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5 Time-Tested Marketing Strategies for Building a Million-Dollar Business There is always a lot that can go wrong in a business but a handful of marketing ideas are proven winners, when done right.

By Eric Samson Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Successful marketing does not have to be complicated. While it may be intimidating, marketing offers a number of fun challenges to position your business in a way that demonstrates exceptional value to customers and outshines competitors. Whether you are a budding or seasoned entrepreneur, the following tactics -- done right -- will help you along your journey as you build your first, or next, million-dollar business.

1. Affiliate marketing.

As an affiliate marketer, you can state how much you are willing to pay for each sale someone else generates for you. Simple arbitrage would suggest setting your commission rates below your gross profit per sale. At those rates, you want others to promote your products or services as aggressively and as often as possible. But that way, you may get priced out by the competition.

To attract the right partners, you need to offer a generous payout per sale. To expand your affiliate marketing budget, you will want to look at the lifetime value of a customer. Knowing that your average customer purchases your product or service 12 times over his or her lifetime allows you to easily multiply your affiliate commission rates while still remaining profitable long-term.

Related: Affiliate Marketing Is Broken But Ecommerce Companies Can Adapt

2. Email capture and lead nurturing.

Email seems almost a prehistoric means of communication now that we have social media and instant messaging apps but it remains the most powerful way to connect with existing customers and potential leads. According to ExactTarget, "For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment." For marketers, email is easily the best way to invest your budget.

Using customer segmentation and action triggers, you may create sophisticated email drip campaigns to provide buyers with timely information and gradually move them along the sales funnel. This helps reinforce brand awareness and enables you to recapture otherwise lost value from clients who require multiple touch points before eventually making a final purchase.

Related: The 8-Second Challenge: Email Marketing for Our Shrinking Attention Span

3. Strategic partnerships.

As a company grows, marketing is tasked to drive new customers at scale.

Entrepreneurs lacking a generous advertising budget should invest energy and time into strategic partnerships with companies that share the same ideals and have similar, but not overlapping, customers. For example, a clothing retailer can access thousands of new customers by collaborating with a footwear brand. They have opportunities for cross-promotional marketing or exclusive marketing campaigns where both businesses are featured prominently.

Related: 10 Steps to Forming Long-Lasting Strategic Partnerships

4. Leverage Influencers.

Like strategic partnerships, influencer marketing allows you to get in front of an audience that is already engaged. On Twitter, an endorsement from a celebrity can go a long way. On Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg simply sharing what he is reading next can be the catalyst that drives tens of thousands of book sales. On YouTube, tapping the right influencers may help you build a more likeable brand, thanks to the power of peer recommendations.

Developing your own social presence requires a lot of hard work, time and dedication. To reach a large following in a short amount of time, engage influencers who may love your product enough to promote it organically or who may offer an endorsement for a fee.

Related: The Easy Way to Get a Social Influencer Advocating Your Brand Is to Hire One

5. Relentless conversion rate optimization.

As you invest in adding more and more prospects to the top of your marketing funnel and use email to increase brand affinity with clients, you also want to relentlessly optimize your conversion funnel.

Constantly test landing page layout, visuals and copy. Remove steps to shorten the conversion funnel or intentionally add components to the user experience to ensure web visitors get the right amount of information they need before deciding to purchase your product or service.

Related: 7 Tips to Improve Your Site's Conversion Rate -- Fast

Eric Samson

Founder of Group8A

Eric Samson is the founder of Group8A, a boutique consulting firm focused on developing and executing integrated marketing and digital solutions for companies of all sizes.


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