3 Steps to Start your Affiliate Marketing Business
In our previous article about ’what is affiliate marketing’, we concluded that affiliate marketing is a must for every business. You can generate a large reach whilst only paying for the final business result, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing activities and create additional turnover and sales volume for your store. It is also not as complicated as it might sound. So, the question that arises: how do I start with affiliate marketing?
Based on its experience in global affiliate marketing for more than 16 years, Cashback World E-Commerce has created a simple, 3-stage process for you to get started:
1. Getting Started – internal strategy
The first stage is your own internal strategy, in which you decide what your goals are. Starting with affiliate marketing needs to have a clear goal. Do you want to have more registrations on your website? Or is your goal to increase the volume of sales? It is important to clarify your goals for the short and long term, so 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 sales?
Besides the target, you also need to define the height of the commission you can pay. When defining 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 the strategic and financial elements, it is essential to get connected with an affiliate network to have the technical connections organized. Within affiliate marketing, all touch points and results with consumers are measured, so technical connections are essential for performance. To track the impressions, clicks and sales, you need to have special codes implemented in several parts of your website. The codes will be made available by the affiliate network, for you or your website builder to implement on the right pages. You can either implement the codes manually via the clear description manual, or by downloading one of the standardized plugins and add-ons 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 via the affiliate network, contains all the necessary information for publishers, i.e. who you are and what you do. The better and more comprehensive the description and the details, the more the publisher will understand your business and its appeal. Logo, descriptions, URLs, commission structures, publisher types and restrictions are among the items that must be specified for 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 strategic, financial and technical setup are done, you can get started and be promoted by your selected type of publishers. For the right start, you need to make sure to have enough advertising materials available in your affiliate program in the network. Some of these materials should be banners about your standard offers, products or services and be available in all standard sizes. In order to select the most commonly-used sizes, it is advisable to consult the ad portfolio of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
Work with your account manager at the affiliate network to get connected with the right publishers and setup integrated campaigns to get that first boost for your business. If you're driving high-performing campaigns that deliver good average results (impressions, clicks, sales, average commissions), then you have a better chance of being promoted to more and larger platforms, which will give you even better performance.
Besides the standard promotion materials, it is always smart to have dedicated campaigns that fit special seasons or events within the market. You can think of seasons like Christmas, Spring, Easter and Back-to-School, but also special events like Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day and Black Friday / Cyber Monday. These are the times when affiliate business experience peaks in shopping turnover, and therefore your store needs to have its dedicated advertising materials available for the most published promotions. Having an overview of seasonal and special events can support you in your campaign planning.
Performance of your Program
As described, setting up an affiliate program at an affiliate network is not rocket science, but steering and monitoring the performance of your program can 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 their potential to grow. Your affiliate network can provide you with a detailed insight into the performance of your program and can advise you on the development and planning of the program.
Work closely with your network to obtain your program’s best possible performance. Want to know more about what an Affiliate Network can do for your business?