Category Archives: Affiliate Marketing

3 Keys to Building an Effective Affiliate Marketing Funnel

Building An Affiliate Marketing Funnel

You have the perfect product. Everyone is going to want it. You are going to be an instant millionaire because your product is so perfect. All you need to do is list your product online and watch the people come running for your product, right?

While we wish it was that easy, there is a solution that offers high visibility, brand recognition, and increased sales. That is affiliate marketing.

Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll outline the 3 keys to building an effective affiliate marketing funnel and what you can do to find the success you are looking for.

What Is a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is the process that every single consumer passes through when they are purchasing a product or service. Rarely does the consumer even know that they are in the marketing funnel for your business until after they have purchased what you are offering.

A marketing funnel passes consumers through four different stages. These are:

  • Awareness – Making the customer aware of your product or service by showing the customer needs and product benefits.
  • Interest – The customer finds out more about your business and shows interest in what you are presenting by doing more research, requesting demos, or asking for a quote.
  • Consideration – To make the best decision, the customer is considering your product or service over the benefits of competitors or different services.
  • Action – This is when the customer takes the final action you are wanting, whether that is buying your product or subscribing to your newsletter.

By addressing how you are going to help your customers pass through every level of this funnel will help you make decisions as to how your marketing needs to be set up. Using this marketing funnel you can recognize the challenges that need to be overcome and the solutions to these challenges.

One of the solutions that over 81% of brands today use to help move customers through the marketing funnel is affiliate marketing.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of using other businesses and influential people to introduce and promote your product. Often, it is set up in a way where the affiliate will receive a percentage or commission that comes from the sales they help to provide.

In the past 10-12 years affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular methods for people and businesses of all kinds to promote and sell their products and services. In fact, the amount that Americans will spend in affiliate marketing is projected to reach over $8.2 Billion by 2022.

affiliate program growth

To give you some examples, here are the top three most popular funnel types used by businesses.

  1. Free Consultation – In this funnel type, you attract customers by offering free consultations, sneak peaks, and demos to bring them in. After they have had a taste or quote, then you can offer them the full product at full price.
  2. Service or Product Upsell – This funnel is simple, it’s looking at the product or service that your customer purchased and then offering them something more to add onto whatever they originally purchased. This will bring in more revenue for you and offer them extra products.
  3. Limited Time – This one works well when introducing new products or advancements. By offering limited time access to this product, software, service, etc., you can create urgency and drive people in.

To provide some specific use cases, here are two primary examples below.

  1. Course Funnel – In a course funnel, you would create an entry level course with a huge value. This will attract more people to enroll in your main courses.
  2. Webinar Funnel – A webinar funnel is all about bringing in the right audience, inviting them to attend your free webinar and then leading them towards the objective. The objective could be a valuable training, consultation or a product.

Lucky for you, affiliates fit in perfectly with any type of marketing funnel. They help to drive traffic, fill your webinars as well as bring in more leads and sales.

The following three keys will help you set up a successful affiliate marketing funnel.

Choose The Right Affiliate Partners

There are many different affiliate options out there for you to choose from. Some of the top options out there include:

  • Bloggers
  • Influencers
  • Podcast show
  • Another company in our industry
  • Your current customers

Some of them may produce higher quality leads and opportunities, but may be more expensive. Others may provide lead options through specific channels and so it’s up to you to decide which channels are right for your company.

In order to find out which affiliates are the best option for you, your company, and your product, you’ll need to do your research.

Do Your Homework

Every affiliate brings something different to the table. In order to figure out which affiliate fits with your product and company the best, it’s important to do your homework before signing on with anyone.

A few tips for researching the right affiliate for your business include:

  • Find and list different affiliates
  • Choose the niche that fits your product
  • Decide on the pros and cons
  • Choose the affiliate that fits your budget

By being thorough in your research of different affiliates, partners, and influencers, you can be sure that you are making the best choice.

Provide High-Quality Content

If you are going to drive customers to your website and products, then the key to keeping them on your site until they are ready to make the purchasing decision is by providing high-quality content that can help them make the right decision.

For example, if you are going to sell a revolutionary new tool you created, you need to be able to show that off properly to visitors and give them the details and information they need so that they can better understand your new tool and feel comfortable in buying it.

Here are two helpful suggestions that you can use to create high-quality content:

Invest In High-Quality Images

Have you ever been on a website and found pictures that look like they were taken by someone on their phone? These pictures are often blurry and hard to make out.

Now look at the difference of a website where the owner took the time to use a professional. You’ll immediately be able to tell the difference. Statistically, people rely on product and service photos more than anything when making decisions.

Create Clear and Engaging Descriptions

This is especially important if you have a new product or service that people are not familiar with. Going back to the tool analogy, if your new tool can change how people work, but no one knows how to use it, shoppers are going to rely on the description before buying it.

Not every business owner is a great writer, and that’s why the smartest entrepreneurs and company owners turn to professional copywriters to have their descriptions written clearly and directly.

To put things in perspective, think of it this way. You are deciding between two options on amazon. One has professional images and a great description, while the other looks very amateur. Odds are you are going to choose the one that has the clearest images and the most defined descriptions.

Track Your Affiliate Successes

The last key to building an effective affiliate marketing funnel is to track your successes that come from your affiliates. The easiest way to do this is to track where your site and business traffic is coming from. This will show you if it is worth it for you to continue working with your current affiliates.

To track your customer traffic, use tools like iDevAffiliate to see exactly where your leads and customers are coming from. iDevAffiliate is a one-stop program that allows you to find the information you need without any hassle.

Other methods for tracking affiliate success include things like surveys and questionnaires that ask buyers how they found your service.

This article has outlined the 3 keys to building an effective affiliate marketing funnel, so the question you might be asking now is, where do I start?

One of the first things that can make your life easier is to use an affiliate management tool like iDevAffiliate. iDevAffiliate is an easy to use program that can help you to track, manage, and set up your in- house affiliate marketing program. Through iDevAffiliate, you can do things like oversee your affiliates’ work and manage commissions.

To find out more about iDevAffiliate and what they can do for your business, visit their website and follow their demo to see exactly how easy it is to get started with building your affiliate marketing funnel.

affiliate marketing on a budget

Create Your New Affiliate Program with Little to No Budget

“Adding an affiliate program can not only boost your sales, it is also a budget friendly way of advertising your business.” – Jim Webster, iDevAffiliate

affiliate marketing on a budget

One of the BIG advantages of affiliate marketing is that it enables you and your team of affiliate marketers to reach your ideal consumer base quickly with exciting, action-inspiring offers. The fact that it is performance based, means you only pay for leads or sales that come in from your affiliates.

Instead of using a broad approach to marketing, you can start an affiliate program to identify your ideal audience and your ideal affiliate advertising partners to increase your results with a higher rate of conversion. Affiliate programs have been proven over and over again to be profitable, and of the most cost-effective ways to promote your products and services.

“Affiliate marketing is popular among brands and publishers alike because it involves a very small investment. It is a performance-based form of marketing, meaning that advertisers pay only what they get for, while better performing publishers are incentivized by increased income.” – Source: Mediakix

Here are some tips to help you promote your Affiliate program on a “dime”.

Recruit The Right Affiliates Into Your Program

Maybe you are just starting out, or you have affiliates in your program already. In either scenario, affiliates are trusted representatives for your brand – they know and love your products, their voices matter to their audience, and they can clue their followers in to the good deals you have to offer. If an affiliate is good, bringing them into your program will be a plus, since an affiliate can encourage their audience to become your new loyal customers. And since most affiliates are paid via commission, paying an affiliate means you’ve also made a profit. Whether you’re looking to add one or two high-performing affiliates at a time, or bring on a bunch of motivated new affiliates, finding the right affiliate marketers for your program is key.

Get Active and Get Personal

Be an active affiliate manager and getting to know your affiliates. It is proven that a well-performing affiliate program generates more traffic, leads, sales and more repeat customers. Since affiliate marketing is performance based, learning what drives them to get up each day and market is important. Imagine being able to help your affiliate purchase a car, a house or pay off their mortgage. Chances are the better you understand them, the more they will want to market for you.

All Affiliates Matter

Monitoring your affiliates isn’t as basic as checking in with them every so often. Sure, a quick “everything’s great” is easy, but there’s much more to affiliate management than that. There are metrics that detail each affiliate’s performance; a successful affiliate program manager should be keeping an eye on these analytics daily to ensure everything is, in fact, great with each affiliate. With an all-in-one affiliate tracking software, you can easily keep pace with the performance of all affiliates in your program. Remember to congratulate the ones that are killing it with new business and help the ones who are struggling or dormant. Every affiliate is important and matters.

communicating with your affiliates affiliate

Current Customers Make Great Affiliates

The customers you already have can make great affiliates for your new affiliate program. Reaching out to your current customers and recruiting them as affiliates is one of the best ways to promote your affiliate program at minimal cost. And bringing them onto a program that has everything in place – accessibility, payment management, affiliate ad management, and budgeting – will make the process effortless and profitable for you and your new affiliates. The easier it is to collect marketing materials, share links and collect payments the more successful your affiliate program will be.

Get Creative and be Social

Marketing your affiliate program to affiliates is easier now than it was 20 years ago. We suggest being as creative and passionate about marketing your program to affiliates as you would be to customers. Here are some ways you can use to market your affiliate program that does not break the bank.

  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram)
  • Affiliate Forums
  • Entrepreneur Websites & Forums
  • Virtual Events
  • Your current Affiliates

inexpensive affiliate marketing

Accessibility is Everything

Today’s younger generations of consumers have grown up with smartphones and tablets. Older generations have also embraced technology for many of their online needs as well. Laptops and desktops are still used every day by many, but the world of social media and online advertising are accessed by a variety of devices at all hours of the day.

Let’s face it online browsing and shopping can take place anywhere – at home, at work, while standing in line at the store, at the gym..etc. The same goes for affiliates: some may use a laptop, some prefer a desktop, and many may post directly from their smartphone. While one affiliate manager may work from their MacBook, another might check in on affiliates using his or her iPhone. The point is, affiliates market using all types of devices so your affiliate program should always be accessible and work across all devices:

  • iPhones
  • Androids
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Desktop Computers

When you use the right affiliate tracking software, you’re unlocking unlimited potential for your affiliate program. The profitability of your affiliate program isn’t based solely on one one’s budget, it’s based on how well everything performs.

“Affiliate partnerships drive more than 20% of the annual revenue for publishers, according to the latest affiliate marketing statistics.” Source: inc.com

So what is the right Affiliate Software program for you?

That’s the easy part! We at iDevAffiliate have been recognized as an industry-leading affiliate software provider for over 20 years. When you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to help and can have your new affiliate program up and running in just minutes. Get started for as little as $39 /month!

Best Practices for Managing Your Affiliate Program

In order for your business to thrive, it is vital to get it in front of as many people as possible. A proven successful way to do that while building trust within your niche is with affiliate marketing.

Businessman, philanthropist, and motivational speaker Bo Bennett once said, “affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires,” and he was right. Affiliate marketing is a simple yet effective way of promotion that continually financially benefits your business as well as those promoting it. Since the first affiliate program launched in 1994, the industry has come a long way and is still as fast-growing as ever.

Affiliate marketing is an estimated $6.8 billion industry. It is one of the four largest sources of online sales, outperforming display ads and even social media. Over 80% of brands and 84% of online publishers employ affiliate marketing, and nearly 90% of advertisers say that it makes up a significant part of their marketing strategy. Regardless of the size of your business, the number of products you sell, or the type of services you provide, an affiliate program is just good marketing.

So, what do you need to know about starting an affiliate program and getting the most out of it? Here are some best practices to keep in mind.

An effective affiliate program has three key elements: a clear marketing strategy, a full service of operations overseen by experienced operators, and strong affiliate recruitment and personal development.

Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Before you sign up for anything, think about your business and how you would like to see it represented across the digital landscape. What keywords would you use to search for your business online? Who is your ideal audience? It’s important that you have a clear vision of who you are and who you are trying to reach. Without this insight, you could drive up your marketing costs by targeting an audience that will never convert into sales.

Start small and be transparent about where your business is right now and your goals for the future. A good affiliate strategy is one that grows along with your business. Work with a small group of affiliates at first so that you can effectively monitor your growth.

Plan for the future. The internet is a place of rapid innovation. Evolve with the industry to improve how you can use affiliate marketing to grow your business over time.

Managing Your Affiliate Program Operations

Perhaps the most significant decision you will make about your affiliate program is the platform you will use. Many brands utilize an affiliate network for their management. However, this means that they are making vital decisions about the way your program will run, and not you. Managing your own affiliate operations lets you keep full control of your business and the way it operates.

Affiliate tracking software like iDevAffiliate makes it simple to manage an affiliate program. With more than 20 years of experience, they have a proven track record for growing their industry from the ground-up. Their robust, scalable, and easy-to-use dashboard installs in minutes and easily integrates into an existing website. Their competitive pricing makes it possible for a business of any size to get started.

Who will be overseeing the daily operations of your program? If you don’t have firsthand experience managing an affiliate program, you may want to hire someone who does. An affiliate program has the potential for fast growth. With an affiliate account manager, you will have someone at the helm who understands all the moving parts.

Finding the Right Affiliates

Affiliate marketing is a natural progression of the culture of connection that exists on the internet. People naturally love to share, and we all do it on every platform we gather on. Tight-knit communities form in the comment sections of blog posts and YouTube videos, on Facebook timelines and in Twitter DMs.

The trust that someone has with the community that they have built is a cornerstone of affiliate marketing. Highly trusted influencers have audiences who frequently look to them for honest recommendations. Affiliate marketing allows publishers to monetize that interaction in a way that is transparent and mutually beneficial.

Partnering with eager, like-minded folks will ensure that your brand reaches a captive audience. Look to publishers across different platforms to maximize your reach.

  • Niche bloggers frequently use affiliate content to boost their blog traffic. Reaching out to bloggers one-on-one with ideas for collaboration can drive potential customers to your website or shop for as long as that content is published. Bloggers use affiliate links when posting reviews, holiday gift guides, product roundups, infographics, press releases, and other informational articles.
  • YouTubers are using affiliate marketing for makeup tutorials, amateur cooking videos, gear and equipment demos, DIY home fixes, and more. Working with video creators allows potential customers to see exactly what they can expect when they buy your product or service.
  • Social media influencers are always having evolving conversations with their audiences. They can take a product and turn it into a must-have item for the holidays. In one quick picture or short video, they can turn the idea of a pampering service into a couple’s weekend getaway. When you work with social media influencers, your brand becomes a part of those conversations.
  • Your existing customers may be your most loyal affiliates. Post about your affiliate program on your social media channels, email list, and website. People who are already fans of what you’re doing may want to recommend your business to a friend or loved one—and earn a commission when they do.

Affiliate partners are the lifeblood of your program. The right fit can mean the difference between soaring sales and your program stalling out.

Get Started Managing Your Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is one of the most reliable forms of passive income for publishers. Since 2015, revenue from affiliate programs has and continues to grow by 10% annually. This continuous growth looks promising for the future of affiliate marketing and the businesses that utilize it.

You can’t get the word out about your business all by yourself, and you can’t trust that if you just run your business well that the word will get out all on its own. Create your affiliate program today and gain a little help getting your company in front of the right people.

How to Find and Recruit Affiliates

Your affiliate program is only as good as the affiliates you have in it. Makes sense, right? With a full team of affiliates, and each affiliate performing at a high level, you’ll have an enviable affiliate program. But without enough affiliates, without enough of the right type of affiliates, or with affiliate performance that isn’t up to par, your program will lag behind and may even become a drain on your marketing efforts. That’s why finding and recruiting the best affiliates for your business is so important.

If you’re using affiliate marketing for your business, you know that your affiliate program is a valuable part of your overall online advertising strategy. If you want to start bringing affiliates onboard to strengthen your sales, good move! Affiliate marketing, like several facets of online marketing, can help you connect with a wider or more specific buying audience. Strong affiliates can sell your products and get you more of the loyal customers you want. But — whether you want to improve your current program or start a new one — if you’re looking for ways to find and recruit more affiliates, there’s affiliate software that can help you.

That’s right. Getting more website traffic, seeing better rankings in Google and other search engines, and increasing your sales is a goal of affiliate marketing, but it also can be a result of the software you use for your affiliate program. In short, not only is your affiliate program as good as the affiliates in it, it’s also only as good as the affiliate software you’re using. Getting good affiliate software should be your first step when:

You need to find the right affiliates

If you’re selling athletic equipment, what sort of affiliates do you want to partner with? What about if you’re selling makeup? Starting up a new skincare line? Whatever the e-commerce business, there are affiliates out there for it. You need to be able to find those right affiliates for your program. And you should have an idea of what their audiences look like, what their level of audience engagement is, and how that can translate to more sales for you. At iDevAffiliate, we provide affiliate recruiting for our software users, to find the right affiliate marketers for a program.

You need to find MORE affiliates

Growth is good. And growing your affiliate program in a smart way should always be a goal. Once you have some affiliates performing well, you should add some more. But just as you want to choose the right affiliates initially, each one that you add to your affiliate program should be gearing you towards success. Let’s say you started out with a small number of affiliates but to reach your new sales goals, you want to double the number of affiliates working for you. It can be done. It should be done. But instead of spending a lot of time sending out emails and scrolling through social media, instead of hitting a bunch of dead ends and slowing your progress, you can link up with effective affiliate marketers through software that helps you recruit more affiliates. Contacting prospective affiliates through a well-known software system will not only be easier for you, it will assure affiliates that you mean business, that you’re a legitimate partnership opportunity for them. Running good affiliate software will give your program an edge professionally, and it will make it easy to add and manage every new affiliate too.

You need better-performing affiliates

Maybe the affiliates you have are pretty good but…they could do be doing better. Maybe they just need a boost. Giving your affiliates tools they need to perform their best can sometimes be overlooked, but not when you have iDevAffiliate software. Our software lets you give your affiliates marketing content for social media posts, videos, ads, and more. We also recognize the need for affiliate education, which is why we now provide affiliate training as well. And keeping track of affiliate performance will be easy with our reporting features, viewable as graphs and charts, organized by date, and more.

You want to protect against fraud

Lots of people want to be affiliates. It sounds like a good gig. And bringing on the best affiliates for your products can be a good idea. But the affiliate industry is also susceptible to fraud and you have to protect against it before it ends up costing you time and money and hurting your reputation. Our software’s fraud-protection features can let you guard against fraudulent affiliate scams and reliably track affiliate performance.

You want payment options

Choosing how each affiliate will be paid – a flat rate vs. per-lead, for example – and how each promotion will be compensated (i.e. extra coupon codes during holidays and sale days) will also let you keep your affiliate program clear and under control. Having a variety of payment options available to choose from lets you structure your affiliate program your way.

You want it all to work together

On all types of devices, across various sites, without any shopping cart errors – you want software that works. You want software that you can customize to your program, with all of the features and options you – and your affiliates — need. Software that makes things easy on your marketing team would be great too. It’s possible! See our software’s features and integrations here and you’ll see how easy it can be to run a better affiliate program.

Since 1999, we at iDevAffiliate have been class leaders in flexible, easy-to-integrate and easy-to-use affiliate software. Our top-selling software is made to fit the needs of each user. You can choose the features you need for your affiliate program and choose the hosting option that works for you. If you run our affiliate software on your own hosting account, you’ll own a license that never expires and there will be no monthly fee; if you use the cloud edition, you’ll use our servers at a low monthly cost. And our US-based tech support team will be here help you along the way. See what our current users have to say about our affiliate program software, and find the pricing option that’s right for you.

Get the best affiliates, have the best affiliate program. It sounds simple and it is simple. At least it can be when you have the right affiliate program software. With iDevAffiliate software, you’ll have everything you need to find and recruit affiliates and scale up your affiliate program.

Launching a Successful In-house Affiliate Program

You’ve likely already decided that an in-house affiliate program is best for your brand, and that this option yields some impressive benefits that large affiliate networks just can’t offer. Through an in-house affiliate program, you won’t need to give up a large chunk of the pie you’re offering to affiliates like you would with a big affiliate network. An in-house affiliate platform gives you more control and a more direct relationship with affiliates, not only ensuring the content they present is on-brand, but also allowing your company to custom-tailor your affiliate program and grow revenue.

Choosing a Tracking Platform

Building your own affiliate platform from scratch is work-intensive and expensive, which is why for most companies it makes the most sense to go with an existing platform. Fortunately, there are many options available, often with a one-time setup fee, or even a monthly/yearly recurring subscription charge. But this abundance of options is a double-edged sword: with so many choices, just how do you narrow it down? Here are some features we think are essential for any successful in-house affiliate platform:

  • Fool-Proof Tracking
    Nothing makes affiliates drop out of your program faster than if they feel like commissions are slipping through their fingers. Your affiliate platform needs not only to accurately track sales, but to also prevent scammers from finding a way to cheat the system.
  • Customizable Commissions
    Do you want to offer your affiliates a percentage of sales, or a flat fee per lead? Perhaps you’d like to offer a coupon code for your affiliates to promote instead. Whatever your inclination, your affiliate platform should have the ability for you to choose!
  • Detailed Reporting
    An affiliate program falls flat on its face without any sort of detailed analytics. Not only should your company see how your affiliate program is performing, but also your affiliates should be able to see detailed reporting. In this way, both your company and your affiliates will be empowered to utilize your affiliate platform effectively.
  • Integrations, Integrations, Integrations
    We’re going to come right out and say it: integrations are integral to any affiliate platform. You obviously need to ensure an affiliate program integrates with whatever shopping carts, WordPress plugins, or CMS you may be using, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your company’s website will likely grow and expand later. The last thing you want is for your online presence to outgrow your affiliate platform!

Finding Affiliates

Many companies falsely assume that just because they’re not running their affiliate program through a large affiliate network means they can’t have as successful of an affiliate program. This is wholly and patently false! In fact, the unique benefits that an in-house affiliate platform has may very well enable you to have higher-performing affiliates since they will have a much closer relationship with your brand. You’d be surprised at how many companies forget this basic step!

Don’t Forget a Link!

A commonly-overlooked strategy many affiliate programs seemingly forget to engage in in placing a clearly-visible link on their website. While this may seem like a simple solution, it’s incredibly effective. If a company or individual is really interested in partnering up with your brand, they’re likely already looking for a link for an affiliate program. This is a great way to effortlessly capitalize on organic interest without having to reach out.

Don’t let those marketing tools that your affiliate platform should include slip your mind. Remember: it’s one of the essential features mentioned above! These tools are usually an efficient way to get the word out about your affiliate program across different social media sites, advertising platforms, and even entice visitors who visit your company’s website who may not otherwise click on that affiliate signup link.

Recruiting Affiliates

You likely already have people already interested in partnering with your budding affiliate program. All they need is a little nudge! Think about your customers, existing resellers or referrers, and even vendors you already work with. They already know about your brand and this will give them a leg up in your affiliate program, leading to more organic leads and conversions. They’ll probably also be happy to earn their commission relatively effortlessly! It’s a win-win situation.

Also, be sure to check out the affiliates your competitors have. Not only can you pitch your program to those same affiliates, but this will also give you some market research that will help you to hone in on a particular audience that responds positively to marketing geared towards your brand’s industry. With or without competitor research, you can look into reaching out to influencers or industry experts who you can partner with when rolling out your affiliate program.

Get the Ball Rolling with Your Affiliates

Once you have affiliates, you shouldn’t just leave them to their own devices. A truly effective and successful affiliate program will work with new affiliates and help them to hit the ground running, setting them up to generate leads and conversions from day one. But how do the most successful affiliate programs empower their affiliates?

  • Provide Content
    Not only should you be providing your affiliates with eye-catching graphics to grab potential customers’ attention, but also informative graphics to let them know what your brand is all about. It may also be helpful to supply brand guidelines to make sure your affiliates are representing your brand authentically and accurately.
  • Educate Your Affiliates
    Highly productive affiliates aren’t born, they’re made. You have to empower your affiliates by educating them with informational resources about how to be effective affiliate marketers.
  • Reach Out
    Let your affiliates know you’re there for whatever they may need, whether it be advice for how to best represent your brand, or marketing tips to make your partnership more successful. By keeping an open line with your affiliates, you may even open your brand up to more collaborative marketing opportunities.

Get Started Off on the Right Foot

Looking to get started off on the right foot with your new in-house affiliate program? We heard through the grapevine that you may be looking for an affiliate platform! iDevAffiliate is the leading affiliate tracking software, jam-packed with incredible cost-saving features that will help set your brand up for success.

Keeping Affiliates Active in Your Affiliate Program

One of the biggest pitfalls of a lackluster affiliate program is leaving affiliates feeling completely unengaged and disconnected from your brand. If your affiliates don’t have much of a stake in your company, aside from the commission they earn, if they don’t feel involved or included, they won’t actively engage in promotions. It’s not as simple as just providing your affiliates with campaigns, content, and links to promote and leaving it up to them. After all, what value does an affiliate bring that an automated display advertising campaign doesn’t? Affiliates choose to participate in affiliate programs for a reason. You need to build on this initial motivation and not let it go to waste.

keeping affiliates active and marketing

This is why it’s important to build a relationship with your affiliates. By fostering a connectedness with your company, it will ultimately give your affiliate program an edge over other programs your affiliates may be participating in. Connected affiliates made to feel like part of the team are more likely to be active in your program, yielding higher earnings for you, and more commissions for affiliates!

Affiliate Newsletter

Never underestimate the power of keeping your affiliates in the loop of the goings-on in your business or even just your affiliate program. By giving affiliates periodic, quality updates via an affiliate newsletter, it will help them feel more connected to your brand and help build that relationship you will ultimately be leveraging through the affiliate marketing process. Keeping affiliates in-the-know keeps them engaged, keeps them interested, and keeps you and your business on their radar.

affiliate newsletter

By keeping your affiliates well-informed and abreast of any pertinent updates by means of a newsletter, it also empowers them to represent your brand more accurately and authentically. It may expose your affiliates to aspects of your business or brand that they may not have known about, and that tidbit of pertinent information could be the key to effectively motivating your affiliate’s audience to engage in those sought-after conversions. Knowledge is power, after all, and consistent, informative communications gives your affiliates what they need to succeed.

Fresh, Frequent Promotions

Affiliates think there’s something about your brand or business that is relevant to their audience, and they believe that special something will ultimately result in the conversions they need to earn commissions. That being said, even the most interesting, most relevant campaign will lose its luster to your affiliate’s audience as time goes on. You simply must cycle out promotions and shake things up every once and a while. Brands’ marketing campaigns evolve and change over time to stay relevant and keep consumers interested, and affiliate marketing isn’t any different.

coupon code commissioning for your affiliate program

Just as breaking news stories fade and fizzle out of public consciousness in a matter of days or weeks, so too do your affiliates’ audiences lose interest. If your affiliates are posting fresh content to keep their audiences coming back for more, why aren’t you? One of your top priorities should be creating and implementing new promotions, as well as informing your affiliates of those promotions that they can then share with their audiences.

Keep in Touch

keep in touch with your affiliates

What better way to build a relationship with your affiliates than to let them meet and interact with a member of your team? Conference calls, phone calls, Zoom meetings, or even regular virtual office hours are all ways to make affiliates feel included and valued. It empowers affiliates to ask questions and get personalized (in some cases: live) feedback, and it can even include other affiliates, which is an excellent way in which affiliates can put their minds together and work collaboratively to discover effective marketing strategies. It’s a win-win-win situation!

Provide Affiliates with Resources

Sure, affiliates have access to graphics, affiliate links, and even your company’s website, but are they provided with other resources that truly empower them to be the best affiliates they can? Show your affiliates you care if they succeed. Not only should your affiliates have a vested interest in the success of your brand and its affiliate program, you should have a vested interest in the success of your affiliates that goes beyond conversion rates. Sure, it’s obvious that you care if your affiliates succeed, because their success is ultimately your success, but you need to really show your affiliates this. Again, empower your affiliates to be successful and be supportive of them.

social media marketing for affiliates

Some helpful resources for affiliates could include informative articles about affiliate marketing, various tools to optimize their performance, and even success stories from other affiliates that delve into their winning strategies. Putting forth the effort to connect your affiliates with helpful information will go a long way towards building a relationship, as well as driving affiliate enthusiasm and motivation.

Incentivize

There’s nothing like a healthy dose of competition to drive motivation! Motivated affiliates go that extra mile, especially if they know there’s a little something extra in it for them. Some successful affiliate programs have implemented an affiliate leaderboard or offered a bonus to top affiliates. What’s particularly fascinating about this strategy is that it will motivate affiliates to peek in on their competition, analyzing their competitors’ strategies to find out what will work best for their audience to drive up conversions. Friendly competition is a fantastic way to cut to the chase and distill effective strategies down to their most vital parts.

award affiliates for performance

Spicing up your affiliate program with incentives doesn’t necessarily have to create direct competition between affiliates, and many affiliate programs have employed a variety of innovative incentives to get their affiliates more involved. Whether it be a bonus for reaching a certain milestone, a limited-time increase in commission for a particular product, or even tiered commission percentages, these incentives motivate your affiliates to be more active and engaged!

Empower your Affiliates

Although iDevAffiliate is the developer of leading affiliate tracking software, we employ all of these strategies in our own affiliate program! At the end of the day, building a relationship with your affiliates and keeping them in the loop empowers them to actively engage in your affiliate program. With proper support, fresh promotions, a healthy dose of motivation, and the knowledge they need to succeed, your affiliates will go the extra mile in driving up conversions for mutual benefit.

empower your affiliates

For more information on how your business can benefit from the most feature-rich, easy-to-use affiliate tracking software, contact iDevAffiliate, the leader in affiliate tracking solutions for more than 20 years.

Why Start an Affiliate Marketing Program in 2020

In this increasingly competitive e-commerce climate, companies need a way to dramatically increase their odds of generating more leads, sales or even announcing their online presence. Launching an Affiliate Program is one of the ways to do just that.

In this 5-part series, we will cover tips and strategies around the following topics below:

  •           Starting an Affiliate Program
  •           How to find and recruit affiliates
  •           Keeping affiliates active in your Program.
  •           Best practices for managing your Affiliate Program.
  •           Launching your Affiliate Program
start an affiliate program

 

[ Part #1 :  Starting an Affiliate Program ]  

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Today over 80% of the brands we love and support use some type of affiliate marketing to buy more customers. And it’s not just the Fortune 500 companies, the mid-size, Mom & Pop’s and even the entrepreneur down the street, have successfully launched their own affiliate program.. or soon will.

According to Statista affiliate marketing spend has grown from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $5.4 billion in 2017 and is predicted to grow to over $8 billion in 2022.  

affiliate marketing spend analysis

If the numbers don’t get you out of your seat, here are some reasons why starting an Affiliate Program makes sense in today’s world.

  • Low Startup Cost: Starting a business can be expensive, an Affiliate Marketing program is a great way to start with little out of pocket expense.
  • Choose the Affiliates you want to work with based on your industry and experience
  • Grow into foreign markets with local affiliates
  • Collect valuable insights based on traffic your Affiliate Marketers bring to your website.

Do any of the scenarios below, apply to you?

  • Maybe your company is introducing a new product line and needs to expand their sales-force?
  • Does your store need to ramp up marketing efforts, in time for the busy season?
  • Are you an entrepreneur who wants to take your business from the basement to the boardroom?

To summarize; if you are selling your own products online or even offline, an Affiliate Marketing program is an effective way to increase brand awareness and scale your business.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

How it all works?

To understand ” How it all works” we are going to first take a step back and learn what Affiliate Marketing is and who the key players are in the process.

Affiliate marketing is defined as the process of promoting another party’s products or services on a commission basis.  

Affiliate marketing is also referred to as “Performance Marketing”. Why? Because how much the parties earn depends solely on the Affiliates’ Performance.

The Key Players

With affiliate marketing, Companies (known as Merchants or Advertisers) rely on marketing partners to promote their products in exchange for a commission based on each website visitor, sale, or lead, that the partner drives.

Affiliates (known as publishers) gives the Company access to an audience of customers they might not already have. Affiliates can be influencers on social media, bloggers, they may have a pod-cast or Youtube channel.

When a Consumer (also known as the Customer) purchase’s a product through the publisher’s “affiliate link”, the affiliate earns a commission for that sale.

Affiliate Recruitment and Management

Affiliate Recruitment  is all about being active in places where your affiliates are. Try promoting your Affiliate program in Affiliate forums, blogs, even your current customers. Remember a closed mouth goes hungry, as they say. 

Content is King . Provide your affiliates with as much pre-made promotional material as you can. Why? This makes the affiliates job easier to promote your products and services over other programs.  This includes Videos, Banners ,  Landing Pages, Email templates.

If you ask any affiliate manager, Communication is the the Key to running a successful affiliate program.  Just as if they were at your office. The more they learn and more they can earn, for your affiliate program and for themselves. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of “How it all works” and “Key Players” let’s see this in action!

Meet “Lloyd”

Lloyd sells bow ties. He has a Basic website and promotes his products through social media using social media. Since Louis is a “one-man show”, he as a lot on this plate. For example, he often forgets to post his latest bow-tie creation on social media. Above all, Louis is finding it more difficult to compete online and does not have added resources to spend on Social media Advertising.

Lloyd is the Merchant otherwise known as the “Advertiser”

Meet “Harry”

Harry is an active fashion blogger and happens to have an extensive Bow-tie tie collection. Harry has even bought a few from Lloyd’s web site. For Harry to support his bow-tie habit and grow the collection, he joined a few Affiliate programs to earn extra income as an affiliate marketer . Harry loves to Blog about fashion and as a result Harry can earn money as an Affiliate without keeping product inventories or handing customer support.

Harry is Affiliate otherwise known as the “Publisher”

Meet “Louis”

Louis is at home, looking for a new bow-tie to add to his collection. He follows Harry on Facebook, since they are both into bow-ties.

Louis in the Customer otherwise known as the “Consumer”

What if there was a way to “increase the odds” of connecting Lloyd, Harry, and Louis so that  everybody wins?

Affiliate Marketing Partnership

 

Bingo! If Lloyd had an Affiliate Marketing Program in place and Harry was an Affiliate in Lloyd’s program, there is a much higher chance Louis would have found Lloyd’s website through one of Harry’s Blogs or Ad’s on Social Media promoting Lloyd’s Bow-ties. 

Lets wrap this up, shall we? So,  Louis finds Harry’s latest Blog entry where he is reviewing the latest 5 Bow-ties for the season. Louis likes one of them and clicks on Harry’s Affiliate Link   Can you guess what happen’s next? 

Drum-roll please….

Lloyd has a New Customer! Harry receives a commission for this Affiliate Marketing efforts and Louis is strutting around town with a new Bow-tie.

You can chalk this up as a “Win” – “Win” – “Win”  

affiliate marketing on social media

In conclusion

As you can see Launching an Affiliate Program opens the door to a world of opportunity. Affiliate Marketing can provide anyone looking to start or already managing an online business the resources needed to grow quickly or get your business off the ground. It is cost effective and ensures you will not spend countless hours or waste money on expensive programs that don’t bring in the right buyers. Moreover, you develop connections to affiliates who can really help, as they already have the audience you are looking for.

Stay tuned for ( Part 2) of this series.

In (Part 2) of our series we will share Tips and Strategies on “How to Find and Recruit Affiliates” into your affiliate program.

Go ahead and subscribe to our Blog . You don’t want to miss it! 

Need Help ? 

Now its time for our shameless plug! Since 1999 iDevAffiliate has been the leading affiliate tracking software in its class. Our affiliate software installs in just minutes and easily integrates into your existing website. Contact us! We will be happy to assist.

Wishing you all the success in 2020 !

~ Your iDevAffiliate Family

(P.S.) Don’t forget to “Like” and “Follow” us on Social Media

 

Affiliate Marketing 101, Part 1: How does it all work?

Welcome to our Affiliate Marketing 101 Series! Affiliate marketing is an integral part of e-commerce for small and large businesses alike.

If you’re just starting to learn about it, you might find it a bit overwhelming. You might find it so complex that you’re even considering dropping out of the e-commerce game altogether to pursue your second passion, learning to play the harp. Well, put that ridiculous pipe dream aside because, in reality, affiliate marketing is actually quite simple. In this five part series, I hope to break it down into its most critical aspects and give you the understanding you need to plan out and implement the affiliate marketing strategy that works best for your business. So let’s get into it!

affiliate marketing 101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Basics 

Out in the endless universe of forums, blogs, wikis, and cat videos that make up the internet, there are a plethora of websites trying to sell products. A lot of them. E-Commerce is growing so fast that it’s the only trillion dollar industry with double-digit annual growth percentage in the world. In this increasingly competitive climate, e-businesses need a way to dramatically increase their odds of landing a sale, or even being know about at all for that matter. Affiliate marketing is one of the ways they do this.

Let’s say for example that you have a business that sells funny t-shirts of characters from 90s movies. The people that have bought from you love your products, you have a beautiful website and you market your wares on all the social media platforms. The problem is that only 8 of those shirts sold last week! And worse than that, they were all shirts of Nicholas Cage from the movie Con Air!

However there is another website you know about, 90s Movies.com where people can browse a detailed database of 90s movies as well as use the sites forum to argue about which one is the best. This site receives a huge amount of traffic each month from movie fanatics but hardly makes any money. So you email them and tell them that if they put up an ad for your site on their own, and that add results in t-shirt sales, you will give them a handsome commission.

And thus, one of the greatest symbiotic relationships in the world of e-business has been activated! You (the merchant) get to benefit from the huge global network of die-hard 90s movies fans that your new affiliate partner has connected you with. And they (the publisher) have a relatively easy way to make money from their website. Now you can start selling more Pulp Fiction hoodies, Forest Gump women’s tank tops, and yes, Con Air t-shirts.

Your partner now has an incentive to make sure her website is always updated and in tip-top shape so that she can get more page views, more potentials clickthroughs to your site, and most importantly, more potential commission bucks. And you need to maintain good sales and keep producing great products lest you lose your movie experts to some other shirt maker. The two of you might even start to collaborate to come up with special promotions and ads that will appeal to your niche demographic. Before you know it, you and your affiliate partner will fall madly in love and end up married with 3 kids, all named after characters from Clueless. Look at how far you’ve both come!

That’s it in a nutshell. With Affiliate marketing, an e-commerce site is essentially converting any uncapitalized real estate on the web into more advertising space for their company. As long as your partner’s website attracts the type of people you’re trying to sell to and is also willing to form a relationship with you, you’re in business.

Take a look at our iDevAffiliate Software options today!

5 Great Ideas For Keeping Affiliates Actively Promoting

Ambition is similar to an untied balloon filled with air. While it looks impressive from a distance, unless you persist in exerting continuous pressure, that air will escape the balloon out the hole on the bottom. Much the same applies to your list of affiliate marketers as well. While a long list of affiliate marketing partners suggests that you have been active in your recruitment efforts, viewing them up close might suggest a wide variance in the level of motivation between each affiliate. To maximize your efforts therefore, you may want to consider ways in which you can create more active affiliate partners. These top five ways are a great way to breathe new life into your affiliate marketing program.

#1. Boosting Your Conversion Rate

increase affiliate participationIt is easy to believe that when customers arrive on your website that your wares will immediately impress them and they will be hard put to ignore your offerings if they have a brain in their head. That being said however, setting aside your hubris regarding your particular set of products and working to increase your website’s usability and conversion. By capitalizing on the organic traffic that is already visiting your site naturally, changes to your conversion rate is a proven boon for both your website as well as your affiliate partners. After all, it just makes sense. If an affiliate notes that their leads only go to your website to die, they will forgo the effort and just abandon your affiliate marketing scheme. By implementing strategies and tools aimed at boosting your conversion rates, you in turn improve on your reputation among your affiliates, and prove that you are as dedicated to their success.

#2. Building Strong Affiliate Marketing Relationships

build strong relationships with your affiliatesAn affiliate participates in your marketing program in the anticipation of making money from their efforts, and their motivation increases in direct proportion to the closeness in the relationship they forge with you and your efforts. By consistently providing them with new ways to strategies, tools, and ideas to promote their own websites, this level of interaction demonstrates that you are serious about their success. One of the best ways to guarantee this interaction is by maintaining a comprehensive tracking program, which gives your affiliate merchant a solid understanding of their marketing efforts. Behind the computer screen, real people are hoping to be successful with your affiliate marketing program, so you should reach out to them and communicate your desire to help them succeed whether through telephone calls, ongoing training, or support aimed at increasing their motivation and participation.

#3. Sales Promotions that Excite Affiliates

run promotions for your affiliatesOnce you begin talking with your affiliates and demonstrate your commitment to their success, you can further boost their motivation and performance with sales promotions that will leave no one in your network behind if they all participate. By including them in your sales promotions with detailed information and ongoing conversations, you inspire their trust in your program and help build their own motivation to participate in your outreach efforts. Communication is a critical component of any vibrant affiliate marketing program, and talking about great sales promotions is one of the prime ways you can engender the level of participation needed to ensure that everyone in the program reaches their financial goals.

#4. Doing the Heavy Lifting for Your Affiliate

affiliate marketingWe all know that not all affiliates are equal when it comes to motivational level. For instance, you may have over a thousand affiliate partners in your network, but only a small fraction of those will participate by placing your banner ad or writing a blog posting that highlights your company and its offerings. This strategy gives you artistic control of your message by offering to do the heavy lifting and writing the post yourself for dissemination. This is guaranteed to engender a response that leads to the posting of original content from a wide array of diverse and relevant traffic from a host of different affiliate websites. While you have to do the work of writing these posts, the increase in traffic and boosted interest illustrates that the hard work pays off over time by developing interesting content that points like a laser directly back to your product and services.

#5. Keep in Touch With Affiliate Newsletters

creating active affiliate participation

Not to burst your bubble, but the chances are pretty good that you are not the top consideration of your affiliate partners on any given day. That is natural because just like you, they have their own lives and responsibilities to contend with on their plates, so reminding them that you are still out there and working on their behalf is a great way to goose their memory of your affiliate marketing program. A well-crafted monthly newsletter puts your hard efforts in front of them to illustrate that while they might not be thinking about their financial future, you are continuing your efforts to move the bar upwards for your entire network.

Top 5 Techniques for Recruiting High Quality Affiliates

As an affiliate manager, you don’t need to be told that the lifeblood of your continued successful operation is found in the identification and location of high quality affiliates. Knowing that truth does not always translate into finding that high level of quality collaborators unfortunately, so itrecruiting affiliates is equally important that you concentrate your search in areas that lend themselves to delivering quality affiliates who are serious about sharing in what it takes to be successful.

Whereas these searches once upon a time were conducted within the registries of affiliate directories, these results don’t necessarily return positive results, and is closely akin to checking the bulletin board at the local Laundromat. Indeed, for the savvy affiliate manager, utilizing a targeted approach that delivers quality candidates means thinking outside of the box in terms of where to look for the talent you need to find.

#1. Newsletters

Leveraging the hard work that you have already accomplished, effective marketers have long understood the value of keeping in touch with their current customer base. Whether this takes the cast of monthly newsletters or targeted email offerings, you have a direct pipeline into a population that you know already values the products and services that you have to offer. Reaching out to this already, sympathetic audience is a great way to identify and locate high quality affiliate partners. When separating the wheat from the chaff in terms of finding high quality affiliates, harvesting from your current crop of customers is a fertile field to search.

#2. Organic Searches

Since it is always better to have quality affiliates come looking for you rather than you chasing down blind alleys in search of interested parties to join your program, you should optimize your existing landing pages to draw them to your site with targeted keywords that garner the attention of those most likely to want to join an affiliate program. After all, the best partnerships are with affiliates who are highly motivated self-starters, so they are already looking for your opportunity and your only task is to get their attention via organic search methods that they are already utilizing. By optimizing your site to electronically getting their attention, you will have a wide array of qualified candidates to join your affiliate program.

#3. Forum Announcements

affiliate recruiting in forums Speaking of motivated entrepreneurs in search of affiliate opportunities, affiliate forums are gathering points for likeminded businesspersons looking for chances to succeed in the exciting world of affiliate partnerships. Posting to these forum rooms, and becoming an active contributor to the page, exposes your products and affiliate opportunity to a host of motivated, would-be affiliates. Little has changed in the formula for business success, and effective networking efforts are the key to that success. What has changed is the ease in which you can reach out to one another on the World Wide Web, so leveraging an already plugged in population to network your affiliate opportunity is a no brainer.

#4. The Power of Social Media

The word is out, and apparently, social media is not just a mere passing fad. Whether updating your Twitter account or posting on FaceBook, every time you engage on social media is a chance to get information about your affiliate program to an eager public already looking at ways to get ahead, and the level of engagement on social media platforms guarantees the best chance of generating an online conversation about your unique affiliate opportunity. For best effects, using targeted keywords and Twitter hash tags aimed at garnering additional attention, along with the use of social media advertisements, can go along way towards boosting your affiliate marketing street cred.

where do i find affiliates

#5. Link up with Great Affiliates at LinkedIn

One of the better-kept secrets of LinkedIn is that it is far more than simply a site dedicated to networking and finding jobs within your chosen profession. In fact, the popular business site is also a great place to develop leads that result in outstanding affiliate partnerships. The relationships that develop allow for mutual promotion, and if you tailor a quality affiliate offer that is honest in its appeal, you will see a migration of potential affiliates drawn to your profile. In the same manner that you can keep an active online presence on your FaceBook account, LinkedIn has a newsfeed that you can post to in order to get people’s attention.


When it comes to recruiting high quality affiliates, your primary tasks are to first offer a quality affiliate program, and then to disperse your offer to those areas where motivated would-be affiliates are searching for quality affiliate programs just like the one you are offering. Whether via newsletters, social media, or through optimized SEO practices, you can easily attract quality of affiliates you need to succeed.