James Thornton — a very successful direct marketer and inductee into the DMA’s Hall of Fame for his contribution to international direct marketing over 25 years — often relates a story about his very first direct mail campaign in the late 1970’s, a promotion for a business travel publication which achieved a 24% response rate.
His reaction at the time: He was SHOCKED … because 76% of his target audience DID NOT BUY!
Yes, his concern was with the people who DID NOT BUY – and what he had to do to convert those 76% of non-buyers into buyers.
Times really have changed…
Today most marketers are happy if they achieve a 0.5% – 1% conversion on their promotions and simply forget about that huge non-buyer percentage. It’s the “statistics of the business” as many put it.
It’s a fact that the majority of people you direct to an affiliate offer are not going to buy at the point in time you reach out to them. The offer you’re promoting may not be what they need / want — they may not have the time to assess it properly — they have other more pressing priorities — or simply cannot afford what you pointed them to.
Basically you’ve lost a quality referral … and you may not be able to get them back again even with multiple mailings.
It’s a problem every Affiliate Marketer confronts and simply accepting it as the “statistics of the business” is just not good enough as every referral should have a value attached to it.
Following is how we’ve addressed this within the Wealth Traders Affiliate Program – simple processes which you should expect as an Affiliate plus implement in your own systems if you are a promoter with your own affiliate program.
#1: Non-Buyers CAN Become Buyers
Often when you refer a buyer to a site, they may not be sold on what you directed them to yet are intrigued enough to look around the target site — often hoping that there may be a variation of the offer which is more affordable or suitable for their needs.
Recognizing this, we’ve structured our system so that those who decide to wander around our site may find something else which appeals … and in the process help you achieve a “conversion”.
Example: I’m been attracted to Wealth Traders by The Real World Marketer. That really excites me – I want it!
As I look around further, I come across One Stop Business Coach and immediately see an opportunity to get The Real World Marketer plus much more for just a little more. Having a holiday is an immediate priority so I decide to buy this instead.
When buyers react this way, the Affiliates tracking link in our program is automatically transferred – and they GET REWARDED when they purchase ANY product from our portfolio. Suddenly, that 99% non-buyer statistic changes.
[Transferable cookies is a standard feature of the software we use for our in-house Affiliate software. It’s true value comes into play when you have more than one offer. ]
#2: Build Your 2nd Tier Automatically
Many of the people on Affiliates email lists are active affiliate marketers in their own right … and invariably use links and email promotions such as yours to find – and join – the affiliate programs they like and wish to participate in.
When someone you refer to Wealth Traders signs up for our affiliate program, your tracking cookie is automatically transferred to our Affiliate Sign Up page and they become part of your 2nd Tier. You DO NOT need to refer them to a special page in order to ensure they come into your 2nd tier.
OK, this is not a sale … but it’s a better result than a non-sale … and a result which can provide the Affiliate with ongoing returns. Their referral is not wasted!
#3: Encouraging People To ACT
As an Internet-oriented business, we accept that many people are attracted to FREE stuff … and often this is the starting point for any subsequent action.
For this reason, we’ve build a FREE Reports section into our site as an extra way to encourage establishment of an initial relationship.
When an Affiliates referral subscribes to this part of our website, your tracking cookie becomes embedded at that point and is automatically refreshed each time your referral clicks on the special offers in that area. This ensures our Affiliates are rewarded from any subsequent action from this section of our site.
Most importantly, it shows respect for our Affiliates as WE ARE NOT BUILDING A LIST AT THEIR EXPENSE!
#4: Refreshing Your Tracking Link
Our program works on the principle that a sale is attributed to the most recent tracking link. It’s the fairest approach – one utilized by most well structured affiliate programs.
Therefore, as with almost any affiliate service, to get the most out of your initial referral you should be refreshing your tracking link (cookie) as often as possible.
However, how often can you do that with the same offer – and still retain credibility? After a while, your subscriber will simply ignore your link because they’ve already seen it before but are not ready to buy right now.
But they may be ready to buy in 3 months time and when they are, you want that sale to come your way.
With our Affiliate program, you can keep refreshing your cookie simply by referring them to different campaigns on the same site or FREE articles in our Blog through links as featured below in each Affiliates panel.
Every time you send someone to our site with a link such as this, your tracking cookie is refreshed! When they are ready to buy, you benefit!
#5: Overcoming Leakage
Many online merchants are involved in multiple affiliate programs and so within their carts / thank you pages they may maintain several tracking scripts, one for each service.
When someone buys, these tracking scripts kick in, generally according to the sequence in which they are placed within the cart / thank you page.
In some cases, the buyer turns off the thank you page BEFORE the “right” tracking script has been identified. When this happens, the sale is not tracked … and the Affiliates loses the benefit of the sale.
Within our shopping cart, we have only ONE tracking script! This means no conflicts … and hence a faster and cleaner all round tracking process.
If you are running a single offer via multiple affiliate programs, ensure your Thank You page engages the buyer so that they keep it open and the cookie can kick in.
Leakage in our program is also addressed through the transferable cookie plus through the special “cookie refresh” facility built into our Free Resources area as outlined above.
#6: Giving The Buyer More Confidence
Before purchasing online, many buyers want to know more about who they’re going to be dealing with … and often look for what sort of support is provided.
For this reason, we provide a Support Center which adds an all important “confidence” factor to all of our Campaigns — and that can sometimes make the difference between a sale and no sale. It’s surprising how many Affiliate offer promoters overlook this key area.
As stated above, these are all simple processes to implement. They ensure due respect to the efforts of your Affiliates … and in the long term can deliver better returns for all parties.
I invite you to join our Affiliate Program to see how all of the above works.