Why You Should Consider Starting an Affiliate Program.

This week I am at Pubcon Las Vegas which is one of the largest and oldest Search Engine Optimization and Internet Marketing conferences in the world. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be publishing some of my “take aways”.

The first breakout that I attended this morning was titled “Why You Should Consider Starting an Affiliate Network”  moderated by Chuck Hamrick and chaired by Jamie Burke of JEBCommerce, Griffin Granberg of ClearVision Media, Adam Riemer of Adam Rimer Marketing LLC and Jamie Birch of JEBCommerce.

Four Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re considering starting an Affiliate Program

1.       Your competition  is doing it

2.       PPC is getting more expensive; How many of you have seen your PPC spend go down and your ROI go up because of the increasing affiliate programs?

3.       Google is doing it! Through the Google Affiliate Network and other tools they are creating an environment which will only work if you’re an affiliate participating in a network.

4.       Affiliate Marketing = Performance Marketing. More and more traditional marketing is turning to CPM/ CPA modes including shopping comparison sites.

When setting up a network with an affiliate network consider where the backlink is going. Is it going to your site so you can increase your inbound links, or to the affiliate network?

If you’re a merchant and your niche is highly competitive, you would need an army of squad of SEO’s to keep your site optimized for the search engines. By having an affiliate network you’re recruiting an army to promote your brand. You should consider partnering with affiliates to increase your bottom line.

Instead of your own efforts with PPC/SEO, you’re now able to leverage your affiliate’s websites to promote your products/services.

If you have review sites in your affiliate network be certain that they conform to the current FTC regulations concerning disclosure.

Affiliate Sales Are Incremental

Affiliates are masters at pre-selling your product and persuading your audience to buy. It is not uncommon to increase sales by 25% or more!

For each affiliate sale made online, there is a 1.7% increase of sales in stores!

You don’t have to pay affiliates to post your banner ads, links videos. You only pay commission on a sale or an action (commission varies on your margin).

It normally takes six months to a year for an affiliate program to become profitable.

Coupon sites get hit by 1000’s of requests each day with requests to add new coupon codes. When you do contact them include the html of your coupon/promotion.

You should hire an outside affiliate manager to promote and optimize your program with the networks.

Items that should be considered:

Length of the affiliate’s cookies 30/6o days is the standard, many networks moving toward 90 day to recruit “super affiliates”

You need to consider your chargeback ratio and how you will debit your affiliates that made the sale.

Also need to consider incentives to offer your affiliates;

  • Bonuses
  • Incentives
  • Contests
  • Tier Commissions
  • Multiple Payouts
  • Super Affiliates use of trademark in domain names and PPC advertising
  • Coupon/Discount Codes

If you’re offering a promo code on coupon websites, place in your shopping cart the “referral code” or “tracking code” to discourage your shoppers from abandoning your shopping cart to find codes.  Also consider providing your affiliates a hard coded URL that will include the discount code and their affiliate link.  Coupon codes are also great for liquidating products

You should only consider starting an affiliate network if you want your business to obtain better reach, leverage awareness, increase sales while also being cost effective.

What are your thoughts/concerns about setting up an affiliate marketing program for your online business?

Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
Roy Reyer
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9th November 2010 3 Comments

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