If you want to succeed in online affiliate marketing one thing you will need to give some thought to is developing a strong USP for your Internet business.
USP stands for “Unique Selling Proposition.” In simple terms it is an “offer” that makes your business stand out from the pack. It is what makes the product you are selling special, or at least different from similar products sold by your competitors.
The concept was developed by Rosser Reeves, and set out in his book, Reality In Advertising , published back in the early sixties, but still relevant today. Reeves explains that a USP must do three things.
1. It must offer the prospect a specific benefit.
2. It must offer something that nobody else offers.
3. It must be strong enough to induce people to buy the product.
The USP in Affiliate Marketing
It is the nature of affiliate marketing that the most promising products attract hundreds or even thousands of affiliate marketers. Some of the top Internet marketing programs have affiliates numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
In the Internet marketing business niche for example competition is notoriously fierce. Simply putting up a website with a product sales page is not enough in this niche market.
Indeed, many people find that even after energetically marketing their business and their sales volume remains disappointingly low. The reason for this is that most affiliate marketers do not do enough to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
Since most people do not buy the first time they are presented with an opportunity, it is quite possible that the prospect will first read about a particular product on your website but eventually get around to buying it somewhere else.
That is why you need to find a unique selling proposition that will either cause your prospects to buy straight away, or be strong enough to draw people back to your sales page to take advantage of your offer.
Let’s look at some areas where you might try to develop our unique selling proposition for your affiliate products.
Price propositions include discounts, time-limited low price offers, buy-one-get-one-free offers, partial cash refunds and so on.
If you are operating in a competitive market it may be difficult to find a unique price-based proposition. That is especially true for affiliate marketers who are offering products with prices that are usually set by the business owner.
However, some affiliate programs do include the option for affiliates to offer discount vouchers. One example in the Internet traffic generation niche is Commission Funnel which allows affiliates to buy the right to offer coupon codes. Since Commission Funnel offers 100% commissions, there is considerable scope for affiliates to offer discounts to increase sales.
2. Free gifts and bonuses
Try to find something unique to offer as a free bonus or add-on gift or service that has not been tried before. If you are selling a product, perhaps you could write an instruction manual or guidebook, or create a video training series and offer it as a freebie to your customers or referrals.
3. Customer Care
Many affiliate marketers offer nothing in the way of after sales support. Perhaps you could find a unique opportunity by offering this sort of service to your prospects before they buy the product.
Great customer care is also likely to result in more repeat sales for your business as it is an excellent way to build trust.
4. Referral Rewards and Competitions
One thing you can do is offer your customers rewards in the form of free products each time they introduce a new customer to your business. There are many people out there who don’t want to sell, but who would be happy to refer customers in exchange for free goodies.
Another approach is to set up a competition and give away some nice prizes each month. A well-designed competition can be an excellent tool to pull in new customers and keep your established customer base coming back for more.
I especially recommend competitions as a Unique Selling Proposition to network marketers who want to build an active downline. It is one of my main strategies for building my downline in my primary affiliate business, SFI. (To see what I offer, check out my SFI competition page.)
5. Features and Benefits
Okay, so you are selling the same products as thousands of other competitors, but what if you were willing to add something extra? For example, if you are selling web hosting, why not offer to set up a basic website for your customers? This would provide your business with an extra specific benefit that is not being offered elsewhere.
6. You Are Your Own USP
On the Internet, personal branding is becoming increasingly important. People like to know who they are dealing with and will appreciate personal service that goes the extra mile.
So if you are still struggling to find a unique selling proposition for your affiliate marketing product, try working on making yourself your own best unique selling proposition. (I wrote more on this topic in You Are Your Own Ace Of Spades elsewhere on HomeBizWeekly.com.)
Developing your own USP may seem challenging, but it is well worth the effort as it will enable you to stand out from the competition. The key question you should always ask yourself when offering products and services is,
Why should people buy from me?
To help you dig into this crucial topic in more detail, Wealthy Affiliate have created a one-hour (premium) video training session, Creating A Unique Selling Proposition
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