Chapter 29

How to Create an Affiliate Marketing Program

According to AM Navigator, in the United Kingdom, affiliate marketing has an ROI that amounts to $15 for every $1 spent. PRWeb states that at one point approximately 40% of Amazon’s revenue came from affiliates showcasing the power affiliate marketing can have on a brand. Retailers have noticed a conversion rate of 5% from visitors directed by affiliate links. The hardest part of building an affiliate program is finding affiliates who can drive converting traffic to your store. Yet store owners have a powerful ally in their loyal customers who can be rewarded for their referrals. Store owners can also reach out to affiliate marketers to cast a wider net of affiliates for their program.

Example: MVMT’s online store earns a portion of its revenue from its affiliate program. On their affiliate program page it details the key information you’d need to know as an affiliate. It lists the payout for each item you sell, theirs is 10% commission. It mentions the referral period of 15 days which means that the individual needs to buy from your link within that period. You’ll also find information on how much money you can make based on your daily sales. For example, by selling one product a day a MVMT affiliate can make $405 per month. But if they sell 100 per day, they can make an astounding $40,500 each month.


Affiliate Marketing Program Tips:

Create guidelines for your affiliate to follow. This helps ensure that the quality of traffic your affiliate sends is high. It also helps prevent your website from being penalized for black hat marketing tactics. Provide suggestions of the types of methods customers can use for sending traffic such as referring friends or creating ads, videos or blog content.

You need to work with your affiliates closely especially in the beginning to ensure that they’re successful. By giving them the right tools to succeed, you can generate more revenue for your business. You might have affiliate newsletters, competitions, and a leaderboard so that your affiliates can get excited to promote your brand. It also gives the social proof that success is possible. Affiliate programs are not for the faint of heart. This isn’t a set it and forget it model. You need to stay in touch with your affiliates to make sure they keep reaching their financial goals through your program.

Offer a tiered affiliate program. As an affiliate reaches milestones for number of products sold or amount in sales made, offer them a higher commission. Ultimately, money is the motivating factor for most affiliates and they’ll be more motivated to send you quality traffic if you pay them what they’re worth. Remember to pay your affiliates on time too.

Get your customers involved. Encourage customers to refer a friend for a cash incentive. You can choose to include a flyer in each package you send to your customers about your affiliate program. If you dropship goods, you can email each customer after they place an order to sign up for your affiliate program. Including a link to your affiliate program in every email you send out with a headline such as ‘Earn $10’ can pique curiosity. Those looking to make money may refer their friends to earn commissions. Since customers are already familiar with your brand they can share their personal experience to friends and family which helps boost conversions.  

Soludos uses the FriendBuy app listed in the tools section for their affiliate program. Customers who refer their friends or audience, get paid $15 for every sale they land. To entice the new leads to sign up through their friend’s link they get a 15% discount. Loyal customers who regularly promote your brand can be rewarded for their constant promotion. You can also lure in influencers by offering payment for every paying customer they bring instead of paying their flat rates. You’ll want to set a high order value when setting your page up to ensure that your business remains profitable with each sale.

LeChateau encourages customers to sign up for their referral program with a chance to win a $2000 shopping spree. All a customer needs to do is refer their friend, who then needs to sign up for their newsletter while also receiving a 15% discount. On the bottom left corner of their website, they include a ‘WIN $2000’ tab to entice customers to click the link. Once customers click it, they’re redirected to a landing page where they learn how they can have a chance to win a shopping spree. Since email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to grow your sales, this strategy is easy for your affiliates to do, while also focusing on the long-term growth of your online store.

So Worth Loving created a Campus Rep program to recruit students as their affiliates. The campus rep promotes the brand at his or her school. Instead of promoting the products, they use an indirect approach of promoting the positive message the brand wants to share. They use it as a public relations angle. However, over time, it can help grow sales and brand awareness. Students are a great resource for promoting brands as they usually have bigger networks of people.

If you’re struggling to get affiliates, you can use coupon affiliate sites like Coupon Craze or Ebates to share a discount code for your customers while paying a commission to the brands. You’ll need to pick discounts and affiliate rates that allow you to stay profitable. You need to be making more than a couple of dollars after the fees have been paid to ensure that your business has long-term growth.

Don’t depend on affiliate marketing. While affiliate marketing can help boost your sales, it’s often not enough for you to be passive with other marketing strategies to grow your store. You also need to take the steps to improve your store’s optimization to ensure that your affiliates can easily convert the traffic they send you. On average, affiliate sales bring about 10% of your company’s revenue.

Master & Dynamic is an electronics brand selling headphones and speakers. They recently partnered with Audible to offer their customers 2 free audiobooks with purchase. While it doesn’t explicitly say this, Master & Dynamic may be an Amazon affiliate promoting a relevant offer to their customers. If you’re looking to make a second stream of income through affiliate commissions while promoting your products, this could be a clever way of doing it. An audiobook may be an enticing offer for those who are buying headphones which may help compel them into purchase. You could find relevant offers which would help promote your products while making a commission off your purchase. You would need to disclose affiliate links to your customers to ensure transparency.


Affiliate Marketing Program Tools:

If you’re looking to build an affiliate program for your store you might want to try Refersion. It allows you to build your own custom program, register new affiliates in a few simple steps, and easily access data on affiliate performance. You can even encourage your customers to sign up for your affiliate program to grow your affiliate database quickly. You can pay multiple affiliates at the same time via PayPal – one of the most popular payment gateways.

FriendBuy helped popularized the ‘Get $15’ section you see on so many ecommerce sites. Their plans start at $99 a month which is fairly steep for new store owners so I’d only recommend this tool if you’re generating more than $20,000 in revenue each month.

Commission Junction is a tool you can use to find affiliates. You’ll be connected to some of the best performing affiliates around. You only need to pay for customers who’ve bought through an affiliate link. However, the fees can be high.

ShareASale is another tool you can use to find affiliates – it’s the one I use for my store. You’ll need to pay a one time fee of $650 to have access to the network, which can be steep for new store owners. You’ll also need to pay a 20% transactional fee and at least $25 each month. However, all your affiliates are prescreened. And you only pay the 20% fee if the traffic they send converts. It’s a great way to find high performance affiliates.

LeadDyno allows you to launch your own affiliate program. You’ll be able to use their database of bloggers and influencers to find new affiliates. Tracking your affiliates’ performance is simple and each affiliate will have his or her own dashboard. Pricing starts at $29 a month making it affordable for new entrepreneurs starting out.  

Affiliatly is an affiliate tracking app you can use to help you manage your affiliate program. It allows you to set up your own affiliate program with ease so you can increase your sales. You’ll be able to track orders from affiliates, manage affiliate payments and more. Pricing starts at $16 a month which is great for those on a budget.

Referral Candy is an affiliate program where customers can refer visitors to your website. You can choose to pay customers in cash or with a coupon. Email reminders can also be sent on the platform to remind affiliates who haven’t been bringing in sales. The tool is easy to install and use. Pricing starts at $49 a month.


Affiliate Marketing Resources:

How to Get Started with Ecommerce Affiliate Marketing details what affiliate marketing is, how to find an affiliate, how to convince an affiliate to promote your brand, how to determine your affiliate’s commission, and more.

How to Use Affiliate Marketing as a Sales Channel for Your Business mentions affiliate networks you can join to have your products sold by affiliates. It also gives suggestions on how to build your own tracking system with Shopify apps and a few other affiliate marketing program tips on how to create an affiliate marketing program.

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