When you’re surrounded by people competing for the same goal, the best way to get ahead is by standing out.
Find a way to break free from the pack.
Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re competing in the arena of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is highly competitive—and everyone else around you seems to know the same tips, tricks and shortcuts.
Likely, you’ve already felt the effects of that on your business. I’m sure you’re already looking for ways to break the mold and find true success with affiliate marketing.
So, how can you make sure that your affiliate marketing website stands out?
Which affiliate marketing techniques could launch you ahead of the competition, getting you closer to your goal?
Here, we’re focusing on techniques that you might already know about, but which you’re more than likely underusing. You might have tried these a time or two and stuck them on the back burner, or you might not be placing enough importance on them. These are the trends I’ve noticed for the techniques in this article.
Affiliate Marketing Techniques: The Basics
Before we jump into our discussion of these underused affiliate marketing techniques, let’s go back to the basics for a moment. Here are some go-to techniques for affiliate marketing that just can’t be avoided.
With every word you write, every blog post you publish and every email newsletter you shoot out, you should be focused on weaving in these techniques:
- Know your audience. This means you have to get into their heads. What do they want or need? What’s their daily language? How can you make sure that your affiliate links truly appeal to them? Is every word you’re writing really relevant to that audience?
- Be the authority. People need to have a reason to come and listen to you. Why should they trust what you’re saying? What makes you the one to listen to, as opposed to other voices on the internet? Present yourself as an authority, and you’re already winning their trust. Bring your own personal thoughts, opinions, criticisms, experiences and sense of humor into the mix. The more people know about you and your personal connection to the topic, the more they’ll come back to hear what you’ve got to say.
- Put quality above quantity: Success in affiliate marketing doesn’t come from having numerous links in a poorly-written post. You gain readership through honest, informative content that appeals to your audience. In the end, appealing to that targeted readership is what will bring you better revenue.
And here’s a big one. Pay attention to SEO and backlinks. The first step is to record and analyze what is and isn’t working for your site. What content is ranking for your chosen keywords? What isn’t ranking? What’s earning tons of precious backlinks for your website? Where are readers being converted into paying customers?
This information will help you reach the top of the search engine results pages, score more organic traffic and ultimately more commissions.
Our recommendation is to get yourself an SEO monitoring tool like Monitor Backlinks. There are plenty of good tools out there, but this is our go-to for beginning affiliates and SEO newbs. It’s designed to be super easy to use and it’s got a free 30-day trial you can take advantage of.
Monitor Backlinks also has the right combo of tool for most affiliates, namely: keyword rank tracking, organic traffic reporting, competitor SEO analysis and backlink monitoring.
And you’ll always know what’s going on with your keywords, which is a big deal for affiliate marketers:
That’s how you know which posts are visible and bringing in your organic traffic.
Apart from watching your keywords and backlinks, keeping up with the latest trends on social media and current news will give you the best chance of creating a popular site.
Feeling extra competitive? That Monitor Backlinks tool above will get you head and shoulders above your toughest competitors. You’ll discover brand new ways to outrank, outpace and outsell competitors thanks to Monitor Backlinks competitor research features.
Which of your chosen keywords are your competitors already ranking for? Where are they scoring backlinks? Which of their articles are being shared thousands of times across the internet? You can find out with a tool like this—then make their strategies your own.
Keeping these basic points in mind, let’s dive into some underused affiliate marketing techniques that can gain you a more engaged audience and higher revenue today.
The 8 Most Underused Affiliate Marketing Techniques
1. Don’t Just Talk About Products You Like
Being negative can actually be a positive.
Honesty is a fundamental part of affiliate marketing. That’s why a widely-known affiliate marketing technique is to promote products that you or someone on your team has tried out personally.
Let’s look at your website from a reader’s perspective. Scrolling through your affiliate marketing website, how many stellar reviews of fantastic products will a reader find? Probably many. This means you’ve got lots of good affiliate links, and I bet they’re working for you if you’ve done thorough, quality reviews of your chosen products.
But for a moment, think about all of the products you’ve ever tried in your affiliate website’s niche. Did you like all of them? Not a single complaint?
The abundance of items available online means that plenty of bad comes with the good. We’ve all tried products that we ended up hating. Your audience knows this fact as well. So, if you’re constantly posting super positive reviews of every product, they may begin to doubt your credibility. How can a truly honest human being have no complaints?
To boost their confidence in your honesty, find a product that you really hated and write a review about it. Ask your team about products they’ve tried and didn’t like. What features made the product unworthy of your love?
It’s time to tell your readers about your grievances.
Don’t forget: You can still place affiliate links in this type of article. Find a great alternative to the product you hated, and promote that at the end!
2. Always Offer Something to Your Readers
People come to affiliate marketing websites to find something that they don’t have.
Perhaps they’re looking for the answer to a question or the solution to a problem. They might be looking for reviews and recommendations before they make a purchase. Or perhaps it’s hard to find what they’re looking for with a quick Google search and they’re hoping to find a place that has synthesized the most important information into a nice, readable package for them.
No matter which of the above statements applies to your readers, you need to provide what they’re looking for.
Of course, that might be the easy part, but getting people to actually decide to spend money is never an easy task. That’s why it’s good to build your audience’s trust in you—as well as their appreciation for the affiliate products. One way that you can do this is by offering something for free, no strings attached. And this free offering doesn’t have to cost you a dime.
For example, let’s say you’re promoting self-help books. One way to offer something free that draws in your audience is to mention one or two important points from the book. By doing this, you’ve piqued their interest, given them a sneak peak of what they’ll get out of the product, and they’re more likely to appreciate the value of the affiliate product. It would be even better if you could provide an official sample, demo version or free trial of that product.
With something like this, they know that you care about their satisfaction. You truly want them to know what they’re buying—you’re not trying to deceive them or make a quick sale.
All in all, they’re more likely to buy that product, having been given a taste of it!
3. Make Signing Up for Your Email List a Smooth Process
Building your email list is a basic affiliate marketing technique that will translate into better revenue in the future. There are several ways to get people to sign up for your email list, but this may be one of the biggest.
Again, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of your audience. When you try to sign up for something, you’re asked to fill in a form. How many fields do you have to fill in before you get bored or distracted? Unfortunately, people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter these days. Things move a mile a minute on the internet. Plus, who wants to give detailed information about themselves when they’re first interested in a website? So, if you make it complicated to sign up for your email newsletter or require lots of personal information, people aren’t going to bother.
Not only that: When you have more fields in your sign-up form, fewer people will follow through.
So let’s get rid of the unnecessary fields! The subscriber’s last name likely isn’t as important as you might think it is. And that captcha is probably turning people away more than it’s helping you. The smoother the process, the better conversion rate you’ll see.
It’s alright if you’re not sure where to start with simplifying and improving your optins. We’re recommend you start with the free Inbound Now plugin, which has helped us get hundreds of thousands of email optins over the last five years.
4. Spruce Up Your Call to Action Button
Register, Sign Up, Purchase, Join.
These are some of the typical call-to-action buttons that you may see across the web. Since they’re so common, however, they’ve become boring and unattractive to online readers. To see conversions improve, try mixing up your call-to-action button’s style!
You want that button to be something appealing to your readers. Make clicking your action button seem like winning a prize! They’ll be more likely to see the button and click through to the action you want them to take.
Depending on what the button is for, you could try something like “Get Yours Now,” “Instant Access,” “Download for Free” or something else which implies that they’ll receive something for opting in.
5. Promote Products in a Variety of Price Ranges
While this will depend on your niche, it’s very likely that the affiliate products you promote are available at different prices, depending on the quality and vendor. Don’t just assume that your audience always wants the cheapest option or the most expensive option.
It’s true that, in today’s economy, cheaper is usually better. However, there are still many people who are willing to pay extra to get better quality. Especially if the product or service you’re discussing is something very important to their personal or professional lives. For example, a content marketer who’s managing dozens of freelance writers and hundreds of monthly blog posts won’t want to skimp on their project management platform—their success in their work hinges on the success of the product.
Let’s say you’re writing an article about winter hiking boots for women. This product has thousands of different specific models and brands that cover a whole range of prices. Of course, there will be bargain shoppers looking for a decent pair of boots to get them through one quick hiking trip. But you might also attract professional athletes or rugged outdoorswomen who need a pair of boots to last the ages and keep them warm, comfortable and safe on perilous excursions. So, place affiliate links to more than one product. Recommend different products for different people, and let your audience know who each product is ideal for.
You might show your readers the differences by including a pros and cons list, or by mentioning specific features that only the more expensive model has. By displaying this range, all of your readers will be able to find something that fits their needs and budget.
6. Be Easy on the Eyes
There are a number of ways to make your pages more visually appealing to your audience. With a simple, streamlined page, you’ll capture their attention and make sure they actually read what you have to say. Since affiliate marketing is so much about reviews, recommendations and insights, you want to make sure that eyes go straight to your words.
One ridiculously easy way to make your website more eyeball-friendly is increasing your font size and using a standard, professional font. A survey of web design problems found that bad fonts got more than double the votes of anything else. If you’re using a weird and fancy font, it might be too hard to read. If you’re using a tiny font, increase size to make reading easier!
Also, give your readers some space to breathe. Trying to pack too much information into one single paragraph will only overwhelm. Instead, try writing in short, succinct paragraphs. Provide ample white space on your pages where eyeballs can take a break. Lots of extra, jazzed-up decoration will distract from the most important elements of your pages.
7. Remember the Rule of Seven
The marketing rule of seven states that a marketer must “touch” a prospect seven times before they’ll take the desired action.
This means that you need to do more than simply get traffic to your website. You need to make sure that your readership is seeing you in more places than just one.
Social media is a fantastic place to get more “touches” to prospective clients. You can draw them into your website once, then continually remind them of your existence later on. Try reposting older articles from your website. This gives your social media followers multiple “touches” with that piece of affiliate marketing.
One strategy called retargeting is often implemented by marketers to place ads in front of people who’ve visited a website but haven’t clicked through to make any purchases. With a tactic like this, you can achieve more “touches” with that frustratingly high percentage of your audience that tends to only browse instead of buy.
8. Promote Special Offers and Limited-time Deals
We’ve talked above about how your audience is most likely comprised of people with many different needs and budgets.
No matter their budget, everybody loves a deal.
Promoting limited-time offers and special sales will increase the value of your website in the eyes of your readership.
People hate the idea of missing out on a deal. It’s pure FOMO (fear of missing out). With this in mind, these types of promotions will give people even more incentive to follow your website or sign up for your email newsletters. People are also more likely to follow through with a purchase if the offer is only available for a short time.
Whether you include it in your email newsletters or as a regular feature on your website, this affiliate marketing technique will keep people coming back for more.
Implementing lesser-known affiliate marketing techniques is a way for you to stand out in the crowd. No cheap gimmicks. You’ll provide real value to your readers and you’ll gain their trust. When this happens, your revenue will increase naturally.