Marketing Strategies that Directly Earn Passive Website Income
Marketing in eCommerce isn’t always just involved with creating strategies that will boost traffic and B2C revenues but can also be used in earning passive eCommerce income.
Whether your website is a startup business offering complex services or a newly established online clothing store connected with an e-commerce platform, your website can sell more than what you primarily offer. Revenue can come from other places, such as:
Ad Space: A Game of Numbers
Most magazines earn the bulk of their money not from subscriptions or newsstand sales, but from ad space. Why else do you see full-page ads featuring multi-billion dollar corporations there?
Pay-Per Click advertising through Google Adsense allows publishers like you to take advantage of Google’s network of advertisers. This allows these advertisers to post ads on your website, and when their ads get clicks, you get paid between $0.50 to $5 each click.
Upon signing up, Google places a code on your website, identifying its content and displaying ads that are relevant. For example, if your e-commerce site is all about selling clothes online, Google Adsense might display ads for shoes and accessories.
Google Adsense isn’t the only way to sell ad space — you can do it yourself. Look for companies that sponsor blogs and websites, reach out to them, and start the negotiation process with them directly.
The number of visitors to your site would be your biggest selling point, should you choose to go this route. This is usually quoted as a dollar amount per one thousand impressions (CPM). Or, you could quote a direct price to the advertiser, and collect your payment on a regular basis, whether it’s monthly, yearly or some other interval.
Affiliate Marketing: Where You Can Sell More
Having a blog section on your e-commerce site isn’t a new concept, as it’s one of the most popular ways to monetize website content. In fact, having a blog with optimized content on your online store can bring you more traffic and conversions.
And since the goal of your e-commerce site is to make money, it’s time to warm up to the idea of affiliate marketing as another revenue stream.
One of the best definitions of affiliate marketing is endorsing another company’s product or service in exchange of commission per sale.
The players in affiliate marketing are the Merchant (or Vendor), Affiliate (or Publisher), the Network (or Intermediary) and the Consumer. As the owner of an e-commerce website, you could be both the Merchant or Affiliate to different people. By having others promoting your products to their audience and paying them a commission, while promoting someone else’s products to your own customers, you can benefit from multiple streams of income.
It’s generally easier to get started as an affiliate, especially if you have access to a wide variety of products. Choose wisely, because your credibility is on the line. The products you choose should have a demand for them, so take the time to research how much your customers may want or need them. Review the products in your niche, and make sure these reviews are informative and helpful to your audience.
Collect email addresses from your website visitors, keep them engaged with regular weekly updates filled with good content. Your content may include live webinars, videos, and other presentations that drive traffic to your website. Soon you’ll start gaining traction with your affiliate marketing campaign, and your business will grow.
E Commerce to E Commerce Partnerships: Creating Win-Win Situations
It would be a good start to consider these partnerships as a combination of selling ad space and affiliate marketing, but there’s a lot more going on here.
As we mentioned earlier, online stores and brick-and-mortar shops have several similarities. One of these similarities is the need for business development.
In order to succeed, you need to interact with the community around you, whether it’s a small niche market or a larger group of entrepreneurs. By building brand recognition for your ecommerce store among your allies, you open up a world of opportunity for results that are mutually beneficial.
Ecommerce to Ecommerce partnerships become increasingly relevant if you’re a) Aggressive and competitive, or b) just starting out. There are so many tasks that need to be done in order to build a business, and sometimes you and your team simply don’t have the manpower, the time, or other resources to make things happen as fast as they need to.
To form these kind of partnerships, research and reach out to the other marketers in your niche. Get to know them, how they work, and what they need. Perhaps you provide a service, product, or have a skill that they have been looking for. Explore the possibilities, and propose ideas for a marketing campaign, or collaborate on a cross-branding project.
While partnerships tend to lean towards being mutually beneficial, it doesn’t necessarily mean that money is off the table. You can form monetary-focused partnerships by targeting the right partners. Here are some tips on how to make this work:
- Make sure you’ve created the brand identity you want to establish throughout the eCommerce sphere.
- Self-promote your business to your prospective partners, giving them insight into your monthly traffic, product range, and your reach. It could be in a partnership presentation or a specific page on your site.
See: Shopify’s sell clothes online for reference on an effective on-site brand promotion.
- Tell them why you’re interested on their website and how their website can benefit from collaborating with you.
- Be creative with your offers. Aside from ad space and affiliate marketing, could you provide something more tangible and relevant to them?
- Present the cost structure, benefits, and the nature of your proposed partnership. Place yourself in their shoes when coming up with the numbers, and how much you’d be willing to pay for your own product.
- Let them take a “test drive” of your offer. Have them post an ad, an article, or you could do them a solid by mentioning them favorably in a review or blog post. If it works out favorably for them, then you’ve got at least one foot in the door. This helps overcome any skepticism on their part.
- A page dedicated to showcase your partner companies and invite others won’t hurt.
Your online store has more to offer than you may imagine and your products or services are not your only revenue source; although its quality should always be your top priority. Have other ideas on other revenue streams? Leave us a comment below.