How To Sell Expensive Things Using Siren

A basic affiliate program works really well on things that are easy to sell, but what about the expensive things we buy less often? In this post, we dive into how Siren’s multi-program approach makes this possible.


A basic affiliate program works really well on things that are easy to sell. Things that most people can, on a whim, say “hey, I want that”, click through, and purchase right away. As I type this, I am thinking about my current iPhone case, which is a metal housing and snaps together. I literally saw a video of someone using this thing online, clicked through, and bought it on the spot. I’m sure you have had experiences like this, too.

But what about the things that don’t fit in that category? What about the things we buy less often, and are significant expenses that are absolutely not an impulse buy? These things are a bit harder to sell using these basic affiliate programs for a few reasons:

  1. There’s usually some amount of salesmanship required to convert someone.
  2. The customer has to do a lot of research, so their journey to purchase is a lot longer.
  3. What you’re selling requires a lot of research and understanding to choose.
  4. The customer can’t actually return the thing if it isn’t what you want.

After all, I’m not going to scroll on Instagram, see a car, and buy it on the spot like I did with my phone case, right? Not at all. A purchase like that has a much longer customer journey than a simple impulse buy.

This begs the question – how on earth can I sell expensive things using Siren?

Planned Purchases Vs Impulse Buys

The customer journey of a planned purchase is very different than an impulse buy, and that leads to some significant considerations in how to approach an affiliate program.

The impulse purchase journey can be encapsulated in its entirety from a single interaction with an affiliate, but that’s is unlikely with a planned purchases, because the fleeting touch-point between an affiliate and long-term research makes it difficult, or downright impossible, to encapsulate the entire journey.

Awareness

Your customer recognizes a need or desire for something.

Research

Your customer learns about the thing they want.

Consideration

Your customer evaluates their best options.

Purchase

Your customer makes a decision based on their evaluation.

Translating A Customer Journey Into Roles

Instead, what you need to do is break up the customer’s journey into multiple roles for the applicable phases of the journey, and create different programs at those various phases.

A great starting point is going to be to break your sales process down into two types of people:

  1. People who can generate a lot of leads
  2. People who can close a lot of deals

Lead Generators

These people earn a commission when a salesperson sells something to their leads. They educate, discuss, and inform customers.

A mermaid with brown hair, green eyes, and human ears, presenting to a group of other mermaids and mermen underwater. She is pointing at a chart displaying a graph trending upwards, captured midway through her explanation. She is not looking at us but is instead focused on her audience, showing her engagement and leadership. The mermaid's clothing is scaly and green, blending with her underwater environment. Her posture is confident and authoritative as she uses one hand to point at the significant upward trend on the chart and the other to gesture towards her attentive audience. The scene is framed with underwater elements like corals and bubbles, emphasizing the setting.

Salespeople

Earns a commission when they close a sale. Utilizes the leads given by the lead generators, and guides the person through the journey.

By splitting your process in two pieces, you can create programs that revolve around those types of people. These programs can work in different ways, with completely different commission structures, and goals. This gives you a lot more flexibility, and allows you to focus on optimizing each program to motivate these different roles based on what you actually need them to do.

Affiliate Programs For The Entire Customer Journey

For many products, the two-step approach is enough. Lead generators give salespeople leads, and educate the customer over-time about a product, and the salespeople actually sell the thing. These two roles can be translated directly into at least two different program structures.

A mermaid in a moment of pure joy, closely zoomed in on their face, as they leap up in excitement under the sea. This mermaid has just successfully launched their underwater business. Their eyes sparkle with delight, mouth open in a victorious cheer, and their hands are thrown up in the air, capturing the essence of triumph and exhilaration. Bubbles surround them, and the background is a blur of underwater colors, symbolizing the vibrant future ahead for their business. This moment is one of achievement, hope, and the beginning of a new journey.

Siren makes it so easy to create incentive programs, that we created a 1-minute video that shows you how it works.

Lead Generation Program

Depending on how complex your customer’s journey is, this program can be broken down into several smaller programs, or lumped into a single program where the commission is awarded to one, or many of the people who interacted with the customer on their journey.

For example, maybe in your case it makes sense to create a program just for bloggers, and a different program just for podcasters. Or, maybe it makes more sense to create a single program for everyone who generates leads.

Siren allows you to pay the people in your lead generation program in a few different ways. Each one has its own strengths, and which one you should use really depends on how complicated your customer journey is. Simpler journeys do well with Oldest Engagement Wins, but there’s plenty of merit to use Shared Engagement Pool or Performance Weighted pool, which allow you to pay everyone a cut of the profits.

  • Performance Weighted Pool

    The Performance Weighted Pool is a program structure where rewards are distributed among all collaborators based on their performance relative to each other.

  • Shared Engagement Pool

    The “Shared Engagement Pool” is a program structure where rewards are evenly divided among all collaborators who have interacted with a customer throughout their journey.

  • Oldest Engagement Wins

    Oldest Engagement Wins rewards the first collaborator to engage a customer.

Which structure you choose largely depends on how much you’re paying out for this program, since splitting the commission among a bunch of people could water down the program to the point to where it’s not worth promoting.

Sales Program

The other program in our example is a conversion-focused program, or a sales program. Basically, the people in this program are focused on one thing – converting the leads that come from the lead generators. These people usually work in a way that’s a similar to what you think of when you think of a salesperson. They send direct emails to leads, host conversion-focused webinars, and in-general collaborate with the people in the lead-generating programs to create cohesive pipelines to drive sales.

Building a program around this almost always uses the Newest Engagement Wins structure.

  • Newest Engagement Wins

    Newest Engagement Wins is a program structure designed to reward the last collaborator who successfully engages with a customer.

Full Stack Sales

Even though these are separate programs, it doesn’t mean that these people are siloed in one role or the other. Perhaps a salesperson also has a very active following on social media, or maybe one of your lead gen-focused podcasters do monthly webinars focused on closing a sale. With Siren, you can add people to more than one program, so that the people who want to do the entire sales process, absolutely can. You just need to add them to both programs.

Conclusion

By splitting your program into multiple pieces, you can build a sales pipeline where different people interact with your customer at different phases in their journey. This approach empowers your collaborators to work together, since the sales program depends on the leads program, and vice-versa. It also improves your customer’s journey, since you’ll have different people focused on different phases of the process, and some of them them will meet your customer where they’re at.

Swim fast, dream big!

A mermaid in a moment of pure joy, closely zoomed in on their face, as they leap up in excitement under the sea. This mermaid has just successfully launched their underwater business. Their eyes sparkle with delight, mouth open in a victorious cheer, and their hands are thrown up in the air, capturing the essence of triumph and exhilaration. Bubbles surround them, and the background is a blur of underwater colors, symbolizing the vibrant future ahead for their business. This moment is one of achievement, hope, and the beginning of a new journey.

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