6 Ways to Spruce Up Your Affiliate Business This Spring
We lay down 6 essential practices for optimising your business model that every affiliate should carry out this time of year.
March 20th didn’t just mark the total solar eclipse, it was also the official start to spring 2015, and that got us thinking; wouldn’t now make for the perfect time for affiliates to give their business models a thorough tidying – a sort of Spring Clean, if you will.
You’d be surprised at the results a good spruce up can yield, from removing potential threats to polishing those money-making best practices to a hard glitter. Here’s 6 things every affiliate should do this spring.
1. Find and remove fake Twitter followers
Whilst having a high volume of Twitter followers may look great, particularly in the eyes of potential customers, it won’t be an accurate reflection of your social media outreach if a significant number of those profiles are fake. And this can make it difficult to gage genuine progress and growth.
They’re also useless for engagement and this can make activity on your account look practically non-existent in comparison to such a high number of followers – which is a bad reflection on you as a brand/business.
Most importantly, however, fake Twitter profiles can pose a very serious risk to your genuine followers. Many fake and bot profiles engage in a number of scams, which can be used to obtain people’s passwords and other important information. At best, this could result in endless spammy-looking posts that will irritate and turn-off your legitimate followers.
At the worst, this could result in people’s social media accounts being hacked or worse, monetary and credit card fraud. Either way it’s going to seriously damage public perception of You as an affiliate/business.
Thankfully there’s a number of tools (Above, Twitter Audit) available for conducting a ‘quality score’ of your Twitter account, identifying fake/bot profiles so that you can remove them.
SocialBakers, Twitter Audit, and Status People’s Fake App (which also takes inactivity into account) are three of the best tools currently out there. At the same time, these “free” searches are only part of a much more proficient, premium service available on these sites. After you’ve performed a few searches you will find they will limit your daily usage or the speed at which these searches are made.
2. Clean out your promotion ‘bin’
Your website is like a shop floor, with the latest offers and promotions proudly displayed at the front where everybody can see them. Somewhere in the back of your site, in what would typically be the ‘discount bin’ of any department store, is your outdated stock.
We’re talking about promotions that, for some reason or other, have been temporarily paused. And whilst you will have received a pause notification from your affiliate manager, in which you are asked to cease promotion on your website, it’s easy for one or two to slip through the net – especially when you’re tending to more prevalent tasks. Hey, it happens sometimes.
If this sounds familiar then you’ll want to take a good look at what offers are currently live on your site. If the offer redirects to a landing pager that doesn’t correspond with the offer being advertised then consult your affiliate manager to determine whether it’s been paused or not (it could be a technical issue).
It’s good practice to do this now and again anyway, just to make sure. But take this opportunity to really get in there and sort through any outdated promotions. The last thing you want is users to expect one thing and receive another after they click it, as it poorly reflects on you.
3. The same goes for email
If you have multiple email templates for different days of the week (a lot of affiliates automatically send out a ‘best of’ over the weekend) then make sure those staple offer that have been sitting there a good while are still live and relevant.
4. And speaking of which…
You’ve probably cultivated a hefty mailing list over the past year or so. Big numbers are good, but only when the return is proportionate. If a significant number of users have dropped off over the last twelve months then you could be sending out a huge number of unnecessary emails – and this is not cost-effective.
Find out which of your subscribers have stopped opening your emails (you should be able to do this quite easily via your mailing platform) and decide whether you want to re-engage or remove them altogether.
Think of a re-engagement campaign as a campaign in itself. In other words, it’s a campaign entirely independent from your typical ‘offer’ emails, with the pure objective of reaching out to inactive subscribers who, for some reason, have suffered some kind of communication breakdown with you that has caused the value of your emails to be lost. Here’s a few things you could try:
- Vary emailing frequency – Experiment with the frequency of which emails are sent to different segments within your re-engagement campaign. See which segment responds most positively and then apply what you’ve learned across the board.
- Incentivise email activity – Give your subscribers a reason to open your emails, beyond the usual offer promotion. This could be invaluable content, an exclusive competition run by you, or anything based on known metrics – and shout about it in your email subject line.
- Add some humanity – If you’ve not heard from your subscribers in a while and you miss them, then let them know! People are far more responsive to ‘real’, personable communications than cold corporate speak.
- Set a deadline – Best reserved for the last email in your re-engagement campaign, ask your subscribers to ‘opt-in’ by a certain date or else be removed from your mailing list. This will help create a sense of urgency that may encourage action. It will also help you to ascertain a point when its time to stop and focus your marketing efforts elsewhere.
5. Update your About page
If you don’t already have one, create an About page that tells people who you are and the purpose of your website. It doesn’t need to be heavily autobiographical (the shorter and friendlier the better) but you need something there for users and subscribers to relate to.
If it’s been a while since you last wrote your About page then you might want to go through it now and freshen things up a little, especially if there’s been some new and positive developments since you started out as an affiliate. Let people know how long you’ve been providing a trustworthy, valuable service, and perhaps link this page with a live Twitter feed so that people know you are genuine.
6. Give analytics a fresh polish
Checking the web analytics should be a fairly regular occurrence for any affiliate looking to optimise the effectiveness of their website and maximise visibility across performed searches. However, that is not always the case.
Now is a good time to utilise Google Analytics, dig into those numbers, and see how many people visit the site on a regular basis and which pages are most popular. You may find you have to completely re-think your entire website layout, perhaps focussing on a specific type of content that draws in visitors, or you may identify areas that work to teak and make even better.
Remember that you’re looking to see what it is that attracts people to your website in the first place and then improving that element to secure existing traffic, whilst hopefully increasing the volume at the same time.