Selling through your own direct channels may only get you so far. Once your product is ready and the market responds positively, it is almost absolutely essential to start exploring channels whereby you get others to sell your product – that is, Affiliate Marketing or forming Joint Venture Partnerships. Creating an effective online Affiliate Program or Joint Venture Partnership System will basically multiply your product reach and sales channels many times over. Once setup, it will literally be like having your own private sales force doing all the work for you.
However, setting up and marketing an effective Affiliate or JV program is not as easy as it sounds. There is a lot of work to be done and you must follow some basic principals so you avoid any of the pitfalls.
There are many factors that will decide the effectiveness of your Affiliate Program. One must take great care in not making mistakes that could result in Affiliates dropping out or rejecting your Affiliate or Joint Venture offer.
But, before we begin, just a small note on the difference between a Joint Venture and Affiliate Program.
A Joint Venture can basically be thought of as “Super Affiliate” deal, where you work closely with one or more top Affiliate marketers who have access to a large audience through various established channels. One good JV deal (super affiliate deal), could sell more units than what you get from an entire years worth of effort made directly by you – or many Affiliates put together.
It’s absolutely critical that you setup good JV deals with people who have access to large lists or large audience of people, but at the same time you don’t ignore the smaller Affiliates – because, you really never know which Affiliate turns out to be a winner. Although the 80:20 principal will apply here (20% of your Affiliates will get your 80% of sales) – you must focus on signing up as many Affiliates as you can who are in your niche. Later on you can channel your efforts to give more personal attention to the Affiliates who are performing better.
Lets now walk through some critical and important steps and notes you should keep in mind while setting up and marketing your JV / Affiliate Program.
First and foremost, as in all businesses – keep the best interest of your customer (in this case the Affiliate) in mind. Make sure you work towards their best interest, not yours. Craft your offer from an angle that works best for them, then you. Keep the benefit for them in mind and use that as your central focal pitch. Then derive a message around that, that is real and specific – with numbers and facts included if possible.
Remember Always – The person taking all of the risk deserves most of the money. If they are going to be sending out a mailer to their list of 10,000 people or put up banner ads on their blog, they are taking most of the risk here – and you should part with a larger percentage of sales. Try to work in a 60:40 ratio or even as high as 80:20 or 90:10. some people even do 100:0 – giving everything to the affiliate, just to get the customer on-board onto their list – so they can sell other products to them in the future. Some powerful marketers are even known to give 200% commissions to list owners, for the sale. It may sound crazy – but it is happening and these guys know what they are doing as they convert the customer into cash down the road.
Just make sure to keep your JV partners happy by giving them money! The more you give, the more they will come back to work with you.
Like I said before – don’t just focus on the top Affiliate partners. Start by contacting various potential partners in Tier 1, 2, 3. This will give you a wide spread and a better understanding and also let you decide where you should focus down the road (ie. which type of JVs are working best). In the beginning be prepared to search JVs out. But once you get a name, people will come to you!
Mail out at least one package a month for JVs. Keep reminding them of the hot offers / products you have. Show them how much other JVs are making. Tell them what they are missing out on! Get them excited with catchy emails. Don’t be boring.
It is very important that you keep everything very simple for your Affiliates. Setup whichever Affiliate backend software / scripts system you are using by putting everything together for them. The easier you make it for them, and the less they have to do, the better they will like it. For example – have cookie cutter emails they can send out. Preferably a series of them.
Remember, it is your goal to help by showing them how they can make more money with least problems and least amount of work. People are busy and don’t have the time and energy to focus on coming up with sales pitches and banner ads. Keep everything ready for them to simply dive in and use in a few minutes.
That’s a key point.
The easier you make things for them – the more they will like you and promote your offering. If you don’t keep things ready and easy to use – they will most probably move on. Just set a target in your mind to make them large sums of money with the least hassles. You would like the same wouldn’t you if you were in their place?
When you sign up new JV partners, go slow with them in the beginning and drop them if they show any signs of mistrust. Its not worth wasting your time on anyone who shows mistrust. There are plenty of fish in this ocean.
The quickest way to start them promoting you is to have your JV partner email your offer to their list.
The key is to quickly get a few success stories in hand, which will then make it easier for you to approach new potential JVs and Affiliates because now you have proof that your product works and is making money for other Affiliates. They will sign up now in larger numbers and your Affiliate signing up conversion rate will be much better.
Keep strong relationships with your best Affiliates, by contacting them regularly and not in an intermittent manner. Always keep looking for more ways to make them more money.
Ask your JV partners and Affiliates to insert a custom endorsement that comes directly from them, while they sell your product to their list. This is very important and builds credibility. Since they already have a trust built up with their customers – if they endorse your product by putting a small note in the beginning that tells their customers that they have seen your product and they like xyz about it and that they endorse it… the sales will be many times higher, than if it wasn’t endorsed. This may mean that you have to give a free package to your Super Affiliate / JV Partner to evaluate it – which is perfectly normal. It is expected nowadays. Just don’t give away free copies to every Affiliate – just the powerful sneezers.
Always pay your Affiliate commissions fast and on time!
A good JV will make you money, not cost you money. Its money you would not have made had it not been for the partnership. Whatever money a JV makes you is really free money or passive income. Once your deal is done – the money flows in with mostly no effort on your part. Do note that on an average only about 5% of your Affiliates will actively promote your product, so getting more effective affiliates should be your prime focus.
Tip – Make sure you provide your affiliates with incentives, tools, and training material so they can easily start selling your product, with the least amount of hassle and work. Everyone is busy, the more you give a packaged system – the better it will be for you.
How to find and attract active Affiliates and JV Partners?
To begin with, ask yourself the following questions…
. do you know anyone in your niche?
. do you know anyone who is already targeting your audience?
. if you don’t, then research probably candidates and get to know them. Try to create a fit between the two of you
. if there are online or local seminars – start attending and networking on them
Like I said before – keep all marketing material and processes ready for your affiliates. Things should be “plug-and-play” for them. “Set it and forget it!” Affiliates love that. Specially the big powerful ones… as they are so busy making money and finding the best Affiliate offers around in the market. To make the pitch more attractive – and if you have a free ebook or report they can offer their community, then you should try and customize your freely downloadable reports if possible with their URL and name – so they do not have to waste their time doing so.
– Recruit Active Bloggers from the BlogCatalog.com directory
– Create a Free Report that can be branded by your affiliates with their own affiliate link and allow them to distribute it freely.
Some affiliate Promotion sites – www.revenews.com , associateprograms.com, and affiliatebroadcast.com . Also post your programs details on various Affiliate Directories.
– Approach Ezine Authors and Publishers
– Google your niche keyword +ezine +article
– Look up info listed on Ezine-Dir.com and contact these authors to promote your product
– Write articles and publish them on ezine sites
– Here are some JV network sites to form partnerships –
– Look for similar products to yours and sign up to their mailing list of those that are doing well.
– Be open to approaching your competition with a JV pitch. You never know what this can lead to.
– Look for ezines that are being published in your niche and approach them. Be careful with the numbers and credibility of the list. Check out www.bestezines.com and www.ezinelocater.com
– Go through a Joint Venture Broker if required. but make sure you get them to start working with you for free and prove themselves first.
– Do something unique and you will get noticed.
– Leave thoughtful comments on potential affiliates’ blogs
– Buy your way in. Purchase their product and you may get access to talk to them directly or on their forum
– Super Affiliates want numbers. Send them your conversion rates of email pitches etc. as that is more important than just your commission figures.
– Get list of affiliates from Clickbank, PayDotCom, CommissionJunction and others… or make a related product and list it on ClickBank, so if it gets picked up you can then cross-sell your main course.
– Use a third party hosting provider if possible like – Clickbank, PayDotCom, Commission Junction, 1ShoppingCart, CCBill.
– Network on Linkedin– When someone has a list, they have a certain level of credibility with those people.
– Flattery works… but don’t over do it.
– Get to whats in it for them in the beginning– Ask them to commit before you barrage them with details. Entice them and ask them if they want to know more?
– Tap into your existing customer base. Mention the Affiliate Program inside your product somewhere, mention your affiliate program on your download page, and/or mention the affiliate program in highly visible areas on your site.
– Submit to affiliate directories like AssociatePrograms.com
– Use an affiliate announcement service like AffiliateAnnouncement.com
– Go to the various forums and post within their affiliate program announcement areas
– Contact authors of articles on the Article sites
– Look for bloggers
– Attend conferences
– Interact on Affiliate Marketing Online Forums
– Connect with JV partners – JV-Network.com , JVNotifyPro.com , JVAlert.com
– Buy ad space on high quality Affiliate newsletters like AssociatePrograms.com (spend some money here)
– To find quality affiliate newsletters search – ezine-dir.com , directoryofezines.com , Google “affiliate newsletter”, ask for sites on Internet marketing forums.
– Look for existing advertisers for your keywords on Google, Yahoo, MSN etc.
– Identify those who rank high for your keywords on the search engines
– Use specialty tools like – arelis.com , linkcapture.com , superaffiliatefinder.com , scamfreezone.com/spider/
– Outsource your recruitment if you have the money – partnerific.com
– Closely and attentively lurk on forums
– Join every list you can find. Use throw away email and study the list contents and you will be able to find out the top potential affiliates.
– Find competitors products and who is promoting them and approach them.
– Get in touch with well known authors and experts in your niche.
– Look for tips and articles in your niche.
– Look for URLs that have your main keywords inside them using the Google inurl: “dog training” search method.
Some tools that every Affiliate Marketer should have –
domaintools.com , whois.godaddy.com , whois.tucows.com. Use these domain tools to mark alerts when someone in your niche buys a domain. Also, look up owners of multiple domains in your niche. Use the tool called LinkCapture to find out who is linking to your competitors site. These are your potential Super Affiliates and you need to target them.
Finding potential Affiliates via Clickbank –
. Find products in your niche on Clickbank
. Once you have the list of products, goto Google and see which website are promoting them.
. See if the website is of high quality
. Write to them (spell out benefits of working with you, include conversion rates and percentages and profit for sales)
. If someone owns multiple websites , send them a DVD mailer
. Join their affiliate program if they have a product and then send a personalized pitch
Some unique ways to get the Attention of Potential Affiliates –
– Put $10 in their Paypal account. here’s some money for some music from itunes. Then follow up in a day with your affiliate program details.
– mention them in your product, and then tell them.
– offer to buy a round of mailing, but also tell them about the commission and the affiliate program incase they get interested.
– create a second product and let your affiliate give it away for free by inserting their affiliate link in it to your main product.
– create an exclusive bonus only for them. contact the number 1 affiliate. if declines move on to number 2. etc. Then keep creating new exclusive products.
– pay $500 upfront to a super affiliate for promoting the product.
– promote a super affiliates products first. then get in touch with them. (law of reciprocity). buy ad-space if you have to get sales for them and to get their attention. contact them in advance and ask them for a brandable list for your list. arrange for paid advertising. put the results together and let them know of the sales you have produced. then ask them for a return favor.
– put their link in your auto-responder indefinitely in exchange for them doing one promotion for you. you can keep contacting new affiliates with this and keep adding to your auto-responder and this technique can be applied forever again and again.
Integrate your marketing into the affiliates marketing by doing the following –Give the affiliate’s audience some bonus, such as a free ebook or free video. This will bring value to the table – as your affiliates can add your bonus to their – direct mail, one-time-offers, bonus packages, 404 error pages, download pages, thank you pages, auto-responders and opt-in pages. Everyone likes free stuff that has good quality. Excite them with a well written ebook or well made video in the niche. Don’t make it boring, or you will be wasting your time. Get your affiliates to give away AWESOME free content that you have to their list. This will increase your conversions. Their customers will think – If the freebie is so good, the paid must be really good! Focus on content and limit the sales pitch. Give them Free content that is very valuable and of top-notch quality but, is incomplete!
Your Affiliate Program Must do / have the following –
– It must be a a 2 Tier Affiliate System, so Affiliates can make passive / residual income. This means that they make money if they refer other Affiliates to your program. They get a commission on the sales of these Affiliates.
– Your Affiliate offer can be PPC, PayPerSale, PayPerLead, PayPerImpression. The commissions can be flat dollar rate or percentage based. See what sounds better. For high end products eg. $2000 , a $1000 commission sounds better than 50% commission.
– Make sure you spend time to design and make your Affiliate Site look good and professional. It should not look like your product sale site. Affiliates get excited by sites that look professional, neat and clean.
– Your Affiliate Resource Center / Control Panel should have… FAQs, training Materials, moderated Blog ( do not use forum as competitors can misuse your forum to get access to people). Make sure the Affiliate Resource Center is not static and you update it with new content frequently.
– Introduce new materials and products through the Affiliate Resource Center
– Train your affiliates with material. Not all of them will be experts. By training them you will help them get confidence and help them overcome their fears which is the number one reason for procrastination. They can also become very loyal affiliates if you teach them. Point them to good technical resources if required. You must sell them on selling for you!
Once you setup your Affiliate System, make sure you test it thoroughly! You must test your Affiliate Program by signing up as an affiliate and test all the links etc. as it can be very embarrassing and cost you credibility if you have errors.
– Make sure you include most of the following promotional elements into your system –
. Basic Text Links
. Promotional Emails
. Full Page Ads
. Variety of Banner Ads and Buttons
. Free Reports and Articles in Text Format
. Viral PDF Reports
. Product Reviews
. Pay-Per-Click Keywords
. Audio and Video Content
. Text for Solo Mailings
. Calssified Ads
. Text for Auto-responders
– Build their affiliate links into the marketing material so they can simply cut and paste and use it.
– Terms and Conditions… Spell out your terms and commissions etc very clearly in your site and when they are signing up. Your Terms Of Service should also include your policies on the following – Adware/spyware, Spam, Cookies, Cookie stuffing and stealing should not be allowed, Acceptable Countries, Minimum requirements (website, blog etc), Payment Policy, Mode of Payment, Types of sites allowed in network, Policy on popups, pop-unders, redirects and hovering ads. Also, make sure you tell Affiliates that they can only promote your products to “double opt-in” lists.
– Create a testimonials page for well performing affiliates. Get their consent and testimonial.
– Increase the perceived value of your product with bonuses
– Pay a higher commission percentage than what the affiliate is expecting and you will get more signing up.
– Offer up-sells, down-sells, special offers, and backends. Inclue a Pro, Platinum or Deluxe version of your product. If buyer decides not to purchase, include a down-sell. If they do not buy the offer, then offer one month of free access to membership site… so you can then sell to them down the line. If the person buys the premium product, you can show them an One-Time-Offer after they make the purchase.
– Remember your affiliates knows that their traffic is valuable and there are other competing products out there.
How To Motivate Affiliates by giving them Incentives
Once you have an Affiliate on board, you need to be in touch with them regularly and motivate them to promote your product by coming up with ingenious incentives and offers for them, in return for their active participation other than their standard promotions. You must try and keep their interest in your product alive and you have to nudge them or they may become passive. Some ways that you can incentivize them are …
– as soon as they sign up, give them thank you by offering a free report or a small sign up bonus
– when they make the first sale send a personalized email to them congratulating them along with a free report / PLR / anything of value
– offer a cash bonus for x number of sales
– have tiered commission system in place. x sales x% , x+10 sales, higher commission …or incrementally based on commission value slabs.
– 2 tier commission… residual income. they get % of earnings of affiliates they bring in
– It is important to have “surprise” incentives that they did not expect as that makes a greater impact.
– snail mail them a tangible product / CD as a reward
– hold a contest.
– Consider having a Top Sellers area where you can give them recognition .. Top 3, Top 5, Top 10
– Make your program about them and less about you.
– Tell them about the various achievements of performing affiliates from small achievements to the big achievements… start with smaller ones and then go on to mention the bigger ones… this will increase your credibility more.
– Send them a zipped file with landing pages, squeeze pages, email ad copy, PDF reports all with his Affiliate links pre-embedded. Consider buying a super affiliate his own domain with all this setup for him.
– On your sign up form do not ask for Tax ID as it is too personal.
– Your sign up page is also your sales page. You have to sell them! Include testimonials etc.
– Include a Rewards Points System, if possible.
– Call your top performing affiliates on a regular basis if possible.
– Motivate your low performing affiliates as well with incentives and training material. You can provide them learning resource lists like…
– Give your affiliates hard numbers like conversion ratios, refund rates, etc. so they feel good about their decision.
– Let them offer a free download report / ebook using their affiliate link.
– You must regularly give your affiliates a reason to promote you every month. For this you can look for out monthly holidays or events like – celebrations and news happenings. In addition – you must show them hard facts and figures – like conversions, sales, etc.
– Make sure you set cookies expiry to something like 5 years, so the first Affiliate to send someone to your site gets the credit, even though that visitor does not buy on the same day – but may come back a couple of months later via another affiliate’s link. I believe its in the best interest of everyone to reward the first affiliate to refer customer and keep the range of the “cookies expiry” on your site / affiliate system set to a large number of days (example, 5 years)
Some Quick Tactics to motivate your Affiliates and JV Partners
Increase the commission level for a limited period of time. Example: if regular commission is 50%, you offer 75% for the next 3 days or next week. This will give them a motive to act. Also, you can offer the first 25 affiliates to give away a Bonus report to all their customers. This works well with inactive affiliates.
– Contact your affiliates one-on-one
– Respond quickly to questions.
– Offer more training to your affiliates than your competition does. This will increase your affiliates loyalty and activity.
– Give them some new activity at least once a week to do.
– Give your affiliates a check list of things to do. This is very important. You must spell out and guide them on the exact steps to take to get things moving and to get good results. They should not have to figure out the puzzle. You need to give it to them on a platter, if you want them to promote your offering…
1. Give them a Quick-Start Guide – show them easiest ways to get results. Show them what they have to do first. Fire your big weapons early on.
2. Provide a 30 day check list to them – Plan their entire first month of promotion for them. Tell them what to do in day 1, 2, 3 etc. tell them what to do ..including any things like get training from blog on this day etc.
3. Give them a Weekly Plan – After the first month, tell them what they should accomplish week-on-week. Mondays they should buy ads, Tuesday – send a newsletter etc.
– You must tell them specifically what to do. Don’t tell them to choose one promotional email – but tell them exactly which one to use and in which order.
– Host a monthly Webinar for them and for new potential affiliates. For example – tell them .. i will be hosting a Webinar and will show you how to multiply your earnings by two.
– Create a library of marketing material for them and keep adding fresh content to it.
– Create an “inner circle” of core affiliates. Send out a mailer saying you are looking for about 25 highly motivated affiliates. They will get bigger commissions, bonus material to promote, exclusive marketing material, more incentives, ability to offer the product at a discount. In return they must do x number of sales per month, to stay in or else pay $50 per month to stay in.
– Host a contest every 3 months or so with a big prize money – example $500. You must have 2 prizes – one for the Super Affiliate who makes the most sales and one for a randomly chose affiliate. This will level the playing field and encourage low performers to also take part and also your super affiliate will push the product. During the contest offer something new to promote – new report, discount price, any bonus that is normally not there. This gives your affiliates a good reason to mail their list again about your product – this time offering the freebee… without letting it look like an overkill.
– Offer incentives for meeting sales goals within a fixed time period… like, all affiliates who sell x number of products in the next y days will get the free bonus report that is not available elsewhere.
– Prize Collections from other site owners. You can contact other site owners and tie up with them to offer their freebees to your list.
– Give unadvertised bonuses as a surprise to your affiliates.
– Be proactive and ask your affiliates on how you can improve your program. Ask them – if you could recommend one change in our affiliate program so it can be made better, what would that be?
– Conduct surveys. Add a new poll every week to your blog. … question of the week etc.
– Contact your top affiliates and ask them to share what they are doing and what makes things work. Not all will share this info, but some may. you can then conduct a simple Q&A interview via an email and publish it in a newsletter for all. Let them know you will be doing this in advance.
– Ask inactive affiliates why they are inactive and what it will take to make them active.
– Be active and stand out. Share any new info with your affiliates – like, if you have discovered a new search engine, a new place to advertise that is working well, a new software that can help promote, someone who has a great training program that can help them.
Create a Stealth Report – Find affiliates who are promoting another similar product that is in the same niche. You write up two articles / reviews. One selling the product they are already promoting and the second is about your product. you combine the reports and give it to this affiliate to promote to his list. He can brand it with his affiliate link from the other product as well as the affiliate link of your product.Plug-in Sites – Create a site with several affiliate products listed and create affiliate links to each of them. Then contact affiliate promoting any of these products and tell them they can easily create their own page / plug-in site with their own affiliate links. This way you get promoted too.
Give Master Reprint Rights – Create a small product that is part of your bigger product. Tell anyone who buys it that they can brand it with their own affiliate link and sell it further down to others. The affiliate link is for your main product. This method also allows you to get more affiliates other than sales.
– Try and form a JV relationship with someone who is a known guru. Instead of giving 50% or 100% of initial sales… invite them for a closer business relationship – like a more permanent relation for 12 months… where they get 50% of everything the site makes in those 12 months.
– Get in touch and form JVs with other affiliate managers. Co-promote each others products in your affiliate centers and letters etc.
Make sure you communicate clearly the value that the Affiliate will get to promote you, which could be…. money
. good ROI
. return on time spent
. return on effort
Catch the attention of your Affilaites by offering to do some things at no cost for them, such as –
. create a domain name for them and set it up
. make a newsletter for them, if they need one
. send them ready made sales letters and packaged materials
. send them bonuses that they can use
. Releasing special Coupons for your products that are exclusive to the Affiliate
. Making standalone product bonuses that are only for the Affiliate
. Giving them free tickets that they can up-sell
. Try and target to send this out to 10 affiliates at a time.
. If you want to catch the attention of a Super Affiliate whom you desperately want… try to send them postal mail, that is a physical mail. It works best and draws up maximum attention.
Here is how you should go about communicating with new potential Affiliates, once you have identified them –
– Find out who they are and what they like to do.
– Then build something into the proposal or title of proposal that will catch their eye.
– Personalize your pitch as much as you can!
– Tell them you read this post of theirs, and this is your view and show them that you have taken time to read about their business.
– Make them feel important.
– Tell them what it is your are offering. You already know that your product fits what they do, and that it is selling well. Tell them this immediately.
– Offer to give them sales even for future products that their referral makes with you.
– Send a review copy of your product to them, so they can quickly make a decision.
– Offer to customize sales copy, for them if required.
– Give them unannounced bonuses as a surprise… that is not mentioned on the site anywhere.
– Catch a big fish, and send out a letter to others saying this big fish has already agreed to promote you. Spend a lot of effort in making the pitch to the big fish.
– Make a video of you presenting your product and put it on a DVD and send it via postal mail. This will stand out from the crowd.
– Help them find link cloakers that will protect them for competitions prying eyes
– Remove the risk for them for the first promotion. Get them to promote your Free bonus etc. first. Then later on approach them to promote the main product.
– Your Affiliate Center should be your number one priority. Set it up properly and provide all the resources to your affiliates.– For rebrandable downloaded ebooks and reports give them step by step instructions on how they can customize it with their own link. Offer to give them help at the end incase they need it. Also, give them a small email / text matter that is a promotion for the free ebook / report, that they can use.
– Have a strong pre-sell… that is useful but incomplete.
– Do NOT let your Affiliate Center become dormant! Keep adding more and more promotional and other material to it.
– Setup a funnel that tells your affiliates what to do and in what order. They don’t want to figure out what to do… but want to be handed the procedure in a platter.
– Tell affiliates, very early on, to mask or cloak their links with tinyurl and a redirector on their site.
– Encourage the affiliate as he is approaching a sales target… example, only 3 more sales to achieve xyz commission status!
– Send a Super Affiliate $10 in advance by PayPal and then ask him to look at your product and program.
– Create an email that is personalized when you make the first contact. It should have the following well planned.. Start with a personalized remark. Then talk about a connection that you both have. Tell them the reason why you are writing to them. Next, spell out their involvement in the project – it must be hands free mostly, with you doing all the work. Then tell them the commission percentage, profit per sale, conversion rates etc. If you have social proof of some of the big names in the industry being part of your affiliate program, name them. End the email pitch with an open ended question… that asks for a response. This will start a dialogue, and increase the chances of the receiver replying to you.
Some third party software providers for self hosted Affiliate Solutions –
Price Range: $50 – $300 … iDevAffiliate, PostAffiliatePro, YOURaff, Affiliate Trail
Price Range: $350 – $750 … Interneka, ProTrack Lite, OSIAffiliate, FusionQuest
Price Range: $800+ … Kowabunga! MyAP, ProTrackPro, Affiliate Tracking Network, Affiliate Wiz.
Some Roles of an Affiliate Manager (if you ever hire one)If things get too busy and your business is growing and your Affiliate Program is drawing a lot of attention and money – more than you can handle – then its time to move on and hire a professional Affiliate Manager who can step in and take charge. This will allow you to scale your business further by delegating your Affiliate Management tasks to a professional (who must produce results and keep the growing your program). You can define and allocate tasks to him/her, such as – distributing articles to directories, setting up and expanding the affiliate center, formatting, branding and compiling marketing material, recruiting affiliates, personally contacting the major players, creating and running contests for affiliates, creating training material – videos and reports, updating the blog, answering support questions from affiliates, planning short and long term success, creating affiliate training pages for each product, submitting program to directories, distributing rebrandable reports online. Just make sure you take daily / regular updates and monitor things closely as you will be paying good money to a professional.
A good Affiliate Program can earn you revenues that you could only dream of. Amazon has a program called Amazon Associates and they were the first ones to come up with the concept of Affiliate Marketing Online. (actually it was not them – it was one of their customers … an old lady… and she shared her idea with them by simply clicking on a link on a “Talk To Us” / “Suggestions” link on the Amazon site (which should tell you how important it is to have such a link on your site).
This one simple and now obvious suggestion earned Amazon in millions and now billions of dollars in sales. It was a simple idea but has been used by tons of merchants and people selling products online and many businesses are very dependent on their Affiliates making sales for them – while they focus on other aspects of business.
If you are selling anything online, and still do not have an Affiliate Program in place – I hope I have been able to convince you how important it is!