3 Steps to Start your Affiliate Marketing Business
In our previous article about ’what is affiliate marketing’, we concluded that affiliate marketing is an excellent promotional tactic for businesses of all sizes. You can achieve a larger customer reach and only pay for actual results. You can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing activities and create additional revenue and sales volume for your store. It is not as complicated as it might sound either. The question is: how do I get started in affiliate marketing?
Based on our 16 plus years of experience in global affiliate marketing, Cashback World E-Commerce has created a simple, 3-stage process to help you get started:
1. Getting Started – internal strategy
The first stage is your own internal strategy. This is when you decide what your goals are. Pursuing affiliate marketing requires having clear goals. Would you like to have more registrations on your website? Or is your goal to increase sales volume? It is important to clarify your short and long- term goals so that you can choose what type of remuneration model you will apply within your affiliate program. Will you pay the publisher a commission on the click, the lead, or the sale?
Besides choosing your goal, you must also select the amount of the commission you will pay. When determining this amount, you should always think: What is a single customer worth? In other words, what can I pay for every new customer? In many cases, the price for your product or service is specified, including a margin to spend on marketing activities. You also need to decide on what part of the marketing budget you want to reserve for affiliate marketing.
2. Technical Solution – register @ an Affiliate Network
When you’ve decided on your strategic and financial goals, it will be essential to get connected with an affiliate network to have the technical connections organized. Within affiliate marketing, all customer touch points and results are measured, so technical connections are essential for performance. To track impressions, clicks and sales, you need to have special codes embedded in several areas of your website. The codes are made available by the affiliate network, for you or your website builder to embed on the right pages. Either you can implement the codes manually via the clear description manual, or you can download one of the standardized plugins and add-ons available for a large variety of eCommerce platforms.
Besides setting up the technical connections and making the tracking possible, you also need to make sure that your affiliate program (the program that you create through the affiliate network), contains all the required information for publishers to know who you are and what you do. The better and more complete the description and details are, the better the publisher will understand your business and its attractiveness. Logo, descriptions, URLs, commission structures, publisher types and restrictions are part of the different steps that need to be specified within your program.
Discover the simple steps within the affiliate network to have your store registered, by getting in touch with Cashback World E-Commerce
3. Campaigning & Maintenance
As soon as the strategical, financial and technical set-up is complete, promotion by the publishers you have selected can begin. To start, you will need to have ample advertising materials available in your affiliate program. Part of these materials should include branded banners advertising your standard offer, products or service and in standard banner sizes. For a guide to most standard sizes, you may refer to the following ad portfolio :Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
You can work with your affiliate network account manager to get connected with the best publishers and to set-up integrated campaigns for the initial launch of your business. High performing campaigns with good average results (impressions, clicks, sales, average commission), will increase the chance of your business being promoted by more and bigger platforms, which in turn will result in even better performance.
Besides the standard promotional materials, it is always smart to have dedicated campaigns that fit special seasons or events within the market. For instance, Christmas, Spring, Easter and Back-to-School are most popular high sales period, but special events like Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day and Black Friday / Cyber Monday are also excellent opportunities to for promotional opportunities. These are the moments where affiliate business experiences peaks in shopping volume. Therefore, your business should have its dedicated advertising materials available for the most published promotions. An overview on seasonality and special events can support you in your campaign planning.
Performance of your Program
As described, setting up an affiliate program within an affiliate network is not rocket science, but steering and monitoring the performance of your program might be. A lot of data is collected by the program, not only on the performance of the campaigns, but also on the target groups, their characteristics and opportunities to grow. Your affiliate network can provide you with detailed insights into the performance of your program and can also advise you on the development and planning of the program.
We urge you to work closely with your network to obtain the best possible performance of your program. Want to know more about what an Affiliate Network can do for your business?