You may think that press releases are only issued by ‘big' or ‘real world' companies, and aren't for smaller online or affiliate marketing sites and businesses.
If so, you'll be surprised to learn that most successful businesses, online and off, use press releases to promote and market themselves.
I was surprised myself to learn that my friend and colleague Lee Romanov, the President of InsuranceHotline.com, uses press releases extensively to promote her online business.
Lee is essentially an affiliate marketer who provides comparitive insurance rate quotes to residents of Canada and the States, for fire, home, life, travel, health, commercial, motorcycle, pet, mortgage and car insurance.
80% of people who visit InsuranceHotline.com instantly find savings of $600 to $1,200 off their insurance cost and save hundreds and in many cases thousands of dollars per year.
To access a free quote, visitors fill out a step-by-step questionnaire that assesses their insurance needs. For example, to get a quote on car insurance you must provide information about your location, age, gender, cars you will be driving, etc.
At the bottom of each questionnaire, Lee includes a survey question, The question changes on a weekly basis.
Because InsuranceHotline.com is a high-traffic site, the answers to those survey questions give her a sufficiently broad response to generate a regular press release that discusses the public's view on a particular topic, usually related to car insurance.
Lee also spends alot of time interpolating the latest news and how that will affect rates in the insurance industry. She'll then put her own take on the developments and issue a release that ultimately points back to her site.
Here's sample press release from Insurance Hotline:
Fear Factor: Reporting An Accident To Your Insurance Company
TORONTO, April 5 /CNW/ – The OPP reported 964 accidents this weekend.
While $1,000 is the minimum for mandatory reporting to collision centres, insurance companies want to know about all accidents, regardless of the amount.
Rates are based on risk, not “cost of repair.”
Example: A driver with a clean record pays $1,855. After an accident, their rate could increase to $7,242. If they switched companies, they'd find one charging only $3,204.
Drivers paralyzed with fear of their insurance rate skyrocketing should use www.InsuranceHotline.com to find the lowest rate available if reporting an accident.
Rate example details; click below:
For further information: Lee Romanov, president, InsuranceHotline.com
So, can affiliate marketers use press releases to promote their sites?
Sure, why not?
For example, if I was really on the ball with my online dating service review site, I would poll the 150,000+ subscribers on my Singles eScene list with regularity.
I could ask ‘What type of relationship are you looking for?' and give options such as ‘serious long-term', ‘just friends', ‘one night stand', etc. To narrow the results, I would also ask for age, country of residence and gender information.
Extrapolating the results, I'd then write a press release along the lines of “A survey of more than 5000 single men aged 25 to 45 showed that 83 percent who use online dating services are looking for a serious, long-term relationship.”
I'd also include statistics from Jupiter Research about the huge numbers of singles using online dating services, and perhaps contact one of the affiliate managers that I work with for a quote related to my story.
Getting a quote from one of those polled about his experience with online dating services would be even better.
Regardless of whether the story was picked up by offline journalists, the story would be posted to all the major online newswires, where it would remain, linking nicely back to my site.
Using press releases to promote your site may take a little time; but free traffic, quality backlinks and increased PR would certainly make it worth the effort!