By Darren Dutton-Stealth Profit Machines REVIEW
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways of selling your products and services. This method relies on profit sharing whereby you create an affiliate network offering performance based commissions to the members of your affiliate program. Affiliate marketing creates a win-win situation; you get to increase your sales levels and your affiliate marketers get to earn their commissions. Often there is no limit set for the affiliate marketers on the number of sales they can achieve. However, these programs encourage their affiliate marketers to make as many sales as possible by offering a variable commission structure therefore: As the sales volume goes up, so too does the commission value. The variable commission structure has proven to be more effective in increasing the sales levels through affiliate marketing.
Setting up an Affiliate Program
There are two basic aspects in an affiliate program. The first part involves drawing up a program, commission structure, payment schedules etc. The second part involves the actual setting up of the affiliate program and the managing of it. The second part is an ongoing challenge. You need to create an interface whereby affiliates can signup for your affiliate program, get the necessary tracking codes, check their earnings, etc. As the owner of the affiliate program, you should be able to track the performance of each marketer, validate the sales generated through their promotional efforts and send regular payments to them based on their performance. You need to create a perfectly functioning system whereby you can manage the entire affiliate program without any confusion.
Making use of Managed Affiliate Programs
If you think that setting up a system and managing it is too expensive and time consuming, you can make use of managed affiliate programs. You can signup for an account, fill in the details and the rest will be taken care of by your affiliate management company. They will have a powerful back end that will allow you to manage your affiliates without having to spend a lot of money on building a system from scratch. The affiliates will also be able to have a powerful control panel from which they can manage their account and keep track of their earnings. One of the top affiliate management services that is used by many top brands is Commission Junction.
Making use of such affiliate management systems and companies will come as a great time saver. You will not have to worry about the day-to-day operations of your affiliate program. It will also save a considerable amount of money because you will not have to set up a brand new affiliate management system.
Further Benefits of Using Affiliate Management Companies
When you make use of an affiliate management company for your program, you will be able to take advantage of the marketing efforts of that company. This will bring more affiliates to your network. Users of affiliate management websites will be able to search for programs that suit them. By enrolling your program with such companies, your program too will be featured in the search results creating wider exposure. If you were to manage your own affiliate program you would need to start marketing your program as well along with your product marketing efforts. This will only come as an additional burden on you. On the other hand, if you make use of a reliable and popular company to manage your program, you will get many signups in a short time.
Furthermore, your affiliate management company will also take care of the validity of the sales generated by your affiliate marketers.
Making your Affiliate Program Attractive
Though there are thousands of affiliate programs, not all of them get equal number of sign ups and not all of them do as well. If you want to attract many affiliate marketers, you need to make your program attractive. The one thing that will attract affiliates to your program is the commission structure. You need to make sure that your payout rates are impressive. There are two types of commission structures in affiliate marketing. One is flat payout per sale and the second type shares a certain percentage of the sale value with the affiliate. You need to first finalise the nature of your affiliate payout structure. It must be cost effective for you and at the same time attractive enough to make the affiliates promote your products and services aggressively.
Keeping in Constant Touch with your Affiliates
It is not enough to just set up an affiliate program and pay your affiliates on the sales made. It is very important that you keep in touch with them through constant mailers and newsletters etc. You need to keep them motivated. It is important that you make them feel that they are part of your marketing network. You must also acknowledge their efforts by announcing top achievers for the month, quarter, year etc. This will give hope to other members who are trailing behind in their marketing efforts.
You must also encourage inactive affiliates so that they can get back into action. You will be able to see success in your affiliate marketing efforts only when all your affiliates are offering their best and marketing aggressively. Only through constant motivation will you be able to have a network of aggressive marketers.
Expanding your Affiliate Marketing Program
You should work towards expanding your affiliate membership. Most of the management companies will allow you to set your own limits on the number of marketers that can enrol for your affiliate program. You must make sure to purge your program regularly by removing inactive members and adding new members that can engage in active marketing.
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