I think profiting with online partnerships is often overlooked when bringing together a digital marketing plan. People often think about social, content marketing, paid online advertising, email marketing, webinars and have no focus on how to leverage partnerships.
Within every online marketing plan it should have its own well defined road map that solely focuses on leveraging partnerships?
So what’s so powerful about leveraging online partnerships, the benefits are plentifully but I’m just going to outline a few that have had the biggest impact for my business.
How to profit with online partnerships today
Firstly. Brand credibility and recognition, positioning yourself in some cases can take years and in some cases businesses don’t even achieve this because they’re following a traditional root of online marketing that focuses around social media and content marketing. While these are core elements of your overall online marketing plan, they are only one part of the picture and can be very slow at generating consistent results.
Secondly. In gaining access to an already established list of prequalified leads I’ve spent no money on advertising or marketing, which has all been done by the partner I am working with over the years. So it significantly cuts down the time to bring a marketing campaign together and reduces any lead up time.
Can you see why working in partnership can be so rewarding?
- Instant brand alignment
- No advertising and marketing spend
- Faster results
And a profitable long term working relationship.
So what are the best online partnerships?
It really depends on what you want to achieve, but the two I use are;
Firstly. Affiliate Marketing.
Perfect if you have a product that you want to sell more of. An affiliate is an individual who will help you market your product online in a number of different ways. They work on commission so for each product sold they make a 40% commission and in some cases 100%.
Now you might be thinking that is a bit steep, but just think about it for a second.
You have a product that you need to get out in front of more people but it’s going to cost a significant amount of your marketing and advertising budget. The cost to produce it is low.
It’s a lower end product that has significant value for your prospects, you use this product to build a data base full of new people who you can remarket to.
You can up sell them into new products and services and win repeat business.
Affiliate marketers have access to massive internet marketing lists, they understand how the online world works.
Secondly. Joint venture partnership.
This is where two businesses come together to carry out a piece of joint marketing to each other’s email lists to sell a product or service. It’s a two way partnership with specific marketing tasks to be carried out within a framework.
Again the relationship is based on earning a commission, it can range from 5% to 40% depending on what each partner is offering.
If we take the Rapid Business Growth in a Digital World, Virtual Summit as an example, the agreement between everyone involved is that we share the responsibility as a group to market the Summit to our email marketing lists and social media connections.
It’s an advanced joint venture strategy but I am sure you can see from your own experience just how powerful these relationships can be.
The summit creates a win win for everyone involved, partners make a 50% commission on any sales made. And participants get access to information that helps them grow their business that they would otherwise not get access to.
So where do you start?
I’ve developed a formula you can use so you can start to profit with online partnerships and use the leverage to grow your business.
Before you even get stuck into thinking about what commission and software to use to track your online partnerships.
You need to sit down and figure out: What, Who, Why, When.
- What products you have that are high in value but low in cost to produce.
- What do you want to use it for.
- to grow your data base full of potential customers,
- grow brand awareness,
- launch a service or program later on,
- What’s the up sell from this product (think long term not short term)
- Map out how each product connects with one another
- What is keeping in touch the follow up process (the last thing you want to do is be inconsistent with new people and let the list go cold)
- Who is this product for, what market?
- Who holds access to a list of people who have contact with that market that are not in direct competition with you? For me if I am looking to Joint Venture with a business that would have a list of service based SMEs. Website designers, copyrighters, business coaches, membership organization.
- Make a list of all the different types of businesses
- What type of online partnership does this project need to make it a success, affiliate or joint venture or even both?
- When is the best time to market this product
- How long will you expect this marketing to last
As you get stuck into this exercise you will find that you start to ask yourself more questions, this is when the magic starts to happen you start to see the possibilities for growth.
The internet allows us unlimited possibilities to reach out and connect.
How do you know when you are ready to start reaching out and working with others…..
The framework that’s needed to make your partnership successful include:
- A digital lead generation set-up
- A responsive email list of subscribers, with a good quality email provider
- A CRM system for tracking long term relationships
- A twelve step keeping in touch follow-up sequence
- Affiliate tracking software
- An agreement and shared understanding of responsibility
Let’s break this down a little bit more
Your digital lead generation set-up
This is the offer you are going to ask people to subscribe into, it’s one of your signature offerings.
Process is King when working together, you want to make sure that your online lead generation has been set-up so it can run on auto pilot, its connected to your email provider and your follow-up sequence can be delivered 24/7.
A responsive email list of subscribers, with a good quality email provider
It’s not about the size of your list, it’s about how responsive and targeted it is, there is no point in partnering with someone who has a list of 10,000 if they only send out an email once a month, there is a mixture of customers on the list and it’s not responsive.
You want to make sure its response has an open rate of about 30% . Plus in the resend a further open rate.
You want a good email provider, not one of the lower priced email providers or free ones as they are not going to give you the intelligence you need to manage more complex mail outs.
A CRM system for tracking long term relationships
Again a good quality CRM system so you can track different relationship for a healthier follow up process.
I personally use Active Campaign, it’s a combined email and CRM system, I also love it because it has the capacity for mobile marketing for texting
A 12 step keeping in touch follow-up sequence
Remember you are working on a new list of subscribers, this group of people will be closer to purchasing your products and services if they haven’t already. So you need to have mapped your follow-up and up sell process out.
Affiliate tracking software
Affiliate tracking software tracks who is clicking which link within your on-line marketing and the Partner it belongs too. It’s important because it installs trust with your partners. It shows them that you taking the partnership seriously and can enable them to see what is happening in real time.
An argument and shared understanding of responsibility
Always draw up an agreement of who is doing what, outline the commissions and expectations of each other, don’t move forward with your partner until you have this pinned down and agreed by both parties.
Coming back to your digital marketing plan, you can now start to clearly note down your goals and objectives. I don’t expect you to have everything mapped out and in place but what you can start to do is identify what it is you need to get in place to start your journey of profiting in partnership with online relationships.