You really can improve your affiliate marketing business by using social media. Some people say you don’t even need your own website to become an affiliate marketer and in many ways, with the advent of social media this is true. Try using social media marketing in these ways to improve and boost your affiliate marketing business.
Promote Quality Products and Services
It’s imperative that you keep the trust of the people you promote to. The only way to ensure that a product is amazing is to try it. At the very least try at least one product from each creator before you promote all their stuff. You want them to have top-notch customer care and a great product. After all, you’re telling your audience and your people to go buy it from that person.
Create a Redirect
When you have an affiliate link it’s usually very ugly, and if the owner of the product changes their mind about the network they want to use you’ll have a hard time finding all the times you used the link. But, if you create a redirect you only have to change that link in one place if it should change. Find instructions on how to create a redirect on this site: https://yoast.com/cloak-affiliate-links/
Provide Quality Content
Don’t just post content for the sake of publishing. Instead, focus on quality content that has the interest of your audience. You don’t have to make everything be about the product you’re promoting, but it should all be related. It’s tempting to post videos of cats but unless you’re selling pet-oriented stuff, don’t do it. Keep it the most relevant that you can.
Grow Your Email List
On every social media page there should be a way to get people to sign up for your email lists. If you get people on your email list from social media, then you can market your affiliate products directly to them, knowing they’ve already been interested.
Set Up Your Own Facebook Page
With more than a billion people using Facebook worldwide, it offers a lot of potential for affiliate marketing. The best place is to start your own Facebook page for the offer you’re trying to promote. You can then post pictures of the product, testimonials, and more right through the page.
Be Relevant on Twitter
Twitter is a great place to promote affiliate products but the stream moves so fast, and everything is so quick that you have to be extra creative to make it work. Personalize your messages, and recommend only products you know for sure are amazing and that are relevant for your audience. Use a link shortening service but ensure that they allow affiliate links.
Pinterest Encourages Commerce
Unlike a lot of social media sites, Pinterest likes it when people conduct business on their site, so they make it relatively simple to do it with Pinterest gift pages. Just include your affiliate link within any image you share. Create a separate board for your affiliate products using your website URL, and then use the item URL for each of the pins you add to the board.
If you know that the products you’ve chosen to promote are valuable for your audience, there is no shame in promoting them the same way people promote their own products. Just follow the rules for each social media network as well as the product affiliate rules as you move forward.
Today, customers expect service from multiple locations in multiple ways. Providing customer service via social media really is no longer a choice. If you have social media accounts for your business, you have no choice but to also answer questions, deal with issues, and do “customer service” communication on the platforms where you exist. Otherwise your customers will get frustrated with you for not answering their questions.
There are both advantages and disadvantages with offering customer support via social media, of course, and these are detailed below.
There are a number of positives about performing customer service on your social media accounts that you should know about. These pros really do overcome the negatives.
Your Business Will Grow
Today consumers want to talk to you on social media because that’s where they are. They use social media more than the telephone to deal with everything. When you are good at answering and responding on social media, it will make your business grow. As consumers see – in a very public way – how you deal with issues, they’ll be that much more likely to want to purchase from you.
Your Brand Will Expand
One of the reasons you even start a social media channel is to get brand recognition. The better you are at updating and sharing with your audience, the more you can expand your brand. Dealing with customer service on social media causes content to be produced that offers even more information for the consumer before they choose to be part of your client roster.
Social Media Is Inexpensive
This is the very best thing about using social media. In most cases it’s basically free to start, other than perhaps some social media monitoring tools that you might want to use like Buffer or Hootsuite. In any case, the cost is very low compared to traditional customer service means such as a call center.
Of course, nothing is perfect. There are pros and cons for everything you do for your business. Thankfully all of these cons can be controlled by having a process and a system for ensuring that you are able to answer questions in a way that doesn’t look bad for your brand.
Your Actions Live Forever
Online, as you know, your actions really do last forever. Even if you delete something, there are ways to find it. People also take screen shots and use them against people. So, create a system, have standardized responses, and rules of the road for any person dealing with the public.
You May Miss Some Issues
Social media is not very linear. It can be very hard to be sure every last question was answered and every situation was dealt with. Again, if you create systems and standards, you will be a lot better off and be less likely to miss as many issues.
Too Many Channels May Cause Confusion
When you have many social media accounts, someone may ask the same question in multiple places – which can make you feel as if you’re always answering the same questions. You’ll have to work out a process to deal with this and keep track. But, it is something you can control as long as the process is in place.
As you see, with these pros and cons, you can clearly count on the fact that you will need to do some customer service on social media if you have social media accounts. Therefore, you need to set up some sort of process and system to make it work for your business.
Customer service teams are on the forefront of the customer experience. They know probably more than you do (if you’re not serving customers directly) about what the customer needs and what they need to serve the customer. So, in addition to these tips, ask your CSAs to help you make their jobs better by incorporating an open door policy or a suggestion box so they can tell you how they’d do things differently.
A well-trained customer service rep is going to be a lot more efficient than one who is just thrown to the wolves. They will need product knowledge training, computer/software training, processes training and probably even human nature training to deal with customers the best.
Set Customer Service Standards
During training, set some basic standards for the service you want your team to offer. If you’re clear on these standards, your team will understand and follow through for you. Don’t set minimum standards, though. Set a real standard that you’re proud of and they’re proud to meet.
Use the Right CRM Software
One of the most important things you can do for your team is to invest in the right CRM software. There are so many to choose from that it’s beyond the scope of this article to tell you what to look for, but you can find a number of choices here as well as information from customers who actually use the CRM software, Featured Customers.
Set Individual and Team Goals
You can set a lot of goals, such as how many issues your team will clear in a day, as well as how many customers they turn from angry to happy. There are many goals you can implement. You can even let your teams set their own goals.
Give Them Authority
Any CSA will tell you that they need some sort of authority to deal with issues as they arise. Think of how irritated you are at a checkout in a store when the cashier cannot even get in the drawer to give you five ones, much less discount an item or refund an item. Don’t do that to your employees or your customers. Hire smart people who can make tough choices, and set limits but also set them free.
Provide Timely and Complete Feedback
Set a regular schedule for feedback and times when your team can ask you questions. Feedback on a job well done is just as important as feedback when a problem arises, if not more so. You want them to think of you as someone they want to work with – not someone they fear.
Reward and Recognize Your Team
When your team has done well, give them an award. You’d be amazed at how a 50-dollar gift card or a nice T-shirt can help employees and even contractors feel valued.
Understand Your Customer
It’s very important that you and your team all understand exactly who the customer is. They need to know more than their demographics. You might consider making many customer personas or having your CSAs do that for themselves, so that each time they deal with someone they can choose the persona and already feel they know them well.
Know Your Products
It goes without saying that you and your team should know your products inside and out. Most issues that customers have will be how to use something. If your agents know how to do it, and can fix the problem, then all will be well.
With the right training, recognition and goal setting, along with the right software, you can boost your customer support team’s performance in amazing ways. Once in a while, survey those customers who sought help about how they felt your team member did, so that you can always improve based on the consumers’ needs. In addition, survey your team to find out what they believe they need so that you can make their work more enjoyable and satisfying.
Segmentation Strategies for Higher Deliverability and Click-Through Rates
Email marketing is the best ways to build your business, boost sales, and create a business that continues to grow regardless of algorithm changes and marketing method updates. Email marketing is really where the money is. You’ve heard it before: “the money is in the list,” and they’re not joking. It can actually be argued that with any online business, the list is your entire business.
One way to ensure that you get the most from email marketing is to segment your list for higher deliverability and better click-through rates. Here are the ways you can segment your list to get the most bang for your buck. Today, you need to look at your audience as a lot of individuals who want you to speak to them one-on-one.
Which segments you choose depends on your audience, your niche, and your goals. Choose wisely, but don’t do them just because this says to do it. Do it because you’ve studied the situation and know that it will help in your particular case.
This tactic is pretty obvious but may not have any use for you. It depends on what you’re marketing to them. If you have a lot of products that fit in with different age groups then this might work. You can change a campaign in very simple ways for the various demographics, such as simply changing out a picture.
Give Them a Survey
You can segment your audience based on answers to a survey. That way you know what they want to know about based on those answers. You can even create a special email marketing message or adjust them accordingly based on their answers.
Let Them Self-Segment
You can allow those who sign up for your list to choose how often they want to get email from you. If they’ve picked how often they want the info, they'll be more likely to open it.
You can do a lot with location, depending on your niche. For example if you’re in the fitness niche, it’s good to know that 40 percent of your audience is from Australia while you’re in the USA. Why? It’s winter in the USA when it’s summer in Australia. This can be important to differentiate in fitness-related email messages.
Putting your audience member on a specific list based on what they’ve bought is a very important way to stop marketing to people who have already bought. If you move people to the right lists, you can market to them in a more targeted way, including offering companion products or services.
One On One
People like to feel special. If you can segment based on the individual behavior, likes and needs of the audience member, that’s great. Think about how Amazon does this. If you buy something such as a movie and a movie like it is released, they tell you.
Your autoresponder software allows you to delve into what your audience does when they get your email. Do they read it all; do they respond or act based on your calls to action? Knowing who opened and clicked is powerful information that you can use.
It’s important to set a goal and develop your strategy around that goal. The more you know what you expect the outcome to be, the more you can plan ahead to target the specific segments of your audience that you need to in order to succeed.
Soft Bounces versus Hard Bounces
In order to improve delivery rates and click-through rates, it’s important to understand what “bouncing” is and the different types of bounces that you might experience when engaging in email marketing.
When an email bounces, it means that the email isn’t delivered to the recipient for some reason. Sometimes it is delivered, but it’s put into the spam folder and you still get a message that it bounced. In that case you’ll notice that you get a bounce notice for someone who did open the email.
Sometimes it isn’t delivered because the email address is false or it isn’t delivered because the server is down. In both cases you’ll get a notice that the email bounced. This notice might say something like “we’ll keep trying” on that delivery. Within each notice is information that will inform you about what type of bounce it is so that you can take appropriate action.
The two type of bounces that can happen are:
- Hard Bounce – This type of bounce occurs when the email address doesn’t even exist in the first place or the server has broken or no longer exists. It might also happen because the domain is fake to start with. The important thing to understand about a hard bounce is that it cannot be changed, or recovered, and is permanent. The only thing to do when you get a hard bounce is to remove that email from your list and block them from being able to rejoin your lists with that email address or domain.
- Soft Bounce – This type of bounce happens due to error and can be temporary in nature. It happens because the email box is full, the file might be too large for their box, and for many other reasons. Sometimes it is because your email triggers spam results and you get dropped into their spam box. You don’t have to remove these bounces immediately, but you should watch them and if it happens repeatedly, go ahead and remove them.
These two types of bounces are important to learn about because it will help you avoid deleting people for no reason. Sometimes people go on vacation and that can trigger a bounce due to their vacation autoresponder. It would be a shame to miss out. To deal with this type of bounce you could offer a 30-day break in emails to people. Email the people on your list who have this problem and let them know of the option.
Ideally you want to keep your bounce rate under 10 percent, if not lower. If you monitor your email autoresponder account and study bounce reports, you’ll be able to start identifying bounces and understand your bounce rate more. You’ll be able to lower your bounce rate substantially by monitoring and taking action.
When you first start out building a business, everything is so overwhelming that the last thing you want to think about is data, metrics and numbers. In fact it probably scares you to even consider that type of work needing to be done so you can have a successful business. But, it’s really not that terrible if you know what to do. These common mistakes can be avoided so that you don’t waste any more time than you have to.
Not Knowing What Data to Track
Before you even get started looking at the data, you need to know what you want to track. Remember that just because there is data doesn’t mean you need to track it. Some of the data that Google Analytics collects just isn’t going to help you. You have to figure out what will help you and what won't. Focus only on the data that will help you improve.
Not Knowing When to Track Data
When you look at the data is very important, because you have to look at it at the right time in order to know what the data affects. For example, if you have a launch on the 1st of July, you probably want to look at some data you’ve identified before the launch and then after the launch.
Not Understanding Your Objectives and Goals
It’s very important to know how to turn all your business objectives into workable goals. Remember a goal needs to be SMART. That means: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
Not Realizing What Problems You Want to Solve
Tracking data should be for a reason, such as fixing a problem. For example, let’s say you have a sales page that is getting a lot of traffic but there are no or low conversions. Do you know what data to look at so that you can fix the problem?
Not Understanding the Business You’re Analyzing
If you are looking at data for a business you’re unfamiliar with, you can run into problems. You will need to do some research to understand industry averages so that you know where the business you’re looking at stands.
Not Testing Different Methods
Whenever you are checking data up against the industry standards, it’s important that you test different methods to find out what works best. For example, you might test two or three different sales pages for one product or service at the same time.
Not Setting Up Analytics Correctly
If you’ve never set up Google Analytics, it would be a good idea to get some help with that from an expert. Once it’s set up it’s going to be a lot easier to track your work, because it’s set up right. It’s a waste of time to do it wrong.
Not Choosing the Right Software and Tools
There is a lot of software out there that isn’t worth anything, but that people try to use. Remember that sometimes free is good, and sometimes free is not so good. If you hire an expert, they’ll help you ensure that you start out right.
Don’t let analytics scare you away from doing business. As they say, nothing is done until the paperwork is done, and that includes online business. You need these numbers to make good choices about what to do next in your business. Knowing the numbers will help you avoid other types of mistakes that can be very costly.