A Comprehensive Guide to Using Push Notifications for Affiliate Marketing in 2019
Affiliate marketing is a cornerstone of success.
Affiliate marketing, also called referral marketing, has long been a mainstay of e-commerce. As e-commerce has become more and more about finding a specific niche within a precisely-defined industry, maintaining a full range of content for marketing channels has become a challenge. At the same time, a balance has to be struck between carefully targeting customers most interested in your message and painting with a broad enough brush to engage with markets you may not have considered. Affiliate marketing offers smaller companies the ability to band together and bolster their collective marketing power, meeting both these goals.
However, affiliate marketing has its share of frustrations. There is an enormous range of affiliate programs, creating relentless competition that often detracts from the goal of promoting the affiliates in the first place. The endless fighting makes it difficult to gain visibility with SEO, let alone grab the attention of customers. Often navigating affiliate programs can feel like a full-time job.
In the end, any company and its affiliates have to create their own marketing strategy and band together behind multiple channels to gain product visibility. This makes choosing the right channels to place your energy particularly important, and push notifications, especially browser-based ones, are an ideal place to focus your referral marketing efforts.
How Push Notifications Work
Web-based push notifications are unique among marketing channels. They’re opt-in for your customers, and simple to install, with just five lines of code pasted into the source on your website. The code can be easily customized to the page, so you can add it to multiple pages across your site to assist with segmenting. When the customer arrives on a page, you can place a small value proposition across the top of your page, and they choose to allow you to push notifications to them. After they opt-in, your marketing messages go directly to the customers who are most interested in your products.
A second powerful aspect is that, over time, as you push out notifications and perform A/B testing, you’ll quickly discover the many different segments in your customer base, where they overlap, and other interests they may have. The timing of notifications, click rates, opt-in and opt-out rates, platform response rates, and other data will all help you craft better campaigns and tighter segments.
Assisting your data gathering is that browser-based notifications also aren’t tied to a specific platform. Instead, they’re part of the preferences in your customer’s browser. As long as your customers open their browser, the notifications will arrive where they happen to be.
The immediacy and directness of notifications demand a yes or no response, which makes them an active complement to more passive marketing channels; they can even kickstart the spread of a piece of content. For example, you can shoot a powerful video for YouTube, share it on social media, and push it out to interested customers as a notification urging them to share it on their timelines. Using a multi-channel approach gets that content in front of both passive and active consumers. And for affiliate marketing, push is a notably powerful tool.
Businesses need a mixture of diverse marketing channels to succeed.
Push Notifications for Affiliate Marketing
The most obvious method of affiliate marketing with push notifications is to look closely at affiliate products and determine which segments would be most interested in them. Then simply push out some information about them, or support your affiliate’s campaign tied to a piece of content. This simple approach is a good start, but as you get more comfortable with the technology, you can get more creative. For example:
- Notify customers about products that complement each other in unusual ways. This is especially useful when you uncover ancillary markets for your products that you hadn’t considered. For example, electrical supply houses will sell primarily to electricians and contractors, but may also find themselves with a strong secondary market of hobbyists or makers.
- Create a waterfall of deals. If you sell bicycles, for example, you might have an affiliate offer a discount on helmets, and then that affiliate might refer them to another that has a discount on lights. This can be a powerful tool, especially for new customers or customers just getting into a specific section of your industry.
- Look at the many “holidays” out there that are trending on Twitter or social media. (National Dog Day, anyone?) While you might not be able to make use of the specific idea behind it, perhaps an affiliate can, and you can get their message out there more effectively. It may even dovetail with other campaigns you’re running.
- Share data with your affiliates and look for unusual connections among your segments. Sometimes what your customers most engage with can be both surprising and revealing. As you work with your affiliates and collect more data on your segments, more ideas will reveal themselves.
Remember, push notifications are immediate and direct, so it’s always worth testing new ideas. As you better understand your customers and your affiliate’s clients, you’ll be able to offer more creative and unique approaches.
Push Notifications as a Customer Retention Tool
Affiliate marketing and push notifications are an ideal mix for customer retention. This is true whether you offer an enormous range of products or a niche service, and whether you want to expand your customer base or remain in the minds of current customers.
Often consumers will opt-in on push notifications because the value proposition makes sense for them. Of course, that puts the burden on the company to maintain that campaign, which can be an ongoing challenge. There are only so many discounts you can offer on similar products, for example, before your segments begin to file your content under background noise.
Affiliate marketing allows you to both maintain your notifications’ value proposition and keep what you’re offering fresh and engaging. You can offer daily deals or weekly sales across a range of products beyond just what you sell; products which complement the interests and tastes of your customers beyond your area of expertise. Furthermore, you can use your affiliates to stay visible to your customers while raising the profile of your affiliates in return.
And remember, affiliate networks work both ways. While you’re raising their profile, they’ll be returning the favor by promoting your sales, new products, and other content across their channels as well. With a carefully designed campaign, you can create a rising marketing tide that lifts every boat in your network.
Thoughtful analysis leads to stronger marketing strategy.
Affiliate marketing is a crucial aspect of modern e-commerce. But like any marketing tool, it needs to be carefully fit into a detailed multi-channel marketing strategy. It only works when every affiliate can help lift the whole group onto a new level, each supporting the other with each channel they have at their disposal. Otherwise, the frustrations and the amount of energy affiliate marketing can demand may be better channeled elsewhere.
Push notifications are an essential tool for assisting with that lift. The data you collect from your push campaigns allows you and your affiliates to choose the best possible content to present while simultaneously letting you fulfill your value proposition. This is particularly powerful for smaller businesses or businesses with a specific niche, especially as this approach can scale up as your business expands and more affiliates join your network.
Harnessing the power of push notifications is critical to any business that needs to reach its best customers consistently and on their terms. Paired with the power of affiliate marketing to open up those notifications to a much wider range of products and interests, the two can serve as a keystone in any company’s marketing strategy. To learn more, sign up for a live demo!