Add Value for your Customers

If you’re building a website, chances are your ultimate revenue model involves some sort of advertising and product sales.  The topics and themes may vary, but at the end of the day a web publisher makes money by providing links to products and services for sale by various vendors.  Affiliate marketers take advertising to the logical conclusion and get paid only when a transaction is completed – but how do you get an advantage?  Its a big internet, what do your potential customers gain from buying through you?  How do you ensure that you add value for the customer?

Here are some ideas I put to use to get ahead in the affiliate advertising business:

Best Price – Coupons and Discounts

Sell the product at the lowest available price – this is such a classic marketing strategy that its practically common sense.  If Bob’s Grocer sells widgets for $3 and CornerMart sells them for $2, you better believe I’ll do my shopping at CornerMart.

Along this line of thought comes coupons, discounts, and promotional deals.  If the product has a standard price at all vendors, throw in a coupon or discount that cuts into your own profit.  You may be tempted to squeeze every penny you can possibly get out of the sale, but share some with the customer and you’ll see a lot more sales racking up.

Best Information – News and Reviews

Educate the customer about the product – benefits, faults, even potential replacement items that could be used as a substitute.  If you’ve used it, explain your own experience with it.  But be honest – if you make it sound too good to be true, people will start to figure out that it probably is.

Keep the customers up to date with news in the industry.  Maybe they have a plan based on yesterday’s strategy but you know some information about the sector that can help them get a better start or make a purchase that benefits them more in the long term.

Don’t Sell 24/7 – Establish Authority

There has to be more to a website than a check-out line!  If you want to be able to attract any sort of natural backlinks you’ll need some content that isn’t just a sales-pitch or shopping cart.

Sometimes you can even benefit by telling visitors what they don’t need to buy.  By debunking other misleading marketing, you can save potential customers cash and establish authority as someone who will provide quality information rather than saying anything to get a sale.

Take a break from the non-stop marketing and step back to remember why you’re interested in the niche to begin with.  Selling model rocket parts?  Get some footage from a local contest.  Selling travel packages?  Put together a photo-slide of the dream vacation you would like to take.  Get creative and have fun – surfers, bookmarkers, and bloggers will thank you for it!

How do you add value for your customers and website surfers?  The more answers you have to this question, the better you’re sure to do.

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