Last week I did quite a bit of promo for the CommentLuv plugin’s big anniversary sale. And I promised to share with you the results. I won the affiliate contest. So first, thank you to those who trusted my recommendation and grabbed a copy of the plugin–I hope you love it as much as I do!
More than sharing the results though, I thought you might like to know the “behind the scenes” of what I did that worked and how you can apply the same strategies if you’re promoting affiliate products or entering affiliate contests.
First, the promotional tactics I used. At various points throughout the contest, I…
- Blogged about the plugin
- Blogged about my favorite paid resources, including the plugin
- Blogged about a bonus training for those who purchased the plugin
- Shared those three blog posts on social media
- Added a banner ad and note to my sidebar on my blog about the sale
- Emailed my list three times including one straight promotional email, one about the bonus training, and another final reminder (and correction of a little mistake I’d made)
- Shared about it on my Facebook page
- Tweeted about it — lots — and with varied benefits oriented tweets as well as straight “hey it’s on sale” tweets
- Posted on LinkedIn and other social networks about the sale
Things I could have done, but didn’t quite have time to (a 4-day business trip to California fell in the middle of the promotional period so I wasn’t totally focused on promotions) or just skipped:
- Arranged ahead of time to have guest posts go live that would have driven traffic back to my site
- Shot a video review of the plugin
- Shot a video walkthrough (screencast) of how the plugin works and showcase benefits
- Created some graphics or an infographic to share on Pinterest
- Enlisted friends to help me promote (ask them to retweet, share social media updates, etc)
- Created and posted a press release about the sale
- Purchased an extra license and hosted a giveaway here on my blog
- Added a pop up to my site with a promo for the plugin
- and more… there are lots of ways to promote a product as an affiliate!
And here are the 5 top strategies/mindsets that contributed to my win:
1. Don’t Count Yourself Out Before You Begin
I almost didn’t even jump into the contest. I took a quick look at the leader board when I first heard the promotion had begun and it was filled with the names of smart bloggers who I respect (and secretly never thought I had a chance against).
Add to that, I’d never actually tried to win an affiliate contest before and had no idea how it would work out for me.
I jumped in anyway.
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” Nora Roberts
2. Be Coachable
Are you coachable? It can be a tough question. When we think we’ve got it together, it’s not easy to accept advice or change directions. Thankfully this was a new experience for me and that allowed me to be more open to coaching. Staying open to that in my business is something I strive to do, even in areas I think I’m pretty good with–success comes so much faster if you can separate yourself from being “right” or committed to any one particular idea or strategy and instead just go with what works from those with experience.
Andy Bailey, the very cool brain behind CommentLuv, sent us some great ideas of ways to promote and share the plugin. One of his suggestions was to offer our own bonus for anyone who purchased through our links.
I’d never offered a bonus with an affiliate product before but it seemed like it could work well. So I sat down to brainstorm and looked at what the motivation for purchasing CommentLuv really is… for me it boiled down to two things: traffic and relationships. Traffic was the easier sell for me to teach, so I went with that and offered a bonus training on how to get more traffic to your website. Huge boost in sales and I get to deliver something that’s fun for me. Win-win-win.
3. Track Results and Change Tactics as Needed
Throughout the contest I changed tactics several times to get in front of different crowds and promote the plugin from different angles. By watching traffic stats I could see what was getting clicks (Yay! Do that more!) and what wasn’t (Fix it or stop it already…).
For example, some of my tweets got very few clicks at first. That didn’t mean Twitter wasn’t worth using as a promotion channel, it just meant I needed to create better tweets and look at the flow of where I was sending the traffic (straight to sales page vs. to my blog post review or resources).
4. Stick With It and Don’t Give Up, Even if You Screw Up
I’d already sent two emails to my entire list early in the promotion and I knew if I sent a third, I’d get more unsubscribes. I sent it anyway because I’d made a mistake in my excitement and told my list it was ending on the wrong day. Big oops. I was pretty mortified. But after I sent out the correction email with a “last chance” reminder, I got thank you notes from people who thought they’d missed it and were happy to grab it last minute.
5. Be Picky
I don’t promote every plugin or JVZoo deal or Warrior Forum offer I see. Could I? Sure. Would I make some money? Most likely. But it’s not worth it. I’d rather promote only what I really believe in and use myself.
CommentLuv was easy for me to honestly promote because I love it and I’ve seen the difference it’s made for my blog. Sincerity counts and I believe our audience appreciates when we keep their best interests at heart.
So there’s my “behind the scenes” of how I promoted the plugin and worked the affiliate contest to stay on top of the leader board and make some cash.
Have you ever entered an affiliate contest or had success promoting a product or service as an affiliate? I’d love to hear what’s worked for you! Or, if you haven’t jumped into an affiliate promotion yet, are these tips helpful for you? Think you could try a few to promote a product you love?