By the time you’ve read the first part of this two-part blog series, you’ll have learned that the opportunity to connect with leads, attract customers, and build your brand doesn’t go away when trade shows and events go virtual – or are canceled altogether. In fact, SaaS marketers have some creative ways to maximize lead and revenue generation during these uncertain times.
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the possibility of creating upsell and cross-sell automation campaigns using email marketing. In this post, we’ll dive into two other great ways SaaS marketers can generate leads: affiliate and referral marketing.
What is the difference between affiliate and referral marketing?
Similar to upselling and Cross-selling can be used interchangeably, as can affiliate and referral marketing. When you understand the difference, you can decide which one is best for your SaaS organization to maximize leads and revenue. Here is a brief breakdown:
Sometimes the experts really say it best, so I’m going to share this definition of affiliate marketing by BigCommerce::
“Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or other company’s products. The affiliate simply looks for a product they like, then promotes that product, and earns a portion of the profit from every sale they make. Sales are tracked from one website to another through affiliate links. “
Referral marketing, on the other hand, uses customers who love your work. I love that definition of Friendbuy, Leader in the Referral Marketing Industry:
“Referral marketing is a method of influencing customers to promote a brand’s products or services to new customers, typically through incentives and offers. The foundation of referral marketing is the use of viral word of mouth – friends telling friends about great products and services they use through social media and email. “
Now that we understand the difference between the two, let’s look at strategies and best practices for both.
Strategy 2: Affiliate Marketing
According to Web Market SupportAn estimated 81 percent of brands and 84 percent of publishers use the power of affiliate marketing. Actually, Affiliate Marketing Spending is up just over 10 percent year-over-year, bringing total US spending to $ 6.8 billion this year.
Affiliate marketing has the potential to be one powerful weapon for the production of lead. Here are some things to consider to get started:
Before running affiliate marketing campaigns, you need to do your research on the types of Affiliate Marketing Programs This may fit your SaaS business. Some examples are:
- Looking for a partner
- Blogger / influencer
- Check websites
- Coupon sites
- Email Marketing
Be vigilant in making sure you are spending your budget as best you can and not paying for inferior leads.
Understand your ideal personas
In the previous blog in this series, we discussed the importance of segmentation and understanding your ideal goals. These principles also apply to affiliate marketing. Delve deep into the personas you are targeting to fully understand where and how to search for the content they want – whether on blogs or any other user generated medium.
Make sure you know what you are paying for
When setting up an affiliate program, you need to know what outcome you are prioritizing and actually paying for. These can be:
- Free demo test users
- Paying customers
Determine which of these is most important and how much you want to spend. If you are thinking about spending on an affiliate program exactly as you thought it would be for your trade show and / or events, it makes sense to redirect those funds into another lead generation channel.
Strategy 3: Referral Marketing
People trust the opinions and recommendations of their friends, colleagues and colleagues. Actually, Nielsen 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know. In addition, it is estimated that recommendations will affect 20 to 50 percent of the time all purchase decisions. But sometimes your clients need a nudge to become lawyers, which is why referral marketing campaigns are valuable.
When should you go for referral marketing? If you already have customers who love you and are ready to shout their praise from the rooftops, referral marketing is likely a good solution. Bonus points if you have customers who have already written you a review. Here are some tips for getting started in referral marketing:
Make your referral program easy to find and use
Create a path of least resistance for your customers. We recommend setting up a dedicated landing page for your referral program to track conversions and other data. Don’t get too complex – use simple forms that can be filled out in a short time and make it easy for customers to share with their friends via social media and / or email.
If you never ask, you never know!
Sometimes simply asking clients for recommendations can be as effective as the other strategies in your program. Be brave and ask your customers to recommend you when the time is right (i.e. after purchase, anniversary date, product / service milestone, etc.).
Offer rewards that are worthwhile
Referral incentives are strong motivators; So, it’s important to make sure you’re developing an incentive strategy that is worthwhile and that will get your customers to refer you to their friends.
Through a combination of understanding customer sentiment, working with your customer success team, and having the right data, you can automate and customize rewards to ensure they are win-win for the attorney and referee.
Use a referral marketing platform
If you’re not attending industry trade shows, you may have dollars on the table to invest more seriously in referrals. While you can leverage the best practices above, using a referral marketing platform can be helpful if you want to scale your referral marketing program.
If there’s one thing these uncertain times have taught us, it’s important to stay agile as a marketer. From automated cross and upsell campaigns to affiliate and referral marketing, SaaS marketers and companies still have numerous options for maximizing lead and revenue generation beyond trade fairs and events. If you’re looking for additional tips, download our guide below.
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