Referrals, affiliate marketing and remarketing are important levers for customer acquisition. But how do you use these strategies correctly? What aspects do you need to consider? And what does it mean for your SEO? In this guide, we cover the basics for you.
This article is the second part of our series on client acquisition for agencies and freelancers. To get to know the basics of how to win new clients, we also recommend reading our first part on target groups and inbound lead generation. You can also download the entire series of articles in one e-book.
Before we move on to some more advanced customer acquisition methods, let's look at a well-known strategy. It's a way to use your WordPress website to increase the engagement and interaction of your visitors.
It's relatively simple: offer free content. Everyone likes free, easily accessible things. At least if they are of a high-quality nature and - in the case of content - not simply "dripping" with self-praise or advertising. See our (free 😉 ) guides on content marketing for agencies, on content strategy and on testing content ideas. Your website strategy should include:
- Free downloads of PDFs, longer texts like white papers, e-books, sample templates, etc.
- Interviews with experts and well-known faces in your sector (written and/or video)
- Video courses or short tutorials
- Podcasts and webinars
- Trial offers as well as easily accessible advice, such as with Raidboxes
Be attentive and react quickly. There's nothing better for (potential) customers than when they receive quick feedback from a company after a complaint – and that response is pleasant and they're immediately offered a targeted solution. If you do the same, you'll not only have won a new customer for life. The customer is also a good source for recommendations, testimonials (short customer statements) or case studies.
The supreme discipline: remarketing
Now for the more advanced strategies. Remarketing is a way to stay in touch with potential customers. At its core, remarketing (also called retargeting) is creating targeted ad campaigns for users who have been to your website before. Or who have otherwise engaged with your content but have not yet made a purchase.
The idea is that if someone is already familiar with your brand and products, they'll be more likely to move further along the conversion funnel (part of the customer journey). The most popular of the many remarketing tools are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
Once users have engaged with your content, they're given a cookie and added to a specific list of remarketing targets. Next, they'll be shown an ad campaign specifically tailored to the people on that list:
- Standard ads are for people who have previously visited your website and have done nothing else there.
- Dynamic ads are targeted to specific products that the person has looked at on the site.
- Mobile ads: In-app and mobile-optimized ads aimed at target groups more likely to be on smartphones and other mobile devices.
- Search engine ads are for people who have already been to your website but are now searching for something similar on Google.
Such campaigns are an effective tool for your online marketing – but you absolutely must consider the basics of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For advice on avoiding warnings, contact a suitable law firm specializing in online law.
Why is remarketing so effective?
Remarketing sometimes yields very good conversion results – and for good reason. The approach of earlier years with large scatter effects has increasingly been replaced by granular and micro-targeted ads that create a personal connection with a prospect. And this is how it works:
- Personalization: Knowing what prospects have searched for on your website and when opens an endless series of doors. You know which page they visited, in what order and when. So you can create ads that target your visitor's current interests, no matter where they are in the conversion funnel.
- Reach: Google Ads alone reaches over two million websites and offers a return on investment of up to 8 to 1. So for every euro you spend on Google Ads, you can theoretically see a return of 8 euros. In practice, however, these values are usually much lower. You should try out Google Ads for your target groups and industry. Facebook Ads also has a very high potential for leads, even today and also in the environment of WordPress. For more tips and advice, check out our guides on Google Ads and Facebook Ads campaigns.
- Create awareness of your brand: On the internet, it's easy to forget sites and products that interest us briefly and we lose sight of them forever. With remarketing, you can gently remind people of something they were interested in before. Without catching them off guard.
- Granular marketing: Since you can create different lists of potential conversions for different content and subpages with targeted advertising, your marketing strategy can be refined into a fine-tuned machine. Also and especially in the area of long tail content.
SEO campaigns and blogging
Let's shift up a gear and talk about SEO. By now, everyone should be familiar with search engine optimization. But if you're still a little fuzzy on the subject, there are some great tools out there. Not only do they walk you through the basics of how it all works, but they also help you choose the right keywords.
You need the right keywords to increase your rankings. And to maximize your reach. A complete how-to guide to SEO would be too much to cover in this e-book. We have, however, put together the following step-by-step instructions for you:
- Agency Guide: SEO Audit in 8 Steps
- SEO Success with Keyword Research
- WordPress SEO: How to Optimize Texts for Search Engines
- Image SEO in WordPress: How to Optimize your Images for Search Engines
You should apply the SEO principles to all your blog posts, articles and landing pages. And make sure you search for keywords that have low competition and the highest possible search volume. These keywords should be relevant both to the post itself and to your business in general.
Apart from the SEO question, a smart approach to get visitors to interact is to make sure that each blog post answers a specific question. It must provide details and information that your readers may not know and that they won't find elsewhere in such detail or quality.
As discussed above, not only are blog posts of this kind a freebie for potential prospects. Of course, that's if you create engaging and entertaining content. But you can also use appropriate call-to-actions to generate interest in the rest of your website, which gives you the opportunity to attract new leads. More on those in a moment. Here are a few basic blog post areas you should focus on:
- Headline: Create a good headline that has the following characteristics. It should be interesting, unique, useful and specific. The headline should also contain central keywords.
- Interaction: Prominently display your social media share buttons, encourage comments and ask your readers for feedback.
- Call-to-action: Make sure that every post contains a call-to-action (CTA). This is an invitation to your visitors to contact you by phone, email or chat for further information. Or, for example, to sign up for your newsletter, visit a product page or landing page.
- Attractive design: Use lots of graphics, photos, bullet points, diagrams, embedded videos and more to grab attention.
Facebook may not have the same status as it once did among younger people, but it is still often the first port of call for those looking for more information about a product or service in their area. At Raidboxes , we also notice time and again how efficient marketing on Facebook can be - regardless of what one may think of the platform personally.
A good way to get more potential customers to visit your website organically is to position yourself as a local expert on a WordPress topic that you're highly knowledgeable about and enjoy. You can also start your own Facebook group. It doesn't matter if it's about technology, particular plugins and themes, web design or online marketing. If possible, choose a niche topic that overlaps with your products and services.
This approach can be very successful – if you do it right and offer content with added value, e.g. tutorials, instead of just unappealing self-promotion. So make sure you keep a low profile and just offer your expertise without selling your services. Logging on to Facebook for a few minutes a day and finding and answering a relevant question or an active comment thread can really pay off.
Recommendations and affiliate marketing
You can do the best SEO in your entire industry. You can run remarketing campaigns up to the most individual granularity. You might even have the money to invest in offline campaigns or sponsor big (online) events and trade magazines.
Studies have shown, however, that none of this can be as valuable as real clients who recommend you to others. A clever trick for companies as well as WordPress agencies and freelancers is not just to think of your clients as those who secure your revenue. It would be a fatal error to neglect the customer base you've already gained in order to focus on new growth.
If you're serious about customer acquisition, you need to realize that your existing customers are of real value. You should nurture them just as you nurture your products and services. If you don't, you make yourself interchangeable and lack credibility. The secret is to use your existing customer base to create even more value for yourself and for your customers through recommendations and referrals.
The Partner Programof Raidboxes
Referrals are the leverage you use to spread your message and the quality of your services and products. Studies have shown people are more likely to buy something that has been recommended by a friend or acquaintance. By offering a small reward in return for a referral that leads to a sale, you can organically grow your customer base. And do so on an ongoing basis. There are a number of approaches to soliciting such referrals:
- Offer a small reward, bonus or commission (more on this later)
- Give referrers a coupon or discount
- Offer premium content for free
- Ask for experience reports
Still not convinced it could work? Check out these statistics about referral marketing:
- 90 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family
- 70 percent trust customer reviews they read online
- 74 percent say recommendations have an important influence on their purchasing decisions
- 88 per cent trust online reviews written by other buyers as much as personal recommendations.
- 32 percent of people trust online reviews only when there are multiple consumer reviews
- Referrals have been shown to increase the effectiveness of marketing by 54 per cent, but
- 39 percent said that monetary or material incentives greatly increase their chances of recommending a brand
Make sure that your referral program only pays off if the referred person sends you customers who make a purchase, sign up to your email list or lead to whatever your goal is. Otherwise, you could be flooded with spam referrals that don't add value. Once you have the referral program set up on your website, you simply send an email invitation to your existing customers to get the ball rolling.
What is affiliate marketing?
You can engage your existing customers even better by using affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is an innovative strategy to bring prospects and leads to your website – or your customers' websites – and convert them. You or your customers offer rewards to third parties for generating leads and referring visitors to view and hopefully purchase products and services.
The affiliate - i.e. the third party company - is rewarded with a commission to encourage them to think of creative ways to drive traffic to you. You can take a look at the affiliate programme from Raidboxes as an example. And of course, feel free to use it to recommend us to others. Raidboxes offers its affiliates attractive commissions of up to 1,500 euros per new customer.
When you think about it, you can't go anywhere on the internet without a product or other link leading back to Amazon. You have definitely already encountered those people who've made affiliate marketing flourish. Amazon offers bloggers, influencers on Instagram & Co. and website owners ("publishers") a small payment for every customer they send to the platform. In this way, the company has increased its reach immensely – without taking a big financial risk. This is because payment is usually made only after a successful referral.
A business worth billions
Nowadays, affiliate marketing is a billion-dollar business and makes up a large part of digital marketing. It still yields huge profits for those who know how to target it. Here are a few facts:
- 84 percent of publishers and 81 percent of brands use affiliate marketing
- Every year, affiliate marketing spend in the US increases by 10.1 per cent
- Almost 65 percent of affiliate marketers generate traffic through blogging
- Affiliate marketing is estimated to be worth more than 10 billion euros worldwide
- Over 50 per cent of traffic coming from affiliates is now generated on mobile devices
Of course, you have to experience it yourself to find out. However, we know some agencies and freelancers from the WordPress community for whom affiliate marketing is clearly worthwhile.
Set up affiliate marketing programme
Before you jump into an affiliate marketing program at the deep end, there are some basic facts you should know:
- Impressions are not sales: Affiliates promising 100,000 impressions won't do you any good if zero of them convert into sales.
- Watch your prices: Analyze your competitors' use of affiliates. Get to know the usual market price for commissions and which agreements are typical in your industry (revenue share, subscription models, etc.).
- Integrate it into your strategy: Remember that affiliate marketing can only be one part of your marketing activities. Have a clear understanding of your goals and how the program fits in with the rest of your marketing plans. Your channels and activities should not compete with each other – they should complement each other.
- Identify potential partners that are a good fit for you: Brands and companies should look for partners who they believe will actually contribute to revenue growth. Keep this under review throughout the collaboration by calculating the return on investment for your program, i.e. revenue versus expenses.
Stay innovative and discuss with your affiliate partners how additional sales can be generated. For example, through targeted content and advertising materials that are created specifically for individual affiliates. Affiliates are usually very interested in working with you because you have the same goal.
Referrals and affiliate marketing are smart, lucrative ways to attract new customers. Above all, with the right partners, you can be sure that the funnel will be continuously filled with new leads and purchases. Read all the rest of our customer acquisition series at posts:
- Target Groups & Inbound Lead Generation
- Upselling, Cross Selling & Success Measurement
- Building Customer Relationships & Customer Relationship Management
- The entire series of articles as an e-book B2B Customer Acquisition Made Easy
We appreciate your reading along but would also love to hear from you directly. How can we support you in expanding your WordPress business? What are your own experiences in customer acquisition with WordPress and WooCommerce? Contact us at any time or book an appointment with our sales team. We'd be happy to build our knowledge together with you.