Affiliate Marketing Program Basics: Choosing an Affiliate Program Network (Post 4 of 5)

Pick One – the right one!

A key element to a successful affiliate program is selecting the right network. This can be a daunting task.  There are many options to choose from and some are better than others.  There are four top tier players in the affiliate marketing space.  However, the top networks are prohibitive for most small business owners.  Some of the smaller networks may be just the right fit for your small business.

 To implement an affiliate program you must already be selling your product or service online. Most programs require merchants/advertisers (that’s you) to meet a minimum monthly payout in commissions or a minimum monthly fee if the commissions threshold is not reached.

As a small business owner keep the following in mind when choosing an Affiliate Program Network:

  1. Initial investment in creative, start up fees, access fees, transactions fees, etc.
  2. Size of the network
    1. Bigger is not always better.  Depends on your goals – are you looking to reach mass market? Are you looking for a niche audience?
  3. Players in the network
    1. Who are other advertisers and publishers on the network?
  4. Support provided by the program provider
    1. Do they have both the option for you to manage the program or for them to manage it for you?
  5. Cost for services of the provider (everything from self-managed programs to complete management services)

Affiliate Networks worth considering

  1. Shareasale
  2. Pepperjam Network
  3. Panthera Network

Want to look beyond these three networks? Instead of recreating the wheel and compiling a list of affiliate networks I have provided links to a few robust lists.

Comprehensive Lists of Affiliate Networks

  1. Associateprogams.com
  2. Affiliateseeking.com
  3. The Top 10 List of the Best Affiliate Networks (selfseo.com)

As always, don’t get in over your head.  Consult with a marketing coach who has experience – even if it is only to ask a few questions. It will be time well spent.

-KK

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About Kerri Karel

Kerri has over 21 years of well-rounded experience in marketing, ecommerce and public relations. She has lead multi-million dollar marketing and ecommerce projects. Additionally she has 10 years of start-up experience. She also has 10 years experience in planning trade shows, special events and conferences. View all posts by Kerri Karel

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