6 Actionable Steps To Start Your Own Affiliate Program

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Every contact with your affiliate sales partners creates the overall affiliate experience, beginning when they consider applying to your affiliate program.

Remember

There is rarely a second chance to make a first impression. The experience continues into the application and decision stage and builds throughout the affiliates' participation once accepted into your program. The knowledge you create depends on your approach to affiliate marketing.

What are affiliates looking for when joining affiliate programs? How can you differentiate your program from competitors?

The basic steps would be:

When recruiting affiliates, take the time to make your affiliate program stand out from others.

Your commission rates should be reasonable, your affiliate agreement well-written, and you're promotional creative eye-catching.

But they are not the actionable steps to start your affiliate program. So what are the actionable steps?

Step 1: Learn The Art Of Recruiting Potential Affiliates

CJ Affiliate Marketing Program For Beginner

You can communicate information about your affiliate program in several ways. First, affiliates may learn about your program through your website.

You should prominently display your affiliate program link on your website. Many affiliates often use Affiliate Directories, and you can read more about them on my blog.

The information promoting your affiliate program should compel affiliates to apply to your affiliate program.

Check out your competitor's affiliate programs and make sure your program stands out from the competition.

Be sure to state your commission rates, guidelines for approval clearly, and explicitly state what types of content and activity are acceptable.

For example, it is common today to not allow affiliates to purchase competing Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on search engines such as Overture and Google.

Additionally, I also suggest not allow email marketing. Now, Affiliates are ready to sign up for your affiliate program because your affiliate agreement and commission rates which you will decide, are clearly outlined.

The second step will guide you on how to make the affiliate registration process effective and easy.

Step 2: Affiliate Registers For Your Affiliate Program

Now, the affiliate has agreed to your terms/conditions and applies to your program. So it's time to work consciously now.

Ensuring that your affiliate signup page is straightforward and does not require too much information is essential. A lengthy signup process may deter potential affiliates.

Also, make sure the signup process is Secure by using an SSL certificate. SSL is essential if affiliates submit a VAT number, Tax ID, or Social Security number.

As soon as the affiliate hits the application's submit button, it is time for the affiliate manager to make a big decision.

Listing Your Affiliate Program Through Affiliate Program Directories

You set up affiliate program software such as Affiliate Wiz, now how do you recruit Affiliates?

Affiliate program directories offer an essential resource for webmasters actively seeking out affiliate programs to add to their sites.

As a merchant, you should list your site on as many directories as possible for maximum exposure to affiliates interested in promoting your products.

Many super affiliates, also known as high-performing affiliates, seek out merchant sites using these affiliate program directories.

There are hundreds of these affiliate networks and directories, so listing your site in them can take some time.

Top 20 Affiliate Network and Affiliate Directories

Here is the list of the top 20 more popular affiliate directories:

  1. ShareASale
  2. ClickBank Affiliates
  3. CJ
  4. Impact Radius
  5. JVZoo
  6. 2-tier Affiliate Program Directory
  7. Affiliates Directory
  8. Affiliateforum.com
  9. affiliateguide.com
  10. Affiliate Programs
  11. Affiliate Programs Directory
  12. atlnetwork.com
  13. Affiliate Programs Guide
  14. AffiliateSeeking.com
  15. associateprograms.com
  16. Earfind.com
  17. eSponsors.ws
  18. refer-it.com
  19. Webmaster Affiliates
  20. Affiliate Announcement

Step 3: Approving Or Rejecting The Affiliate's Application

Most affiliate software solutions or affiliate networks allow you to accept all affiliate applications automatically called (Instant Approval).

However, I highly recommend you use a manual approval process. It is typical to get many unqualified affiliate applications.

The ground reality is that only well established top 5% of affiliates will bring most of your sales.

As soon as the affiliate has joined your program, your affiliate network will automatically send an email notifying them of the approval process. This email should stand out to get read by the potential affiliate.

Apply the same tactics for email marketing – make subject lines and messages personalized and attention-grabbing.

If you decide to reject the affiliate, send a polite email to notify them why you have rejected them and how can they reapply with corrective measures.

Although the affiliate may not have been appropriate for you as an immediate sales partner – remain open to the potential for a future relationship.

The inappropriate site manager for your affiliate program is still a potential customer for your products or services.

For those affiliates you accept, send them an eye-grabbing email welcoming them to your program.

Make sure to give them a warm and a grand welcome to make your affiliates stay motivated.

Please provide a link for them to log in to your affiliate software program to begin the next step of the affiliate process, creating links for their website.

Step 4: Create Links That Points To Your Product Or Website

Free Backlinks

Now that the affiliate is approved for your affiliate program, it is time for them to place links on their website and begin sending traffic your way.

The advertising materials like banners, text links, and much more you supply to your affiliates should be well thought out.

For example, text links have become an essential part of any affiliate program as the success rate of traditional banner ads has diminished.

Other popular creative include flash ads, submission and search forms, product images, and much more.

Be sure your links are well categorized into intuitive categories so affiliates can quickly obtain the links of interest.

Your affiliate network should allow affiliates to easily copy and paste the links onto their website and highlight top-selling products and key categories to quickly promote.

Include information on best-converting links and seasonal products to increase conversion rate.

Send the links to your affiliates by email whenever you add new affiliate links that point to your product/service.

Also, help your affiliates by sending tips and strategies to help them promote your product via email.

Like you can send helpful blog posts via email like:

Step 5: Driving Traffic To Your Website

Congratulations, now that you have successfully recruited affiliates, your traffic volume and sales should increase as your affiliate has started advertising.

Of course, along with increased traffic should come higher sales.

You must monitor your affiliate program to see which affiliates are providing the best conversion.

Doing this will help you to easily contact them when you want your affiliates to sell your product/service aggresevely.

Consider raising the payout rates for your top-performing affiliates to entice them to optimize their affiliate marketing strategy.

Step 6: Paying Commisions To Your Affiliates For Promoting Your Products/Services

Affiliate Business Homepage

Now that your affiliates are driving revenue-generating traffic to your merchant website, it may be time to reward the affiliates by sending them their commission check.

In order to earn respect from your affiliates, you must pay them their commission at regular intervals. Therefore, paying every month is a reasonable period.

Most merchants choose a minimum payout such as $50 to avoid printing checks for a low amount.

Affiliates who earned less than the payout amount will continue to accrue commissions until they meet the minimum payout.

You might also consider using PayPal to pay your affiliates. Since it is easy to pay with PayPal.

Another main reason is that many accounting software easily integrate with PayPal.

This completes your entire process from creating your own affiliate program to generating sale and paying commission to your affiliates.

Conclusion

Starting your own affiliate program will not be easy task, you will require lot of legal work so that you don't get messed up with your affiliates if something goes wrong.

At an initial level you will need to work hard to bring affiliates to your affiliate program, it is same as driving traffic to your website.

Eventually when you get experience in approving the right affiliates you will be able to generate more sales.

That's an end to this post, let me know in the comments do you have your own affiliate program? If so then which strategy you think is must to implement in order to grow you affiliate program?


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