Are you leveraging the benefits of affiliate marketing? - **If you haven't tried affiliate marketing, this step-by-step** guide can get you set up quickly and easily, to help increase your revenue! - **Is it ever appropriate to re-send emails to your
Are you leveraging the benefits of affiliate marketing?
If you haven't tried affiliate marketing, this step-by-step guide can get you set up quickly and easily, to help increase your revenue!
Is it ever appropriate to re-send emails to your customers? If you're concerned that your emails are getting forgotten or buried, and are considering sending them again, don't. Instead, do this to reactivate inactive users.
Founder Tom Orbach sold his company, Viral Post Generator, just one week after launching. Here's how he came up with the idea, went viral, and proved the impact of his product to negotiate a high acquisition price.
Want to share something with over 110,000 indie hackers? Submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter. —Channing
💻 A Guide to Affiliate Marketing
by Victor Giurgiu
Affiliate marketing and referrals are marketing tactics that are really slept on, especially in the SaaS world. If done correctly, these things can increase your revenue significantly.
Here's how to do it!
Here is a four step plan I created and executed for companies that I work with:
Create an affiliate page on your website where you can explain the benefits of joining your program. That way, potential influencers and marketers will get a good idea of what it offers. Here are some good examples: Bannerbear, ContentStudio.
Set up an affiliate ecosystem to keep track of your commissions using platforms like Reditus or Rewardful. It's really easy to set up if you are using Stripe or Paddle.
Get your product in front of marketers by listing it on affiliate networks like Affistash or PartnerStack. These platforms are dedicated to software products, so it's a big opportunity to reach your target audience!
Start promoting your program by sharing it with your community and displaying it on your landing page.
I'm a cofounder at Affistash. If you're interested, apply here or reach out to me on Twitter for a 50% discount!
The deeper dive
QServicesit offers even more details:
Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up an affiliate marketing program for your business:
Define your goals: Determine what you want to achieve through affiliate marketing and set clear, measurable goals.
Choose your affiliate network: There are several affiliate networks available, such as Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Rakuten Marketing. Choose the one that best fits your needs.
Recruit affiliates: Reach out to potential affiliates who align with your brand through email, social media, or online forums. Offer them a compelling reason to promote your product, and a fair commission for each sale.
Create marketing materials: Develop marketing materials, including banners, emails, and product descriptions. Affiliates can use these to promote your product.
Set commission structure: Decide on the commission structure you will offer, taking into account your goals and budget.
Provide support: Offer support to your affiliates, including regular updates on promotions, sales, and commission payments.
Monitor and adjust: Continuously monitor your affiliate program to identify areas for improvement, and adjust as needed.
Pay affiliates: Regularly pay affiliates accurately and on time to maintain good relationships so they continue to promote your product.
Set things up well
Moturgunov recommends focusing on network compatibility:
One thing to consider when setting up on an existing network is its ability to integrate with other channels and networks. Look out for API capabilities!
This will be useful later if you want to extend your deals to other networks. For instance, if you want to make your affiliate offer available to a new channel, say newsletters, you can simply extend without having to set up with a new network.
This is what we did with our newsletter marketing platform, Swapstack, and it allowed us to extend the network to access hundreds of new deals almost instantly.
Have you had success with affiliate marketing? Share in the comments!
Discuss this story.
📰 In the News
from the Growth Trends newsletter by Darko
🎁 Earn money on Instagram with Gifts.
🥱 The digital ad market is in a slump.
📌 Pinterest has reached 450M monthly users, and is focused on making videos shoppable.
❌ Six Google Ads conversion tracking mistakes to avoid.
🤫 A secret manual for advanced image SEO.
Check out Growth Trends for more curated news items focused on user acquisition and new product ideas.
📧 Reactivating Users on Your Email List
by Jordan Krueger
Some founders may be concerned that, if customers aren't opening emails, they may be getting buried in their inboxes.
Is it ever appropriate to re-send emails to your customers?
If you're considering doing this, you're misinterpreting your readers' minds.
As someone who works in email marketing, I have heard this question before from people who are new to this space, particularly those with small lists who are trying to maximize coverage of their audience. But re-sending emails is literally the exact opposite of what you should be doing.
If you've already got a great open rate, keep up the good work! Don't hammer people who don't open. It's not that they've forgotten, or the email got buried. They're not reading because they don't want to.
Anyone who doesn't open emails consistently after a few months should be removed from your list, not sent more emails. This is because engagement with your emails (opening and clicking links) is a signal to email providers that people want your content. This is particularly true for Gmail, the largest email inbox provider by market share, but also by a few others, like Microsoft.
When you continue sending emails to people who aren't engaging with them, it's a signal to the email providers that you're spamming people by sending them content that they don't want. That's when they start throttling your emails, discarding them without delivery, sending them to the junk folder, or putting you in the dreaded "Promotions" tab.
The only time you should try re-sending emails to people is when you have a campaign that does extraordinarily well. If, for example, you're normally getting 25% open rates, and one email subject line gets a 50% open rate, it's a good idea to re-send that one. It'll likely bring a bunch of people back into your active users list. But re-sending emails people don't want to read is a bad signal to the email providers, not a good one.
The study of email deliverability is incredibly challenging because email providers obscure their rules as an attempt to beat spammers. But of the few rules that are clearly stated, the top one is to only send emails to people who want to engage with them.
If you want to try and reactivate people, I recommend one of two things that I've seen work:
1. Send them your most popular email from the past few weeks, with a subject line that's something like: "RE: [best performing subject line that got people to open]."
Include a message at the top of the email that says something like: "Just wanted to make sure you saw this really popular email that lots of people seemed to like!"
If they don't open it or engage with it, drop them.
2. Send an email to those folks that says something like: "Should I remove you from the list?"
Include a frank email that says something like: "My records show that you haven't opened an email from me in a few months. Since I don't want to keep sending you emails you don't want, I'm going to remove you from my list in a few days unless you click the button below to let me know you want to stay on the list." Make sure to write this in your own voice.
That way, you're just removing people if they take no action, vs. asking if they want to be unsubscribed. Most people who want to be unsubscribed won't take action, anyway.
Keep in mind that people who aren't engaging with your emails are way more likely to mark your emails as spam at some point. These are the folks who wait like six months, open an email, and just push the spam button, which obviously hurts your deliverability.
So, you really want to focus on the folks who are engaging with your emails, and get people who aren't doing those things off your list as quickly as possible.
Will you implement these tips into your email strategy? Let's chat below!
Discuss this story.
🚀 The Spector Report
by Josh Spector
I'm sharing growth tips for creative founders! Here's this week's:
You don't get noticed by fitting in.
To attract an audience, you need to attract attention. To attract attention, you need to do things that are different from what everyone else does.
You and your creations have unique traits. Find them. Amplify them.
Subscribe to Josh's For The Interested newsletter or I Want To Know podcast for more.
💰 Tom Orbach Sold His Company a Week After Launch
by Tom Orbach
Hey, indie hackers! I'm Tom Orbach, founder of Viral Post Generator for LinkedIn. This started out as a side project, and attracted 2M+ users within one week! It then got acquired for a very high price.
Here's the full story!
Behind the scenes
I built the project just for fun, without any expectation of making money.
The idea came up when I did some scraping for LinkedIn posts, filtering them according to high engagement in order to reverse engineer them. I was trying to understand what makes a post viral so I could reproduce it.
Here's what all the viral posts had in common: They all included a great deal of self-love, and sometimes, a little narcissism. I used the no-code platform Adalo to build everything, with AWS Lambda for some language processing (APIs in between).
I launched on:
- Product Hunt: Won third place.
- Twitter: Went very well. I got an influencer to share it by DMing them.
- Humor and LinkedIn communities on Reddit.
I also reached out to journalists, but that was to no avail. People loved it and shared it, but it didn't really explode on a global scale. I did have around 10K users per day, which was great.
The acquisition offer
My number of users was dwindling daily, and I had just received a purchase offer from the founder of a startup called Taplio. The company is building a Chrome extension that helps grow LinkedIn, so the founder offered to buy the generator as a nice little growth engine for them. It will bring them traffic, and contribute to their branding by showing that they support small enterprises. Totally a perfect match for my generator!
I wasn't planning to sell at the time; I loved having an international baby with my name on it. But, I realized that I kind of wanted to get rid of it. I was under astronomical pressure, fearing that something would crash on the site while thousands of visitors were trying to use it, or that there would be some other glitch. I literally couldn't sleep for a week, because at every moment, I wanted to go on Twitter to make sure that everything was fine. You see, I'm a one man band, and there was something very tiring about being "famous" on the internet (with all modesty). I wanted to move on.
I gave a really high price, and he responded with "No go." He didn't even give a counteroffer.
I suggested to him that I would put a link to Taplio in the generator as an advertisement, and see how much impact it had in 24 hours. Then, we could negotiate a price based on the impact.
The final marketing push
I posted in the r/InternetIsBeautiful subreddit, and boom! Within a few hours, it reached 2M people. Then, a random user on Reddit liked and shared it on Twitter. Within a few hours, his tweet reached 15M people. I have no idea why and how, as he doesn't have many followers there.
Closing the deal
Even before the 24 hour window was up, the Taplio founder sent me a message agreeing to the original price I had offered. So, I sold within a week of launching.
BuzzFeed, Business Insider, The Guardian, Yahoo, and several other outlets have already covered my story. I requested in the sale that my name remain on the generator as long as it's active. So, it's still my baby, I just don't have to worry about it anymore!
Lessons on virality
- Invest in UGC:
The single thing more powerful than word-of-mouth is user generated content (UGC). It lets people spread the word along with some output that they feel expresses a part of their personality.
It's a phenomenal growth engine because people really like themselves! The hundreds of thousands of people who shared my generator also included their own generated posts (with the link and watermark), and I doubt I would have reached these results if there wasn't a UGC dimension here.
Of course, I was the one writing the content; the users only provided inputs. Still, they felt as if the content was theirs, which is why they shared it.
2. Friction is good (sometimes):
In the generator, there is relatively a lot of friction from the moment you press the button until you get a result. The wait takes ~10 seconds. I think it made people appreciate the result much more. This is really the "illusion of labor" that is talked about in behavioral economics.
Users know that there is something working hard behind the scenes to give them pleasure, and they like it. There is also an element of surprise here, because you don't know what you'll get until after the wait.
3. Virality = luck:
In the end, it was the combination of a good product and a lot of luck. You never know where the big break will come from, or when. Just keep trying. There is a good chance that one day, the right someone will notice you, and that will change everything!
Today, I'm building Marketing Ideas, a huge library of powerful marketing ideas for organic growth. You can join the waitlist here!
Discuss this story.
🐦 The Tweetmaster's Pick
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
🏁 Enjoy This Newsletter?
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Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Gabriella Federico for the illustrations, and to Victor Giurgiu, Darko, Jordan Krueger, Josh Spector, and Tom Orbach for contributing posts. —Channing