Now no one can ever tell you exactly how your website visitors will think, how they will act or shop, except for them of course and your analytics. You can however try to put yourself in their shoes. Most people think they can but in reality are so stuck in their own mindset that their judgment becomes clouded and they lose focus on what is really important and that is 1. Catering to your audience and 2. Giving them what they want and in an easy way to find it. One thing that makes successful Marketers and especially successful Affiliate Marketers successful is that they are amazing at doing this. It seems so obvious and so easy but when it comes down to it, so many people forget to do this. They go with the obvious and don’t think about the reason their campaigns aren’t working. Lets use one of my Client’s for an example.
ExecutiveGiftShoppe.com which features over 10K gifts for everyone including Groomsmen Gifts, Gift Baskets, Business Gifts, Plaques, Bar Plaques and Signs, Trophies and more. They are almost all engravable as well. (Really shameless plug but you can also find their Affiliate Program on Share a Sale).
Now when you look at the site and look through the products, it looks like there is a very heavy skew towards Men and towards business professionals (both Men and Women). They do carry other gifts like Spa Gift Baskets and Secretary gifts and even Candy Gifts for Kids but the main focus is for Men and Business Gifts. The thought most people have is to break it into niches like Sports Gifts, Sports Team Gifts, Golf Gifts, Smoking Gifts, Business Gifts, Leather Briefcases, Women’s Briefcases, etc… They then build a site around those. They try to attract all the Men in the world to come visit their site for Men’s gifts, which in plain site makes complete sense to most people since that is our demographic and who the “gift is for”. I come across this a lot when recruiting for their program as well.
I’ll send a custom written email or leave a message on a blog for the webmaster (when I am almost certain it will hit the moderation queue). Because most people can tell the email was specifically written for their site, they usually give me the courtesy of writing me back and letting me know they aren’t interested and usually say why they aren’t interested. This is where I get one of my most common responses. “Our audience is Female or Women and why would they want Men’s Gifts?”. This is what separates the successful Affiliate from the one who just can’t seem to find out how to convert their traffic, even though they get clicks.
Men may be on the site because they like the gift ideas or the gifts, but are they the ones who are actually buying the gifts? Also ask yourself, why would the Men be buying the Men’s Gifts for themselves? The smart Affiliate asks themselves this question and sometimes realizes that maybe it isn’t the male traffic they are looking for, maybe it is the female traffic, the secretary traffic (not the recipient) or maybe it is the wife or partner? When they realize this and ask themselves the right question of who the actual buyer is of these gift items, that is when they start to figure out how to monetize their sites.
A busy executive may find this site and love the gifts, but is he or she going to actually purchase it? Probably not, that is why they have a Secretary or Assistant. Is a guy going to buy his own Father’s Day Present or his own Birthday Present? Probably not if he is married or has kids so who would buy his present for the Male oriented holidays? The partner, the spouse, probably a female skew and the Assistants and Secretaries. Knowing this is a key factor in helping to get your site to convert vs. getting a site that gets traffic and clicks but no sales. This common mistake of picking the wrong ads for the wrong audience is why so many successful CPC blogs and AdServing blogs never could make it as Affiliates.
They picked ads and banners that made sense for recipients, but not for the person or people who do the actual shopping for the products.
Although this site and program does work extremely well for Men’s sites and Male traffic (mainly because we have fun, practical and personal/emotional gift items that Men would buy for themselves) there is an even bigger opportunity out there for sites with female traffic, Mom traffic, Assistant and Secretary Traffic, HR and Staffing Firm Traffic, etc…
Think about it, if you have Moms on your site, chances are there is a Dad somewhere (otherwise there is a good chance they wouldn’t be a Mom). Around Father’s Day many of them will be looking for Father’s Day Gift Ideas and they are the ones who will be buying the gifts, not the Father’s (even though the Father’s may have to foot the bill lol). Normally Mom sites wouldn’t think about a program or site that has a definite skew of products towards Men, but when they think about their audience and the different Holidays and Sections where their Female traffic may need advice, all of the sudden this program makes complete sense.
The point of this post is to get you to think about the needs of your customers and think about who the buyer of a product is and who the recipient is. If you can attract the buyer and not the person looking up possible options, not the recipient but the person who actually makes the purchase, you should in theory be able to better convert your traffic and you may start to find out that this “Affiliate Marketing Thing” really does actually work.
As always, these are just my personal thoughts and opinions. They might work for you or they might not. The goal is not to tell you how to run your business but to help get you thinking creatively and get you to share your own ideas and thoughts by leaving comments below. Thank you again for reading.