Time for a guest blog post, and this one, by Allan Smith of Virtuoso, looks at affiliate marketing and how you can use it to grow your business. I have had some limited success on the other end of affiliate marketing – selling other people’s products for a commission – and this post definitely got me thinking about who I could partner with the promote and sell my services!
Would your business benefit from a huge sales force of people that are putting your products in front of new clients and prospects every day of the week?
In addition, how about if this sales force was happy to be paid on a commission only basis and only be paid once you have secured the sale and delivered your product or service?
Furthermore, how about if all the admin involved in paying these people was completed automatically, with no involvement on your part?
Does all this sound just too good to be true?
Well, here’s the good news…it’s all perfectly feasible right now.
This is the power of Affiliate Marketing.
Until now, this has been the territory of the big boys. Companies including Comet, Vodafone, and even good old John Lewis, generate increasingly significant parts of their income from their affiliate programmes. In fact, John Lewis now generates more profit from its on-line activities than it does through its bricks and mortar stores. It won’t be long until many more successful businesses are doing the same.
However, now, with the advent of much more cost effective software programmes, running an affiliate scheme is within the reach of all small businesses and offers an amazingly cost effective way of building sales, usually very quickly.
If you are not familiar with Affiliate Marketing, the basic idea is easy to grasp. Plus we know some people who will work through these five steps for you too!
1. First, you identify people/businesses who sell non-competing products or services to your target audience.
2. You then partner with these people/businesses highlighting the commission you would pay when they sell some of your products to their customers.
3. You then provide some product information so your affiliates know the benefits of what you are offering.
4. You then provide advertising information about your product or services in the form of banners, email footers, and sales copy.
5. Your affiliates incorporate these banners on their website; add the email footers to their email template and use the copy to let the people they know about the benefits of your product or service.
When someone clicks onto your site via their banner and buys something, a tracking system automatically logs this sale and adds the commission payable to the account of your affiliate, to be paid at the end of the month.
You are happy because you have a new sale.
Your affiliate is happy because they have earned commission by offering an additional product or service to their customers.
The customer is happy because they could buy a product or service from someone they already knew, had done business with and trusted.
It’s a genuine win-win partnership, which will generate additional sales and profits for your business.
Copy the most successful businesses in the UK today and incorporate an affiliate scheme into YOUR business.
About the Author
This post was written by Allan Smith, a Director of Virtuoso Ltd. Virtuoso provides a wide range of services to enable business owners to take advantage of the internet to grow their business on-line. Virtuoso Ltd trades under the name of Business Accelerator and you can find details of their service at www.businessacclerator.org.uk.
Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net