How to Start an Affiliate Program That Actually Works

AMZ Seller Financing   •   February 18, 2019

how to start affiliate marketing

If you run your own business or have started out very recently, you likely have also created your own website and put up some advertisements.

Your website may be doing a fairly decent job in terms of selling your products.

But, have you considered taking it to a whole new level?

Have you ever thought of ways to increase the traffic on your website and make money off of it?

Or perhaps, how to drive people to your website and get them to buy your products?

A popular and lucrative option that answers all your questions is the use of “affiliate programs” or affiliate marketing. It is a way to promote and market your business and products.

Affiliate programs have become a very popular and a sought-after marketing tool in recent times. Primarily because many view them as a great way of generating profits for one’s business.

What Are Affiliate Programs?

Affiliate programs, also called associate programs, are arrangements made between a merchant website and an affiliate website.

The merchant website pays a certain amount called ‘commission’ to an affiliate website. The affiliate website’s job is to send traffic to the merchant’s website in return of the commission paid.

Affiliate websites are required to post links to the merchant website. Payments are done according to a particular agreement that both parties signed off on.

For every amount of traffic that is brought to the site or money generated by the affiliate website on the merchant website, the latter party pays the former according to their particular agreement.

This is an excellent way to promote and sell your products online. It can also be an effective and cheap marketing strategy that creates hype and gets a good word out about your site.

A great example of this was established by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon in 1996. He popularized the idea of affiliate programs as an excellent marketing strategy.

Since then, the website has been attracting affiliates to post product links for sale on the site. In return, he promises them a percentage of the profits every time someone purchases a product by clicking on the link.

The affiliate helps generate sales. However, everything else like taking orders, collecting money and shipping the product is done by Amazon.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing on Your Website

Launching an affiliate program won’t only create and increase brand awareness, but will also generate leads and boost your sales.

Here are the key steps that will direct and help you launch a successful affiliate program on your website the right way.

1. Choose an Affiliate Platform

The first and the most important step is, of course, choosing the right platform for your affiliate program. It will allow you to manage and direct every single aspect of your program from a central location.

Through this platform, you can recruit affiliates, run tracking analytics, upload advertisement ads, and even manage commission pay-outs. This ensures a cohesive process that allows your affiliate program to seamlessly integrate with your business.

You will come across various options of affiliate platforms both large and small. Yet, you must pick the one that matches and aligns with your target audience.

2. Design the Structure of Your Affiliate Program

The next step is to define and design the structure of your affiliate program. It requires you to set clear parameters that will decide how the program will operate.

It primarily deals with questions like:

  • Will the program be based on a flat fee or percentage?
  • Do you want to pay commission just for sales or for leads, too?

And many more.

3. Develop Your Marketing Strategy

Next, you need to develop your affiliate marketing strategy. This will require you to make use of your digital marketing skills. It involves tactics like designing landing pages, banner ads, high-quality images, and more.

Here, you should also be thinking about the kind of promotional banners and product images you should put up. You should also use the optimal size for your images according to each individual social media platform.

4. Recruit the Best Affiliates

Once you reach this stage, you will be ready to open your affiliate program to new sign-ups. You will have all your promotional content created, your structure designed, and your platform in place.

The goal here is to recruit top-notch influencers who can effectively promote and market your services or products.

Remember, a successful affiliate will be able to produce high-quality content and will have an audience that matches your target.

5. Keep Improving and Evaluating

The final step is realizing that once you have successfully launched an affiliate program on your website, your work doesn’t end here. You need to keep evaluating your program and maintain it over the long-term.

This also requires you to monitor your program regularly and identify any possibilities for improvement.

Key Benefits of Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful ways to promote and sell your products online. Some of the key benefits of affiliate programs include:

  • increased sales,
  • more traffic to your site,
  • visibility via search engines,
  • qualified leads,
  • more effective use of advertising budget,
  • free brand exposure, and
  • easy tracking of sales.

The best thing about affiliate programs is that they let you create an army of sales reps who have their own websites, opt-in lists, and visitors. They are your affiliates and they market your products via their own visitors and opt-in lists.

The beauty of this is that you don’t have to pay them anything until they actually start generating profits for you.

Feel free to check out the other articles on our blog as well as download our FREE ebook on how you can fund your e-commerce business. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest news and offers!