The following are the top ten tips for running a successful affiliate marketing strategy.

The following are the top ten tips for running a successful affiliate marketing strategy.

Starting an affiliate network is not always easy, especially if you are not marketing a well-known brand. Here are a few simple steps to get things started.

1. What do you have to offer?

The first thing you must decide is what you will offer affiliates in order to entice them to join and promote your business.

Take your time with this. You must guarantee that your service is both cost-effective for you and significant enough to attract affiliates. After all, if the offering does not provide enough value to the affiliate, they will not participate.

Remember that any commission you provide will be subject to a ‘network’ override (usually 30%). An affiliate network functions as a link between publishers (affiliates) and affiliate programs offered by merchants. It enables publishers to identify affiliate programs that are a good fit for their website and assists affiliate program providers in reaching their target audience.

2. Establish the law

Establish the terms and conditions of your program, particularly in respect to pay per click (PPC), and ensure that they are as comprehensive as possible. Loopholes WILL BE DISCOVERED AND USED!

For instance, if you’re currently running a profitable PPC campaign, you don’t want affiliates claiming commission on purchases that you’ve already made. This adds no value to your web marketing efforts. Do not be afraid to explain precisely what affiliates are permitted to bid on and what they are not permitted to bid on.

However, if you are not conducting a PPC campaign, why not give it to the affiliates? It will cost you nothing unless they generate revenue for you, and PPC affiliates are often excellent at what they do, so everyone wins!

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3. Welcome aboard

Following that, you’ll need to identify your affiliates. Let’s face it, no program would exist without them. (This is critical to remember, as we will see later.)

Create a page that contains information about the application. Not too long; a brief description of your business and what you offer, but more crucially, what affiliates must do to earn their commission and how much they can earn.

In most circumstances, the network will request this anyhow. Once completed, request that the network display it and persuade them to include it in their affiliate newsletter. Additionally, develop a page on your website that has this information and includes a link that allows visitors to join directly from your site.

Now for your most lethal affiliate marketing weapon: the Affiliates4U forum. A4U is the largest online community of affiliates and businesses. The majority (if not all) of your affiliates will be members. Therefore, ensure that you also post all of your communications there.

If you’re still having difficulty recruiting affiliates, why not try offering an incentive? Again, take your time and consider your offering. While giveaways are effective, you want to ensure that you receive a return. Perhaps give an incentive based on an affiliate’s first sale, rather than simply on their enrollment in your organization.

4. Getting people’s attention

You must provide your affiliates with the artwork they will use to promote your site. The network will impose file size restrictions and will also provide a list of banner sizes. Assure that you offer ALL of the banner sizes recommended by the network, and if you have the means, create a couple of banner sets in a variety of styles.

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You want to make it as simple as possible for affiliates to obtain your banners and integrate them into their websites; failing to provide the appropriate sizes will grate on everyone’s nerves!

5. What are affiliates looking for?

Money! At the risk of seeming shallow, affiliates want money. The more straightforward it is to earn money from your program, the faster it will take off!

Incentives are an excellent approach to not only improve the revenue generated by affiliates, but also to attract other affiliates to join your program.

Put on your thinking gear and be imaginative. While cash awards are excellent, don’t overlook the value of consumer electronics as inexpensive and desirable prizes!

Avoid rewarding people for “highest affiliate sales,” as this will almost definitely be the same person each month.

As a general rule, 10% of affiliates generate 80% of sales.

6. How about the consumer’s perspective?

As previously said, you want to make it as simple as possible for affiliates to generate revenue from your website. Therefore, provide them with something that will entice them to purchase through an affiliate.

7. Discounts and special deals

Discount codes are effective. Because people enjoy receiving something for nothing, offering a free X in exchange for purchasing Y will perform really well.

Special offers are also acceptable. Consider offering a discount or something similar to affiliate sales; yet again, BE CREATIVE! There is no limit to what you can do (except from the law)…

8. Maintain a close eye on sales!

Bear in mind that orders are occasionally cancelled. For whatever reason, some orders are returned and some credit cards are denied, but you do not want to pay affiliates commission on sales for which you do not receive income.

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Once a week, go through the sales and cancel any commissions that haven’t generated revenue for you.

Regrettably, as is true in most sectors, there are some disagreeable characters. This is the primary reason to keep an eye on your sales. If an order appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is.

9. Be firm but just.

If you’re unhappy with an affiliate or the manner they generate sales, don’t be hesitant to approach them and request that they cease their activities. The network should also back you, and if the affiliate continues to violate the program’s terms, they should be suspended until they change their ways.

Allow the network to make the decisions. As the merchant, the program is entirely your responsibility; without you, there would be no program. The networks want to make money as well, and I have seen them (on extremely rare instances) take the affiliates’ side in disputes about program terms, merely because they will lose their income if these transactions are cancelled!

10. One final tidbit of information

That concludes my guide, but there is one final point to make: Communicate.

Communication with affiliates is critical, even if it is simply to inform them of a new product on your site or an update on the current month’s competition. Make them feel appreciated, and they will work harder to generate sales for you.

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