E-commerce Link: Work Hand-in-hand
Three actions are critical to great affiliate programs
There are many techniques unique to individual affiliate programs. However, there still are several elements universal to the successful ones. Three actions critical to any great affiliate program are: plan for success; think win/win; and communicate.
Plan for Success
Marketers consistently take for granted the level of planning involved in starting an affiliate program. All too often clients ask for a quick setup. When I tell them it will take a few weeks to develop the necessary strategies, they almost always ask if we can expedite the process. While it’s understandable that everyone wants to increase volume quickly, an expedited setup phase typically only leads to problems later on. When faced with this request, we have to refuse and instead attempt to educate clients on the importance of a detailed planning process. The next step requires us to work backwards from the end goal and determine an appropriate plan.
Any successful affiliate marketing plan includes strategies that address the following questions. Ask yourself:
• What resources do I need to achieve my goals?
• Which agency/in-house team should I use to staff this effort?
• What tracking technology should I use, and how do I set it up?
• How should affiliates be compensated for their efforts?
• How can I verify the quality of the orders through this channel?
• How can I identify and recruit top-performing affiliates?
• What’s the best way to communicate with affiliates?
• What tools should I provide affiliates to help them drive qualified traffic?
• How can I protect my brand during this marketing effort?
Tip: Affiliate marketing should not be viewed as a way to subsidize other high-cost marketing channels like CPM media buys. Your target cost per acquisition should be related to the value of the acquisition, not the marketing channel used. This will keep you competitive and allow you to realize the full potential of affiliate marketing.