The Cornerstones of a Successful Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

Ecommerce merchants face a ton of competition in achieving high search engine visibility for keyword phrases that prospective customers are searching for. That’s the harsh reality of getting noticed and making sales on the World Wide Web. The good news is that with a little research, planning, and follow-though, the goal of moving ahead of the competition and generating some targeted Internet traffic becomes surprisingly attainable.

Building an ecommerce website and then getting it indexed by Google is the first hurdle in gaining visibility on the Internet and attracting a decent number of credit card wielding customers. But with thousands, if not millions of other ecommerce merchants clamoring for the attention of the same online customers, how does the little guy on the Web stand a snowball’s chance? Well, the beauty of ecommerce marketing is that there are no “little guys” — only website owners who don’t know the basics of search engine optimization, web design, and sales conversion principles.

Wait a minute! What was that last thing — sales conversion principles? Is that something I need to go back to college for? Fortunately, no advanced degrees are necessary, although continual self-education is highly recommended! The main skill you need to convert web site visitors to customers is imagination — if you could call that a “skill”. To sell stuff to people on or off the Web, you need to have the ability to see things through their eyes. Stop being an e-marketer for a few seconds, and try to imagine what a first-time visitor to your site is going to see, think, and feel. Will their first impressions be that you’re trying to sell them something? That, of course, is your intention, but keep in mind that ecommerce is a two-way street; people aren’t going to buy what you’re selling unless several conditions are met; and the art of written persuasion is definitely part of this ecommerce marketing strategy.

If your web set has been written and optimized in a way that will bring in people that are ready to buy – or at least are predisposed to buy what you’re selling – then your only task is to convert them from a site visitor to a paying customer. Easier said than done, right? Although entire books have been written on the subject, in the interest of time, I’m going to boil it down to three C’s: “Clarity”, “Confidence”, and “Comfort”.

“Clarity” refers to the fact that you have to make it clear what you’re selling, how it will benefit your customers, and why it’s as good as – if not much better than what the competition is offering. Instilling “confidence” is your prospective customers is also crucially important – especially on the Internet – because they want to know that the transaction will be secure and that you have a customer service policy that will come into play if they have a question or problem with their purchase. The third element — “comfort” factor — is what happens when you’ve mastered the “clarity” and “confidence” portions of the equation, and have convinced the customer that they’ve made the right purchase from a trustworthy web site at the optimal time. Perception may not be everything, but it may be the single most important ingredient of a successful ecommerce marketing strategy.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Best Affiliate Programs

There may be literally hundreds of affiliate programs ongoing in the Internet at present, but only a handful of those may qualify as the best and the pick of the crop. It would be in your interest as well to join the best affiliate programs because there are greater chances for you to earn big money from a select few but highly recommended affiliate programs than joining numerous affiliate programs that offer little or absolutely no support to its affiliates.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Best Affiliates Programs

Expect the best affiliate programs to have the following characteristics. If the affiliate program you’ve got your eye on offers everything on this list as well then don’t waste your time: join it right away!

The Best Affiliate Programs are Picky.

They don’t waste time with useless affiliate websites. They only choose to accept affiliate websites they are convinced of having the potential to grow with them. And realistically speaking, you’ll benefit more from a selective affiliate program because at the end of the day, other affiliates of the online merchant are your competitors as well. But of course, if there are only a few of you in number, you get the luxury of thinking them as comrades.

The Best Affiliate Programs are Selling Something Unique.

It could be a product or service, but the keyword here is unique. The affiliate merchant is selling something that few – or if you’re lucky no one else – is selling and that’s to your advantage because once again, you’ve got the market all to yourself. This however is probably the hardest qualification of all so if the affiliate program you’ve got your eye on has everything but this – it’s okay. Best doesn’t mean perfect, after all.

The Best Affiliate Programs have Room and Plans for Growth.

The rate of money you’re earning from an affiliate program may become stagnant or unchanging if the affiliate company is uninterested of or unable to grow its business. This is obviously bad news for them but it’s bad news for you as well: when you’ve sold everything there is to sell to your existing customers, what next? Working with such an affiliate program simply puts to waste all the years you’ve worked hard. If you wish for an affiliate program to be a permanent source of income for you, make sure that the company you’ll be working with has definite long-term plans.

The Best Affiliate Programs Offer Competitive Rates.

Naturally! Why work for an affiliate program that offers substandard rates when you have the opportunity to work for something better? Always look for the best rates. Take your time to browse the Internet. It’s better to have a small group of affiliate programs that offer competitive rates than a large number of programs which offer lower fees. Why work more when you don’t have to? Why work for less when you don’t have to?

The Best Affiliate Programs Don’t Compete with their Affiliates.

Again, this may seem like a given, but there are still a number of affiliate programs who insist on cheating on their affiliates and there are still a number of affiliates who let themselves be cheated on. Affiliate programs work better when members and the parent company work together and not against each other.

The Best Affiliate Programs are bound by the Law and Ethics.

They don’t hesitate to show you the full contract upon request. The terms and conditions are clearly and fully explained and you’re welcome to inquire as often as you need about working with them. They treat you in an ethical manner. They don’t cheat you out of your money. They’re even willing to negotiate because they understand it’s your right to do so.

The Best Affiliate Programs have Reliable and Accurate Tracking Systems.

That way you’d be able to get a hold of your sales or lead records any time you want to. Don’t feel shy to ask what tracking system software they’re using. Having a reliable and accurate tracking system would ensure that you’re being paid the correct amount of commission every month.

The Best Affiliate Programs Always Offer Marketing Support.

Last but not the least, the best affiliate programs understand that the success of affiliates are their success as well so make sure they provide as much resources and support they can afford to their affiliates.

Best Affiliate Programs

Listing the best affiliate programs online can be trivial. You are doing your research and you would like to have a nice list displaying all of the links you like to click on to start up your online business in affiliate marketing. Unfortunately, no such list exists. At least not a true, comprehensive list. There are just too many programs and affiliate opportunities out there to compile such a list. Companies are changing and adding affiliate programs all of the time. The best affiliate programs are out there, you just need to know what to look for.

I assume you are researching affiliate marketing and are wanting to know which programs are the best and which affiliate programs provide you with the most income. Just like all people searching for ideas to make money online, you come across articles that talk of the benefits of one program and how it is a no-miss situation. I can tell you now, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Affiliate marketing can be very lucrative. It is also a good bit of work. It is something that you can learn and do part-time. To be successful at it, you just need to tell yourself to keep at it. It takes perseverance, dedication and a salesman attitude. You are ultimately trying to get people to sign up or purchase something online.

Now what do the best affiliate programs available offer you as a potential business partner? The best programs will not only provide you with links to sign up and introduce you to the affiliate programs they ultimately want you to join. (They want to make money off of you as well.) The best programs will also educate you on how to be successful in affiliate marketing. Why would they do that? Because ultimately in affiliate marketing, the goal is to build a team of marketers that will go out and sell the same products that you do. That is where you can begin to make residual income and basically make money while you sleep. That is where all of your upfront efforts in bringing people to your website will eventually pay off.

Another sign of the best affiliate programs on the web is transparency. You need to trust that the money and time you are spending is worth it. If you can see the process and understand how the programs work, you will ultimately be more invested in the business. You do not want to work for a company that hides its practices and does not allow you to have insight into how the programs work. Just think if your normal day job operated in such a manner, you would not last two weeks. Being open and honest is the only way to go. If the person or company you are working with in affiliate marketing is not willing to answer personal emails or allow you the opportunity to talk to them on the phone, you probably do not want to get involved.

This brings me to my last sign of the best affiliate programs on the internet, support. Affiliate marketing is all about building a team of marketers and working with others to help sell products. Therefore, it would make sense that most of these programs have a large following or sales force that can be considered a small community. If you do not see support or feel supported by a larger community of like-minded folks who are also selling the program, then I would not consider them to be in the list of best affiliate programs out there.

All in all, find something that fits you. Find something you enjoy writing and talking about. Learn the technology behind internet marketing and you will be able to build your own affiliate marketing empire and you just might be able to add yourself to the list of best affiliate programs out there.