Part 2: Smart, Data-Driven Campaigns with ShareResults

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Part one of Smart, Data-Driven Campaigns focused on the manual reporting that so many marketers have to rely on.  Today we are going to look at the importance of giving your partners, the affiliates, the right tools in order to run a successful campaign and essentially drive more conversions.

Quick Insights for Financial Marketers and Affiliates

If your financial institution wants to test or focus on performance marketing (a solid goal considering that 40% of financial services companies have 20%–80% of their overall revenue driven through their performance marketing partnerships) your partners, the affiliates, need the right tools to run a successful campaign and get you as many customers as possible. Your internal tracking is great to compare and track your marketing efforts but when working with affiliates who need real-time tracking, pulling the results from your in-house tool every week or once a month isn’t efficient.

The ShareResults software can be made available to both parties and allows a deep view into each campaign and how it’s performing. For example, the software can show how many applications were made and how many of those were approved — something other tracking tools can’t show.

This dynamic software also allows for comparing different affiliates. For instance, the Affiliate Manager can see if the “approval rate” for an ongoing gift card promotion is much higher on one affiliate website compared to another affiliate website. Maybe the first affiliate is also using targeted mailers and the other is running a less-trafficked PPC campaign. Using these data driven insights, the Affiliate Manager can recommend a different strategy for the PPC campaign and affect the overall success.

Plus, Affiliates often spend money on promoting their partners, so why would they spend extra time and money on a campaign that they can’t optimize? It’s an advantage to both the affiliate and the financial institution to access in-depth reporting.

An Affiliate traffic report allows users to see which merchants are performing the best using various KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Each report has customizable sorting and filtering capabilities to better analyze the data.

With real-time tracking, affiliates can log into their accounts and see which campaigns are working best. From number of impressions to click-through rates, from reporting by creative to seeing which is your top performing banner, and so on. Shedding light on those campaigns from beginning to end.

ShareResults offers easy-to-use and customizable software that delivers:
● Real-time data and reporting
● Paperless payment solution
● Easiest and most flexible interface around
● Unlimited users and affiliates

Case Study: Using Data to Make a Difference

Here’s an example of the power of using data strategically. In one month an Affiliate might run two campaigns: an email campaign and an online gift card campaign.

During the month, the Affiliate is able to see some click data on these two campaigns, but won’t be able to see the sales/conversion rates until the end of the month when the financial institution sends over a spreadsheet.

When the spreadsheet is finally sent, the Affiliate Manager discovers the email generated 90 approved sales and the online gift-card had 110 approved sales. This leads the Affiliate to think the online gift-card campaign was more successful than the email one. But was it?

Maybe the email campaign received 100 sales and 90 of these were then approved. And the online gift-card campaign received 300 sales but only 110 of these were actually approved. The conversion rate of the email ended up being a lot higher, making it the more successful of the two.

The Affiliate might have spent more time and money on the online gift-card campaign, but if they had put more resources behind the mailer, they would have sent the financial institution more approved customers. And both the Affiliate and the financial institution would have made more money. Without access to real-time data to expose this information during the campaigns, there’s no way to know until it’s too late.

The time for using big data to make strategic decisions in your marketing programs is here. Do you have the right tools to make a difference? Or are you still using a manually-created spreadsheet?

Shared Results offers turn-key reporting solutions and knowledgeable Affiliate Manager who will partner with you. Reach out for a demo and to learn more.

 

How Banks can use Affiliate Marketing to Acquire New Customers

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software | No Comments

Have you considered affiliate marketing for your finance offers? Affiliate marketing has proven to be one of the most valuable and cost-effective channels for banks and financial institutes attempting to target and convert customers online. By leveraging affiliate partnerships and paying only for approved transactions or conversions, financial brands have more control over their online marketing spend.

If you’re thinking about testing the affiliate marketing channel for your financial services products here are some types of affiliate sites you should consider recruiting into your affiliate program.

Rate Comparison Sites

Finance comparison sites like RateSupermarket and Ratehub attract like-minded, targeted shoppers search for the best rates available for a range of finance products including mortgage rates, insurance, credit cards and personal banking. The combination of high traffic and loyal following is a recipe for high performance.

Coupon & Deal Affiliates

Coupon sites get an estimated 48 million monthly users and are adored by price-savvy consumers who are looking for a deal. Many coupon sites, like RedFlagDeals.com, promote not only retail discounts but personal finance and credit card offers as well.

Loyalty Affiliates

Affiliates offering cashback, points, or other types of rewards have a loyal member base and offer exposure to a large audience of consumers. These sites, like GreatCanadianRebates.ca, use campaign commissions to pay their devoted customer base for using their recommended products. Characterized by a strong community and a healthy, active email database, loyalty sites are a great addition to you affiliate mix.

Content Affiliates

Consumers are becoming more and more “ad-blind,” especially to traditional PPC advertising images. About 200 million internet users have installed ad blockers (source).  As a result, content marketing has grown in popularity because it’s less intrusive. Personal finance blogs like HowToSaveMoney.ca and other niche sites offer articles and ideas that appeal to their audience while including a bit of information about your financial product. Social media and newsletters are also avenues widely used by personal finance bloggers.

 

At Share Results, we have also seen vast success when finance brands offers a customer rewards tied with a financial service offer. Based on previous campaigns, we know that a customer rewards in the form of a physical or digital reward significantly increases the overall exposure and number of conversions for the respective provider by over +400%. This type of strategy works best when introduced during certain times or the year and helps boost brand presence and increases activity.

Share Results offers turn-key marketing solutions for your financial institution with a knowledgeable Affiliate Manager who will partner with you with right affiliates to suit your suite of finance offers. Reach out for a demo and to learn more.

Part One: Smart, Data-Driven Campaigns with Share Results

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software, Miscellaneous, Program Optimisation | No Comments

Financial industry marketers have long known that data-driven strategy can have a huge impact on their campaign’s success. But some companies lack the tools to analyze the high-volume of information available, such as real-time user activity and trends, and to make strategic refinements on the fly. How well are you using data?

Death by Manual Spreadsheets

Some financial businesses rely on manual reporting — spreadsheets that are passed around to gather data from various, ongoing campaigns. Once compiled, they are reviewed by the team and leadership. This method is slow and doesn’t allow for in-the-moment changes that could lead to increased success. Plus, the man-hours used to create such a document could be better spent.

When a financial institution is running an affiliate program, the process is even more time-consuming. Often, the affiliate has to wait for the company to send a monthly spreadsheet detailing acquisition results (often with very basic information and manually created), before they can analyze campaign performance. Basically, the campaign runs in the dark.

To sum up, manually-created tracking spreadsheets are:

  • Time consuming
  • Labor intensive
  • Lacking access to real-time insights

Premier Reporting Tools For High-Performing Campaigns 

Ready for a real data solution? A best-in-class reporting tool cuts out the time to manually compile this information and delivers a full-view of all running campaigns in the moment. And that’s exactly what the ShareResults software offers.

Earnings Report

Earnings Report: In the robust ShareResults software, a merchant or financial industry marketer can easily drill down to specific metrics, including click-through, approved transactions and commission information.

Easy to use and customizable, this robust software reports real-time data and can compile a myriad of reports which you can email with one click — making those paper spreadsheets a thing of the past.

The customizable dashboard keeps things organized and easy to use.  It also allows users to manage multiple affiliate campaigns, with important data at-a-glance. It can be set up with an unlimited number of custom commission plans, multiple products and creative images. It also includes a paperless payment system for affiliates with monthly invoicing, balance statements and more.

Stay tuned for part 2!

The Power of Connections – Two Examples

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Making connections is the lifeblood of any business, especially in the financial industry. Whether it’s with new customers or loyal clients, a thriving business needs to focus on personalization and putting customers first. Here are two examples.

Connecting With Quality Introductions

Introductions are so important to a growing business. And a personal introduction from a friend or colleague is the most powerful. It adds instant credibility. Review sites, social media and old-fashion word of mouth are just some avenues for these personal connections to be made. According to a recent Nielsen study, 82% of participants seek recommendations from family and friends before making a purchase.

That’s where affiliate marketing comes in. Affiliate programs leverage existing networks with their own successful community leaders — influencers. Endorsement from those influencers, through a link, a review, a podcast, etc., have added credibility and reach in that group resulting in a high-quality prospect who is more likely to convert.

Commissions on Connections

Affiliate marketing is based on a commission, so affiliates get paid based on sales or approved signups instead of just click volume. The positive exposure of your brand in that network is an added bonus of partnering with that affiliate.

Shared Results is only affiliate network dedicated to Canadian financial services space. Get in touch today to see a demo and learn more.

Making Customer Connections

Once a loyal customer is earned, making connections through personalized customer service becomes essential. It’s been proven time and again that customers are more willing to purchase and endorse businesses that they’ve had a positive customer service experience with. Avenues like call centers and social media (Facebook and Twitter, especially) provide a quick response to negative customer experiences and give customers that personalized service they are looking for.

Having well-thought out communications plans in place for various customer issues is key, especially when communicating via social media. It allows your customer service representatives to offer a fast response to issues, positive or negative.

Data and Customer Service

Using data from your website to follow the customer experience and understand what that customer is looking for is another way to deliver better customer service. You can use those flow patterns to remove any roadblocks and offer a simple customer experience on your site.

Connecting to your customers across every channel is essential to your survival. Whether it’s through your potential client funnel, through a quality introduction by a network influencer, or excellent customer service, making the customer experience personal is vital.

Showdown! Affiliate Marketing vs. Traditional Online Advertising

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Let’s face it, most consumers know when they’re being advertised to and they generally don’t like it. There’s a weariness when a customer clicks a display ad or paid search result and is taken to a website, knowing they are being sold something. Affiliate Marketing programs strive to replace this uncertainty with brand trust.

Traditional Website Marketing

Generally, a traditional Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign is quick to setup and easy to track. And, depending on your overall marketing goals, it’s uncomplicated. But many advertisers find it time-consuming to monitor performance reports and performance is dependent on trial and error. Moreover, according to a recent Lumen report, only 35% of those ads get seen at all, the rest languish on low-trafficked pages.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing), which includes SEO (Search Engine Optimization), offers desirable conversion rates but often the price tags on high-trafficked keywords can rise as they become hot with competitors. And similar to PPC, data reports need to be monitored and new keyword strategies tested to stay ahead of the competition.

Advantages of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing offers elements of traditional advertising programs, but with some additional desirable advantages. First, affiliate networks are targeted communities with established leaders or brand influencers who can endorse your brand, create content and reviews about your products. That personal, word-of-mouth introduction is powerful in brand recognition and building of initial trust. According to a Nielsen report, people are 4 times more likely to buy a product when referred by a friend.

Also, an affiliate program is usually set up on a “pay for performance” model or CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), offering a commission to an affiliate only when a desired result is generated, rather than just a click on a website. Regardless of traffic, the added brand exposure in these communities is just another advantage of these programs. (Read more about Commission Models in our post).

Lastly, affiliate marketers can offer a wealth of knowledge in this type of online marketing, providing deeper engagement with ideal networks and partnering with your team and strategy.

Traditional online advertising will always have its place in a marketing plan, with its combination of display ads and SEO buys, but a shrewd marketer will look for new avenues of quality leads that can come from an affiliate program.

Share Results is a leader in Affiliate Marketing. Reach out for a demo and to learn more

Social Media and the Finance Industry – A Quick Take

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Social media offers the Financial Industry another outlet to build customer trust, credibility and quick customer service. Even opening up some global opportunities. But the industry is lagging behind others, and though some delay is due to heavy regulations, there are plenty of reports that suggest opportunities are out there.

A study performed by LinkedIn found that 63% of the consumers surveyed were motivated to take action after learning about financial products and services on social media.

What are we talking about when we say Social Media?

Social platforms can be sorted into five  usage classifications: Publishing, Messaging, Collaboration, Networking and Sharing. A comprehensive list can be found in this Social Media landscape study for 2017. Examples include blog post, Facebook posts, email newsletters, YouTube videos, Infographics passed around in Tweets and posts, Podcasts, Pinterest … the list grows at a fast pace.

How do Finance Industry marketers get started using Social Media?

First, decide which outlet is the best fit for your brand and message. Facebook is the largest community, passing 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. Twitter is a good fit for learning about consumers’ likes and providing rapid customer service. Pinterest is perfect for attention-grabbing content around targeted services. For example, home equity loan products fit well with the remodeling/redecorating content often shared on Pinterest. Linkedin attracts more of a professional crowd. In fact, this study found 62% of financial advisors have reported getting new clients through LinkedIn messaging. Not to mention all the other quickly growing apps (such as Instagram).

There’s no shortcut around solid content

Customers will respond or forward your messaging on to their friends, but only if they like it. Strive to deliver share-able information that is relevant, factual and true to your brand message. Familiarize yourself with the 4-1-1 rule of content marketing on social media so your approach maintains its conversational tone and doesn’t come across as pushy or sales focused.

Social media is an investment

Communities don’t just spring up overnight, they need to be nurtured with quality content, relevant information, and engaging conversation over time. Be patient as your social media content grows and accumulates a following. And it will come … 60% of the population in North America has a social media account, according to this report and that stat is expected to grow.

The Finance Industry has been slow to adopt Social Media into marketing plans. But the potential to develop your brand messaging, connect with loyal customers and build trust is there. How much are you doing on Social Media?

Affiliate marketing uses Social Media as just one avenue to direct high-quality leads to your business. Contact Share Results, a leader in Affiliate Marketing in the Financial Industry, to learn more.

5 Signs It’s Time for a Website Redesign

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If your website isn’t working for you, it’s working against you. It’s as simple as that. Your website is the cornerstone of your banking business, a critical marketing channel where customers can learn about your financial services and become loyal customers, all on their own time.

So how will you know when it’s time to reinvest in your website? Here’s a checklist of five common mistakes you might be making today.

1) Your website is loading too slowly. Customers don’t have time to wait for your website to load. According to a recent study, 40% of users abandon a website after a three second load delay. Use a website speed test such as Google’s PageSpeed to check your page speeds. If they are underperforming, you’ll want to talk to your website administrator to find out what’s holding it up.

2) The design is unappealing or outdated. Your first impression says a lot, so invest in the time to get it right. If your website is over three years old, uses poor graphics or mismatched fonts, was built using Flash or is not mobile-friendly, it’s time to update. These are all signs that tell potential customers that you are not paying attention to detail or not a professional, credible financial business.

3) No clear message or call to action. Your potential customers are looking for a clear-cut message about what your business has to offer to them and how to sign up. If the copy is too sparse or overwritten, users will be confused and move on. Aim to be thorough yet succinct and create a clear “conversion funnel” to turn potential customers into clients. Consider adding a CMS that makes quick copy updates to your site that allows you to use timely content, stay in step with your marketing campaigns and directly leverage performance insights.

4) Underutilizing your website. Are you “leaving money on the table” by underplaying your most valuable marketing tool — your website? With the various traffic sources coming in from search, Affiliate Networks and advertising, a robust site can help educate a potential customer and convert them to a loyal client. Review your new user flow and available content that you offer. Is a visitor gaining valuable insight into your business? Is it better than what your competitor offers?

5) Not seeing your website analytics. Setting up analytics and tracking tags, enables you to review your website traffic and navigation patterns. These reports are valuable to see how well clients and potential customers are moving around on your site, how they are using the navigation, what pages they are going to the most and, most importantly, where they are dropping off. If you’re not getting tracking data from your website, you’re working blind.

Shared Results offers a digital onboarding tracking solution that can be highly-customized to your website and marketing goals.

Offering a clean and clear online experience will give you a competitive edge, so investing in your site should always be top priority. And, a credible-looking website establishes a strong message to your clients and all those seeking out your financial services. You can never make a second first impression.

Affiliate Marketing Commissions – A Quick Take

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New to Affiliate Marketing? The performance-based commission structure may seem a bit daunting, as well as desirable. What are the different models available, what are the most popular and how do they get tracked?

The Shared Results management team will work with you to decide which commission model works best for your goals and industry.

Let’s quickly go over some of the common affiliate marketing commission terms.

First, there’s Cost Per Action (CPA) which pays commission for a defined action, such as email signup, website registration or an opt-in to a specific program. This is similar to Pay Per Sale (PPS) which is the most common affiliate commission structure and Revenue Sharing, a percentage of the total amount of sales.

There’s also Cost Per Lead (CPL) which differs slightly from CPA as it is a commission earned for the referral of contact information of an interested, prospective customer.

Commission rates can be either tiered, flat or percentage rates calculated from the number of sales or revenue generated. In addition, special rewards or bonus incentives can be created for affiliates who perform well.

CPC or Cost Per Click was once common, but with the increased sophistication of tracking tools that can follow a user from an Affiliate Network onto your website and through your conversion funnel, this model is best left for paid search and display ads.

Here’s a simple example: Ace Bank wants to attract more clients to their Savings Account (acquisitions), and works with Shared Results to support this marketing effort. They choose the most common model, a flat Cost Per Action (CPA) commission structure, with the “action” defined as a “new client account”.

The Shared Results team partners Ace Bank with its financial industry affiliate network and helps put together the campaigns and tracking. The software is then able to track a lead through the network, to the Ace Bank website and their New Savings Account sign-up funnel. Once a new account has been approved, Ace Bank pays the affiliate the agreed upon CPA commission.

Ace Bank is able to see all data on their Shared Result’s dashboard, can control commission amounts, and time periods offered. Special bonus incentives and exclusive CPA amounts can also be created for affiliates who perform well.

In this very simple example, you can see how Ace Bank is only paying a commission for real results — new accounts. This performance-based commission structure is what gives Affiliate Marketing its unique edge and clear return on investment.

Contact the Shared Results team if you’d like to learn more or request a demo.

Tangerine Bank Logo

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Wins Multiple Product Awards

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It’s been a great year for the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card and, most importantly, for the Canadians who use this lucrative card for their personal finances. Gaining well-deserved recognition for the value it brings to customers, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card won three product excellence awards this year:

The Money-Back credit card wins consumers over by simply being a smart way to spend money. Customers receive 2% money-back rewards in selected purchase categories, and 1% back on all other purchases. By selecting categories that they use most frequently for their 2% rewards, Tangerine customers can make the most of these monthly rewards (and skip the annual fee, to boot!).

For a limited time, Tangerine is offering new Money-Back Card users 4% on their selected purchase categories for the first three months.

Want to find out more about the Tangerine affiliate program or the Money-Back Credit Card? Get in touch with us at tangerine@shareresults.com.

Someone Marketing on a Laptop

Affiliate Marketing and Video | Part 2: Crafting Your Content

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The marketing industry buzz about video content is well-earned and growing. Part 1 of our affiliate marketing and video series outlined why video is vital publishers and merchants alike; this week, we’ll walk through some of the different types of video content that you can produce to optimize your affiliate marketing activities.

What can publishers do?

Thought leadership

Video content that is not expressly related to products or brand partners can still help your bottom line. For example, videos about affiliate marketing, ecommerce, or other subjects related to your site’s industry niche can help establish your site as a quality information source, bringing consumers back for more. If customers trust your industry knowledge, they’ll be more inclined to trust your brand partnerships.

This video from successful internet marketer and blogger John Chow is a great example of simple and effective thought leadership content. Produced with a camera in his car, the video contributes to Chow’s reputation as an industry expert and brings a personal touch to his brand – two vital components of customer trust.

Product recommendations

96% of consumers find videos helpful when making purchase decisions. If you’re a publisher, especially a blogger who does product recommendations, self-produced video content can be a great way to build customer trust and increase familiarity with you and your site. Alternatively, publishing merchant-produced video content, such as product demonstrations, can also boost conversion rates.

Product recommendation videos are most effective when published regularly – consistent content gives your audience a reason to trust your recommendations, and ultimately follow your links.

What can merchants do?

Product demonstrations

In addition to standard advertising content, product demonstration videos can help push customers through the sales funnel. Providing this kind of content to your affiliates (and making it available on your own sites and landing pages) can build consumer familiarity with your brand and confidence in your products, helping you boost sales.

iFetch’s product demonstration video for their automatic ball launcher shows how simple it can be to produce a high-impact product video. With no script, one audio track and natural footage of their product in use, iFetch conveyed the purpose and effectiveness of their product – with nearly 700,000 views to boot!

Video creatives

Produce video content for your affiliates! Particularly if you have affiliates who are getting high amounts of traffic to their sites but failing to convert, video creatives can be the finishing touch that pushes customers to click through and actually make a purchase. According to Vouchercloud, 92% of online shoppers say visuals are the most influential factor of their purchasing decisions.

This GoPro ad showcases how minimal production value can still result in far reach, garnering more than 226,000 views. Your ad can be demonstration-based or have an informative script; either way, the video format will help your customers stay engaged.

Whether you’re an affiliate or a merchant, online video content should be on your radar to ensure that your marketing efforts are meeting their full potential.