Affiliate Marketing Marketing

The Best B2B Sales Technique You’re Not Using

B2B Networking


One thing many B2B sales people seem to forget when pursuing a lead is to stop being a sales person and start being a human. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Would you want to be continually hounded and repeatedly told the benefits of a product that have nothing to do with why you may be interested in using it? You are not a nameless online shopper filling your e-cart with goods. You are a potential client or customer of the business, using the product or service for your business. So, here it is: the best B2B (or business to business) sales technique you’re not using is the delicate process of getting to know your prospect on a genuine level, listening, engaging, and crafting your sales pitch around that specific person’s motivations to buy.

Invite them to participate.

Whether you’re the owner of a marketing agency looking to close a client, or an affiliate marketer looking to close a new member of the team, one of the advantages of trying to close a B2B deal is that it is much more personal and on more of a peer-level than B2C customers. Invite your prospect to grab coffee or even play some golf. Get tickets to a sports game or a concert and invite your potential lead along to enjoy. The type of activity will depend on the value of the lead being closed, but the idea is to get some face-to-face time alone with this prospect.

Ask them questions about themselves.

The number one priority of this “get together” is to genuinely learn about this prospect and what makes them tick. What inspires this person or drives them to work hard? What is their personality type and what do they enjoy doing? By asking people about themselves, even family and general questions that are unrelated to your business will get them to loosen up, trust you a little bit more, and think of you on a more friendly, less “salesy” level.

Practice engaged listening.

Don’t just ask questions and forget to listen to the answers or respond with follow up questions that show you are interested. By sharing openly with you, your prospect will be giving you valuable insight into the kind of person they are, why they may or may not be looking for your services, and what kind of tactics you should be using to close them. Once you listen and learn from them, you will know what may motivate them to sign on the dotted line. For example, let’s say you are a member of the Domain Cost Club, and part of their affiliate marketing program. After speaking with a prospect in depth, you come to realize that the wholesale domain prices are much more important to this person who is constantly purchasing top-level domains than the affiliate program itself. In this case, you will know to change your sales approach.

Perfect the “soft sell.”

The word “sell” should be used extremely lightly in this post, as the whole idea is to listen and engage, instead of sell. Once you have gotten to know your prospect and learned valuable insights as to why they are interested in your product or service, you can begin to describe the benefits as they relate specifically to this person. Give concrete examples based on information they have told you as to why this product or service will work for them, or how much they stand to gain based on what they told you they were looking for, specifically. Relate all information back to the prospect personally and back to how you, yourself found value from this product or service. Whatever you do, do not push yourself or what you are selling on this person in the first meeting. Simply explain the benefits and allow them to reach back out with specific questions.

Check back in.

You will want to re-engage your lead multiple times throughout this process. First, make sure to thank them for their time and follow up with some anecdotal stories you enjoyed speaking about. Or, perhaps you discussed something else you could help them with or that you could do together. Make sure to keep your word and follow-up with any necessary details. After a week or so, you will want to check back in regarding your product or service. Ask your prospect if they need any further information and/or reading material to help them in their decision. Offer to set them up with a current or previous customer that could give them an unbiased opinion.

Create urgency.

At the end of the day, people respond better to making decisions if they feel there is a time constraint attached. If your prospect still hasn’t signed, offer some kind of special deal or discounted membership for one week only. Of course, do not be pushy with this approach, simply let them know you are reaching out in regards to this special, because you know they were interested and this would give them a significant discount (or whatever deal you have offered them.) These kinds of activities will passively encourage the prospect to make the choice and close the deal.

Remember, this approach should continue even after the sale is closed. It is just as important to keep the client or customer once you have closed them. Provide continued support and a consistent communication stream. Your client lists should have a “check-in” calendar in which you take into account the satisfaction level they have in regards to the product or service. This will aid in a high retention rate for your business.

You may think this is an extremely time-consuming process to complete, and you’re right – it is. However, you will close more leads with this approach than you ever will with a “one size fits all,” “throw some stuff at the wall and see what sticks” approach. Time and effort are the marks of a truly successful sales person.


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3 Reasons Affiliate Marketers Should Be Using LinkedIn

linkedin affiliate networking


There are currently over 350 million users and over 1 billion searches per day being performed on the LinkedIn platform. If you haven’t signed up and taken the time to create a profile yet, you are missing out on immense business networking benefits. Contrary to what people may think about the platform, it behooves both B2B and B2C business to jump on board. At first thought, affiliate marketers may wonder how using LinkedIn could augment their business practices. Well, there are a number of ways. The following are the top 3:

1. Networking Benefits

Every affiliate marketer should know that the core of their business success is hinged on their ability to build their network and sell their product. LinkedIn provides a robust platform of users that are on the site specifically for business networking. Whether a user is looking to promote their business, promote their personal business goals, or search for potential employees, the user’s mindset is business-focused while on the platform.

Affiliate marketers of B2C products can do especially well on LinkedIn. For example, if the products you are selling as an affiliate are wholesale domains, you could center your entire profile on this subject. By introducing consistent keywords throughout every section of your profile and your “Skills and Endorsements” section, you will appear in search for those searching “domains,” “internet,” “websites,” etc.

Affiliate marketers in any subject category can seek out and connect with user they think might be interested in their product, or making money at home as an affiliate marketer themselves. Use LinkedIn to locate potential leads based on keywords, location, skill sets, and more!

2. Affiliate Marketing Groups

New and seasoned affiliate marketers can always be learning new ways to succeed in this ever changing affiliate marketing landscape. Affiliate marketing based discussion groups on LinkedIn are one of the most effective ways to continue learning new techniques to better your craft.

Many affiliate marketing and sales/marketing professionals groups have thousands of daily active members and an ongoing stream of useful content and discussions. Not only can you, as an affiliate marketer, use these groups to ask questions and learn, you can also use them to promote your own content and find more leads that are very clearly interested in affiliate marketing to add to your network.

3. Publishing Platform

We have mentioned the importance of blogging, creating content, and content marketing time and time again on our blog. LinkedIn’s publishing platform is an awesome place to create and publish your blog posts, with the intent of promoting it to a business audience. Of course, you can still post your content on any other platform.

LinkedIn’s blogging platform has quickly become one of the most searched and read content stream on the Internet, mostly because of the reliable sources creating this content. LinkedIn writers create content regarding everything from business, finance, and current events, all the way to consumer products, reviews, and more. Not taking advantage of this amazing platform and built in audience of potential leads would be absolutely absurd for an affiliate marketer looking to increase their network.

The reasons mentioned above are just a few of the benefits an affiliate marketer, or any other business person looking to network and promote their business, will see from becoming active on LinkedIn. As with anything, developing a following and truly building up your presence takes time and effort on your part. Make sure you spend time making sure your profile is impressive and that you participate in group discussions, not just self promote.

If you go to the effort of providing valuable and creating meaningful business relationships on the LinkedIn platform, you are bound to increase your business success.


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Landing Pages Marketing

These Thank You Page Best Practices Will Help You Move Leads Down the Funnel

lead funnel

In our last post, we discussed best practices for a landing page that will successfully convert leads. Once your leads click on your ad and submit your form to receive whatever offer you’ve advertised, they should be directed to a well-designed thank you page.  A thank you page let’s the lead know their request has been received and allows your brand to have another opportunity for conversion.

The following are best practices for content to be included on your thank you page:

1. Clean Design

Just as you should have done in your original landing page, make sure your thank you page is clean and easy to navigate. Your visitor should not be confused on what their follow-up options are. Also make sure the branding and design matches that of the original landing page. The ad to the landing page to the thank you page should all read like a story.

2. Remove Distractions

Once your lead has converted and been directed to the thank you page, you want them to take some other action that will force them to continue to interact with your brand. Take out links to the homepage, or the like, which will not do anything to assist you in converting the lead in any other way.

3. Confirm the Submission

Make sure the user knows that your business has received their form and you are taking the next action, whatever that might be. Let them know the form has been submitted and either they will be contacted, their order will be shipped, or some follow-up will occur after this.

4. Include a Relevant Offer

Think of your thank you page as another landing page, and another opportunity to make a conversion, as mentioned above. If you are an affiliate marketing company and your original offer was a discount on signing up, you should include a link or on-page ad to a “refer a friend” commission, or something else that would be relevant to the offer they just acted on. Other ideas for additional offers include webinars or coupon codes for other products.

5. Tell Them Why to Follow Your Social Accounts

It’s all well and good to include links to your social accounts and hope that people click, but why not give a little push to increase your chances of gaining likes and followers? By including larger social icons with blurbs that mention why they should follow you on social and what kind of content they will see from you, they may be more inclined to click. For example, if you are a domain registrar and this lead just converted on an offer for a discounted domain name, they may be interested in how to design their website or want to learn about simple social media tips to increase traffic to their new site. Letting them know that this is the kind of content you post about on social will be much more likely to get them to follow than simply placing a link to your twitter account.

6. Include Value Added Blog Content

The same concept from above applies to this best practice. Offering free content on subject matter that would interest your lead will allow them to get to know and trust your brand more. If your social accounts post about various categories this lead cares about, they will most likely also care about the original content being created and posted on your blog. Choose to include a blog post that is, again, relevant to your initial offer – make your story continue.

7. Ask them to Subscribe

Let the lead know what kind of content they can expect to receive if they sign up for your email newsletter and provide a simple email submission form to close the deal. From your end, you make sure your drip marketing campaigns provide interesting, trustworthy content that would apply to your leads, no matter where they are in the funnel. Remember, you should use your email marketing to push leads like this down the funnel to make them a customer.

8. Try Including a Video

Videos generally get very high click rates on thank you pages. At this point we can assume the lead is interested in your brand or type of product based on the fact that they submitted your form to receive your offer. This lead is most likely interested in learning more about your brand, how your products work, more details on the offer, or something in that realm. Remember, the idea is to keep this lead engaged with your brand for as long after conversion as possible.

9. Show Off Your Social Proof

Including reviews from current and previous customers, bloggers, reliable news or online sources is an awesome way to seal the deal with your lead and increase their trust with your brand. People like to know how others like using a product or service and will often be more likely to complete a purchase if they see the product got great reviews from others that used the product or service. “As seen on” images, such as “As Seen on The Today Show,” or “Dr. OZ,” also work as wonderful social proof on a landing page.

10. Let Them Share

Ask visitors to share the offer on their personal social channels or via email. Using the same concept from above, but to an even higher degree, someone will be more likely to make a purchase if someone they know personally has actually emailed them an offer with the assumption that the person they are sending to would be interested in it.

BONUS: Send an Auto Confirmation Email

Make sure you set up an auto-responder email to confirm submission of a form and thank the lead for their interest. This email is an entirely new blank canvas with even more chances to convert a lead in different ways. Include any of the best practices above that you didn’t have room for on the original thank you page, or include the same best practices with different content! The point is not to waste an opportunity to touch a lead an additional time and get them to engage with your brand further.

Remember to keep your design clean and your paths to conversion easy for your user to understand. In other words, you probably won’t be able to use every single best practice on every thank you page. Choose the ones that are most relevant to the original ad and landing page, and whichever ones align with your most important conversion goals at the time. It’s also a good idea to test different thank you pages to see which content resonates better with your leads.

What did we miss? What is you “must have” piece of content on your thank you page? Let us know in the comment section…


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Landing Pages Marketing

2015 Best Practices for Landing Pages that Convert

landing page best practices 2015


So, you got your target customer (we hope,) to click your offer or ad – now it’s time to make sure you close the deal and get their info. Whether you’re goal is to collect an email address, garner a subscription to your blog, or have your customer complete a download, etc. the second most important part of that process, after creating an effective ad or offer, is the effectiveness of your landing page.

There are many reasons a lead may click the ad and then fail to complete the landing page form, but listed below are some best practices you should follow in order to design landing pages that convert.

1. Consistent with the source

The “one size fits all” method that many people use for landing pages is simply not effective anymore. Your offer, writing style and design should be consistent with the channel it is being displayed on. For example, if your offer is a discounted price on an affiliate marketing membership being shown on Facebook, your landing page should reflect that. You would want to use more casual, peer style writing than you would if your offer were a whitepaper download coming at the end of a Forbes magazine article. Also, make sure to use some of the exact language you had in your ad from the original channel in your landing page. This reassures the lead that they have clicked into the right place and it’s the page they want to be on. 

2. Take audience into account

Each channel you use to advertise can potentially have different audiences viewing your content. The style of copy, design of the landing page, and content on the page should always be tailored to fit the type of person clicking your offer and the channel that they came from. Who did you target in your ad or offer? What kind of content resonates well with them? Your landing page should reflect the “mindset” of your lead based on your targeting and where they clicked over from.

3. Closes the deal

Use clear and concise sales language in your landing page. Your lead wants to know exactly what your offer is, why they should want it, and what they can expect after submitting the form. Bullet points and check marks come in handy here. Use strong, action language, like “download the guide,” or “get a call from one of our experts,” to ensure the lead understands what the exchange of information is for.

4. Shortest form possible

The process of landing page completion should be as painless as possible for your viewer. Extensively long forms are an enormous deterrent for leads, and increase the chances of abandonment. Only require the fields you absolutely need from this person in order to get in contact with them, nurture them, or get them what they need for the offer they clicked on. One other option if you absolutely have to have a long list of form requirements is to have multiple parts, or a form that builds. Once you receive one or two of the form fills, then they move on to the next part of the form. However, avoiding a long form is always the best option.

5. One clear CTA

There is nothing worse than a landing page that has so many calls to action that the lead doesn’t know which one to click first. Make this as easy a path as possible for your potential customer. They should know exactly where the CTA button is immediately upon opening the landing page; in addition to what they need to do (i.e. fill out the form) and what they are getting in return. The CTA should look clearly like a clickable button, should stand out against the rest of the page, and should use action language. Examples of good CTA’s include: “Download Now!” – “Get My FREE Quote!” – “Sign Me Up!” – etc.

6. Limit Distractions

Too many links, buttons, images, and the like, floating all over the landing page simply distract the lead from what you actually want them to accomplish while on the page, which is filling out your form. The more opportunities they have to click out of the landing page, the more you are increasing your chance of the form never being completed by a potential lead. Save the social links, blog posts, and homepage links for the Thank You page, once the lead has already submitted their info.

7. Urgency is a plus

If it makes sense to include verbiage such as “limited quantity,” or “limited time offer,” do it. It’s marketing 101 knowledge that urgency can increase the chance of your sale based on consumer psychology. It won’t make sense to include urgency on every offer or landing page, but is a great option if you are able to make it relevant.

8. Contrasting colors

Using contrasting and complimentary colors throughout your page is the best way to direct your visitor’s eyes on the particular path that you want them to follow. Contrast in colors makes the copy easier to read, makes the CTA really pop off the page, and is simply aesthetically pleasing to the eye. For example, an orange CTA button looks great when the entire page uses muted blues and whites. Your visitor’s eye is automatically drawn to the one color that stands out above the rest.

9. Limited Copy

Again, you want this process to be easy and painless for the lead – you don’t want them to feel overwhelmed by two large paragraphs they feel they have to read before filling out a form and giving you their information, and instead decide to abandon the page. A heading which reassures them they are one step away from redeeming the offer they clicked on, a sub heading, and a few bullets should be enough to explain again, after having already seen your ad and been interested in the offer, to the lead what will happen once they hit that submit button.

10. Responsive design

Always remember that your landing page needs to look just as clean and well designed on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer. In fact, it would behoove most marketers to put more emphasis on mobile devices than desktop, as mobile is quickly becoming the primary viewing device for most people. Make sure your template and design stacks your content the best way possible, and that your form is always above the fold. Do not force your lead to scroll, or potentially click out because they don’t even know there is a form to fill out below the fold.

The best practices listed above will help you to ensure you are designing landing pages that convert leads into customers. However, the channels used, quality of your ad or offer, and a number of other factors go into the success of a campaign. Stay tuned for next week’s article regarding best practices for “Thank You” pages.




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