Instead of aiming to promote a new product by ourselves using websites, blogs and social media, why don’t we use others to promote our product?. Yes we can. Even we don’t pay them until they make our products to be sold. So here is the question, how can we do this?. This can be done with an affiliate program, which is also known as partner program.
What is affiliate program, it should be
- Increase our product to reach wide range of customers.
- Provide more control over our Return on Investment
- Modified based on our requirements e.g. pay per sale or pay per lead.
How Affiliate program works
Affiliate program in which many people works for the product to reach wide range of audience. Simple the product sales page has been linked by website, blogs and social media users, who have joined as affiliate for our new product.
A link with different extension will provided for every affiliate who joined in the program. They uses their own marketing strategies to sale our new product to the wide range of audience. Each affiliate and their link has traced by the affiliate system. If an affiliate makes any product sales then they will be get commission for each sale.
Basically we have four types of affiliate management systems available on the web. Each has different methods to track their affiliate and paid them commissions. They are listed below
- Custom Affiliate Software – The product have its own affiliate system for example aMember membership site software has its own affiliate management system. We can use the software to setup affiliate program for the product. I highly recommend third party affiliate software before choosing this system.
- Affiliate Network sites – Affiliate networks are the most expensive, it will connect the affiliates and the product owners. We have thousands of affiliates in the network so we can easily find affiliates for the product. Affiliate networks charge monthly fee or percentage of sales by all affiliate sales transactions. ClickBank, Ejunkie, Commission Junction are the frequently used affiliate networks.
- Third-Party Affiliate Software – We can buy existing affiliate management software and install it in our server, and setup our affiliate program.
- Shopping Cart Integration – Most of the product owners use shopping cart for the affiliate management. 1ShoppingCart have affiliate program management solutions built right into them.
Once we have researched, selected, purchased and integrated our affiliate system. New we are ready to setup our affiliate program for the new product. It contains the process of create banners, setup commission and find affiliates for the new product in order to make sales.
We can setup the affiliate program with one of the many scripts available in the market. We need some technical knowledge to be able to set this up by ourselves. In all types of affiliate system we have certain process to setup affiliate program like banner, commission, payout info, tracking affiliates and notifications emails. Here is the process to setup a product in ClickBank.
Banners & text links for affiliate program setup
When we have different affiliate banners and then affiliate can easily uses them for their marketing strategies to sell our product. Note that every websites used by different affiliates are not having the same design so we need to have ad banners in diffident size.
It is also a good idea to provide a selection of the most common banner sizes from big to small e.g. 468×60, 120×600, 200×200, 125×125 etc. Once the affiliate joined in our affiliate program they should have all different banners link in their member area.
Setup affiliate commission for the product
The affiliate commission settings based on our preferences and the product type. Generally 10% to 50% commission is good enough for affiliate for every sale. I would suggest something in the range of 30%-50%. This will makes more affiliates to join in our program.
So our product will reach wide range of audience. Once the customer has ordered from us, they are likely to come back again. But for the second time they will return to us directly instead of affiliate link, which means that we don’t have to pay the person who referred the customer for the first time. Make sure to specify some time limit on the agreement and terms provided while join the affiliate program.
The affiliate commission payout information has been setup based on our preferences. All the affiliate payout information has collected from the affiliate when they joined in our affiliate program. We are not able to pay affiliate commissions immediately once the sales has been made and confirmed by the affiliate system.
Because the product may have 30 day money back guarantee so there is a possibility of refunds. We can pay monthly, quarterly or half yearly. It is better to make affiliate payment for every month. We can also make minimum payout level to withdraw their earnings within the member area.
Collecting affiliate information for the product
We can setup affiliate pages in our website and use the page for online advertising to get affiliate for the product. We can also use alink on our website with anchor text that says something like, ‘link to us and make money’, or ‘affiliate program’, ‘partners wanted’. It will have the sign up for to collect the information about the affiliates.
Otherwise we can use affiliate networks for finding more affiliates. For this just setup the product in affiliate network with necessary details. They will take care of all the affiliate information like payout, refunds and other proxy affiliate earnings and stats.
Every affiliate system or software must have email notification for affiliates as well as product owners when ever new sales has made. Also we need to have some options to send newsletters and other updates regarding the new products. Some important notification emails required for affiliate system has listed below.
Affiliate signup Welcome email
It should be important to setup welcome email for the people who have joined as an affiliate for our new product the welcome email must have greetings messages with the login details about the affiliate members area in the affiliate system.
Email to admin regarding new affiliate signup
The affiliate software should have options to send email to the product admin with the details about the new affiliate signup for the product. It should contains, the name, email and other payout information like PayPal email and etc.
Email the user about the affiliate approval
If we have manual verification for the new affiliate signup once we have send welcome email with greetings alone for the signup. Lastly, we need to inform the user that his affiliate signup has been approved. So we need send an email with approval information along with login details for their affiliate area.
Inform Users regarding Updates about the Program
We need to send emails for the affiliates for our new product and if any updates in the current product they have signed up as an affiliate. We can also setup monthly newsletter emails to the affiliates who joined in the program.
New sale notification email to affiliates and admin
Whenever a new sale has made by affiliate referral then the affiliate software will inform the both affiliate and product owner with different email templates. Also we need to setup the monthly sales report, commission details about the overall sales has been made by every affiliates of the product.
Bonus, Offers and contacting all our affiliates
The product owner should have the relationship with their affiliates by announcing bonuses and offers. The bonus and offers are given to affiliates those who made extensive sales in a single month. This will encourage other affiliate to improve their marketing strategies to promote our product.
If we are planning any new products, features or promotions give our affiliates plenty of notice so they can implement it in their marketing strategies to drive sales on their site. Not all affiliates are created equal so identify our top affiliates and give them special offers as incentives for his extra effort.
The Bonus and offer options include a basic increase in commission for all products, bonuses for hitting a sales target and prizes based on performance in holidays.
Consider we have a subscription based product called membership site and we use aMember is the membership site creation and subscriber management. Now we will seen about the affiliate program setup using aMember software where users can receive affiliate commission.
aMember uses the term Users for every subscribers because when a visitor subscribed via aMember it has two options one is an affiliate another one is for membership. It also provides options for every subscriber as members as well as affiliate for the product.
The aMember affiliate program settings need to set up Affiliate settings like Payout Methods, Payout day, templates for E-mail, commission, etc.
Affiliate Settings Options in aMember
- Login to the Admin area of the aMember dashboard and in the left hand menu we have ‘Setup/Configuration’ tab, just click on the tab we will see the configuration page of aMember
- Click the ‘Affiliates’ button in the top of the page to setup affiliate program in aMember.
Payout methods in aMember
The Payout methods are the methods through which affiliates can be paid their affiliate commission for their referrals. We can select the payment methods that we can use to pay affiliate. It maybe PayPal or Offline Check method and fill the necessary fields required for the affiliate payout settings.
To enable a Payout Method Click on the arrow in the ‘Available Payout Methods’ field, and select the payment method to offer to affiliate. The selected language will appear below the field. Repeat for each payout method to be added. Once a payout method is selected, it is displayed in grey, indicating that it has been selected.
In the affiliate tracking we need to setup cookie life time for a visitor who comes from the affiliate referral link. In ‘Affiliate Cookie Lifetime’ field, enter the number of days to store cookies about referred affiliate. The affiliate’s information will be stored as a cookie on the user’s computer for the number of days specified in this field.
In the ‘Affiliates Signup Type’ field, select your preferred option about how a user can become an affiliate. To do this, click on the arrow and select your choice from the drop-down list of available options.
Member allows you to send emails to the affiliate and the admin whenever an affiliate makes a sale and is eligible for commission. We can have options to enable or disable affiliate commission notification for the affiliates in aMember. We can also edit the template for the affiliate commission notification email inside the aMember settings. Get aMember now.
To edit the template Click on the ‘Edit E-mail Template’ link in the affiliate setup page now a new window will be opened displaying the template in editable fields. Make changes to the template as required. Once we have finished the modification we can click on the ‘Upload’ button at the bottom of page to save changes.
Affiliate Payout Information Options in aMember
We can specify the all the affiliates Payout Day, Minimum Payout and Delay Payout in days using the Affiliate Payout Options fields.
- Affiliates Payout Day – In this field, choose the day of the month when affiliates payout is generated.
- Minimum Payout- In this field, enter the minimum commission that an affiliate needs to make for a payout to be generated.
- Delay Payout – In this field, enter the number of days the payout should be delayed before it is paid to the affiliate. For example, if the affiliate makes a sale today, after how many days should the commission for that sale is included in the payout.
Finally save setting for updating the affiliate program settings for new product using aMember Membership software.
Viewing & Reporting Affiliate Sales in aMember
aMember have options to view the affiliate sales and payout history by enabling corresponding options. Affiliates are notified by email every time their link generates a sale, regardless of whether they earned a commission on the sale or not.
Affiliates can also view their referrals that generated a sale in the Earnings Report screen of their affiliate Admin area, and payment transaction area will have the affiliate ID and commissions earned for any affiliate-referred sale. We can delete or ban particular affiliate who spamming for the sales. It has options to cutoff the commission once the refund has given to the affiliate referred sales.
Affiliate program means a link with different extension will provided for every affiliate who joined in the program. They uses their own marketing strategies to sale our new product to the wide range of audience. Each affiliate and their link has traced by the affiliate system. If an affiliate makes any product sales then they will be get commission for each sale.
This article will helps to choose the right affiliate system for the new product launch form custom softwares, affiliate networks, Third party affiliate software and shopping cart integration. It has the guide lines about setup new affiliate program.
Affiliate program setup contains affiliate banner settings, affiliate commission setup, payout info, tracking affiliates and important notifications emails for affiliate as well as product owners. It also described about an example of affiliate program setup using aMember membership software.
Share your experience in comments section.