Attracting Top Affiliates
By Rob Wood
Wed, 21 Sep 2005, 01:13:00
clixGalore has many tens of thousands of Affiliates meaning that even the least attractive Merchant programs should attract a few of them to sign up. But the key to a successful online Affiliate Marketing strategy is attracting the top performers amongst that crowd. If a Merchant sets up their program correctly then they may attract many Affiliates and "Super Affiliates." This tutorial will take you through a few of the steps that could attract the eye of a super-Affiliate.
Firstly, Affiliate programs can be very successful and generate very high volumes of sales and income for Merchants. However it is not a magical solution to instant online sales if you do not have a professional website or unattractive program. You will need to look at your own website and make an honest appraisal. Does it have a professional look? Is it attractive? Does it make it easy for visiting customers to make a purchase? If your site has been professionally designed then usually this is not a problem. If you have built it yourself then go to a web designer's forum such as sitepoint.com or dnforum.com and ask for the other members to give you feedback. They will be honest (sometimes brutally so!). If your website creates a seamless experience for your visitors then its conversion rate should be good. This is the first step in attracting good Affiliates. You should also note that some Affiliates refuse to affiliate with Merchants who offer offline sales through their websites (ie phone number and call centre information).
A professionally designed website that is easy to navigate, does not suffer from traffic leakage and allows customers to quickly and easily buy the products or services is a great base on which to launch an Affiliate program on.
Once your own website is in order and you (and more importantly your visitors) are happy with it you can look at your Merchant Program. You may wish to take a look at what your competitors are offering for similar programs. The obvious factor is how much you are paying. For a per sale or % sale program, think about how much in real dollar terms an Affiliate expect to make from a sale? The most successful Merchant Programs offer generous commissions. To beat your competitors you will have to be more generous than they are. A reasonably high base commission rate (typically 10%) coupled with a monthly sale targets incentive scheme for your Affiliates to meet is typically viewed favourably by Affiliates.
clixGalore allows Merchants to offer repeat commissions. That is to say that if a customer purchases something through your site and was sent by an Affiliate then the Merchant is able to offer that Affiliate a commission for future purchases by that customer. This option should be used if you are serious about attracting Affiliates.
A professional Affiliate program is composed of a good range of professionally designed graphic banners (5+) and text banners (5+) for your Affiliates to choose from and promote your products and services.
clixGalore also allows the Merchant to set a "Cookie Expiry Period" That is to say that if an Affiliate sends a customer to your site but that customer does not purchase something immediately, then clixGalore can track if that customer returns to your site. If they return within the time set in the Cookie Expiry Period and make a purchase, the original Affiliate who sent the customer will be given a commission. If a Merchant is serious about making their program attractive to Affiliates then this period needs to be as long as possible - and preferably lifetime. A cookie expiry period of 90+ days allowing recurring customer sales and commission in this period is a typical cookie setting.
|You should take full advantage of these simple options to attract top Affiliates.|
Another thing Merchants can offer is sales target incentives. The fact is that top sales people respond well to sale targets. The same is true of Affiliate marketing. clixGalore gives Merchants the opportunity to set sales targets for their Affiliates. Again, if your targets are realistic and generous, top Affiliates may be attracted by your program if your rewards for meeting those targets are generous.
Merchants should also provide a product datafeed which is refreshed at least once per month. Product datafeeds are widely used and their use will typically and significantly improve your program's performance. Many 'Super Affiliates' use datafeeds very successfully, generating high volume of orders for the Merchant they are promoting.
Perhaps one of the most obvious things about getting top Affiliates is actually making them aware of your program. For that reason many Merchants choose to upgrade their clixGalore membership status. One of the most attractive facets of an upgrade is that clixGalore will increase the promotion of your program to their large Affiliate base. Of course those Affiliates are far more likely to join an attractive program so upgrading should not be treated as a fix-all, but rather as part of an overall strategy for a successful program.
While none of the factors so far mentioned can guarantee a successful program, they are a very good start to attracting the best Affiliates. Most of the top Merchant program will have most, if not all of the traits discussed here. If you are able to offer these attractive incentives to joining your program then it will help you gain the best Affiliates.
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