Tips for Implementing a Successful Affiliate Program

An affiliate program is a unique marketing tool in that allows you to acquire a group of brand ambassadors that will serve to advertise and bolster your brand and image, and most importantly, bring invaluable leads to your online store. But without special care and attention to particular areas of your program, an Affiliate Program can be a real money sink.

If this is your first time implementing an Affiliate Program, it can be a bit of a challenge setting up a program that symbiotically rewards both your store and your affiliates. Many factors contribute toward the success or failure of any given affiliate program, regardless of your industry or business size.

Let’s take a look at some important factors to consider before you get to implementing one of eCommerce’s most powerful sales channels.

Calculate Your Affiliate’s Cut

While affiliate marketing is a great marketing channel for any online store, its benefits come at a fee. Before launching an affiliate program, the first question you’ll need to answer is what percentage of your marketing budget you’re able to allocate to your affiliate program.

Your brand ambassadors will work earnestly to bring in sales to your online store, but they’re level of motivation and effectiveness is directly correlated to their commission. The more appealing you’re able to make this number, the harder your affiliates will work to acquire leads.

Can your business afford an 8% commission for every sale? How about 15%? For every business, this number will vary from one to the next. Carefully consider what commission will yield the best results for not only your affiliates, but for your online store’s short and long-term success. Dishing out more money than you can afford can only lead to your program’s downfall, and in some instances, the loss of respect of your hard-earned affiliates.

Properly Compensate Your Affiliates

One of the biggest mistakes merchants new to affiliate marketing make is inadequately compensating their affiliates. Ecommerce is an incredibly competitive market, with countless new stores launching every hour around the world, many of which have their own affiliate programs. If you’re hoping to transform loyal customers into earnest affiliates, you need to understand and respect the value an affiliate represents for your brand and overall profits.

Providing an appealing commission is the first and foremost important factor that will affect the success of your affiliate program. Few websites and stores are looking to openly advertise a multitude of businesses on their sites, and even fewer are looking to spend a great deal of personal time investing in another’s success. Offering an appealing commission, however, will encourage affiliates to not only choose your store over your competitors, but to openly and boldly advertise your store in a location that will yield maximum profits for their own pockets.

As mentioned previously, your marketing budget will play a critical role in determining what percentage your business is able to allocate toward commissions. Just keep in mind that when it comes to affiliate marketing, it doesn’t pay to be stingy or cheap.

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