There are a number of effective ways to build your affiliate program. For example, if you own an eStore to sell physical goods through an online catalog, you can add an affiliate program sign-up at the bottom of each page – and promote it on your Thank You/Download page, when people buy.
Another avenue is to work with a joint-venture partner who is a well-known, well-established expert in your niche. If that situation, it is common to pay as much as a 75% -100% commission. (Did I hear you gasp?)
That percentage seems exorbitant, but it is well-earned because through your relationship with the expert, several things will happen.
- You will be jettisoned up the ranks of the online, buying community.
- Your “list” will grow exponentially with targeted, buying customers (and potential affiliates for your own business).
If you think you would prefer to run your own affiliate program for membership sites, digital goods, etc., without a JV partner, check around to see what type of commission your competitors are paying.
If you sell physical products in bulk numbers and with a high volume of sales per month, it is typical to pay a much smaller commission – anywhere from 4-15%. If you sell more expensive products, the commissions should be higher – and more alluring.
In order to establish an active, highly-successful affiliate program, you must set up systems and routines that inspire your affiliates to action. You should consider the following:
- Reward great performance.
- Run contests that are fun and exciting.
- Create a private affiliate forum in which you are actively engaged and is filled with tips and FAQs.
- Provide strong resources that make it easy for them to promote you, such as . . .
- Link cloaking instructions
- Articles and blog posts on your topic that they can easily customize to put on their blogs
- Graphics, banners and buttons
- Clear contact and help instructions
- A help desk that responds quickly.
- Social networking with your affiliates (at least acknowledging or “Liking” their posts)
- and more
- Set up a system that will pay commissions regularly (twice a month is smart – and appreciated – vs the standard once-a-month) and ensure they are paid on time.
- Provide extra tools and resources that make being your affiliate a pleasure.
- Stay in touch – nurture the relationship.
- Set up lifetime cookies (the affiliate gets credit for returning customers every time they buy another product from your site).
- Recognize each affiliate’s effort on your behalf (amazing as it is to me, this is often the key factor in creating loyal long-term affiliates).
The last bullet brings up something that will be vital to your affiliate program’s success – “What’s in it for your affiliates” (besides cash)? We will be discussing that next . . . see you soon.
Want all of the information? Begin at the beginning: Building an Online Business.
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