We recently relaunched our Sumo Partner Program, going from around 100 partners (sometimes known as affiliates) to over 2,700 partners in the past three months. Since partners now account for a growing portion of Sumo’s revenue—for example, 13% of our Black Friday revenue was through partners—I wanted to break down a few ways they generate sales.
What are our top partners doing differently than everybody else?
Well, as the old saying goes, there is more than one way to make a taco.
Here are the five ways partners made 10 or more—sometimes many more!—sales in under 30 days.
One of our Partners—sorry, but I can’t reveal Partner X’s identity—has built a system of testing and refining pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to make consistent sales every day. There is no reason you can’t do the same thing. The idea is simple, but the execution takes patience, a willingness to invest in advertising, and time:
Like I said, the concept is simple, but it takes money, patience, and time. This is definitely not easy, but it is doable.
This strategy is best if you don’t have an audience because you don’t need your own audience. Your job is to place ads targeted to somebody else’s audience. In this case, you’re targeting Sumo’s ideal customers.
Listen, email lists are great—email is how and why we built Sumo, after all—but they’re not the only way to immediately connect with your audience. (Which is why Sumo has many other tools too.)
Justin Brooke is an incredibly successful marketer who uses everything at his disposal to make his marketing work. Yes, he’s a paying Sumo user and does great with our email subscriber growth tools, but he doesn’t limit his methods to email. For this promotion, Justin posted a story about email marketing to his Facebook followers, using a custom offer.[*]
Check it out:
Justin goes on to explain how he got that 62% opt-in rate and how to get into a private Facebook Group where he’ll coach you how to get 2,000 leads in 20 days. This offer didn’t take him anything but time.
The important thing to remember when making an offer like this is you want to get people successfully using Sumo. Once you’ve shown them they can grow their businesses, they’re going to stick around for a long time—good for both you and Sumo.
Teach them how to use Sumo’s tools successfully, and you’ll not only make money (we pay 30% recurring commissions for life), but your customers will make more money (and love you for it), and we get Taco Thursdays in addition to Taco Tuesdays. It’s one of my favorite things: a win/win/win (your customers win, you win, we win).
If you have a decent sized email list (or a small but actively engaged email list), a webinar is a fairly low-pressure way to make sales. We write your email copy, we create a landing page (example below), we provide the webinar software, and all you have to do is promote it and then show up for an hour on the specified date and time.
For a custom webinar like this, you’ll need to drive 500+ free registrations. Our webinar landing page converts at over 50% so if you can send us over 1,000 quality unique visitors this might be your jam.
What if you can’t get 500+ registrations to a Sumo webinar?
Not a problem! Using a service such as WebinarNinja, WebinarJam, or GoToWebinar, you can run your own webinar teaching your audience how to use Sumo tools. Let’s say you get 50 webinar attendees and 10% of them purchase a Sumo Professional annual plan. You’d make $522 for your time. (5 sales x $104.40 per sale = $522)
Webinar topic ideas you can use:
If you’d like help setting up your own webinar, after you join the Sumo Partner Program, reply to the welcome email and we’ll hook you up with the ad copy we use on our landing pages so you can get a head start. And if you can get 500+ registrations to a webinar, reply to the welcome email and let us know so we can set one up for you!
This process is more time-consuming than the others, but should also make sales for you for a long time. You’ll be posting to your blog, adding an email to your drip sequence, and linking to your review on your resources page.
For a good example, see what Sean Ogle did with his Sumo review:[*]
The first thing Sean did was add a great custom, limited-time offer to his review that granted lifetime access to one of his online courses. This is how he was able to make a lot of immediate sales. The review will also keep working for him as long as he keeps his site up and links to the review via a drip email and a link from his resources page. He may even get an organic SEO boost for people searching for Sumo reviews. Nice!
But Sean is a smart marketer and he didn’t stop with just a custom offer. Similar to Justin Brooke, he also teaches a very specific way he uses Sumo. Check it out:
The interesting thing Sean does here is he gives it away. He doesn’t ask you to purchase anything. He simply teaches you how he’s done something with Sumo that has helped grow his business.
Here’s a direct quote from Sean:
“When I installed Sumo and it doubled the number of opt-ins I was getting overnight – that in turn doubled the number of people we were able to engage on a more personal basis.”
When you frame a tool like Sumo like this, is gets your readers thinking about how it can help them. You’re preselling them and getting them interested without any type of hard sell. It’s incredibly effective, and whether you’re promoting Sumo or something else, I suggest you try it.
Dan Wood is a real estate agent trainer and a longtime Sumo user. He was already sharing Sumo with his audience, and when we launched our Partner program, he decided to make a more concerted effort to make sales. It paid off well.
So what did Dan Wood do? He created a short, five-minute video about how he uses Sumo and how other real estate agents should be using Sumo.[*]
If you watch Dan’s video, he doesn’t hold back about what he likes and what he doesn’t like about Sumo. I love when users share honest feedback, don’t you?
The thing is, sharing honest negative feedback doesn’t actually kill your sales. Something like “Listen, I don’t like X, but I love Y and Z” builds trust and people buy from those they trust (in copywriting and sales, this is a tactic called “damaging admission”). This can, unfortunately, be abused but I trust that you’ll do well by this information.
Creating a demo video may seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but you can see it doesn’t have to be extraordinarily detailed. Use something like Screencast-O-Matic, ScreenFlow, or Camtasia to create your demo video. (They all offer free versions of their video screen capture tools.)
You understand by now that what works best to make sales in our Partner program is to first build a relationship with your audience. When you’ve built a relationship, you can guide them through the purchase process for Sumo—or any other products you promote— with a unique offer you’ve customized for them. Whether it’s a blog review, a webinar, a video demo, or a Facebook post you’ve got to customize to your specific audience. Give them what they want, and they’ll give you what you want.
Building a trusting relationship with your audience takes time and there are no real shortcuts. It helps to be honest with your audience, which is one reason why our most successful partners are also paying customers. When you promote a product you happily pay for, it makes it much easier for your customers to trust that they should pay as well. (Bonus: Something that works well is to show a screenshot of your invoice showing you’re a paying customer.)
Beyond building trust, you’ve also seen that a unique offer works really well.
What about if you don’t have anything already made and you still want to offer customers something when they buy through your link?
It’s simple: offer to install and set up Sumo for them. Create their first Scroll Box, Smart Bar, and Welcome Mat. Write copy specifically for their audience. Do it all for them because the sooner they get to successfully using Sumo and increasing their email lists (and hence, profits) the more ongoing commissions you’ll make. Remember, you get 30% recurring commissions for the life of your referral’s plan.
If you focus on any of the above, you will be successful with Sumo’s Partner program. Let me know how I can help you along the way. Email me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
Final action item: Get started with the Sumo Partner program here.