There are many aspects that need to be just right to run a successful Affiliate Program in the Performance-marketing channel. If you don’t have all your bases covered adequately you will not allow your affiliate channel to grow like it should. Here are some of the key factors determining the success of your affiliate marketing efforts:
Electronic Tracking – Good electronic tracking is an absolute must and it has to be nearly fail-safe, 100% accurate, and it needs to be checked periodically to make sure it’s working accurately. Affiliate marketers will not stand for any tracking issues and will leave your program and go to your competitors if they thing you have “tracking issues”, so make sure your affiliate tracking is solid.
Affiliate Reporting – Affiliate reporting is a big factor because affiliates and partners need to check their stats. They need to know how much revenue they’re generating, how many click-throughs they accumulating, and that should be as real-time as possible. So checking one’s stats and checking reporting is absolutely a must for affiliates.
Payout structure – Payout structure refers to what you are actually going to be compensating people for referring new business on a performance basis. Usually I recommend that companies pay out as much as they can to affiliates. It really behooves you to be generous and to pay out as much as you can with your affiliates and partners, so that they’re motivated to produce revenue. If you have to wait to hit certain “performance-tiers” and start at a lower pay out and work your way it’s less motivational early on, which is the majority of your affiliates.
Conversion Rates – The conversion rate conundrum is probably the number one issue I talk about most with our clients that own websites and are driving traffic or any type of referral business to their website. You know…what are you doing with that traffic once it gets to your site? Are you converting it adequately? Are you doing a good job converting it into sales and leads? If you’re not, then you need to work on it and you probably shouldn’t even get into the performance marketing arena until you have a really well performing website that converts the traffic adequately enough. If that isn’t the case you need to work on it internally and/or there are companies that can run your site through different landing pages and testing procedures to get the best combination of variables on the page, content, and graphics in order to increase that ratio. My personal feeling is companies should take it upon themselves to focus on increasing their website’s conversion rate.
Incentive to Perform – What are you doing to motivate affiliates and partners to produce more revenue or more traffic to your website? You can give them bonuses, you can run contests, you can run promotions, etc. In fact, you should be running these types of promotions and you should be running them frequently in order to focus attention on your company or your affiliate program and really stand out. Be different, stand out from the crowd. It’s definitely something that sounds cliché but when there are 10,000 affiliate offers out there, you really have to convert well, pay out heavily, build up your affiliates and your partners, spoonfeed them what they need, and make friends with all your affiliates and partners, which will ensure a healthy and productive affiliate program that will grow.
These are but a few good suggestions to running a successful, growing affiliate program. I hope you enjoyed the article!