Affiliate marketing is a great way to market your business. In fact, it’s been proven to be one of the most effective ways to market a business, generate leads and has the highest level of customer lifespan than any other marketing platform, including banner ads and social media platforms.
There are so many positives to setting up an affiliate marketing program for your business, mainly the reduced marketing budget and a wealth of business people willing to go out of their way to highlight your product in the best light.
However, while the positives are there, you need to make sure that the negative side of affiliate marketing doesn’t grow and consume your business. It can be your downfall. This is also known as the ‘autopilot trap’, and this is everything you need to know to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.
Understanding the Power of Affiliate Programs
Firstly, you’re going to want to realise just what happens in an affiliate marketing program. The chances are that you’ve signed up to a website or affiliate marketing provider and allowing them to run your program based on automation and set criteria.
Of course, this is a rather effective way to run things, and it does the job, but this could be damaging your business, or holding it back, to say the least.
When you’ve left your program to recruit automatically, you may find that your accepted businesses are not the most beneficial businesses for your brand and this can start to damage your reputation and your credibility as a business.
Affiliate fraud is also such a huge risk that you need to be aware of, just as Monica Eaton describes here when an affiliate scam almost destroyed her entire business, as featured in FeedFront magazine.
“At the end of the day, you need to be in control of your business which means taking control of everything that’s going on. This doesn’t mean you should not use automated services to source your programs. However, you should use a balance of human contact and automated services to find the best and most beneficial people for your business” – explains an Affiliate Manager at Ukwritings.
Setting Up a Successful Affiliate Program
Now that you’re aware of the balance that’s needed to run a successful affiliate program, it’s time to start setting it up. There are several points you need to consider which we’ll explore in detail below;
Setting Your Pay Grades
It’s very difficult to change your pay grades once you’ve set them up, so it’s important to spend time and effort when researching and making sure that these grades are right. Check out your competitors and make sure that you have two grades, one for everybody and an exclusive rate for your highest performing sellers.
To give you a starting point, CoSpot recommends your commission rate should be set anywhere between 5% and 30%, depending on your industry and business.
Communication is Key
When it comes to you talking to your sellers and marketers, it’s essential that you maintain a healthy amount of communication, so you can create your own community and network around your business.
Through this network, you’ll be able to send out newsletters, guidelines, affiliate updates, current promotions and other content created through tools like Boomessays and Essayroo, enabling your marketers to give their customers the best experience, and therefore benefitting your business massively.
Continue to Market Your Business
Starting an affiliate network for your business isn’t just the be all and end all when it comes to marketing and advertising your business. In fact, it’s essential to continue to market your own business using social media, banner ads and other forms of promotion.
Apps like HootSuite and Academized can be extremely helpful when it comes to choosing the right platforms for your business.
Stick to Your Budget
As you enter the affiliate program business, you need to be sure that you’re fully aware of how much each lead or sale is going to cost you. You can only change this in the future if you really really have to.
Of course, it’s worth remembering that the larger your budget, the more money that you’ll have to play with but that doesn’t mean that it has to be bigger. Conduct vast amounts of research into your budget, and you’ll be able to set the right prices that will benefit everyone, rather than having to keep changing them further down the line.
As you can see, there’s a lot a more to creating an affiliate marketing network than just signing up and selling opportunities to other businesses. However, if managed in the right way, you can make sure that your network is set up in such a way that everybody wins!
G. Kopp is a digital marketing strategist and a blog writer at Paper Fellows. She is a regular contributing writer at Huffingtonpost and Ukwritings blogs. Besides, she also writes Studydemic educational blog for marketing students and educators.