How to Leverage Seasonal Marketing for Your Affiliate Program (4 Key Tips)

Winter scene with three benches covered in snow in a city park

Whether you’re planning for winter holiday sales or getting ready to release your summer catalog, leveraging seasonal marketing is all about timeliness. Holiday performance is often a major factor in meeting (and exceeding!) your sales goals.

If you have an affiliate program, you already have a powerful community that can help you improve sales and reach new customers. Leveraging seasonal trends is the perfect way to take this to the next level, and give your program an extra boost.

In this post, we’ll cover what seasonality is and explain how to make the most of your affiliate program during peak buying periods. Let’s get to work!

How Does Seasonality Affect Your Affiliate Program?

In a marketing context, “seasonality” refers to the way consumer buying habits tend to fluctuate based on seasons, holidays, and the like. Business can be strongly affected by predictable events that happen annually, such Christmas or Black Friday.

Consider the health industry, for example. A health and wellness store is likely to see an increase in purchases of vitamins, probiotics, and other products recommended for immune support in autumn and winter.

A limited time promotion.

This means that seasonality is also going to affect the performance of your affiliate program. Some products will naturally be in greater or lesser demand at different times of the year. Fortunately, you aren’t simply at the whim of this fact – you can also leverage it consciously to help your affiliates drive more sales.

How to Leverage Seasonal Marketing for Your Affiliate Program (4 Key Tips)

Seasonal promotions can make or break your marketing efforts. If managed poorly, they can lead to frustration when affiliates aren’t able to create content for the sale in time.

Alternatively, they can build anticipation and provide your affiliates with plenty of time to communicate your sales to their audiences and share the excitement. Here are four tips for helping you leverage seasonality effectively.

1. Create Compelling Seasonal Promotions

Compelling seasonal promotions can be key to meeting your sales goals and setting your affiliates up for success. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can create these types of promotions.

A sneak peak of a holiday promotion.

For example, “rotating discounts” are a great way to build anticipation for your major holiday sales. You can offer small weekly deals during a particular event or season. This also enables affiliates to pick and choose sales to focus on, depending what best fits their audiences.

Another option is to offer freebies and other gifts to celebrate important days. This can help raise awareness of new products, and let customers try out what you have to offer without incurring any risk.

You can also run these as affiliate-exclusive deals with your top performers, helping them offer their audiences extra incentives and encouraging customers to promote your products by word-of-mouth.

2. Clearly Communicate Sales and Discounts in Advance

Holiday deals are short, and many companies have promotions (and even exclusive products) that are only available once a year. Urgency is a huge sales driver, and along with timeliness is a powerful tool that your affiliates can use to convert their audiences.

However, it can be discouraging to affiliates if they constantly have to scramble and create content for your seasonal deals at the last minute. Therefore, you’ll want to communicate all the details about your seasonal sales in advance.

That way, your affiliates will have time to plan and focus on creating great content. You can reach out via email, or make this information available via your affiliate dashboard (or better yet, both).

3. Provide Affiliates with Seasonal Marketing Materials

Another way to set your affiliates up for success is to provide them with banners and social media images that they can use to promote your products. After all, the beginning of a new season and the weeks leading up to major holidays are already busy for content creators.

Having ready-to-go marketing materials designed with the current season and promotion in mind saves your affiliates time, and lets them focus on promoting your product. Plus, it makes sure their campaigns look consistent with your overall brand and your own promotions.

Fortunately, Affiliate Royale makes it easy to create links and banners for your affiliates to use:

Creating a banner in Affiliate Royale.

It’s a good idea to offer both “default” branded graphics (the ones you want affiliates to use year-round), along with seasonal and holiday content. This helps to keep things fresh, and draw attention to limited-time sales.

4. Offer Extra Affiliate Incentives During Holiday Seasons

Affiliates are still customers, and they like getting something in return for their efforts. With that in mind, there are some things you can do to encourage engagement and get your affiliates excited.

Seasonal contests are a great way to get affiliates to go above and beyond. You can offer a little extra incentive to top performers – this could be anything from a new laptop to a bundle of your own products. This encourages affiliates to work harder during key periods, and helps create goodwill towards your program.

You might also consider a bonus for all sales within a specific timeframe. For instance, you could provide a 10% increase in commission on all sales during the month of December. If a general increase doesn’t work with your income goals, you can also offer it just for the products you want to encourage affiliates to promote the most.

Conclusion

While you’re planning out your annual marketing calendar, don’t forget to take seasonality into consideration. Making sure your content and promotions align with how and when your audience likes to buy is a great way to give your affiliate program a boost.

In this post, we covered how to:

  1. Create compelling seasonal promotions.
  2. Clearly communicate sales and discounts in advance.
  3. Provide affiliates with seasonal marketing materials.
  4. Offer extra affiliate incentives during holiday seasons.

What are your favorite ways to engage with your affiliates during the holidays? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Create Video for Affiliate Marketing (4 Tips)

how to create video for affiliate marketing

If you haven't already, the time to start using videos to boost your affiliate marketing campaigns is now. According to a report by the Aberdeen Group, the use of video in marketing can result in 34% higher conversion rates. And the number of YouTube viewers increases by 100% every year

Because affiliate marketing relies on site traffic, statistics like those above make video a necessity for any business hoping to compete. 

In this post, we’ll go over four basic tips for how to create video for affiliate marketing. These tips will be super helpful as you get started incorporating video into your marketing mix. Let’s get to it!

#1 Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment

To produce high quality videos for digital marketing, you’ve got to have the right equipment. While most mobile devices now have the ability to capture crisp and detailed video, they do present some limitations. 

If you’re serious about utilizing video in your marketing strategy, you should invest in a camera designed specifically for recording videos, a tripod, basic lighting, a good quality microphone, and a laptop for editing. For creating videos that include visual specifications and details, you should also consider using an online video maker. Canva is one of the best and easiest to use.

Remember, the goal is to inspire your viewers to respond to your calls to action after watching your content. When it comes to video, nothing is less inspiring than content that’s hard to see or hear.

#2 Optimize the Names of Your Video Files

Ask any video editor and they’ll tell you they’ve been guilty of using generic titles like “PROJECT_FINAL.mp4” as file names for their projects. This is understandable, considering the fact that clients often ask for revisions, which requires the creation of multiple files. But if you want to improve your affiliate marketing conversions, generic names are a no-no.

Optimizing video file names is key to higher ranking on YouTube's search results. But fortunately, coming up with the right name is easy. Simply be descriptive, using names like “BoostYourAffiliateMarketingCampaign.mp4” or “Top10BestAffiliateProgramsToJoin.mp4.” Keep in mind that you’ll need to optimize your file name before uploading and titling your video on YouTube.

#3 Write Generous, Relevant Descriptions and Titles

First off, we’re definitely not saying you should write an essay about your video in the description section or try to cram everything about your video into its title. After all, the number of characters you can use is limited anyway. 

By generous, we mean you need to provide relevant information about your video in its description and title. Every word counts, so make sure what you write is detailed and applicable to the video’s content. Use relevant keywords that your audience is likely to use when searching for videos like yours on YouTube. 

And always remember to leave room for a link to your website so people know where to find you!

#4 Create Custom Thumbnails

If you don’t upload one, YouTube will automatically assign a thumbnail to your video. While these default thumbnails can give viewers some idea of what your content is about, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity by relying on them. 

Your video’s thumbnail serves as an advertisement to entice viewers to stop scrolling and watch to see what you have to offer. That’s why it’s so important to utilize this real estate to the fullest. For a great resource on optimizing your thumbnails, check out Oberlo’s article, “The Perfect YouTube Thumbnail Size and Best Practices.”

Final Words

Knowing how to create video for affiliate marketing is critical these days. Videos can do wonders for your campaigns, as they provide the perfect venue for interacting and engaging with your target audience. Follow our tips above, and create compelling and high quality content, and you’ll be well on your way to increasing traffic to your site in no time.

Do you have any questions or thoughts about video and affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments!

The Most Profitable Affiliate Marketing Niches for 2021

affiliate marketing niches

With low entry costs and a potentially lucrative return on investment (ROI), affiliate marketing remains an attractive revenue stream for publishers looking to grow their audiences and monetize their content channels. Still, success hinges on finding a profitable niche.

There are several established areas that remain profitable. Tuning into the consumer mindset is the key to identifying them. Where there are problems, worries, or desires, demand will follow. Brands meet those demands with valuable solutions, and content creators like yourself help bring these two parties together.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most profitable affiliate marketing niches in 2021 and how they’re evolving as we look to the new year. Each of these specialties has emerging sub-categories with plenty of opportunity for growth. Let’s dive right in!

1. Lifestyle and Wellness

The global health and wellness market value was over $4 trillion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $6 trillion by 2025. People want to live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives. They’re spending money to do so.

This category includes diet and nutrition, exercise products and services, skincare, supplements, personal trainers, and more.

Coming off a year consumed by global health concern, the wellness niche is front of mind for many consumers. The impact of COVID-19 can’t be overstated.

It's changed the way we live, work, play, and relate with one another. This impact plays out differently within demographic groups, so do your research when considering opportunities to connect with your audience.

Health and wellness concerns tend to be age-specific as well. Gender also may play a role, and many products target specific demographics. Focus your content on an audience with a specific health and wellness concern or set of desires, and help to educate them and provide solutions.

Finally, stay up-to-date with wellness industry news, as fresh information will continue to shape public opinion and behavior. Be ready to adapt to evolving concerns and lifestyle changes with relevant, timely content.

2. Technology

Technology simplifies life and work, delivers entertainment, and helps us share our lives and opinions more easily. The digital transformation is driving a $500 billion software industry.

Digital entertainment revenue worldwide dipped to $2 trillion due to the global recession. However, it looks to grow in the coming years, approaching $2.5 trillion by 2024.

Products related to this affiliate marketing niche include digital streaming, digital downloads, video games, business software, mobile technologies, and more.

COVID-19 has also impacted this sector. More people are staying home, consuming digital media, and using technology for remote work. Sickness and layoffs have led to a smaller workforce with diminished physical product outputs, so industries that can are leveraging digital alternatives to meet demands.

To get started in this niche, it’s helpful to understand how your audience interacts with technology. Are they early adopters of cutting edge tech, eager to try new things? Or are they late adopters who need step-by-step guides, explainers, and plenty of reassurance upfront?

Also, consider evolving remote work trends. Look for opportunities to help people stay connected, stay organized, and work efficiently from a home office. Educate your audience and match them with products and services they’ll find useful.

3. Personal Finance

This segment specializes in delivering financial services to consumers, especially in competition with traditional banking. It's expected to grow at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, reaching over $300 billion by 2025. Globally, affiliate marketing in the financial technology sector had an estimated value of $12 billion in 2019.

People want more options on how to access, grow, and share their money. This niche includes e-invoicing services, investments, cryptocurrencies, banking innovations, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, data security, and other such services.

Financial technology companies have seen the light when it comes to affiliate marketing. Nearly every segment is utilizing this approach to expand market reach, with some investing heavily in their partnerships.

Consumers enjoy the convenience, ease, and options afforded by advancing financial technologies, and that trend looks to continue. If you’re considering this niche, make sure to consider how age and income level may dictate which products and services are best suited to your audience.

Also, bear in mind that people want to be sure financial products and services are safe and simple to use. Plus, the personal desire for financial security and growth is innately strong.

A successful affiliate marketer will understand and address these desires and the fears that accompany them. Your content can educate consumers, giving them the tools they need to make smart financial decisions.

4. Pet Care

Annual spending on pets in the U.S. is approaching $100 billion, and consumer preference for shopping for pet products online is predicted to grow by nine percent. This industry includes specialty pet foods, grooming products, pet clothing, therapy pets, service dogs, and more.

With more people working from home, the pet care sector has evolved. Almost 20 percent of Americans reported spending more than usual this year on their pets, and a greater percentage (about one-third of those surveyed) have considered adopting or fostering new pets.

A study on Common Thread Collective provides keen insight for marketers in this niche. Online shopping benefits pet owners in four key areas:

  • Convenience. Ensure the buying experience is simple and convenient.
  • Information and choice. Provide ample product information. Use explainer videos or infographics to demonstrate quality, benefits, or statistics. If possible, provide alternatives to give buyers choice.
  • Comparison Tools. Present product information in a way that sets it apart. Arm your customers with key benefits so they can easily see your item's value when they comparison shop.
  • Relationships. People love and care for their pets. Share pet videos, photos, and funny or heartwarming stories to build a community on social media. Check into coupons to encourage customer loyalty.

Hone in on these preferences to stand out in this niche.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing continues to grow as a profitable monetization strategy for content creators. Choosing the right niche is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you get started.

By staying tuned in to consumer concerns and desires and creating relevant content, you’ll be able to offer your audience quality products they’ll find valuable.

In this article, we shared several of the most profitable niches for affiliate marketers in 2021:

  1. Lifestyle and wellness products help people live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives.
  2. Technology and digital services only increase in relevance with remote work and new developments.
  3. Personal finance innovations help people access, grow, and share their money.
  4. Pet care encompasses a nearly $100 billion industry of animal-related products and services.

What other affiliate marketing niches do you think look profitable for 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!

6 Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2021

affiliate marketing trends 2021

When it comes to running a successful affiliate marketing program, it's important to stay engaged in industry news, including how customers find and decide to purchase new products. However, with consumer tastes and concerns constantly shifting, it can be hard to stay on top of affiliate marketing trends.

Fortunately, by assessing what's worked in the past and what customers currently value, you can predict the most important affiliate marketing techniques for the coming year. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and give your partners a leg up when it comes to promoting your products or services.

In this article, we’ll discuss the general outlook for the affiliate marketing industry. Then we'll share upcoming trends for 2021, the motivation behind them, and how you can manage them successfully in the near future. Let’s jump in!

The Outlook for Affiliate Marketing in 2021

More businesses than ever are using affiliate marketing as a cost-effective way to reach targeted audiences. Annual spending in this industry is projected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022 in the U.S.

For context, 2017 saw affiliate marketing sales come in at $5.4 billion. The growth outlook is healthy.

Additionally, technology and marketing tools continue to help sellers and affiliates learn more about their customers and buying preferences. With more of these tools and options available, marketers can stay informed and adapt faster.

Especially considering the challenges 2020 has brought to many business owners, affiliate marketing could prove to be a much-needed assist in the coming year. If you're looking for a way to minimize costs while boosting brand awareness, this strategy could help.

6 Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2021

Understanding the driving forces behind developing trends can be helpful. Uncertainty, evolving social connections, and technological advances will continue to impact the market in 2021. As a result, the following trends will likely prove useful for enhancing your strategy.

1. Influencers Will Become Even More Important

Trust continues to be a key factor in purchasing. The current period of uncertainty and increased privacy concerns due to perceived Big Tech overreach add to this. Consumers prefer content marketing’s softer approach of informing and educating without being intrusive.

Influencers who produce authentic content and have loyal followers can lend their credibility and integrity to your brand. This type of trusted voice will become even more valuable as consumers wade through fake news and intrusive data collection.

Continue to look for influencers within your niche who produce content that is relevant to your brand. Establish relationships early as these affiliates will be highly sought after in the coming year.

2. Localization Can Help You Earn Attention and Trust

Localization is the practice of understanding your audience's culture and marketing within its established norms and expectations. The members of the various groups your brand may be reaching will prefer affiliates who know the nuances of their customs and worldviews.

As technology advances, it gives brands greater reach and access to different populations. In order to better connect with these segments, it's smart to identify and establish affiliate partnerships with trusted voices within these communities and sub-groups.

Failure to do so can position your affiliates as outsiders and prevent them from landing sales. Instead, pay attention to your customer demographics and seek out influencers who are already reaching those audiences.

3. Seasonal and Holiday Themes Will Continue to Expand

Retailers have been taking advantage of seasonal and holiday sales for years, even adding new “holidays” or theme days to generate sales. Consumers continue to respond well to these, looking for specials and incentives from such campaigns.

Continue to promote traditional or popular holidays and seasons. You can also get creative within your niche to develop new theme days relevant to your products, industry, or community.

The National Day Calendar is a useful resource for planning your special sales events throughout the year. You can extend this strategy to your affiliates by running contests for them or giving them discount codes to share with their followers.

4. Customers Favor Video as a Content Marketing Medium

According to Wyzowl’s 2020 video marketing statistics report, 84 percent of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, two-thirds of people (66 percent) said they’d like to watch a short video.

Given this information, your customers probably use video to search for, evaluate, and purchase products. Adding this content to the mix may help lead to more sales. Fortunately, it's easy to get started.

You can create short explainer videos and other content to educate customers about your products and how to get the most out of them. The popularity of YouTube as an influencer platform also provides ample opportunities to seek out partners who are already working in this medium.

5. Diversification Can Mitigate Uncertainty

Diversifying has been sound business advice for ages, and that hasn’t changed. As uncertainty creeps into more sectors due to COVID-19, more businesses will start to execute this strategy to sustain themselves.

This will impact the affiliate marketing industry as more affiliates seek to diversify, looking for different products and services (and programs) to satisfy their audiences. With increased competition, you may see lower sales from certain affiliates.

You can mitigate these potential losses by partnering with new affiliates or diversifying your own offers. Also, knowing that your partners are likely looking for new product lines and sales avenues, you may find it even more essential to strengthen your affiliate community and keep your lines of communication open.

You might also consider including affiliates in product development conversations and find a way forward together. Given their proximity to your target audience, you may find they have fresh ideas that can help expand your business.

6. Automation Tools Will Continue to Impact the Effectiveness of Marketing Processes

Finally, don't hesitate to take advantage of any automation tools available to you. This can help you with several of the tips above, such as vetting new affiliates to localize your strategy or managing seasonal campaigns.

For instance, you might consider implementing a link shortener to track affiliate sales. You can also build a dashboard to share key marketing materials with partners and manage commissions.

With all of the other trends you have to keep up with, streamlining other affiliate marketing-related responsibilities can only help you.

Conclusion

The outlook for affiliate marketing in 2021 remains strong. More informed sellers and publishers are emerging on the scene, advancing technologies give them a leg up, and consumers are eager to engage with brands and products for a better experience.

In this article, we discussed a few affiliate marketing trends to watch for in 2021:

  1. Influencers will become even more important.
  2. Localization can help you earn attention and trust.
  3. Seasonal and holiday themes will continue to expand.
  4. Customers favor video as a content marketing medium.
  5. Diversification can mitigate uncertainty.
  6. Automation tools will continue to impact the effectiveness of marketing processes.

What other affiliate marketing trends do you see impacting 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Prepare Your Affiliates for a Sale Event

Cartoon computer with checkmarks document or to do list with checkboxes, concept of survey

You’ve planned a big sales event, and want to mobilize your entire team. You may have no problems motivating your in-house staff, but if you want to bring in as many shoppers as possible, it's important to prepare your affiliates for your sale, too.

With some help from your affiliates, your sales event could even reach entirely new customers. They may not be in-house staff, but marketing partners and influencers can help ensure your upcoming promotion is a huge success.

In this post, we’ll show you how to prepare your affiliates for an upcoming sale. We’ll share a four-step plan that provides them with key information, tools, and resources they need to promote your sale to their audiences and generate maximum revenue. Let’s get started!

Why It’s Important to Prepare Your Affiliates for Sales

A successful sale requires careful planning and the support of multiple key players. Your customer service staff, sales associates, and marketing department all need to know about your upcoming deals. If you anticipate a significant increase in website traffic, you may even need to brief your IT team.

While it’s important to prepare your in-house staff, you shouldn’t overlook your external partners. A sale is a perfect opportunity for affiliates to promote your products and services to their audiences. 

By working hands-on with your affiliates, you can help them market your sale more effectively. Armed with the right information, tools, and assets, they can plan their own social media content, blog posts, and other material to help promote your event.

Not only will your affiliates' efforts maximize your revenue, but it can often introduce your business to entirely new audiences. These leads may subsequently become loyal, repeat customers.

Plus, the commissions a sales event is likely to bring your marketing partners should be motivation for them to continue actively promoting your brand. Keeping your affiliates happy is beneficial to you as well as to them.

How to Prepare Your Affiliates for a Sale Event (In 4 Easy Steps)

Planning a successful sale can be hard work, and may require coordinating multiple team members or departments. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of adding yet another moving piece to the mix, then don’t worry. That’s why we’ve put together a four-step plan to prepare your affiliates for your upcoming event.

Step 1: Inform Your Affiliates

It’s far better to be proactive than reactive. For this reason, you should give your affiliates plenty of heads up before your sale. 

By informing your affiliates in advance, you'll give them time to familiarize themselves with your upcoming offers, and ask any questions they may have. They can also plan their own promotional activities, including social media posts, email blasts, and newsletters advertising your event. 

If you’re an Affiliate Royale user, then it’s easy to inform your affiliates about your upcoming sale. By default, whenever your partners log into their dashboards, they’ll see a welcome message. You can customize this message to include details about your upcoming sale.

To edit your welcome message, log into your WordPress dashboard and select Affiliate Royale > Options. You can then open the Dashboard tab and use the editor to write your custom greeting:

The Affiliate Royale welcome message editor.

You can also send out an email to your affiliates so all of them still have a chance to hear about your sale, even if they don't check their dashboards frequently.

Step 2: Provide Marketing and Promotional Materials

You may also want to prepare some materials for your affiliates. This could include a simple list of bullet points outlining key information about the sale, an FAQ section, or even a downloadable marketing pack with banners and other visual assets.

Promotional banners can be a useful addition to any marketing campaign. Affiliate Royale enables you to upload your own designs and share them with your affiliates via their dashboards:

A downloadable banner in the Affiliate Royale dashboard.

To share a banner with your affiliates, select Affiliate Royale > Links & Banners in your WordPress dashboard. You can then click the plus (+) icon and follow the onscreen instructions to upload your banner:

The Links and Banners dashboard in the Affiliate Royale WordPress plugin.

If you've created any other resources, you can add them to your affiliate dashboard as well. Just navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options > Dashboard and include a link to your downloadable files in your welcome message:

The Affiliate Royale dashboard on the front end.

Affiliates can then download your resources to use in their marketing campaigns.

Step 3: Offer Incentives to High-Performing Affiliates

There’s no better way to motivate your affiliates than offering them incentives. This might take the form of a special bonus for the partner who generates the most clicks, transactions, or total overall revenue.

If you do offer an incentive, Affiliate Royale makes it easy to identify your top performers. In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Affiliate Royale > Reports > Top Referrers.

This screen reveals some important stats about your affiliates. You can use this information to determine who should receive your prizes, or even spur affiliates to try and climb the leaderboard:

Affiliate Royale's Top Referrers report.

Informing an affiliate that they’re a few sales away from scoring the top prize could be the push they need to turn on the promotional heat.

Step 4: Communicate With Your Affiliates

Communication is key to any successful relationship. By remaining in close contact with your affiliates, you can create a sense of community. This will encourage them to go the extra mile when it comes to promoting your product and services – especially during your sales.

You can even use Affiliate Royale to create a hub for your partners. This might include message boards or even a live chat where they can get in touch with members of your marketing team and each other for help or inspiration:

Adding live chat to Affiliate Royale.

You can create your affiliate hub as a normal WordPress page, then add it to your Affiliate Dashboard. Once you've published your page, navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options > Dashboard. Open the Custom Nav Pages dropdown and select the page that you want to use as your affiliate hub: 

Affiliate Royale's dashboard settings menu.

This page will now appear in your Affiliate Dashboard. You can add any content you like here either by creating it yourself or with help from other plugins that can incorporate more complex features such as live chat or forums.

Conclusion

When running a sale, you want to reach the widest possible audience. By involving your affiliates, you can connect with all of their followers to promote your deals to new customers and potentially increase uptake for your discounts. 

In this post, we’ve shared a four-step plan to bring your affiliates on board during a sale event:

  1. Inform your affiliates as soon as possible.
  2. Provide marketing and promotional materials such as banners.
  3. Offer incentives to high-performing affiliates.
  4. Communicate with your affiliates.

Do you have any questions about how to run a successful sales event with your affiliates? Ask away in the comments section below!

5 Tips for an Effective Affiliate Onboarding Process

Affiliate marketing represents an enormous opportunity for brands. In fact, it's responsible for 16 percent of all e-commerce sales in the United States and Canada. If you're working with affiliates and not seeing the results you expect, it may be time to refine your onboarding process.

By making sure new affiliates have what they need to succeed, you’re also improving your own odds of attracting new customers and boosting your revenue. It can also help keep your partners motivated and happy so that they continue to make an effort to promote your brand.

In this article, we’ll discuss why your affiliate onboarding process is so important and offer five tips for making it as effective as possible. Let’s dig in!

Why Affiliate Onboarding Is Important

Onboarding is about more than just providing training for new affiliates (although that's part of it). Instead, it should be a process that aims to make your new partner feel as welcome and comfortable as possible while acclimating them to their role.

Your onboarding process should set out clear expectations for each new affiliate, and provide them with all the tools they need to be successful. That way they know exactly what they're signing up for and how to get started.

An effective onboarding process equips your affiliates for success and sets them up to be as effective as possible. This benefits both you and them. The better they are at making sales, the more money you'll both earn.

A comfortable onboarding also helps build goodwill and a strong relationship. Again, happy affiliates sell more products. Additionally, a positive experience encourages them to stick around and promote your program to others.

Finally, an informative and thorough onboarding process minimizes confusion and potential conflicts. This means less time spent dealing with repetitive questions or issues, freeing you up to focus on building your business.

5 Tips for an Effective Affiliate Onboarding Process

Creating a truly effective onboarding process isn't difficult, but it does require some thoughtful consideration of the needs of your affiliates. These five tips should get you on the right track.

1. Use Simple Language

One of the most important things you can do in your onboarding process (and any communication with affiliates) is stick to plain language. Avoid using industry jargon or “legalese”. Keep messaging clear and concise.

Remember, not all of your affiliates may be familiar with industry-specific terms. Plain language can prevent confusion. It also helps ensure that everyone is on the same page about your program, products, and expectations.

2. Walk Your Affiliates Through Their First Sales

Helping new affiliates successfully complete their first sales can build confidence for when they're out on their own. It also helps foster excitement about your program. This is especially important for new affiliate programs that are still trying to recruit partners.

Walking newcomers through their first sales also enables you to catch and address any issues with their sales techniques, ensuring better results in the future. While it may take some additional time to get this hands-on, the early momentum can pay dividends down the road.

Initially you can do this yourself, but as the number of affiliates in your program grows, you can also set up a mentorship system so experienced partners can help new members get started. This both frees up time for you and fosters a sense of community among your team.

3. Answer Questions Before They're Asked

If you've been running your affiliate program for a while, you may have noticed that you receive certain questions over and over again. You can save yourself a lot of time (and frustration) by anticipating these inquiries and providing the answers upfront.

You can also take it a step further and spend some time imagining what questions you would have if you were joining your program. Chances are your new recruits are wondering the same things, so go ahead and provide the answers.

Some common questions that might come up include:

  • Who to contact with questions or problems
  • How to find creative materials to use in marketing
  • When and how affiliates can expect payments to be processed
  • How frequently affiliates can expect to hear from you
  • What expectations you have for members of your program

The best way to handle these common queries is to create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and add it to your Affiliate Dashboard using Affiliate Royale. To do so, create your FAQ page, then navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options > Dashboard and click on Add page in the Custom Nav Pages section.

4. Check In Frequently

It's important to proactively check in with your new affiliates both during the onboarding process and after. Doing so serves several purposes:

  • Regular check-ins show new team members that you care about them and their performance.
  • It humanizes your company and helps build stronger relationships with your partners.
  • Frequent check-ins can detect and resolve issues before they have a chance to snowball into larger problems.

To get the most out of your check-ins, decide on a schedule and let your new affiliates know when they'll hear from you and what to expect. This gives them an opportunity to prepare questions and helps make these conversations more productive.

5. Ask for Feedback

Finally, once onboarding is complete, ask your graduates how it went. This enables you to gather feedback on what worked and what didn't, so you can continue to fine-tune your process in the future.

You can gather feedback using direct emails for a more personal approach, or you can use a tool such as SurveyMonkey to build a feedback form. Either way, finding out what your actual affiliates liked and didn't like about your onboarding process is a fantastic way to improve it.

Conclusion

If your affiliate marketing performance has you down, don’t fret. By improving your onboarding process, you can set your affiliates up for success, increasing your own revenue in the process. This aspect is often overlooked, but it’s essential to an effective program.

Just follow these five simple tips to jump-start your affiliate onboarding:

  1. Use simple language and clear communication to get everyone on the same page.
  2. Walk your affiliates through their first sales to build momentum.
  3. Answer questions before they’re asked.
  4. Check in frequently during the onboarding process to build stronger relationships.
  5. Ask for feedback from affiliates to further improve your onboarding process.

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

Small Business Tax Structures Explained

small business tax structures concept

Federal and state tax codes are famously complicated. Setting up your business with the wrong structure may cause you to pay more taxes than necessary, but that’s not all. It could also make you personally responsible for business liabilities, putting your home and other personal assets at risk.

By knowing the benefits, protections, and drawbacks of each small business tax structure, you can determine which one will offer you the least amount of tax liability and the greatest asset protection. It can also help you make the right day-to-day decisions and maximize your bottom line.

In this article, we’ll explain the three most common small business tax structures. We'll also describe why you might set your business up one way or another and what’s involved in the process for each. Let’s get started!

Why It’s Important to Understand Your Small Business Tax Structure

The way you structure your business dictates many aspects of it, such as how you distribute and report your income, what forms you need to file, what your liabilities are, what tax benefits you may receive, and how decisions are made.

Having a full understanding of your business’ tax structure will clarify what you’re liable for and if that liability carries over to your personal assets. It will help you avoid overpaying taxes, so you’ll have cash resources on hand when you need them. On the flip side, it will also help you avoid underpaying taxes and incurring fees and potential legal repercussions.

Each business structure requires accurate tracking and reporting. Affiliate Royale comes packed with essential tools to help you grow your business and stay compliant with up-to-date affiliate-related income and expense reporting. That’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about when it comes time to gather your tax information for filing.

3 Small Business Tax Structures Explained

The three tax structures we'll cover in this article are sole proprietorships, partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). We’ll begin with the easiest one to set up and maintain, the sole proprietorship.

1. Sole Proprietorship

In a sole proprietorship, you own the business yourself. It is not recognized as a separate business entity, so you are personally responsible for related liabilities, including all losses and debt. You report your business income and expenses with your personal income tax, using the appropriate schedules.

A sole proprietorship business structure is best for low-risk, smaller businesses, or new businesses getting started (if the risk is low). Advantages include:

  • Easier setup. It's relatively inexpensive to form a sole proprietorship since you don’t need to draw up a contract with a business partner (and incur possible legal fees).
  • Less regulated. Businesses that operate as separate entities (like corporations) are governed by statutory regulations, often in multiple jurisdictions. As a sole proprietorship, you bypass these more stringent requirements.
  • Complete control. You are your own boss with no partner to consult, and no members, shareholders, or board of directors to satisfy.

As we’ll see, these advantages have a flip-side. By understanding each, you can evaluate the tradeoffs according to your own requirements.

Disadvantages of the sole proprietorship include:

  • No protection of personal assets. Since the business is not a separate entity, all income and liabilities pass through to the individual. It’s possible that your personal assets may have to cover any losses incurred by the business.
  • Few tax benefits. Corporations and LLCs have certain tax advantages that don't extend to sole proprietorships or partnerships.

As we said, setting up a sole proprietorship is fairly easy. You are automatically considered a sole proprietorship if you do not form as another structure. You may use your name or register a trade or Doing Business As (DBA) name.

Check with your local tax authority, county office, and Secretary of State for your particular requirements. Visit the IRS website to learn more about tax filing requirements for sole proprietors.

2. Partnerships

A partnership structure is two or more people doing business together without creating a formal business entity (such as an LLC). Income passes through to the partners, who report the income on their individual tax returns.

A partnership is the simplest tax structure for businesses operated by multiple people. There are different types of partnerships:

  • General: All partners share income and liabilities and are personally responsible for business debts.
  • Limited: Can offer limited liability to shield you from the liabilities of your partner(s), but these are more complicated.

Partnerships work well for smaller businesses with multiple owners and low risk. Advantages of the partnership business structure include:

  • Not required to pay income tax as a business entity: As with sole proprietorships, a partnership is not recognized as an entity for tax purposes.
  • Less regulated: Since it is not an entity, it does not have to comply with corporate statutory regulations or LLC requirements.

Disadvantages of partnerships include:

  • No (or limited) protection of personal assets: Partners may be responsible for business losses, including those incurred by their partner(s) in the course of business.
  • Few tax benefits: Other more complex structures (LLCs, corporations) have certain tax advantages not extended to sole proprietorships or partnerships.

If you choose to form a partnership, it’s best practice to create a detailed agreement outlining the roles, responsibilities, and liabilities of each partner for mutual protection. Visit the IRS website for more info about relevant tax filing requirements.

3. Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC is a formal business entity owned by members. It has several advantages over partnerships, affords personal asset protection, and is much easier (and cheaper) to form and maintain than a corporation. Many small businesses find this an appealing option, especially when engaging in medium to high-risk business.

An LLC has benefits of both the partnership and corporation tax structures. Namely:

  • It shields members from personal liability.
  • An LLC may avoid paying tax as an entity and pass income to its members to avoid double taxation.
  • It's more affordable than forming a corporation.
  • There is no limit on the number of members allowed.

The main disadvantage is that members are treated as self-employed and must pay self-employment tax.

Each state may structure and regulate LLCs differently, so find out your state’s requirements to see if this type of business structure is the most advantageous for you. Check with the IRS for LLC tax filing requirements.

Conclusion

Choosing the wrong tax structure for your small business may be costly. Aside from increasing tax liability, it may cause you to incur the loss of personal assets, such as your home or automobile. Your tax structure affects every sphere of your business, so it's important to know the benefits and limitations of each.

If you’re in doubt, you may wish to seek advice from a certified tax professional. Being familiar with tax structures such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, and LLCs in advance will help you know what questions to ask and the risks and benefits involved in each.

Would you like to know more about any of these business structures? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Benchmarks of a Healthy Affiliate Program

illustration of flexing bicep

Launching your affiliate marketing program is only half the battle. You’ll need to stay on top of its performance and watch out for specific metrics that indicate that the effort you’ve invested is bringing adequate returns. To put it another way, measuring success using relevant affiliate program benchmarks is crucial.

However, awareness of the key indicators you should be on the lookout for can come in handy. To illustrate, say you have tons of signups for your program. Yet, it’s possible that the quality and niche relevance of a high percentage of your affiliates are simply not a good fit for your brand.

In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to regularly assess the health of your affiliate marketing program. Then, we’ll look at three benchmarks you can use as points of reference. Let’s get to it!

Why It’s Vital to Assess the Health of Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Continually assessing the progress and performance of your affiliate program is crucial to ensuring its long-term success. As we mentioned earlier, although it may seem that all is well when you’re consistently receiving signups, the quality of some partners may not be up to par. For instance, they might not be well-established within your niche, in which case they may be unable to generate targeted traffic.

Tracking and assessing the performance of your program can also mean examining it from the perspective of your marketing partners. This can help to inform you about their overall experience. For example, it may lead you to eliminate obstacles that may cause loss of motivation, such as an overly-involved signup process.

Overall, tracking the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing program will help you see what is going well and what can be improved. This can potentially lead to increased revenue and long-term sustainability.

3 Benchmarks of a Healthy Affiliate Program

Although there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) you can track over the lifetime of your affiliate marketing program, some are more relevant than others. Let’s take a look at three of these.

1. You Have at Least an Average Conversion Rate

First on our list is your average conversion rate. This metric measures the effectiveness of each affiliate, and is defined as the percentage of visitors from advertising partners’ traffic that converts. This can be signing up for emails, filling out opt-in forms, or purchasing a product.

For example, if your total number of visitors equals 1,000, and 50 purchase products, then your conversion rate would be (50 / 1000) * 100, or five percent.

You can easily find and analyze this metric in Google Analytics by navigating to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium. Here, if you’ve previously set some goals, you can view the conversion rate for each of them:

Viewing conversions in Google Analytics.

You may also want to track your affiliate conversion rate specifically using Pretty Links and Affiliate Royale:

Viewing affiliate statistics via the Affiliate Royale plugin.

Keeping your rates healthy is fundamental to the success of your affiliate program, as more conversions may mean more revenue. However, it’s also important to keep your expectations reasonable since average conversion rates tend to vary by industry.

Additionally, you’ll want to be on the lookout for overly high conversion rates (higher than ten percent), as they might be an indication that your affiliates are engaging in less than stellar promotion practices that can damage your brand’s reputation and hurt your business.

Overall, maintaining a healthy conversion rate can be challenging. However, you can improve it by providing swipe copy to your affiliates to make it easier for them to create effective and targeted campaigns.

2. Your Active Affiliate Rate Is Ten Percent or Higher

The next benchmark you want to consider keeping track of is your active affiliate rate. The basis for defining what “active” means varies between businesses. For example, some companies may consider a marketing partner active if they generate sales, whereas others may focus on just traffic.

Regardless of what “active” means for your business, what’s important is that your affiliates are helping you meet some type of goal through ongoing efforts. If you have 4,000 affiliates and a mere 20 generate traffic or sales, it should be cause for concern.

In short, your active affiliate rate will significantly impact your bottom-line, and you'd be better off with a trim, but effective list of marketing partners.

To calculate your active affiliate rate, you’ll need to divide the number of active marketing partners by the total number enrolled in your program. You can navigate to Affiliate Royale > Affiliates for an overview of your affiliates and their performance:

Viewing your list of affiliates and their performance via the Affiliate Royale plugin.

Keep in mind that the 80/20 principle often applies here. This guideline states that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of the effort. In other words, your best performers may form only a very small portion of your total affiliate roster.

Overall, you want to aim to have at least a ten percent active affiliate rate. If yours is low, then you’ll want to take some concrete steps to improve it.

You can do this by making better promotional materials available and providing more enticing incentives. You may also consider converting existing customers into affiliates. Loyal users can be some of your best marketers if you aim to keep them engaged and satisfied.

3. Your Reversal Rates Are Suitably Low

Imagine this scenario – a customer makes a purchase on your website. However, they cancel almost as soon as they’ve placed the order. If this happened 40 percent of the time or more frequently, it would be cause for concern, and you would be smart to quickly find out the cause.

The above scenario is an illustration of reversal rates. This metric measures the percentage of reversed commissions or canceled orders that follow affiliate-credited transactions. Note that although low reversal rates are normal, if it’s too high as in the example above, it can deter potential affiliates from joining your program.

Some reasons for high reversal rates could be overselling potential buyers on bogus benefits. The quality of your products may also be lacking. Therefore, you’ll want to keep an eye on the merchandise, as well as the affiliates, with the highest reversal rates. This ensures that you can tackle any issues promptly.

Also, reversals can sometimes be caused by technical issues on your checkout page that prevent orders from going through completely. If this is the source of the problem, you’ll want to fix it immediately. This is where it can help to test out the entire buying process regularly to pick up on any errors.

Conclusion

Although you may have a huge line-up of marketing partners working for you, it may be possible that you have a quality problem or a high percentage of inactive affiliates. These are two among several scenarios that make it crucial to track the performance of your program over time.

You can potentially boost the success of your program by making sure that:

  1. You have at least an average conversion rate for your industry.
  2. Your active affiliate rate is ten percent or higher.
  3. Your reversal rates are suitably low.

Do you have any questions about the three benchmarks we’ve listed for measuring the health of your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

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!