As a small business owner there are more online marketing options available than one can keep up with. Not every marketing channel is appropriate for every company.
An affiliate marketing program may provide an additional revenue stream for your business – if it is the right fit.
What is an affiliate marketing program?
(Also called Affiliate Marketing, Advertising, Performance Marketing, Partner Marketing, CPA, or Associate Program) In an affiliate marketing program, a publisher receives a commission for generating a transaction, such as a lead or sale, for an advertiser that the publisher is promoting. The advertiser provides its ads to publishers and assigns a commission for each action it wants to accomplish. Publishers place the tracking code for these ads on their Web sites, in their email campaigns, or in search listings. Whenever a visitor uses these links to generate an action on the advertiser site, that transaction is tracked online. If a product or service is purchased, the customer pays the advertiser directly, and the publisher is paid a commission for that transaction.
Source: Commission Junction
Many affiliate program providers have a self-managed option or the program can be totally managed for you. If you have a marketing coach or a marketing person on staff I would recommend the self-managed option. You will pay a premium for the managed version, however if you do not have the right person who can devote the necessary time to building your program then the managed version would be worthwhile.
Why would I want an affiliate program?
Properly planned and managed affiliate programs can become an additional revenue stream for your business. Success metrics for affiliate programs are easy to establish and measure. Since affiliate programs can directly generate revenue measuring ROI becomes easier.
If you think your company could benefit from an affiliate program it is important to fully educate yourself before making this decision. Being educated about the good, the bad and the ugly sides of affiliate marketing is a key element to a successful program. As with many forms of online marketing and advertising set up can be a daunting task. Once the program is set-up strong, regular maintenance is required however; it will not be as intense as the initial set up process can be. Make sure you have done the necessary research and understand affiliate marketing before starting the actually process. I learned from experience this will save you time. If you have someone in mind you can run your affiliate program for you, make sure they have experience or are going through the education process with you.
5-Part Blog Series on Affiliate Marketing Programs
To coach you along and help in your education process there will be four more posts related to Affiliate Marketing. I hope you will read them all and then consult your marketing coach for more information.
Affiliate Marketing Program Basics
- Post 1 – Affiliate Marketing Defined
- Post 2 – Is affiliate marketing appropriate for my business?
- Post 3 – Affiliate marketing terms
- Post 4 – Choosing an Affiliate Program network
- Post 5 – Self-managed vs. Managed program
Helping you get affiliated…