Hello all- I hope business is going well for people! Judging from the number of leads that are coming in- I know some of you are doing awesome! Great to see.
So- I wanted to take some time to discuss the Consumer Path and how it can impact your business- and make no mistake- it will impact your business. The reality is that is that the consumer path is just as important as the marketing effort itself. And the combination of these two components that can lead up to a 300% difference in EPC from two affiliates running the exact same campaign.
300%!!!! That is a dramatic difference. So how can you be the one turning a $12.00 per lead campaign into an $8.00 EPC campaign vs $2.00 EPC campaign? Or, how do you turn 6% per sale campaign from a $12 EPC to $28.00 EPC? Conversion! Conversion! Conversion! Pay close attention to the following 4 steps on how to optimize your affiliate business.
1. Value Proposition. I know I harp on it… but it is so true. You need to establish a value proposition on your website to let customers know exactly what they are getting into. Make sure that your product matches your value proposition. This will prevent attrition further in the funnel. (I like this article and website- feel free to click here to better understand value propositions)
2. Marketing. Once you establish your value proposition- market accordingly. Don’t assume your consumer is going to understand why they went from an Acai Berry advertisement to a website with a Build-a-Bear product. Be consistent or contend w/ higher attrition numbers.
3. Customer Path. Understand what you are asking your customer to do and then ask yourself if you would like that experience. If you don’t- chances are they will not either. Keep only enough steps in the process to get your consumer to the actual value (a sale, lead, etc) that your value proposition suggests. (Note: several affiliate programs have this available- make sure to check out all creative available to you to find the best path for your consumer)
4. Test! Test! Test! Testing multiple combinations of marketing experiences to consumer paths. Chances are you will not get the highest conversions the first try. It has taken years and years and thousands of tests, focus groups, etc for Budweiser, Coke, Nike, Geico to come up with the effective television advertisements you see before you… and they are still testing. So why would the internet be any different? Don’t be lazy and test! And continually test- because consumer response is different in the morning than the evening; different on a work computer vs home; different during the holidays vs. tax season. (Note: a lot of affiliate programs offer reporting on your maketing efforts- make sure to ask your manager if that is available to you).
Here’s the reality folks- most Advertisers don’t care how much you spend on marketing or how much money you lose. Affiliate marketing is a way for them to market at low/no risk. You have taken on the risk- follow the 4 steps above to reap the rewards. Otherwise you are cheating the consumer and yourself.
Challenge yourself and your affiliate manager to ensure you are doing whatever it takes to realize your ceiling. Good luck!