The focus at Trackbox has always been to provide you with the best information, accompanied with real examples, on how Affiliate Marketing can help your business generate incremental revenue. Apart from that, we’ve also published information on how you can make smart tweaks to your current Affiliate Program to see better results.
In the past 3 months we’ve done an array of articles ranging from the importance of operating an Affiliate Program for your business, to how you can recruit your own super Affiliates, to how hiring the right manager for your Affiliate Program can help you achieve the objectives set up for your business. And as always, we’ll stay committed to ensuring that we nurture the Startup community with information on one of the most preferred marketing channels that has been adding around 15% – 20% to the total revenue of many Startup successes.
Keeping that in mind, we’re doing a series of interviews with Marketers at some popular brands highlighting the experience they’ve had with their Affiliate Program.
Introducing The Marketer Dialogue
The Marketer Dialogue is a conversation that we’ve had with either the Founder or Marketing Head of a business regarding their Affiliate Program, what worked for them and what did not, and their experiences dealing with the channel.
The idea with this is to give our readers a pragmatic perspective to Affiliate Marketing, and an idea of how the marketing channel has been used by other businesses to help achieve their objectives.
So without wasting any more time I would like to get started with our first business interviewed, GetSetLive.com
The Story Behind GetSetLive
GetSetLive is one of India’s recognized Hosting Solution providers. For the uninitiated, Hosting is a product that is used by any individual to get their businesses accessible on the Internet. It’s the second most important thing to have after a Domain Name (www.thisisadomainname.com) since users will only be able to access your website if hosted online, and with a reliable provider.
Danish Wadhwa is the founder and the person in charge for operations at GetSetLive. Since inception, which was 2009, his business has seen a growth of over 100% almost every year. Danish, who’s an IT Engineer, has a keen interest in things relating to Technology and Hosting. It’s this interest coupled with the entrepreneurial itch that got Danish thinking of setting up his own venture.
When Danish started with GetSetLive he was already posed with competition from large and recognized companies with equally larger marketing budgets. As for any Startup, it was a challenge to build trust and get heard among the others, but Danish attributes his success to a few factors and marketing methods that he had started using early on. One of them was the GetSetLive Affiliate Program.
The GetSetLive Affiliate Program is free to Sign Up with, does not require any investment by the partner aka Affiliate and the user can earn upto 50% on the transaction amount.
I had a conversation with Danish to understand more about his experiences, and how he managed to propel his business.
Trackbox: Describe your business in two sentences and the value it offers its users
Danish: The GetSetLive Web Hosting Company is based in India and offers plain vanilla flavor hosting related services. Our delight providing ingredient is the fact that we offer the best personal responsive support in your local language as well
Trackbox: What are the three toughest challenges you faced while marketing your Business?
Danish: I may not be able to name three, but the two challenges that I can distinctly remember I faced during the early stages were: Building trust which comes with brand credibility, and having to work with a thin marketing budget to promote my brand.
Trackbox: Any particular Marketing Trump Card/Growth Hack that helped you see the numbers you forecasted?
Danish: With my business it would be tough to name “A” specific idea that helped us propel forward with reference to numbers. It has always been a mix of integrated marketing efforts that has helped us along the path to realize our objectives. I am still working on methods that can be experimented with to increase traffic which should eventually help us with a better lead and conversion percentage.
Content Marketing however has been integral in helping me achieve my number goals whether that be traffic, leads or conversions. Some of the measures I adopted with regard to content:
1) The Company Blog – this has helped me increase the percentage of new visitors to my website
2) Innovative videos – helped make the learning process of using the product a lot more simpler, fun and engaging
3) Product Specific E-Book – helped people with useful information regarding setting up a business online, and how to choose a Domain Name
4) Affiliate Marketing – helped me build a base of really smart people to help promote the value of my product
These methods have worked for me since it offers a more informative and benefit approach, as opposed to a product feature approach.
Trackbox: Any specific Marketing Medium or Campaign that disappointed you, and your learning through that?
Danish: I am personally not a big fan of Google Adwords or Paid Advertising. As it’s competition is stiff, and unless you don’t keep pumping in more money it gets tough to get ranked for keywords important to you. It hurt my complete yearly marketing budget, and I really don’t get anything substantial out of it.
Trackbox: How would you rate the following Inbound Marketing Techniques in your opinion of importance? (Scale of 1 – 5 where 5 is Very Important)
Danish – SEO – 3 | Content Marketing – 5 | Social Marketing – 5 | Email Marketing – 5 | Paid Advertising – 1
Trackbox: How did the idea of setting up an Affiliate Program come about with reference to your business?
Danish – There was nothing innovative about the idea of starting up an Affiliate Program at GetSetLive; all our competitors have been resorting to Affiliate Marketing for customer acquisition for a long while. I was thinking of setting up the GetSetLive Affiliate Program for a while, but would fail every time struggling with the Affiliate Tracking Software. Bought an expensive software, configured it, but failed to manage it further. I later started using an old inbuilt Affiliate software, that was available with our hosting billing system, and started working on it.
Trackbox – How has the Affiliate Channel performed for you?
Danish – I generate a significant percentage of my business through my Affiliate program. I am working on scaling it better in order to increase the traffic and Lead & Sale conversion percentages that I am sourcing through the channel.
Additionally, during the early stages, it was very hard to distribute money to my affiliates; but yes at the end you get so many marketing guys to whom you only pay once you are paid by your customer.
Trackbox – What are the type of Affiliates that work the best for your business and why?
Danish – I consider bloggers the best asset as Affiliates, Coupon websites also gets an equal credit. The type of audience that arrive on my website from these Affiliates have a much higher purchase intent. They’re already warmed up to the idea of purchasing the product, I just help them with the process of getting started.
Trackbox: What are the top 3 methods you adopt to recruit your Affiliates?
Danish – Google Search for Bloggers, references from a few of my Affiliates, and my existing Customer base
Trackbox: What are the challenges you faced while setting up your own Affiliate Program, and how did you overcome them?
Danish – Building a product might seem hard, but in reality marketing or promoting the product is the actual challenge. It’s very critical to get people to hear and understand about the value your product has to offer vis-à-vis the others.
So it was not very difficult setting up the affiliate program. However, building my Affiliate Network was the challenge. It required searching for the right Affiliates and constant communication and following up, but it paid in the long run since I ended up building a good rapport with individuals that helped me generate relevant conversions with better life time value
Trackbox – What is the average spend or CPA on your Affiliate Program
Danish – I would like to keep this discreet at the moment
Trackbox – Are you happy with the value of the Customer coming in through the Affiliate Channel?
Danish – Yes I am really happy and it acts as a Marketing magic for me; but then again, it does require you to invest some effort and time in order for you to see results
I have my favourite thought that I work with “Need to believe in a fact that, there is no such thing like a overnight Success.”
Trackbox – Any Marketing Ideas, Suggestion or Budget Tips that you could offer to other Start Ups?
Danish – Content Marketing + Affiliate Marketing – Paid Campaigns = StartUp Success.
Startup must stick on spending marketing funds only from where you get returns hand to hand, and Affiliate Marketing is an awesome idea for that.
I would like to thank Danish Wadhwa for his time and sharing his experiences on how Affiliate Marketing has worked for him. I wish him the best for all the success that he is surely going to work at achieving for GetSetLive.
If you’ve too have been contemplating on setting up an Affiliate Program for your business, it’s time you get started.