A successful affiliate program can skyrocket your sales. Your company can grow very fast. The following tips can help you to develop a successful affiliate program:
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1) You must have a quality product and good customer service.
This is critically important. If you don’t have a quality product, it is difficult for your affiliates to re-sell your product. Then, your affiliates cannot make money. Eventually, they drop your program. Granted, you don’t lose a buck if your affiliates cannot get an order for you. But why do you want to start an affiliate program? You want to get more orders. So, you need to ensure high product quality and continuously improve it.
2) Choose your affiliate program software or service provider wisely.
This is a very important step, and you must address this issue at the earliest stage when you develop your affiliate program. The software or service provider you use is going to determine how you set up your program. A good affiliate tracking software can help your business grow, and a poor one can destroy your whole affiliate program. So, don’t take the risk of using a cheap and inferior quality software. You must ensure that your software has a robust database, has many automation features, has an accurate affiliate reporting system, and can handle 2-tier affiliate programs.
If you use an affiliate service provider, you need to ensure that the service provider can handle all the necessary administration jobs like signing checks, affiliate reporting, etc. In addition, the provider can provide accurate affiliate tracking and prompt support to you and your affiliate. Also, they can help you to sign up affiliates and will educate your affiliates. The most important point is that this service provider should have a good reputation in the eyes of your potential affiliates. Otherwise, no one will join your affiliate program.
3) Pay good commissions and realize the back-end sale.
You have to pay out good commissions as referral fees. The better the commission structure, the more attractive your affiliate program. Your affiliates join your affiliate program because they want to make money. What it comes down to, and what most affiliate program owners do not understand, is that most of your real profit is on the “backend” or repeat sales. Don’t be afraid to give away a lot of your profit on the “front-end”. If you have quality products, your customers will come back and buy often. As a consequence, you can make a lot of money after you get a customer.
As observed in the Internet world, a good affiliate program usually pays affiliates 15%-50% of gross sales. Many Internet marketers suggest that affiliates should only join affiliate programs paying 20% or more. You can take this guideline as a reference.
4) Provide support to affiliates.
Your success depends on the success of your affiliates. Hence, you need to provide several high quality and professional banners with different sizes, text links, and instructions of how to link to your web site. In addition, you need to set up an email newsletter to communicate with your affiliates. This newsletter should educate your affiliates on how to promote your products. In addition, you can perform some research to understand which banners, text links, or methods earn the best results. Of course, you need to disclose your results to affiliates. Also, you can set up a forum and let affiliates share their experience with each other. You can also obtain a lot of first- hand information about your affiliates then.
If your affiliates feel that they are being supported, they have more confidence to gain success and are more willing to put their efforts into your affiliate programs.
5) Pay monthly and timely.
Some affiliate program owners pay affiliates quarterly. It is not uncommon that these affiliate program owners receive many complaints. Let me put it this way: If you help another company to re-sell a product successfully, but you can get paid every 3 months, what do you feel? In my opinion, it is unfair. Why keep my commission and not pay me?
To be fair, you need to pay your affiliates monthly. Of course, you need to pay them on time. Remember: Affiliates are your good business partners.
6) Treat your own affiliate program as a product and promote it.
Don’t think that if you have an affiliate program many web site owners will automatically join your program. Given that there are many affiliate programs available, it is indeed not easy to recruit hundreds or even thousands of affiliates. Thus, you need to promote your affiliate program. At least, you need to have a prominent hyperlink on your homepage that links to your affiliate program details.
7) Test, learn, and test.
You need to test various methods of managing and promoting your affiliate program. Then, you learn from the result, and improve your strategies. Continuous learning is a key to success.
King Lui of Abc Internet Marketing TV Guide to Internet Marketing Books and Web Site Promotion Advice, Software and Service Review.