This is the fourth post in our series about affiliate marketing, and we’re going to look at ten simple things you can do to increase affiliate conversions.
If you’ve missed the other posts in this series, you can find them here:
So what is a conversion?
In terms of affiliate marketing, a conversion is when you convert someone from a reader or browser (of your blog or newsletter) to a buyer. You can track conversions by looking at how many people click your links, and how many actually buy the products you recommend.
Many affiliate networks will show you this figure somewhere in your stats, as a percentage. In your Amazon associates account, for example, you’ll see it on the right of your screen if you’re on a computer. Under ‘Items ordered’ and ‘Clicks’ you’ll see the word ‘Conversion’ and a percentage.
All the people who click through your links but don’t buy are people who didn’t ‘convert’. You will always get plenty of these. Sometimes they were just curious. Sometimes they weren’t ready or able to buy at this time. Increasing your conversions is worth working on, though. These are people who already come to your site or open your emails, and they’re interested enough to click through your links. They’re so close to buying. So let’s look at ways to increase conversions.
If your post or email deals with potential concerns before your readers click through, you’ll be doing well. To do this, it helps to give some detail on the product. If it’s a technical product, let the non-techy people know if they’ll find it user-friendly. If it’s a course, let people know how long it will take them to work through it. If it’s an expensive item, let people know why you think it’s worth investing in.
Use specific anecdotes that help your readers see why they should overcome any reluctance they may have towards purchasing.
If you can offer a bonus (either yours or the vendor’s) this can really increase conversions. Often your affiliate partner will offer bonus material as part of a package deal. Make sure you’re familiar with the product so you can mention it. If you have an associated digital product you can give away, you can offer that as a bonus, too.
Right now, I’m promoting the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course. The course currently includes some great bonuses, including access to the private Facebook mastermind group, free group coaching sessions twice a month, free Pinterest training to help you get lots of traffic to your blog, and a guide on how to always get accepted for any affiliate program (I’ve learned SO MUCH from this course, and I was already earning money regularly from affiliate marketing before I started it).
To sweeten the deal for my readers I’m also offering a free copy of The Busy Blogger’s Success Kit (usually worth $29) to everyone who buys through my link (scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how to grab that bonus, if you’re thinking of buying the course).
Great email marketing
The money really is in the list. People on your email list already know who you are and trust you to a certain extent. Mailing your list with your affiliate offers can be a great strategy. People on your list tend to convert to customers in much higher numbers than general blog readers or social media followers. So don’t be afraid to tell your subscribers about products you love and any special offers you have.
Just make sure that you also provide plenty of free value to your subscribers as well. Your subscribers are the people most likely to buy from you BUT not every offer will appeal to every subscriber, so offer plenty of general free information too.
Sales, discounts and coupon codes
Everyone loves a bargain. Affiliate partners who regularly offer sales, discounts and coupon codes are great partners to have. Make sure you capitalize on any sales or special offers going on.
I recently spotted someone advising bloggers to write a new post about an affiliate product that was having a sale. That seems like an awful lot of hard work to me. Remember you can always add notice of a sale to an existing post about a product, then promote that older post hard for a few days. By all means, add an aside to a new post, mentioning the sale, because of course a new post naturally gets a traffic spike as it sits there ‘top of your blog’.
Trust in the vendor
This is why Amazon converts well. People trust Amazon and are happy to shop there (Amazon probably already has their credit card on file anyway). Another thing that inspires trust in the vendor is a money back guarantee, so it’s always easier to promote products that offer this. It’s worth factoring that in when you choose programs to partner with.
A great sales page
As we discussed in last week’s post, your job is to pre-sell. You can’t close the deal. Only a great sales page can do that. Pick affiliate partners with great sales page copy and watch your conversions happen effortlessly.
An effective sales funnel
I’m talking about your affiliate partner’s sales funnel, not yours. If you can find partners who let you use an affiliate link to send people to a free download, and who then have an effective sales funnel in place, you’ll find that, over time, a decent percentage of the traffic you send them will convert.
I particularly like CoachGlue, SoloSmarts or AllPrivateLabelContent.com. If you click those links and sign up for their freebie, you’re in their sales funnel, and your initial click is credited to my affiliate account. If you later buy something from them, I get a commission. Again this only works if the sales funnel is high quality. The above programs have good sales funnels, so sales tend to trickle in over time, even if the initial click-through is to a free opt-in.
Everyone likes to see a little social proof. So a company with a high profile, public reviews and testimonials, a large social media following and a lot of interaction on their site, for example, is a good bet.
If you’re ever linking to a product on Amazon and you notice it has few reviews or a lot of bad reviews, think twice. You might still want to promote it if you truly love it, but be aware that Amazon customers take reviews very seriously and will probably not buy if there are a ton of bad ones.
Visuals, video, and images
The online audience is visual. They love a few images that show exactly what it is you’re promoting. An image is always a good idea if promoting a product on social media, as space is limited and people will get a much better idea of what it is from a picture or graphic.
Videos convert well too. If you can make a short video of you actually using a product, you’re more likely to inspire your readers to purchase.
Mentioning things more than once
You don’t want to go on and on about your products, but many people will get more curious the more they’re exposed to something. This means it’s OK to mention products several times in different blog posts, for example, as long as the product is relevant.
Just don’t be pushy or overly salesly. Your readers are perfectly capable of noticing a product they’re already interested in, and deciding that today’s the day they’ll finally give it a try.
My bonus for you
Interested in learning more about affiliate marketing? Here’s my recommendation (and a bonus for you).
If you feel ready to invest in this affiliate marketing gig, consider signing up for the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing online course. Everybody who signs up through my affiliate link (that’s any link in this blog post, including this one) will get a FREE copy of my Busy Blogger’s Success Kit (it usually sells for $29). Simply sign up through my link, and then forward me the email you receive confirming you’re signed up for the course (don’t worry – there won’t be any personal information like payment details in your confirmation email). Simply send your confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get your Busy Blogger’s Success Kit straight to your inbox.
Next week we’ll be talking about how to do affiliate marketing on social media. It may not convert as well as blog posts or email marketing, but there are ways to make affiliate sales on social media, and some platforms are much better than others. You can subscribe so you don’t miss that post. You’ll get some cool free goodies, too.