Customer acquisition has always been and remains one of the greatest challenges facing any business of any size in practically any industry. It can be very difficult to target the perfect people and it can be even more complicated to commit them to a sale. This is equally true with e-commerce sites as it is with additional traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
One tool that online businesses can have at their disposal that offline businesses cannot is the incredible electricity of affiliate marketing. This is easily one of the most effective strategies that an e-commerce site can take to increase traffic and also to generate sales, being amazingly effective both in conditions of cost and performance. Of course , not all affiliate programs are made alike. Merchants must not only make their programs enticing to affiliates, nevertheless they must also configure them such that affiliates have the greatest chance at success. After all, when the affiliates succeed, so does the e-commerce site.
In this article are six critical factors that any e-commerce site should keep in mind when designing and releasing an affiliate program.
1. Leverage the Network – Running your own affiliate program in isolation has the significant disadvantages. You will only reach potential affiliate marketers who already know about your company and its products, reducing the number of top-tier affiliates that will want to promote what you have ecom rocket. It also means that you will have greater administration costs to be able to setup, run and maintain this program.
It is much more prudent to perform the affiliate program through an established affiliate network. This kind of grants access to an existing base of affiliates, many of whom might not exactly even know of your existence if it were not for the affiliate marketer program in the network. Use this to your advantage!
2. Design Banners in Multiple Sizes – Affiliates are humans and, as such, they will oftentimes look toward the path of least level of resistance. Let’s say that they already have an online site that fits correctly with the niche of your ecommerce site and so they have a fantastic 728×90 leaderboard spot above the fold. Yet , you chose to only offer banners as a 160×600 skyscraper. If that were the case, fantastic affiliate might pass by your offer and program entirely.
To attract the greatest number and the best affiliates, you will need to provide them with the creative material to best promote your products and services. Offer banners in as many of the conventional general sizes as possible and try to offer multiple designs in each size too. This helps to overcome ad blindness this means you will help affiliates find the design that best suits their promotional needs.
3. Offer an attractive Commission Structure – There will always be arguments as to whether you should provide a smooth rate for the commission or should you give a ratio of the sale. Whatever route you choose, be sure that the commission rate is high enough that affiliates will be encouraged to signal up and promote your products and services. Collection the rate too low and they’ll figure that your program isn’t worth their time and work.
That isn’t to say that you should sell yourself short, however, you also have to realize that taking a proportionately smaller slice of a much larger pie will always be in your very best interest.
4. Keep Inspiring Your Affiliates – Much like so many other things in business, affiliate marketing isn’t going to become a “set it and forget it” kind of affair. While you may generate a surge in interest when you first launch your affiliate program, you must work to ensure this level of interest does not wane over time.
Many affiliate networks send out routine newsletters to its affiliates. That’s a great possibility to reach out to new and existing affiliates to tell them why they should be promoting your e-commerce site. It’s also a great chance to run a promotion to reward top-performing affiliates, presenting that much needed bonus for them to work harder for your mutual success and benefit.