text, replace long tracking URLs with shortened ones, and keep the body simple. Taking the five extra minutes to optimize your email’s plain-text version could help you reach more of your target segment and keep you out of the spam folder.

Note: When you’re cleaning up your plain-text emails, don’t change the actual copy much at all or you’ll risk it getting marked as spam.

20. Optimize your emails for mobile users.

In Litmus’ analysis of over a billion email opens, they reported that 56% of opened emails were opened on mobile devices in April 2016. This figure represents an 8% increase in mobile opens in the past year.

“This represents a peak for mobile market share,” they wrote, “and the longest sustained growth we’ve seen after the holiday season.”

 

mobile-email-opens-litmus.png

As more and more people use their mobile devices to read email and surf the web, it’s more important than ever that marketers design their emails with mobile users in mind. Otherwise, their user base will be significantly affected.

How? Here’s a visual example of what happens when images aren’t optimized for mobile (first) versus when images are optimized for mobile (second):

email-not-optimized-for-mobile.pngemail-optimized-for-mobile.png

Isn’t the second image a much better user experience?

Here are a few ways to optimize your emails for mobile devices:

  • Reduce your images’ file sizes to make up for mobile devices’ generally slower download speeds. (HubSpot customers don’t need to worry about it — images uploaded to HubSpot’s software are automatically compressed. Otherwise, tools like TinyPNG will help you reduce file size.)
  • Ensure the CTA buttons and links are larger than 45-57 pixels for the best user experience. Why? According to an MIT study, the average size of an adult index finger is 1.6-2 cm, which translates to 45-57 pixels on a mobile device.
  • Invest in responsive email templates. Creating your own responsive template may be beyond your particular skill set or bandwidth. Sometimes, the most economical solution is to just license or buy email templates from the people who do it best.

HubSpot customers: HubSpot’s default email templates are all optimized for mobile using responsive design. To access these templates, create a new email and look for the responsive option in the “folders” drop-down in the top left.

responsive-email-1.png

21. Preview and test your emails before sending them.

When you’re finally ready to hit “Send” on your email, make a habit of double-checking one last time whether your emails look as good as you think they do. If your email marketing tool lets you, go ahead and preview what your email looks like in different email clients and devices that are popular with your audience.

 

22. Don’t be afraid to ‘clean up’ your contact list.

It’s tempting to keep every subscriber you win on an email campaign until they personally choose to opt out. But just because they haven’t opted out of an email newsletter doesn’t mean they’re still interested, and subscribers who have become inactive can kill your emails’ open and clickthrough rates.

To make sure you’re only sending emails to the people who want to read them, clean up your email list so that it excludes recipients who haven’t opened a certain amount of emails in the campaign’s recent history. This makes sure your emails’ open and clickthrough rates reflect only your most interested readers, allowing you to collect more effective data on what is and isn’t working in each email you send.

On top of that, a good email list cleaning service removes other email addresses that pose a risk to your inbox placement. “Invalid, abuse, and temporary emails will affect your sender reputation, so it’s best to weed them out,” says Liviu Tanase, CEO of ZeroBounce. “Your desire to grow your list is only natural, but you can’t afford to expand it at all costs. Emailing only valid and active addresses allows you to connect with people who care about your brand, and that’s what every email marketer wants,” Tanase adds.

 

23. Monitor each email’s performance.

What’s working in your email campaign this month might not work quite as well next month, and it’s imperative that you check in on your emails’ open and clickthrough rates for opportunities to improve your copy (to do this, of course, you’ll need a tool to track your email analytics).

If after a month of email sends, for instance, you find 10 messages are getting double the engagement as the other 20, analyze them. What did you do differently in the higher performers? Was it the imagery? The subject line? Maybe you have more than one audience segment and one of them just isn’t as interested in your current email content.

Use your email performance data to run A/B tests that are designed to show you what your email recipients really want out of your newsletters, and steer into the trends that you see to make your email campaigns more desirable.

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