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
[ 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.
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 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!
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”
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”
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?
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?
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”
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.
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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
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Chris had the privilege of growing up in the Orlando, FL area and attended Valencia College where he studied international business. After school, Chris headed west to Los Angles, California. There he began his voyage in to the world of Global Trade Intelligence and affiliate marketing.
Chris currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT where he and his wife of Caren enjoy hiking, golf, tennis, the ocean and most important giving back to their local community. A good deal of Chris’ time is spent doing charity work.