How to Make More Conversions with Email Marketing

email marketing

Email is one of the best tools at your disposal to drive conversions. It can increase engagement in just about every area of your business, including affiliate program signups. However, to reap the full benefits of this marketing channel, you need to understand how to manage your campaigns.

By learning email marketing fundamentals, you can increase the chances that subscribers will both open and engage with your offers. In practice, that should translate to increased conversions and more revenue for your business.

In this article, we'll go over five simple tips to make more conversions with email marketing. Let's get to it!

1. Optimize Your Subject Lines

On average, most professionals spend around 28 percent of their workdays checking emails. We're under a constant barrage of communications, which causes us to be highly selective about the messages that we decide to open.

For a lot of people, if the subject line doesn't catch their attention, they won't open the email at all. That applies even to subscribers on your list who have asked for communications from you.

If you want to increase email conversions, your first step should be to optimize your subject lines. Here's what that involves:

  • Keep subject lines short. Most email clients cut off subject lines at a certain length, so it doesn't pay off to write lengthy ones.
  • Use words that stimulate curiosity. People open emails because they're already expecting them, because they know the sender, or because they're curious about what's inside. If you can stimulate that last feeling, you can increase your open rate.
  • Use personalized subject lines. Most modern email marketing tools enable you to personalize your subject lines using subscribers' names or other bits of information they've shared with you.
  • Use a helpful tool. One of our favorites is CoSchedule's free Email Subject Line Tester. The tester allows you to enter in your proposed subject line, then analyzes and gives you awesome tips on how to optimize for opens.

It's important to understand that improving conversion rates is all about experimentation. That means you need to keep an eye on what works and what doesn't and make incremental adjustments.

To that end, keep track of your highest performing email campaigns and note their subject lines. You can then emulate these in the future to try to reproduce a similar effect.

2. Test Different Headlines, Email Copy, and Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

One of the most powerful features of modern email marketing platforms is split testing (also known as A/B testing). This process involves sending different versions of the same email to subscribers within your list.

The goal of a split test is to provide you with real-life data about what kind of emails your subscribers react more positively to. For example, you can use it to test new subject lines and see which ones increase your open rate.

You can also use split tests to see what type of copy and CTAs your customers prefer. However, keep in mind that for your test results to be significant, you need two things:

The more different the emails in your test are, the harder it becomes to pinpoint what makes one more effective than the other. With fewer variations, you can gather results that enable you to finetune your campaigns.

3. Use Analytics to Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Analytics provide you with insights into how subscribers interact with your emails. Just as with split testing, analytics are a tool that most modern email marketing platforms give you acess to.

When it comes to optimizing for conversions, there are two key performance indicators (KPIs) that you want to keep and eye out for:

  • Open rate. This KPI represents the percentage of users who open your emails and it can give you insight into how well subscribers react to your content.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). Once users open your emails, you want them to click on your CTAs. The percentage of users who do so represents your CTR.

As a rule of thumb, it's normal for your open rate to be far higher than your CTR. 

A decent average open rate is around 15-25 percent. That might seem low, but it's a fairly significant number of readers if you have a sizable email list. Keep in mind that each message gives you a new opportunity to nurture leads, so it's okay if your subscribers don't open all of them.

4. Optimize Your Emails for Mobile

These days, most people check their emails from their mobile devices. It's only natural since we keep them on us at all times. This means that if you want your emails to be as effective as possible, they need to be readable on smartphones and other smaller devices.

There are a lot of services that enable you to test how your emails look and behave across a variety of platforms and browsers, such as Litmus:

Testing your emails for mobile devices

Usually, this type of tool uses virtual computers to simulate different renderings of your emails and then shows you the resulting screenshots. If your emails don't display well on a specific device, you'll be able to rework the designs.

5. Prune Your Email List Periodically

Even if you're a marketing guru, there are a lot of people who will ignore your emails. Perhaps they signed up for your list on a whim or have lost interest in your products and services.

Most email marketing tools enable you to see which users on your list are inactive. That means they haven't interacted with your messages over a specific and significant period of time.

Ideally, you'll prune those users from your list every few months. This gives you enough time to improve your campaigns and see if you can recapture their interest. If that doesn't work, then you know they're probably not going to engage with your messages moving forward.

Deleting subscribers might seem counterproductive. However, it can also help you unlock more targeted and accurate analytics.

One advanced tactic that you can try is to send re-engagement emails before cutting down your list:

An example of a re-engagement email.

This type of message can make subscribers rethink ignoring your emails. If it doesn't work, then they can remove themselves from your list, which saves you a bit of time and effort.

Conclusion

If you want your email marketing campaigns to be as successful as possible, you'll need to put in some work. However, that doesn't only mean improving their copy or design. If you don't also pay attention to other aspects of your campaigns, your conversion rate will continue to suffer.

Here are five key tips to help your email campaigns yield more conversions:

  1. Optimize your email subject lines.
  2. Test different headlines, email copy, and CTAs.
  3. Use analytics to monitor KPIs.
  4. Optimize your emails for mobile.
  5. Prune your email list periodically.

Do you have any questions about how to make more conversions with email marketing? Ask away in the comments section below!

Conversion Rate Optimization: What It Is and How to Do It

businessman changes the direction of an arrow

If you own a business, it's probably safe to say you'd like it to grow and generate more revenue. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a common strategy used to increase web traffic and bring in more customers. However, if you find your sales still aren't increasing, you may need to switch tactics.

The answer may be to get more out of the traffic you already have. This is known as conversion rate optimization (CRO). CRO is a hot topic in marketing these days, but if you've never dabbled in it, it can seem overly technical and complex. Fortunately, that really isn't the case.

In this article, we'll demystify CRO. First, we'll explain what it is and why it's important. Then we'll walk you through a basic framework for optimizing your site. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

First of all, let's clear up some terminology. A conversion refers to when a user completes a desirable action on your site. This could be signing up for your email newsletter, creating an account, registering for a free trial, purchasing a product, or anything else that furthers your business' goals.

Your site's conversion rate is simply the percentage of users that complete one of these actions on your site. You can calculate your conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions by the number of visitors, then multiplying the result by 100.

Say you have a landing page for a product. If 1,000 visitors end up on that page, and 100 make purchases, your landing page has a conversion rate of ten percent (100/1,000 * 100).

CRO is the process of adjusting your website and content to maximize your conversion rate. This typically involves combing through analytics and data to find opportunities for improvement, then implementing and testing those changes. This process of analysis, implementation, and testing is then repeated over and over in a continuous iterative process.

How to Get Started with Conversion Rate Optimization on Your Website (In 4 Steps)

Trying to understand what changes to make on your site in order to boost conversions can be intimidating. However, if you approach the process systematically, you can make modifications that are effective and deliver the results you want to see.

When you boil it down, CRO requires just four simple steps. Here's how to get started.

Step 1: Determine Your Goals

The first step to CRO is knowing what you're optimizing for. Start by clarifying your broad business goals. At this point, they will likely be fairly generic. For example, perhaps you want to increase revenue from a segment of your business.

With your broad goals defined, you can then drill down and get more specific. Take a look at how your website can contribute to your business goals, and set some narrow, website-centric targets to shoot for. This could be more purchases from a landing page, more signups for an email newsletter, or more registrations for an affiliate training program.

In short, it's important to leave the goal-setting stage with specific ideas in mind of what you want to improve. That way you can measure and test the results of your optimizations later on.

Step 2: Analyze Your Site's Data

With your goals set, it's time to look at how your pages are performing. CRO is a very data-driven process – at every step, you should be considering the concrete numbers, rather than guessing.

There are two places to gather data from. First, you'll want to do some quantitative analysis. Review your website analytics to see what your current conversion rate is, as well as which parts of your pages users are interacting with and where they're arriving from (social media, email links, organic search, etc.).

These details help you determine which parts of each page to focus on when optimizing. It doesn't make much sense to tweak the most-clicked call-to-action (CTA) on the page.

There are a lot of tools for gathering data, but Google Analytics is the most popular. It's free and can provide a tremendous amount of information:

The Google Analytics Acquisition pane.

The Acquisition and Behavior tabs of the Google Analytics dashboard will likely provide the most useful information. They'll show you where users are coming from, where they exit each page, and what other pages they click on during their visits.

In addition to reviewing analytics, it's smart to try to survey your actual users. Ask them why they make the choices they do on your site, what they feel its strengths and weaknesses are, and what points cause friction and prevent them from converting.

If yours is a WordPress site, consider using the tool MonsterInsights, which allows you access to all your Google Analytics data right from the WordPress dashboard.

Step 3: Make Your Optimizations

Now it's time to review what you've learned and make your optimizations. When doing so, the single most important thing to remember is to always follow the data. Gut feelings are nice, but for our purposes here, the numbers generally don't lie.

When making your changes, don't discount the little things. Even something as simple as changing the color of your CTA button can make a noticeable difference in how many people click on it. Other effective changes you could make may include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Making your CTA text more active and actionable
  • Tweaking the language you use to describe your product
  • Using a more inviting color scheme
  • Adding or removing content to make the page shorter or longer

This part can be overwhelming. To help decide what to focus on, use the PIE framework:

  • Potential: Which page, area, or element has the most potential to improve your conversion rate?
  • Importance: How valuable are conversions that occur on the page or via the element you're considering making changes to?
  • Ease: How much time and effort will have to go into making this change?

Higher ratings in these categories generally mean a change should be a higher priority. In other words, start with the easiest modifications, on your most prominent pages that are related to your most valuable conversion goal.

Step 4: Conduct A/B Tests

Finally, with your optimizations done, it's time to test. The most common method is known as ‘A/B testing' or split testing. This process involves using a tool to serve some users the old version of your site, while others see the updated version. You then compare the analytics of each to determine if your changes were effective.

There are a number of tools available to help simplify A/B testing. Whichever you choose, the most important thing is to be diligent in monitoring the data.

Run your A/B test for a period of time and compare metrics against the goals you set in Step 1. If your new version outperformed the old, replace it. If not, head back to the drawing board and try some different updates.

Remember, CRO is a continuous process of analyzing, optimizing, testing, and analyzing again. You'll get the best results by making it a standard part of your marketing strategy.

Conclusion

If you're growing your website traffic but find that your sales still aren't increasing, CRO should be your next step. This process is all about maximizing the potential of your site to generate more sales or signups from your visitors. Although it sounds complex, it's actually pretty simple.

Just follow these four steps and you'll be optimizing your site in no time:

  1. Determine your goals.
  2. Analyze your data.
  3. Make your optimizations.
  4. Conduct A/B tests.

Do you have any questions about CRO? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing Payment Models: A Beginner’s Guide

illustration of man looking toward a mountain peak

Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool for bringing in new business. We're talking about an industry worth $12 billion, so we know that affiliate marketing works. However, for your program to be successful, you'll need to choose the right payment model.

There are several payment systems you can use for your program, including offering commissions for leads or for successful sales. Which option you choose will depend on what your ultimate goals are.

In this article, we'll introduce you to the four most common affiliate marketing payment models, and talk about when it makes sense to use each of them. Let's get to it!

1. Cost Per Click (CPC) Payments

Cost Per Click (CPC) is one of the main metrics that you'll encounter when you engage in online marketing. If you publish on an ad network, for example, you usually pay for each click on one of your campaigns.

If you run an affiliate program, you can also use CPC as your primary payment model. Under this setup, you'd pay affiliates for every click they generate that leads users to your website, landing page, or product.

Affiliate programs that use a CPC model can be very attractive, because getting clicks is much easier than closing a sale. However, this also means that you might end up paying more for fewer qualified leads.

If you're looking to get your website or offer as much traffic as possible, then CPC payments can encourage affiliates to drive that traffic to you. Once users are on your site, it's up to you to get the conversions you want.

2. Cost Per Lead (CPL) Payments

Paying for leads instead of clicks enables you to cast a more precise net, and get more out of your affiliates' work. Leads can come in many shapes, depending on what kind of product or service you're selling.

Three of the most common types of leads include:

  1. Email sign-ups. With this approach, you pay affiliates for every new email subscriber they refer to you.
  2. Free trial sign-ups. Convincing users they need your services becomes much easier once they have first-hand experience. That's why many companies pay for free trial sign-ups.
  3. Consultation calls. This approach involves paying affiliates for customers who reach out to you for a consultation call.

In any of these scenarios, affiliates usually have to do a lot more work to get leads than to simply encourage clicks. Once users sign up to your email list, for example, they become part of your sales funnel, and you can begin to nurture them:

An email signup form.

This affiliate marketing payment model is remarkably similar to the ‘Cost Per Action (CPA)' approach. With the CPA model, you pay for very specific actions, such as app downloads or free trial sign-ups. In most cases, the CPA model is all about collecting leads, which is why it falls into the same category as Cost Per Lead (CPL).

Since collecting leads takes so much effort, you'll need to offer higher payments than with the CPC model. At least, that's the case if you want to attract the best affiliates possible.

If you're interested in getting very specific types of conversions for your website, this is a fantastic affiliate marketing payment option. However, it also requires a sizable budget, as not every lead will translate to a sale.

3. Cost Per Sale (CPS) Payments

The Cost Per Sale (CPS) (or Pay Per Sale [PPS]) model is the bread and butter of the affiliate marketing world. With this system, you only pay when the affiliate's efforts result in a sale. This means that if you run the numbers properly, your affiliate program should never be in the red.

Let's say, for example, that you run an affiliate program to drive sales for your software:

Affiliate Royale's prices

If you sell your product for a one-time payment, your CPS costs should be lower than that price so that you can still make a product. When offering items or services worth hundreds of dollars, it's not hard to find a commission rate that attracts the best affiliates while also growing your business.

For subscription-based products, it's not uncommon to offer CPS payments that are higher than what you get upfront from customers. Hosting companies, in particular, tend to offer some of the highest commission rates for their affiliates:

Examples of hosting affiliate commissions

Other platforms, such as Amazon, pay their affiliates a small percentage of each sale they make. That approach may seem less attractive at first, but with a platform the size of Amazon, affiliates have so many marketing options that the program still remains competitive.

Ultimately, the CPS model works as well as the products or services you offer. If the quality is good, affiliates will be able to sell on your behalf, and both parties should reap the rewards.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing programs are only as successful as the rewards they provide. If you don't have a solid and transparent payment model in place, you'll likely have a hard time finding members. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent options.

In most cases, one of the following models should take you far:

  1. CPC payments: This approach is great if you want to get as much traffic as possible, and you're prepared to optimize for conversions.
  2. CPL payments: By paying for leads, you get more qualified users who are easier to nurture, although the costs tend to be higher.
  3. CPS payments: Paying for sales is perhaps the easiest way to scale your business, but you need competitive commissions to attract the best affiliates.

Do you have any questions about how to choose the right payment model for your affiliate marketing program? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!

Affiliate Fraud: 3 Ways to Prevent It

fraud alert

Running an affiliate marketing program is an effective way to grow your business and increase revenue. Unfortunately, there is also a risk of malicious activities, such as affiliate fraud, that can hurt your earnings and undermine your advertising initiatives.

The issue of affiliate fraud is a serious one, and it's on the rise. However, identifying the various methods used by bad actors and illegitimate affiliates can help safeguard you against it.

In this post, we'll explain what affiliate fraud is and discuss some of the most common types. Then we'll provide you with three key methods you can use to prevent it. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing Fraud

Affiliate marketing uses a performance-based approach to online advertising. A company enlists affiliate partners to promote its products or services through unique links and referral codes. When sales or conversions are made through those promotions, the affiliates are paid a commission.

Participating in these marketing programs provides a lucrative and convenient way for affiliates to earn a passive income. What's more, it's a cost-effective marketing technique for brands that want to drive conversions and boost revenue.

Unfortunately, the digital tracking and attribution model behind affiliate marketing is not foolproof. In fact, research shows that over 35 percent of digital ad traffic is fraudulent. Problems arise when fraudsters exploit or abuse the affiliate marketing system to falsely or unfairly claim commissions.

Put simply, affiliate fraud is when bad actors participate in or execute illegal activities in order to scam affiliate marketers or merchants. These scammers can implement a variety of methods to trick companies into paying them affiliate commissions that aren't actually valid.

Common Types of Affiliate Fraud

Affiliate fraud comes in many different forms. Some of the most common types include:

  • Click fraud. With click fraud, scammers can flood Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns with fraudulent or invalid clicks, often through bots or artificial activity that uses software to simulate real users.
  • Typosquatting. This refers to hijacking a URL that's similar to a company's name, in order to collect the referrals from redirects.
  • Traffic diverting. Fraudsters can use what's known as ‘parasite sites' to steal the traffic from a legitimate affiliate site.
  • Cookie stuffing. Browser cookies enable tracking of affiliate referrals. So fraudulent affiliates can place a variety of cookies on a visitor's browser to earn the commission if and when that customer does end up making a purchase.
  • App installs. Also known as attribution fraud, this is when thieves steal credit card information to install apps, in order to manipulate app tracking attribution platforms.

If you participate in affiliate marketing, these types of fraud can have devastating effects. As a merchant, you might end up paying for clicks that don't actually increase sales, or face unnecessary expenses that threaten your bottom line. Additionally, affiliate partners could be unjustly blamed or penalized for the black hat behavior of scammers.

Affiliate Fraud: 3 Ways to Prevent It

Now that we have a better understanding of exactly what affiliate fraud is and the various forms it can take, it's time to learn how to avoid it. Let's take a look at three effective methods you can use to prevent affiliate fraud.

1. Carefully Screen and Communicate With Affiliates

Adopting a strategic vetting process to make sure affiliates are legitimate from the start can go a long way towards preventing fraud. For example, you might consider implementing a multi-stage application process and configuring it so that you have to manually approve new affiliates:

The MemberPress Affiliate Program application.

When screening a potential affiliate, you'll want to verify that they have an active, legitimate website and that their content aligns with your products or services. This can reduce the risk of a bad actor making their way in undetected.

Even once you approve of an affiliate, it's important to clearly communicate your terms and conditions. Having a lawyer look over your policies can help you ensure that there's no room for error, or potential loopholes that could lead to affiliate fraud or abuse.

2. Closely Monitor Traffic and Program Analytics

It's hard to spot illegal or suspicious activity happening with your affiliate program if you don't have a way of actively monitoring it. By regularly and closely tracking your affiliate marketing analytics, you're better positioned to identify a sudden surge in traffic, a concerning influx of redirect pages, or a questionable number of transactions attributed to a single IP address.

Fortunately, there are affiliate program tools and plugins you can use to make doing this easier. For example, our Affiliate Royale plugin provides a robust admin dashboard with link tracking as well as analytics and reporting features, so you can easily uncover anomalies:

The Affiliate Royale plugin website.

Also, because this solution integrates seamlessly with WordPress, you won't have to worry about juggling multiple platforms and tools. All the insight you'll need will be accessible from within your dashboard.

3. Block Suspicious IP Addresses and Remove Unethical Affiliates

Mistakes happen, and not all odd behavior or abnormalities that occur within your affiliate program necessarily mean that you have a cybercriminal on your hands. However, it's best to err on the safe side.

If the same user repeatedly demonstrates suspicious behavior or violates your terms and conditions, it's likely best to remove them. You don't want to risk compromising your entire affiliate program, or lose out on profits due to one careless, malicious, or greedy participant.

If you're an Affiliate Royale user, you'll have the convenience of doing this directly through the plugin. There's a dedicated section for your list of affiliates, and removing one is as simple as deleting a plugin from your site.

You'll also be able to use the plugin's settings to leverage a variety of other key features:

For example, you can disable the option to automatically add users, and turn on a setting to display your affiliate agreement. There's even a feature for modifying the number of days before an affiliate cookie expires. This can help prevent the fraudulent technique we discussed earlier that's known as ‘cookie stuffing'.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a popular, powerful, and effective way to grow your business, promote products, and increase revenue. However, it's important to take careful and proactive measures to protect your program and campaigns from scammers.

In this post, we discussed three ways to prevent affiliate fraud:

  1. Carefully screen and communicate with your affiliates.
  2. Closely monitor your affiliate program analytics and user behavior.
  3. Block suspicious IP addresses and remove unethical affiliates.

Do you have any questions about preventing fraud in affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: The Basics

Affiliate marketing is a popular and effective tactic for boosting conversions, driving sales, and ultimately earning a passive income online. However, considering that it's such a dynamic and expansive field, figuring out where and how to get started can feel overwhelming.

Fortunately, all it takes is some simple guidance and research. Once you understand the basics of affiliate marketing for beginners and how it works, you can use it to your advantage and increase the income you earn through your website.

In this post, we’ll begin by discussing what affiliate marketing is and its benefits. Then we'll explain how it works, and provide you with some tips for getting started. Let’s jump in!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

In short, affiliate marketing is a strategy in which a brand pays a commission to affiliates based on sales generated through their referrals. The key parties involved are:

  • Sellers (sometimes referred to as merchants, retailers, or brands) can range from individual entrepreneurs to global enterprises. They are the creators of the products or services being promoted and sold.
  • Affiliates (also referred to as publishers or advertisers) promote the seller’s products to their audiences by using affiliate links and ads. If their promotion or referral leads to a sale, they earn a commission from the seller.
  • Customers purchase the product or service from the seller based on the affiliate’s referral.

Essentially, affiliate marketing is a form of profit-sharing between sellers and advertisers. The commission earned comes out of the product price, so it doesn't create an additional cost to the customer.

Whether you participate in affiliate marketing as a merchant or an affiliate, there are many advantages when compared to other types of marketing. One of the biggest draws is the amount of control and flexibility available.

For example, a merchant can create an affiliate marketing program based on the products and services of their choosing, while affiliates can decide which programs to participate in. The shared goal is getting product promotions in front of relevant audiences who are likely to convert.

Affiliate links and banner ads are often used in informative, appealing, and engaging ways that are actually useful to users, such as through video tutorials or product reviews:

An example of a product review video that contains affiliate marketing content.

Affiliate marketing is also cost-effective. Most affiliate programs are free to join, and operate on a performance-based system. This means that commissions are earned only when a consumer completes the intended action (a purchase, sign-up, etc.).

How Affiliate Marketing Programs Work

When you sign up for an affiliate marketing program, you’re issued a unique ID and a trackable URL to use in your content promoting the merchant’s product(s). When a user clicks on your affiliate link or banner ad, it adds a cookie to the user’s browser.

If you click on an affiliate link or ad, you might notice the referral code or identifier within the URL. Generally, the link looks longer than it would if you were to visit the merchant’s page directly:

An example of an Amazon Affiliate referral code in the browser URL.

As an affiliate program manager, you would use these special IDs to verify the referral source of a customer. In other words, these codes are critical for confirming and crediting affiliate partners.

Not all affiliate programs operate the same way, of course. Some common commission models include:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC): Affiliates earn credit any time a consumer clicks on their affiliate links.
  • Pay Per Sale (PPS): An affiliate earns a percentage of the referred sale.
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL): If an affiliate’s link results in a qualified lead, they receive a fixed commission.

Ultimately, the structure and terms depend on whether you’re using a self-hosted program or an affiliate marketing network. Networks such as Commission Junction and ShareASale are popular places to get started.

These third-party services act as an intermediary between sellers and affiliates. Although they can help with finding and managing affiliate accounts, they don’t offer as much control or autonomy as self-hosted programs, such as what you can operate through Affiliate Royale.

With the latter, you can create your own program and exercise complete control — and it's simpler that working with a third-party service.

Tips for Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing

If you’re interested in getting started with affiliate marketing, the first decision you need to make is whether you want to participate as a merchant or an affiliate. The side of the affiliate marketing relationship you’re more interested in will influence your next steps.

For example, if you’re a blogger or have a large social media following, becoming an affiliate partner to other companies and brands can be incredibly lucrative. Not only will it help you earn money online, but it can also help to grow your confidence and familiarity with affiliate marketing programs, perhaps even paving the way to starting your own.

To begin, it's smart to make a list of the brands and products you're most passionate about, and brainstorm potential affiliate programs you might join. You can check the website of your favorite brands to see whether they offer an affiliate program (this information is usually listed in the footer):

The footer of the MemberPress website.

On the other hand, if you are a business owner with existing products or services to sell, starting your own affiliate marketing program makes the most sense. If you do decide an affiliate program is right for your business, the next step is to launch your affiliate site.

Fortunately, our own affiliate program plugin can make doing this quick and easy:

The Affiliate Royale WordPress plugin website.

Built to simplify affiliate marketing for beginners, our all-in-one management plugin comes with all the features and functionality needed to set up and run an affiliate program. This includes a personalized dashboard for affiliates, shopping cart integration, banner and link creation, and more.

Conclusion

Whether you're interested in promoting other companies' products to earn a passive income, or you want to grow your own business through a network of talented publishers and advertisers, affiliate marketing can help. Although the structure, pricing, and terms vary by program, there are plenty of ways to get started.

As we discussed in this post, as an affiliate partner you have the opportunity to earn a commission every time someone uses your affiliate link. We recommend looking into affiliate or referral programs offered by your favorite brands. If you're ready to create your own program, our Affiliate Royale plugin can simplify and streamline the process.

Do you have any questions about getting started with affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments!

The 6 Most Common Mistakes When Starting an Affiliate Marketing Program (And How to Avoid Them)

man who just made a mistake

Affiliate marketing can be very profitable when done right. According to a Business Insider report, it accounts for about 15 percent of overall revenue in the digital media industry. However, there are some common mistakes business owners are prone to making when starting new programs, which can hamper long-term success.

By avoiding these stumbling blocks, you can maximize your income and build profitable relationships with your marketing partners or affiliates. Fortunately that isn't hard to do – in this case, a little foreknowledge goes a long way.

In this article, we’ll look at the top six mistakes commonly made when starting an affiliate marketing program, and talk about how to avoid them. Let’s get started!

1. Neglecting to Promote Your Affiliate Program

First on our list is neglecting to promote your affiliate marketing program. It’s nearly impossible to make your program a success if you haven’t generated any awareness about it.

Ideally, you'll want to begin advertising your program even before it’s launched. You can start by letting your existing audience know about it (for example, through an email blast), and by clarifying its benefits and how much they can earn.

In addition, it's a good idea to set up banners on your home page (or any other page with high visibility):

An affiliate program promotional banner.

Social media posts can also be an effective means for notifying both existing and new followers about your program. All of this content can lead interested parties to a dedicated page that explains all of the key details.

2. Forgetting to Vet Your Affiliate Partners

It’s tempting to indiscriminately accept anyone who applies to your affiliate program. This comes from a desire to grow it as quickly as possible. However, it’s smart to perform some due diligence and acquire basic background information for each applicant, since they'll be functioning as an advocate for your products or services.

Going into partnerships with people whose only goal is to make a quick buck can give your brand a bad reputation. Additionally, since these individuals may also be prone to spamming links and engaging in other less-than-stellar practices, your page rankings could be negatively affected.

Therefore, it's best to ensure that everyone you accept satisfies the following (at a minimum):

  • Has a quality content channel (blog, podcast, social profiles, etc.) that's regularly updated
  • Is a genuine business or has previous affiliate experience
  • Does not engage in spammy practices in their existing content
  • Is established within their niche and has the trust of their audience (as indicated by a highly-engaged following, a strong social media presence, etc.)

Overall, you'll want to focus on gathering a small but solid band of affiliates, rather than a sizable number who might do more harm than good.

3. Failing to Pay Enough Commission

The appeal of an affiliate marketing program is that anyone can earn money by promoting a brand’s products or services. While there’s certainly some work to be done, affiliates can bring in what's essentially passive income once the right structures are in place.

With that being said, the rewards will still need to be worthwhile in order to attract quality marketers. Since many businesses now have affiliate programs for promoting their offerings, it’s important to stand out or you risk losing to the competition. If your commission rates aren’t appealing enough, you may see few applicants.

An example of affiliate commission rates.

Admittedly, it may not be feasible to pay high rates for all of your products. However, it’s generally smart to have a list of high-commission items. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that payments are sent out as early as possible, and according to your affiliate agreement. Otherwise, your partners may lose their motivation for promoting your brand.

In the same vein, it’s important that you do not reduce commissions after sign-ups. This can cause your affiliates to stop promoting your products, or even leave your program entirely.

4. Not Tracking Affiliate Activities

Even your best efforts at vetting potential affiliates might be inadequate. You might find that you still have some marketing partners who overstep their bounds and engage in questionable or even unethical practices.

Therefore, you’ll want to set up a consistent schedule for reviewing affiliate traffic and sales for inconsistencies. Proactively monitoring your affiliates this way can ensure that they do not damage your reputation. It might even help you contain mishaps early on.

It's also very important to define the terms and conditions for your program before launching it:

An affiliate program's terms and conditions.

Then you'll just have to enforce them as needed, which can serve to deter further mischief.

5. Neglecting to Spell Out Acceptable and Unacceptable Marketing Strategies

We’ve established that some affiliates may engage in questionable marketing practices, regardless of your best efforts to vet them at the application stage. However, it’s also possible that you simply haven’t made your rules clear enough.

When starting your program, you'll want to create unambiguous standards about acceptable and unacceptable practices. For example, some companies forbid their affiliates from bidding on certain brand keywords in Google AdWords.

Consider including a list of allowed promotional activities in your affiliate terms, and forbidding everything else. This way, you can avoid the risk of your partners using techniques you’re unfamiliar with, and keep your reputation sparkling.

6. Failing to Treat Your Affiliates Like Business Partners

Affiliate partnerships are business relationships. Therefore, you’ll want to treat them as such. Although it’s your responsibility to lay down rules to ensure that affiliates do not damage your brand’s reputation, you'll also want to allow some flexibility and avoid treating them like employees.

To begin with, you should consider allowing flexible marketing techniques (within your established constraints, as discussed above). You'll also want to avoid creating too many rules, and generally being heavy-handed. The goal is to build and maintain solid working relationships with your affiliates.

Communication is a key factor in building such strong partnerships. Therefore, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open, listening to affiliates' concerns and suggestions. This might require scheduling regular meetings, as well as sending newsletters and educational content.

Another advantage of communicating with your affiliates is that since they’re often in direct contact with your end users, you can gain more awareness about what products or services your audiences want and are willing to pay for. Therefore, it's best to be proactive about soliciting such feedback, as your affiliates may unintentionally gloss over it. 

Conclusion

Starting an affiliate marketing program can be an excellent way to increase your revenue. When done the right way, you can build long-term relationships with partners who will help create more awareness for your brand. You can also gain deeper insights into the needs of your target audiences.

Along the way, it's also vital to avoid these six common mistakes:

  1. Neglecting to promote your affiliate program.
  2. Forgetting to vet your affiliate partners.
  3. Failing to pay enough commissions.
  4. Not tracking affiliate activities.
  5. Neglecting to spell out acceptable and unacceptable marketing strategies.
  6. Failing to treat your affiliates like business partners.

Have you made any of these mistakes, and how have you fixed (or how do you plan to fix) them? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Vital Things To Add To Your Affiliate Registration Page

To build and expand your online business, you need to make it as easy as possible for individuals to sign up for your affiliate marketing program.

The most important part of the sign up process is the affiliate registration page. On this page, people will expect to learn all about and sign up for your program.

In this post, we’ll share with you a few vital pieces of information you want on your affiliate signup page to make your program as successful as possible.

Are you struggling to manage your affiliates? Release the burden with Affiliate Royale!

1.Affiliate Program Information

One of the most important components of the registration page is information about your affiliate program. Without this information, potential affiliates won’t have a clear understanding of what your affiliate program is all about and will be less likely to join.

First, be sure to include information about your business and what it promotes. List the different ways your affiliate program can be shared. For example, can a podcaster share on their show? Do you only offer affiliate links? Or do you also provide banners for websites? Also, include information on how affiliates will earn commissions.

2. Program Rules And Regulations

To maintain an organized affiliate program and to help potential affiliates understand what will be expected of them in the program, be sure to include a link to the rules and regulations of your program on the registration page.

Detailing what’s expected of your affiliates is a great way to passively filter applicants and ensure a higher rate of quality registrations for your program. It will also help to boost the credibility of your program.

3. Affiliate Eligibility

Speaking of rules and regulations, another important element on your affiliate registration page is a list of the requirements your potential affiliates must meet to join your program.

Eligibility requirements aren’t necessarily an element in every affiliate program, but if you’re trying to target a specific market, having such requirements can be beneficial.

Eligibility requirements might include having a minimum number of followers, being active on a particular social media platform, or being over age 18. However, be careful when setting up requirements so as to avoid engaging in discriminatory practices.

4. Testimonials

Want to encourage your website visitors to take the big leap and join your program? Give them a little taste of FOMO, or fear of missing out. Include testimonials on your affiliate registration page to give potential affiliates first-hand accounts of how great your program is and how much passive income they can earn by signing on the dotted line. 

You might also include product reviews and testimonials regarding what services your business offers to assure affiliates that your program is trustworthy and high quality.

Consider including a few quotes from affiliate partners or a video testimonial from a satisfied affiliate, or share statistics on how many affiliates successfully make money through your program. This is the prime time to show off how amazing your company is and how big a difference your program makes in people’s lives.

5. Example Promotions

Including example promotions on your registration page is a great way to encourage people to join your affiliate program, to provide a better understanding of what they can expect from the program, and to passively filter applicants.

Consider including things like social media photos, hashtags your affiliates use to promote the program, or even example blog promotions by some of your best affiliates. These samples will help potential partners understand the quality of work they’ll be expected to deliver as an effective part of the team.

6. Next Steps

Last, but definitely not least, be sure to include the next steps visitors should take to join your program. Will they need to email you? Obtain a referral link? Fill out a form? Undergo an interprocess? Detail what they’ll need to do to become a partner in your program and start promoting your small business.

Many companies ask potential affiliates to fill out a form or create an account to get started. Some require affiliates to undergo an approval process, while others allow new affiliates to start as soon as they sign up. There is no right or wrong way to go, and what you choose should depend on the needs and goals of your program.

Are you ready to take your online business to the next level with affiliate marketing? Get started with Affiliate Royale today!

In Conclusion

Your affiliate registration page is one of the most important pieces of content in your arsenal for promoting your affiliate program. Therefore, it’s very important that you carefully curate what you put on this page — in addition to making it easy to find and user-friendly. 

Because it’s the final piece of the puzzle in the conversion process, you want this page to have all the information potential affiliates need to make a decision. Keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a high-converting registration page for your affiliate program.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, be sure to check out some of our other blog posts, such as places you can promote your affiliate programhow to know if an affiliate program is right for your small business, or what to look for in an ideal affiliate.

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How To Use Your Affiliate Program To Do Good

There are many online entrepreneurs who not only want to create a thriving and successful online business but also want to make a positive impact in the world by advocating for worthy causes. 

If you happen to be one of those people, how can you go about growing your business while including philanthropy in your efforts? In today’s post, we’ll share with you a few ways you can use your business to make your charitable dream a reality without breaking the bank.

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How To Do Good as a Team

Have you ever heard the saying, “Charity starts at home?” This phrase also applies to your small business. Actively creating a culture of philanthropy within your company not only makes your business look good, it keeps your employees engaged, makes them feel empowered, and keeps them focused on the purpose of your business’ core values. Here are a few ways you can cultivate a culture of charity and giving back.

Encourage Employee Donations

One excellent way to encourage employees to do good is by making it easy for them to donate to their favorite local causes. Using payroll software like Gusto, you can give your employees the option to send financial donations to the causes they love each pay period automatically.

You might even take these efforts one step further by highlighting in your company blog some of the causes your employees support.

Organize a Group Collection Drive

If your team works in-person or operates in a location where you can identify local causes, one way to do good is to run a group collection drive for one of these causes.

This can be something as simple as a food drive, where your company collects canned goods for a local food pantry, a clothing drive for The Salvation Army, or even an old electronics and software collection effort for up-and-coming businesses.

Pursue Volunteer Projects Together

If your team is in-house or located close to one another, why not tackle a volunteer project as a group? Volunteer to work on a project with Habitat for Humanity, help out at a local soup kitchen, go out and donate toiletries to the homeless, or take on a group speaking engagement.

These types of charitable efforts will help bring your team closer together, show the public another side of your business, and help your community at the same time!

Ask For Employee Input

To really get your employees involved with a philanthropic effort, ask them if there are any causes or charities they are passionate about. For example, if one of your employees is a breast cancer survivor, why not have a group charitable effort around raising money for breast cancer research?

Or if one of your team members has a loved one who suffers from multiple sclerosis, participate as a team in the National MS Society’s Run MS program. Involving your employees in the process keeps them excited about the effort and shows them that you care about the team and what they think.

How to Do Good Corporately

Once you’ve mastered building a culture of charity inside the workplace, how can you do good as a business entity? Following a few awesome ways.

Partner With A Charitable Organization

One great way to work on doing good outside of your online business is to partner with a charity and use your platform to promote and help that organization gain resources.

You could start a promotional campaign where, for every sale your business makes, it will donate a certain amount to your partner charity. Or, you might promote them through your blog, sharing with your online following the importance of the organization’s work and why it is necessary for a healthy community.

Offer Free or Discounted Services

Another generous move for your small business is to offer services at an extremely discounted rate or totally free to a charitable organization. There may be a local nonprofit that needs help setting up a certain program on their website, building a Facebook page, or even figuring out how to operate their computer system.

Attend Charitable Events

Attending charity events as a representative of your company is a great way to network, help a worthy cause, and learn about other causes you may want to support in the future.

Events like these are fun (and fruitful!) alternatives to simply dropping off donations or giving money. Such events give you a chance to see who’s being impacted by your efforts and how you and your small business can help out even more.

Participate In Online Challenges

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took social media by storm a few years back? Challenges like these are happening all the time. If you hear about a challenge that’s gaining momentum for a cause you can get behind, join in!

Then, be sure to tag people in your network to help build awareness and support. Or, even better, start your own challenge and encourage your network to get involved to support a worthy cause.

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In Conclusion

Using your company’s online and offline presence to support worthy causes doesn’t have to be a major and expensive hurdle. As you’ve seen, there are all kinds of ways you can implement philanthropy and use your business to promote the greater good. So get started today! 

Does your small business have a culture of charity? Tell us about it in the comments!

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5 Places You Can Promote Your Affiliate Program Right Now

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective methods online business owners can use to make passive income. The more affiliates you add to your program and the more effective they are, the more money everyone makes!

So, how do you promote your affiliate marketing programs? Where on the internet can you go to promote your online business and recruit individuals?

In this post, we’ll share with you a few places you and your affiliates can promote your affiliate links to find more affiliates, earn more affiliate commissions, and expose your business to a greater number of potential customers.

Make your affiliate network a breeze to manage with Affiliate Royale today!

Affiliate Program/Link Promotion: How to Be Successful

There are many different methods you can use to promote your affiliate links or programs, but there are a few specific things you should keep in mind to ensure that your promotions are successful:

Don’t Overdo Your Promotion

There’s nothing wrong with a plug or promotion every so often on your platforms and website, but the last thing you want to do is become overly salesy. This will quickly turn off your customers and make them feel that you’re only in it for a sale. You want to provide value to your customers, not make it seem like you only need them for your selfish gains.

Spread Out Your Links

When you’re promoting links or your affiliate program, spread out your information on various platforms and in different formats. Don’t just use your links in blog posts — add them to videos, in comments, website banners, and more.

This rule is the same for your affiliate program. Don’t just limit this information to your website — include it in your emails, on social media, and in video descriptions.

Use Your Analytics

To understand whether or not your affiliate links or promotion efforts are working, you need to pay attention to your analytics. This will help you know where your viewers are interacting with your links, how they engage with your links, and how many conversions you’re making. This knowledge will tell you where to make changes to improve your program. 

5 Places to Promote Your Program and Links

Armed with a general idea of how to be successful with your promotions, you can move on to getting those promotions out there. Following are five effective channels you can use to get things rolling.

1.Email Campaigns

One of the most important means of promoting your online business is email marketing. Email marketing is an effective way to bring traffic to your website, share your content with customers, and engage with your audience.

When readers and potential customers subscribe to your email list, they’re seeking content to assist them and answer questions they may have. This is the prime time to include affiliate links or inform customers that you have an affiliate program.

The key to success here is to avoid posting your affiliate links all over the email. Focus on assisting your customers with solving their problem and then sprinkle in a few affiliate links from companies you know will help them.

Or, if you have an affiliate program, create a special announcement email to let your email list know, or simply include the information at the end of the email as a subtle reminder.

2.Video Content

Video content is all the rage in the digital marketing space right now, so it’s only expected that your online business should embrace this tactic. Your videos should be centered around topics relevant to your business. Video content can be created from information in blog posts, social media content, a customer question, or anything in between.

To promote your affiliate links or affiliate program in your video content, add the information in your video captions or descriptions. You can also post your links within your video, whether by using hyperlinks within the video or by putting the link text in the video’s footer. 

3.Product Review Websites

There are numerous places around the web where individuals can log on and share their experiences with different products, services, and companies. Did you know that this is also an excellent place for you to promote your affiliate program and links?

While writing your honest, unbiased review, be sure to include information on how to use the product, the pros and cons of using it, and your personal experience with the product in addition to your affiliate link or information on how to join your affiliate program.

4.Guest Posts

Guest blogging is a great way to build links to your website, build brand exposure, and network with other companies. But did you know that guest posting is also an excellent way to share your affiliate program with a broader audience?

Before you incorporate information about your affiliate program into your post, be sure to discuss it with the company you’ll be guest blogging for. The key to any great relationship is communication, so you want to make sure that incorporating that information is clearly stated and understood between both parties. Also be sure to find out whether it is okay to include affiliate links in your post.

5. Roundup Posts or Resource Pages

Many online companies create roundup posts every so often to allow website visitors to check out different tools that could help them in their businesses. Some companies also create resource pages on their websites that are dedicated to tools and resources their followers can take advantage of. This is prime real estate for affiliate links!

List and talk about products and services your company uses and would recommend to others. Be sure to include a brief description of the products, and maybe even the average prices of the products, and what you love about them.

You should also connect these services with your affiliate links and any discounts or free trials users of your links can get. This page or blog post should serve as evergreen content and should be continuously updated to provide visitors with accurate, up-to-date information.

In Conclusion

Affiliate marketing can be a lot of work, but there are all kinds of places and opportunities to promote your affiliate program and links, and many of these are available to you right now. We hope these tips will help you to better market your program so you can begin earning significant, passive income.

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How to Promote Your Affiliate Program Using Twitter Chats

As an affiliate marketer, you’re probably familiar with Twitter and understand many of the ways it can help your online business succeed, but did you know that, outside of posts, the platform offers another way to connect with potential customers and boost visibility?

Enter Twitter chats!

Twitter chats are a fun, free way to promote your business, engage with customers, and build a community around your brand. The question is, how can you leverage Twitter chats to build your business effectively?

In this post, we’ll share with you how you can use the Twitter chats feature to promote your affiliate marketing program.

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What Is A Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat is a live conversation, typically hosted by one or a few Twitter accounts on a specific subject. These chats usually take place on a consistent weekly or monthly basis. They’re accessible by following a set hashtag, and other Twitter users can get in on the action by using that hashtag in their tweets. 

For example, the Content Marketing Institute has a Twitter chat called #CMWorld that happens every Tuesday. In the chat, participants discuss different topics related to marketing in the digital space. 

A Twitter chat can be about virtually any topic you choose, all you have to do is craft a hashtag, schedule a consistent day and time, and you’re good to go!

How Can Twitter Chats Help Your Business?

Now that you understand what a Twitter chat is, how exactly can they benefit your business?

Build Brand Awareness

If you create a hashtag around your business, and your Twitter chat begins to grow, any time someone searches that hashtag or even a topic your chat has covered, your business and tweets from your chats will show up.

Not only that, but as your chat grows, your brand is exposed to even more people who can turn into potential customers, affiliates, and business partners in the future.

Grow Your Following

If you create a solid chat that your Twitter followers and those who are interested in your topic enjoy, they’ll want to make sure they don’t miss the chat. This can mean more followers for your business.

People will want to be among the first to see upcoming topics, potential contests and giveaways, and whatever else your business has to offer outside the chat.

Increased Credibility

Customers and potential affiliates gravitate toward businesses and organizations they feel they can trust, both in character and in knowledge.

Using Twitter chats, you can demonstrate that you’re an authority when it comes to affiliate marketing and promotions, thus giving your fans more trust in your business. This trust can generate even more revenue and cause more influencers and organizations to want to participate in your affiliate program.

Elements Of A Good Twitter Chat

In order to run a successful Twitter chat, there are a few things you need to have first:

A Topic

Before you can start a Twitter chat, you need to have a topic that is both engaging to your followers and something you can talk about with authority. It can help to brainstorm and think about how far you can take a particular topic. 

You want to ensure that your audience is interested in the topic, that it’s relevant to your brand, and that it’s somewhat specific. For example, if you decided to create a chat around marketing, you might have a hard time covering all aspects of the topic. However, if your business specializes in affiliate marketing, you’d be wise to craft topics specific to that business model first.

A Hashtag

Once you’ve decided on a topic, you can start crafting a catchy and engaging hashtag. You want your hashtags to go along with your topic and, ideally, to go along with your brand. 

For example, if your Twitter chat is centered around affiliate marketing, it would be wise to use a hashtag that includes something with the term “affiliate marketing” in it, if possible. You want the hashtag to be relevant and easy for your audience to remember so they can join in.

A Consistent Day And Time

Next on your Twitter chat preparedness list is your day and time. Your team should agree on a day and time that works for everyone so there will always be someone available to facilitate the chat in the event the usual facilitator isn’t available.

When choosing a day and time, you also want to keep your audience in mind. Do a bit of research. What time zone are most of your followers in? What days are they most active? What times are your followers most likely to be on Twitter? Ensuring that your audience is around to interact with your small business is vital to the success of the chat.

A Facilitator

Speaking of facilitators, you’ll need to designate one for your Twitter chat. More than likely, your company’s Twitter account will be hosting the chat, but you’ll need to have someone in place to be the voice behind the company and monitor the chat as it’s happening. 

Be sure to pick someone who’s well-spoken and well-versed in your business. It would also be wise to pick someone who’s a strong writer or ask one of your writers to create a script for the facilitator to use during the chat. 

Effective And Consistent Promotion

If you’ve been working on your online business for a while now, you understand that marketing and promotion are everything. This is no different when it comes to your Twitter chat. Developing a plan for when you’ll start your Twitter chats and how you’ll promote them each time they take place can make or break your efforts. 

Create eye-catching images to get your followers to notice your chat promotions. Also, promote your chats on all social media platforms so all your followers can be aware, and, of course, share on Twitter so current users can set aside time to participate.

Participating In Rather Than Hosting Twitter Chats

Perhaps you aren’t ready to host your own Twitter chat, or you just don’t feel like a chat would be right for your small business at this point. That’s okay — there are plenty of Twitter chats you can participate in and still promote your affiliate program.

Search For Appropriate Chats

If you want to get the most out of your participation, make sure the chat is relevant to your business. There are incredibly interesting chats for every topic under the sun, but if you want to use your involvement to build your brand, make sure the chat topic goes along with your industry.

Craft A Nice Introduction

Most Twitter Chats begin with an introduction of the host and participants. Don’t miss out on this valuable networking opportunity. In advance, write up a short and sweet introduction to your business that will make other chat participants want to learn more about you.

Promote Your Participation

Twitter chats involve a lot of tweeting — so much, in fact, that some of your followers may be thrown off by the number of tweets you’re putting out.

In an effort to let them know what’s going on and to get in good graces with the Twitter chat you’re following, don’t hesitate to share the chat information and let your followers know that you’ll be participating. Doing so will keep your followers in the know, show that you’re active, and make a good impression on the chat host.

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In Conclusion

Twitter chats can be a major boost to your online marketing efforts. Whether you’re hosting or participating in a chat, these online events can help you gain new followers, network, build trust with customers, and boost the visibility of your business. We hope you’ll keep our tips in mind to help you make the best of this great marketing opportunity.

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