Usually comprised of thousands of different affiliate sites, an affiliate network allows you to partner with these sites to have them link from their site to yours. There is is very little upfront cost, you only pay a fee if an affiliate generates a sale for you. Think of this as a reward for their efforts.
Affiliates help you gain momentum from leads you would have a very hard time finding yourself. It can also bring in a bunch of extra cash if these affiliates are doing their job well. All in all it is a rather low risk way for a small ecommerce business to get some exposure and bring in some dough in the process. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal right? So how do you get started in the world of affiliate marketing? Here’s the basics..
Decide on a Network
The first step in getting your affiliate market engine going is to decide on a network. Do your research and find out which networks cater to your niche. Every network has their own rules and procedures, so make sure you pick a network that is in line with what you are trying to accomplish. We recommend going with a larger network that has some kind fraud prevention policy that keeps an eye on their affiliates standing, to keep bad eggs out. These kind of networks can be very picky about who they let in, and won’t hesitate to shun anyone they feel may be disreputable. Their are some very shady affiliates out there, so aligning yourself with a reputable network will help safeguard your business against being ripped off.
Decide on the payout
Like we said before, there is no upfront cost to joining an affiliate network. You only have to pay if you make a sale as a result of an affiliate rate. Their are usually two ways to pay an affiliate: you can pay a flat fee, or give them a percentage of the sale. Look at the range of product you are selling and calculate which one is more cost effective for you, but is still encouraging for the affiliate to pick.
Get your house in order
Before you go and partner up with affiliates, make sure you have documentation prepared on who you as well as information about your target audience. You should also have all your creative copy ready, such as your tag lines, banner ads, and product information (pricing, descriptions, etc). The more you give your affiliates to work with, the better they will be able to promote your business and draw in leads.
Now that you are part of an affiliate network, it’s time to make sure that the relationship is a fruitful one. Keep your affiliates happy by providing continuos support and incentives to your affiliates to keep them motivated and well taken care of. They are partners not resellers and you need to make sure you have the capability to handle their needs as well. Email them regularly and and encourage them to reach goals to earn more and get some extras.
Hope this helps you get in your search for the wonderful benefits of affiliate marketing, be sure to check out how to integrate your affiliate network with your Wazala store as well.
Good luck and happy selling!