There are several ways to set up an affiliate program.
- Purchase an affiliate software program. Affiliate software will track your affiliate sales and enable your affiliates to view their stats. This option requires that you run your own affiliate program. You are in charge of accepting payment and sending out commission checks. Affiliate software includes 1ShoppingCart, aMember etc..
- Use a third party affiliate tracking company to run your affiliate program for you. These companies will track your affiliate sales, enable your affiliates to check their stats and send out commission checks for you. Affiliate tracking companies include Clickbank and Click Trade.
- Affiliate networks. Well-known affiliate networks include cj.com (Commission Junction) and Linkshare. These networks are very expensive and are typically only used by large companies.
$50 set up fee.
Clickbank is great for setting up affiliate programs for digital products such as ebooks and software. They have many affiliates (over 100,000) that can sell your products. Clickbank will run your affiliate program and enable you to accept credit cards. They will bill your customers, pay you, and pay your affiliates a commission. They charge a one-time $49.95 activation fee, and a $1 + 7.5% fee per sale. There are no monthly fees.
Benefits: Clickbank is the first place affiliates go look for products to promote. So if you are selling electronic products, I highly recommend Clickbank to get easy exposure to affiliates that will promote your products.
Limitations: Clickbank won’t accept physical products and you’ll need special authorization for products over $100.
I highly recommended Clickbank if you’re selling ebooks, software and other electronic products under $100.
Starts at $29/mo – Pro version is $99/mo and includes shopping cart, autoresponder and affiliate model.
1shoppingcart is a great shopping cart and it provides additional modules, including an affiliate module and an autoresponder.
I’ve set up several products with 1ShoppingCart’s affiliate module. I am also using 1ShoppingCart as an affiliate.
1ShoppingCart’s affiliate module is okay if you only need 1 affiliate program for 1 product and it’s a good solution if are using or want to use 1hoppingcart as your shopping cart. But if you want to set up affiliate programs for several products, it gets confusing for the affiliate. The first program you set up becomes the default and that’s the one they’ll see first.
You should consider 1ShoppingCart’s affiliate tools if you want to use 1shoppingcart as your shoppingcart and only plan on having an affiliate program for 1 product.
Free for the first product.
PayDotCom is an inexpensive solution for online vendors. I am using Paydotcom both as an affiliate and as a merchant. My reason for using both ClickBank and Paydotcom is to get additional exposure from affiliates. I am getting a lot of exposure from Clickbank but I hardly get any traffic from Paydotcom.
Here are some benefits of Paydotcom:
1) It’s easy to get started and set up new products. This makes it a great resource for people who are new to creating and selling products online.
2) Low fees. There is no set up fee for the first product. There is a small fee if you want to promote more than one product. You don’t have to pay fees for each new product you add.
PayDotCom.com charges a small fee for each sale. This fee will automatically be deducted from the affiliate’s commission and paid to PayDotCom.com by the vendor. This is all automated. The small processing fee is based on the price of each sale as follows: $0.50 (sales under $10), $1.00 (sales from $10.01 to $20.00), $1.50 (sales from $20.01 or more).
3) Offers good reporting capabilities.
4) Immediate payment from sales. Since PayDotCom uses PayPal, you have immediate access to the money you make from your sales. No waiting for weeks before you get paid.
My research indicates that it provides a great shopping cart that many people use and recommend. However, some people have commented that their affiliate program is not that great – especially if you’re selling more than one product on your site. It might still be worth checking it out if you only need an affiliate program for one product.
This is the simplest method, for when you want to offer the same commission percentage for all of your products and issue just one easy link for each affiliate to use.
- After adding your product(s), go to Seller Admin > affiliate Program Settings.
- From the yellow box under Common affiliate Sign-Up Link and Instructions, select and copy the link code provided.
- Paste the code into your Web site page, wherever you are recruiting affiliates to join your program.
If you are going to provide any special terms, instructions, images or banners to link, etc., you may wish to set things up where all your affiliate recruitment links actually point to a single affiliate Information page on your site, where your custom images/instructions/etc. would be presented. That page would then be where you post our actual affiliate sign-up link as part of your instructions, and then you could have your E-junkie affiliate Settings > More Info URL also pointing back to that page, so all affiliates would see your instructions first when they sign up, and then have an easy way to get back to that page via the More Info button we show to your affiliates. Affiliate programs that you create with E-junkie do not work with TrialPay checkout payments.
Provide Affiliate Tools
Make it as easy as possible for your affiliates to sell your products. Provide a large selection of banners in a variety of sizes. Also provide them with text links, articles, email messages, keywords and more. Providing training is a good idea too.
There are many more affiliate programs than I’ve mentioned here. My recommendations will vary depending on your needs and budget. If you’re just starting out, using one of the third party affiliate companies is the easiest way to get started as everything is taken care of for you.