Jul 07

How To Choose the Right Affiliate Management Program for Your Business, Part 1

affiliate program
Affiliate marketing is now a multi-billion dollar industry, which companies from large to small can benefit from. Barnes and Noble’s recent announcement that they were giving an exclusive to the Linkshare affiliate network started us thinking about how a savvy business owner should choose an affiliate management program.

If you do not already have an affiliate program set up for your products and services, you could be leaving a good deal of money on the table. Setting up an affiliate program is the equivalent of hiring a sales force of motivated sales people who will work for commission to sell your products. If they don’t sell, they don’t get paid, so it is a low risk way to boost your sales and particularly increase your presence online.

All you have to do is provide them with the right information, price, name or product, features, benefits and so on, to help them sell the items. Then you sit back and watch the money come in from the top affiliate sellers.

Having the right affiliate management program for your business will save you time and money. You will need a tool that can help you accomplish several goals easily.

You want to have good reporting, in an easy to use interface for both you and your affiliates. You will also want to be able to pay those affiliates easily, in just a few clicks.

Here are the most crucial things to look for in an affiliate management program, along with a few recommendations as to how you can get started with affiliate marketing to grow your business even in this tough economy.

#1 Ease of use for yourself.
You will want a system that is easy to use in order to set up the product, the price, the download link if you are selling a digital product, and an area to include educational material for your prospective affiliates. You will also want flexibility on commission levels you can offer, and a simple set of reports that can help you see what you are earning and how much you need to pay out to your affiliates at the end of each pay cucle.

2-Ease of use for your affiliates.

Ease of use for yourself is great to have, but what will be really crucial to the success of your affiliate marketing program is how easy the system is for affiliates to use. The easier the program for affiliates to register with and create links through, the more affiliates you’ll get, and the more sales.

Business owners often get nervous about who might or might not be selling their products, so they will often make it far too difficult for affiliates to sign up for their program.

They will often require a long list of items, such as an opt-in email address, then a multi-step process to get a link, will require them to sometimes wait for approval, want to see their site, and so on.

The harder it is to sign up, the fewer sales people you will have. Therefore, choose a system that balances security and trustworthiness with ease of use for them if they are an eager, legitimate sales person.

In the next section of this article, we will discuss other key considerations when it comes to choosing the right affiliate management program for your business.

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