The most important thing for any business to do is to place a major emphasis on combining different channels of promotion with affinity partnerships.
This will enable businesses to find cost effective, creative avenues to reach new customers both offline and online.
Here’s an example: Two merchants agree to cross promote each other’s non-competitive products. Merchant A sells specialized digital software and Merchant B sells computer memory modules. Merchant A includes a special HTML-based offer in the software archive (commonly called a zip file) using a partner tracking (affiliate) link to drive traffic to Merchant B’s site. In return, Merchant B agrees to put special coupons for Merchant A’s software inside the envelope with their memory shipments.
Each coupon has a special tracking code so sales are trackable.
In this scenario, both merchants can cheaply reach many new customers while increasing their revenue. Both parties reach customers they ordinarily never would tap, create secondary revenue streams, and gather valuable data for their businesses.
These types of cross promotion partnerships take some work to set up, but the payoffs in revenue and reach can be enormous.
Wayne Porter is the V.P. of AffTrack.com, a meta-aggregator and data analysis firm for “super-affiliates” where he is in charge of product development and business strategy. Wayne speaks frequently at revenue sharing industry events and is a well-known business writer. He is an editor for the popular Revenews.com and serves on the Board of Directors for the Affiliate Union. He owns a successful privacy software company, an inkjet distribution firm, and has large interests in a number of pioneering new media projects, including the DV feature film “Nothing So Strange” and its “alternate universe” of Web sites.