Affiliate marketing is a great way for companies to advertise a product or service to consumers. They work with affiliates to advertise their offerings, and then pay these partners based on specific actions consumers take upon seeing the advertisement, such as filling out a contact form, dialing a toll-free number or downloading brand materials. This strategy can be used to generate sales leads that companies can follow up on at a later date.
For organizations looking at affiliate marketing as a business tool, there are a number of best practices they need to follow. Here are some helpful tips that will make this kind of program stronger:
- Find your niche: Affiliate marketing works best when there is little to no competition, particularly from a larger, more recognizable organization that partners with other brands. According to Skip McGrath's Online Seller's Resource, it is best to work within a small niche rather than going up against a crowded business segment.
- Offer higher commissions: Affiliate marketing is a competitive industry in that some organizations pay out commissions in larger amounts than others. Practical Ecommerce suggests choosing certain times of year when activity is typically slower, and offering an increased commission as an incentive for affiliates. There are many ways to do this without paying out more money and not seeing an adequate return. Two strategies include raising the commission for certain items your company offers and providing the incentive on an invitation-only basis. This means that this particular perk won't be extended to everyone, only your best affiliate marketing agents.
- Follow the 80/20 rule: According to Entrepreneur, a large portion of the revenue generated by an affiliate marketing program will come from a small segment of those participating. The magazine suggests avoiding having to manage a large network of affiliates and instead, interviewing those who will most likely drive a high amount of traffic and partner with them.
- Make the commissions payout process easier: Paying people for their time should be done efficiently, as this increases the likelihood of future participation among affiliates. Therefore, it is important to choose an affiliate commission payment service – like Chexx Inc. Doing makes it easy for organizations to send money while affiliates will experience few hassles when it comes time to collect. Any snags in this area can quickly lead to dissatisfaction and be damaging to any affiliate marketing efforts. This should be avoided at all costs to ensure the success of any affiliate marketing campaign.