Are you ready to add an additional income stream? Starting an affiliate program is a great way to get your products in front of new potential buyers – people who aren’t already seeing your material. Affiliate programs for digital or physical products provide smart business owners with an additional stream of income for selling the same product they sell directly, but to new audiences.
Get the right affiliate software.
Don’t be cheap. Don’t splurge for every bell and whistle when you don’t need it.. Test out different software to see what works for your program with the features you want it to you have. Our favorites for WordPress-based stores include iDev Affiliate, and Affiliate-WP.
Create Fabulous Marketing Graphics.
Affiliates don’t want to have to create their own graphics to sell your product, so you should create it for them. Plus, you do want to maintain some control over your brand by creating your own marketing graphics. Know your strengths – if marketing graphics are not your strength hire this out. Graphics are what make a first impression you cannot change. If you need to DIY your graphics, try your hand at PicMonkey.
Create Fabulous Marketing Content.
Provide “creatives” in the form of emails, customizable blog posts, and creative social media posts which your affiliates can easily re-purpose for their audience while promoting your product.
Make a sales page that rocks sales.
Nothing is more maddening as an affiliate marketer than trying to promote an excellent product with a horrible sales page, or worse, no sales page. If you don’t create sales pages for your product, no one else is going to do it for you. And, you won’t sell many products without one.
Recruit the best.
It never hurts to knock on the door of a super star in your niche. If your product is truly fabulous – they will be delighted to help promote you. When you find someone with the platform to be a superstar affiliate, make an effort to get them in your program. Offer to write a guest post and embed their affiliate links. Provide exclusive coupon codes and giveaways. Offer higher commission rates for those with higher sales. Send a free copy of your product (no strings attached.)
Communicate with Affiliates Regularly.
Make sure your affiliates know ahead of time about any sales you will offer. Provide them with sales graphics and information well ahead of time. Put each persons affiliate directly into the emails you send them so that it is super easy for them to pull links. Hold affiliate contests and encourage your affiliates. Provide your affiliates with free copies of the product they promote for you. Provide banners and email copy for your sales and regular products. Do not use your own affiliate link to block commissions.
No one wants to work hard promoting your product for a five or ten percent commission. The Return on Investment (ROI) for the affiliate must be reasonable.
Treat your affiliates with the respect of a business partner.
Affiliates are not your employees. They are your partners. Be generous, respectful, and professional in all contact you have with affiliates.
Get input from your affiliates.
Smart affiliates will let you know if they need certain sizes of graphics, certain types of marketing content, and they might even tell you which products you are considering will resonate most with their audience. Don’t ignore this valuable source of input.
Know the laws.
Don’t just assume you are required to collect sales tax in the state where you reside – make sure you are at least aware of the Nexus laws in each state.
Following these basic steps will help you develop a long-term affiliate program that gets results.