65% of businesses believe generating traffic and leads is their biggest marketing challenge.
That means two-thirds of business owners find acquiring new customers to be more difficult than say, closing the sale or getting people to open their emails (which are not small feats either).
And sure, you could just throw money at Google and Facebook and pray that your ads convert, or take to the streets with a megaphone and a million hand-printed adverts and hope you’re not arrested.
Or, you could try a better method.
A method that means not paying a cent for traffic until AFTER it converts into an actual physical sale. That means spending your time focusing on your business, not your ads.
The method is called affiliate marketing and here are 9 reasons you need to add it to your business plan:
1) Pay for performance
We’ve all been there. We have a brilliant idea for an ad, we throw our money into it…and crickets. Nothing. Maybe there were a few clicks (that you had to pay for), but no sales. And certainly no payday — in fact, that method can end up LOSING you money if you get a lot of clicks but no conversions.
Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, is incredibly low-risk because you only pay once a sale is made. This means that if an affiliate has a kick-butt campaign, you’ll end up paying more, but only once you earn even MORE than you pay. And if their campaign is ineffective and terrible? Well, no loss to you.
2) Know your costs upfront
Piggybacking off the last point, when you pay for advertising before the sale you can get lucky and get a cost-per-acquisition for $5. Or, it could be $329. It varies sale to sale, so you never really know what you’re getting or what it will cost you. With affiliates, you set a commission rate before the sale is ever made, so you know exactly how much each sale will cost you.
3) Targeted traffic
Many marketers take a shotgun approach to traffic — they just aim in a general direction, shoot their message, and hope they hit someone that will buy. And that’s the exact reason why so many ads cost more money than they make. Affiliate marketers are experts with warm lists that are related to your business. By finding quality affiliates in your field, you’re exposing your company to highly-targeted traffic that is more likely to purchase your product.
4) Pick who you work with
Speaking of quality affiliates, one of the perks of going down the affiliate route is you can hand-pick everyone you work with. Using Kartra, you can create affiliate questionnaires that screen applicants, and ensure that everyone promoting your product knows their stuff and will represent your brand well.
5) Boost your SEO
SEO is one of those internet things that we all know we need, but most of us don’t really understand what to do to increase it. Fortunately, affiliate marketing is one simple way that will aid in increasing your search engine rankings. This happens because of many backlinks to your site via blogs, social shares, and affiliate websites.
6) It grows and varies your marketing streams
Remember that time Facebook went down? Not only was it annoying to not be able to check what all your “friends” were doing in real-time, but it meant all your ads were temporarily unavailable. If that’s your only form of advertising, that’s an entire day with virtually no lead generation. Affiliate marketers, however, all use a bunch of tactics to ensure they get a payday. They email their large lists, they use Google ads and Facebook ads, they post blogs that link out to your product, and more — which ensures you’re covering your marketing bases.
7) Consumers trust them more
Now, we hate to break the news to you, but consumers tend not to trust a business when they say their product is awesome. But they do trust influencers. In fact, 2 out of every 3 consumers reported that they trust an influencer’s opinion of a brand more than the brand itself. Meaning, if your affiliates are well-connected and well-liked (and relatable — 61% of people find info from a person “just like them” to be credible or very credible), you have an opportunity at quicker, and more direct sales.
8) It saves you time
Running a small business is no small feat. It requires hours burning the candle at both ends, and late nights that leave you chugging copious amounts of coffee in the morning. But, affiliate marketing can take a big chunk of lead generation off your plate. Of course, managing affiliates does require some oversight, but once you’ve screened your affiliates, it can be as simple as waiting for the sales reports to come in.
9) It saves you staff costs
Have you ever hired a costly staff member (and created a huge monthly overhead) in the hopes of growing your business? But maybe it was slow to ramp up…or they were just ineffective, but it ended up costing you money instead of earning you?
Affiliates fix that process. Rather than on salaried sales department staff, your affiliates will do the same work, with the commissions only being paid out after they’ve proven effective.
Word of Caution…
Now, we know we just presented you with a buffet of reasons why you need affiliate marketing. But, it’s not always as simple as going out and just “getting” affiliates.
You need to find people who are qualified in your field. For example, if you run a branding consultation business, you don’t want affiliates who are used to selling hair vitamins. You want business experts that people trust.
And once you do find these people, you want to make sure to screen them and get all their tax information. And then, you need affiliate links so they can sell your stuff and you know when it’s worked. You may even want to set up payment milestones, like five sales before a payout to ensure your affiliates aren’t just in it for a discount on your product.
Fortunately for you, Kartra takes care of all that. The platform has a built-in affiliate marketplace filled with other Kartra users. Here you can both find other related products to promote yourself for some extra cash on the side, all while other users are applying to promote your business. And once they apply, you can require a mandatory screening process or automated approval, followed by custom conditions, automated payments, and more.
The best part? It only costs a dollar to get started.