Affiliate Program to Accelerate Business Growth

22-Sep-2022
Affiliate Program to Accelerate Business Growth

An affiliate program is a partnership between a business and those who promote a specific product. This agreement is between the product owner and product reseller, or we can say, niche affiliates. It is a way to reach out to new customers by forming a partnership with publishers who promote the products and generate leads. The merchant permits third parties to advertise its goods and compensates them with a commission on each successful sale. Publishers (aka affiliates) promote the product via many channels such as blogs, emails, videos, social media posts, etc. and receive commission and consideration for every customer engagement with the product.

The main difficulties e-commerce companies confront are expanding their brand and boosting sales. As a result, these businesses create affiliate programs through which specialized affiliates in particular markets can promote their goods and receive commissions, so this is a win-win marketing strategy. The affiliate generates passive income; the higher the commission, the greater the revenue, while the seller increases traffic and sales with a guaranteed return on ad investment.

For instance, Person A is the administrator of an e-commerce website offering computer hardware products. After noticing a decline in the sales percentage of his business, he decided to form an affiliate program for all segments of products and appointed niche-specific affiliates at a 10% commission on sales. After a quarter, his sales percentage rises by 50% and his overall profits rise to 30% after paying commission. This is how affiliate programs can work for your business.


Parties Involved in the Affiliate Program

Generally, there are three parties involved in any affiliate program.

  1. Affiliate Program administrators itself

  2. Affiliates/Publishers

  3. Customers/End Users


Affiliate Program: A Few Things to Consider Beforehand

If you want to launch an affiliate program or if you are already a part of an affiliate program, then you should take into consideration the following crucial things.

  1. What you have to offer and what people really want

    To run an affiliate program the first thing you need is a product, which can either be a physical or digital product. But having a product is not enough. The foremost thing you need to take into consideration is the correlation between what people actually want and what you are actually offering. If there is any gap between these two, then how can you remove this gap and serve a product that adds value for the prospective customers. A product is the foundation of any business, and it should be strong and well-built.

  2. Target audience of products and services that you are offering

    A product is exclusively built for the audience that benefits from it in one way or another, which is also known as the target audience. A business that knows who its target audience is and how to promote the product efficiently to them stands out from the crowd. The target audience also plays a key role in selecting an affiliate to promote. Involved affiliates have a loyal audience and provide quality leads on the product.

  3. A channel, website or app for a call to action

    When you build a product based on what people actually want and analyze your target audience, the next task on your plate is to build a strong channel for your call to action, which can be a website or an app. This would be your property through which your target audience will engage, so the content provided on your channel should be simple and precise. Also, there must be a clear call to action.

  4. Performance marketing software to monitor and optimize the performance

    Performance marketing software is what you need to measure, analyze, and track the performance of your affiliate program. Once you sign up with a suitable performance marketing platform, you'll get all the detailed statistical insights into your campaign's performance and also the efficiency of the affiliates in engaging with the audience.

    With this information, you can make a decision regarding selecting your affiliate. For instance, you can continue working with the affiliate who provides more engagement and quality traffic and discontinue those who don't provide healthy engagement and provide fraud traffic.

  5. Publishers to promote the products and services

    Once you fix all the puzzling pieces and put them in the order we have stated above, then you successfully reach out to the last important thing, which is to appoint publishers or affiliates to promote your product and services. They should be selected after proper research work.





Types of Affiliate Partners

There are many types of affiliate partners who help businesses reach their target audience and achieve their sales targets. They promote the products on their channels with an affiliate link via many different modes. A few affiliate partners are discussed below:-

  • Bloggers - Blogging is one way of creating content in the form of detailed articles about a specific niche. There are a wide variety of bloggers who share their knowledge and experience in written form. They use various methods to promote the advertiser's products, such as adding backlinks to the product's website, sharing affiliate banners, writing reviews in the form of informative blogs, including a particular call to action at the end, etc. Every blogger holds a unique quality, so it is important to choose a blogger whose audience is similar to your target audience.

  • Influencers - Nowadays, influencers are social media actors who are playing a major role and somehow affecting the lives of their followers. There are all types of influencers focused on a particular niche, providing useful content to their huge audience. They usually promote the product in their social media posts, podcasts, and videos and include their affiliate link in the description below.

  • Coupon Sites - Coupon sites are popular affiliate sites that attract online consumers. They offer a wide range of coupons and discounts to consumers, which enhances the likelihood of generating more sales. Such affiliates receive a portion of sales as an affiliate commission whenever someone clicks on their affiliate link and makes a purchase. It has less margin as compared to other promotional tactics, but it resulted in a huge conversion ratio.

  • News & Media - Nowadays, the news and media are also diversifying their base and joining affiliate programs. Unlike others, they don't publish false information, but they take the right content that fits in perfectly for their audience and add affiliate links to it to receive a commission. Native advertising and banner advertisements are also the modes used by the news and media.

  • Content Creators - There is a wide range of content creators engaging with the audience on various channels through websites or social media. Content can be provided on websites in the form of e-magazines that provide articles on entertainment, trending topics, lifestyle, business etc. Such sites have a huge audience because they publish their content on a daily basis and add value to the lives of their audience. Such websites promote the content in the form of articles and interviews, affiliate banners and links, and receive huge commissions from the businesses.

  • Review & Rating Sites - Review and rating sites, as the name suggests, provide ratings on products, tools, services, and businesses by arranging them into various niche-specific categories. These ratings are based on customer reviews. Such sites have huge traffic because people look for reviews and ratings before making a final decision on buying a tool or opting for services. Though such sites are a very effective mode of branding and advertising, one should select the website by making a proper analysis.

  • Loyalty and Cashback Platform - Another way of attracting people to make quick purchases is through cashback sites. They offer a specific amount or a percentage of the product price as cashback after the final purchase. Customers often find it a profitable deal and generate leads by purchasing it and further sharing it with others. In return, they get a commission from the advertisers, but they also pay some amount as cashback, which reduces their profit amount per sale but enhances the sale volume.

  • Shopping Comparison Websites - These are review sites that provide a comparison of products and sites on the basis of prices, delivery, processes, and other related terms that affect the consumer's buying decision. These don't focus on the personal experiences of the consumers; instead, they take into consideration important points. The website uses affiliate links for various products. Whenever a user searches for a product and clicks on one product out of thousands presented in the row, he is using affiliate links and enhancing the revenue of the comparison site.

  • Email Marketers - Email marketers are another form of affiliate who engage with people and promote the product of the advertiser. They often collect various emails and target them by providing informative content. They include affiliate links in their content to promote a product indirectly. Such marketers generally connect with the subscribers by using interesting tactics such as quizzes, giveaways, content, etc.


Top Affiliate Programs

  1. SaaS Affiliate Program

    SaaS - Software as a Service, in which the company's major focus is on promoting the software to the target audience. When an affiliate chooses a SaaS affiliate program, they majorly focus on commission and cookie duration, which no doubt have greater significance in selecting the affiliate program. But there are some other important aspects that should be taken into consideration as affiliates, such as:-

    Conversion Rate because most of the companies set the payout on the basis of conversion.

    Clauses -Many organizations add various mandatory clauses and KPIs for partners that need to be fulfilled to get the commission. So affiliate partners should divert their focus on those before selecting the SaaS affiliate program.

    Company Reputation and Values -It is another factor to look for before deciding on an affiliate program. Company reputation, its beliefs and values, management, and leadership are equally important beforehand. Being an affiliate means investing a huge amount of time, resources, and effort to build the trust of your audience, so you should research and analyze thoroughly before promoting a product or service.

    Advantages of Choosing the SaaS Affiliate Program
    • Premium Commission

    • No need to buy anything in order to advertise

    • Provide comprehensive knowledge about various software and tools

    • Perpetual commission

    • Many comparison keywords are available in SaaS to promote

    Examples of a SaaS Affiliate Program
    • Semrush

    • Unbounce

  2. E-commerce

    In e-commerce affiliate programs, affiliates promote another company's products or services online and earn a commission. E-commerce affiliates have huge opportunities to earn lucrative profits from such affiliate programs. By providing quality content to promote the product, which proves to be beneficial for their audience, they have the prospect of getting dual benefits in one go. Firstly, it boosts the trust of the audience towards your channel and secondly, your revenue with every conversion. The e-commerce affiliate program is very popular because of the huge competition in e-commerce businesses. It ultimately drives more sales for businesses.

    Benefits of Joining an E-commerce Affiliate Program
    • Numerous options exist for choosing the best affiliate program

    • Tremendous variety of products

    • Builds Prominence and popularity

    • Enormous flexibility

    • No hard and fast rules to be an e-commerce affiliate

    Examples of E-commerce Affiliate Program
    • Ebay

    • shopify

  3. Cloud Web Hosting

    Web hosting is one of the largest industries where many hosting providers pay enormous commissions to bring in new customers. This explains why affiliate programs for web hosting are popular. The majority of people who seek any level of online presence almost always require some sort of web hosting, which simplifies the job of web hosting affiliates. The majority of web hosts run their own affiliate programs, each with slightly different rules and different commission rates.

    The Advantages of Becoming a Web Hosting Affiliate
    • Massive commission

    • Less effort is required to promote

    • A lucrative program to work with

    • Boost the credibility of publishers

    Examples of Web Hosting Affiliate Program
    • HostGator

    • Bluehost

  4. CRM Provider

    Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technique that helps businesses and other organizations manage their relations with customers. It often involves analyzing a plethora of information through data analysis. CRM affiliate programs are also very prominent in affiliate marketing because they allow marketers to learn about their target audiences and thus help in retaining the audience and driving sales.

    Since this programme primarily focuses on consumers, without whom no business can survive, affiliates can easily promote the tools and increase their conversions. Affiliate commissions in these programs are often based on a one-time payment or a recurring payment.

    Benefits of Being a Part of CRM Affiliate Programs
    • Easy to promote

    • Higher commission

    • Enhances knowledge and skills

    • Rewarding program to work with

    Examples of the CRM Affiliate Program
    • HubSpot

    • Zoho

  5. Freelancer Marketplace

    The term "freelancer" refers to a person who works for themselves and operates independently or finds work through websites or professional organizations. The affiliate program of freelancers is promoted by publishers on their various platforms. The only difference here is that in freelancer affiliate programs and other programs where affiliates will promote the skills and knowledge of a person to provide a particular service instead of promoting any product.

    Benefit of Signing up with Freelancer Affiliate Programs
    • Commission paid to affiliates in these programs is usually higher than in others

    • Freelancer services are in high demand, hence providing more conversions

    • Unlike products, affiliates don’t need to use the services before promoting them

    • They can work from any location in the entire world

    • Make a stable income where commission is paid on the basis of recurring deposits

    Examples of the Freelancer Marketplace
    • Upwork

    • Fiverr

  6. Dating Affiliate Program

    Due to its competitive segment, the online dating market is huge and profitable. Affiliates use content creation and other marketing strategies, including infographics, videos, podcasts, and banner ads, to maximize their earnings from profitable dating affiliate programs.

    The Benefits of Registering with the Dating Affiliate Program
    • A great deal of affiliate programs to choose from

    • High commission is paid by dating program

    • Greater opportunity to enter into a lucrative market

    Examples of Dating Affiliate Program
    • Cupid

    • Tinder


Affiliate Program Vs. Affiliate Network

  1. Infrastructure and Affiliates

    The Affiliate Network has a ready affiliate base and a well-established infrastructure. One doesn't need to look far and wide to find influencers and persuade them to promote your company. It is simple to bring them on board because they are already in the database. On the other hand, one creates a platform for an affiliate program. They have to find appropriate affiliates to promote their products and services.

  2. Cost

    Being a part of the affiliate network is a costly affair. Sometimes platforms have sign-up or subscription costs. When it comes to affiliate programs, they are typically more cost-effective in the long run. You won't have to pay a huge sign-up fee even though they do have startup costs.

  3. Control

    Affiliate networks provide you with less control over your organization. When you sign up for the program, you have to agree to all the terms and conditions. On the other hand, one of the key benefits of starting your own affiliate network is that you have control over practically everything.

    You can Ascertain -
    - The affiliates you partner with
    - The affiliates' commission rates
    - The general guidelines for your programme
    - Marketing strategies to promote the product

  4. Affiliate Commission

    The majority of such networks have sign-up or monthly fees. A portion of your affiliate commissions may also be deducted by some affiliate networks. As a result, you must deduct these costs from your entire revenue. On the contrary, affiliate programs pay them to advertise their products and services rather than charge a commission percentage.

  5. Terms and Conditions

    Affiliate networks allow less control over the business because they are established programmes with clearly defined terms and conditions that users must accept before signing up. In contrast, there is flexibility to change the settings within the affiliate programme without worrying about external terms and conditions. which implies that one can establish and manage their affiliate programme in the best way possible. In addition, they have the power to specify the terms of the affiliates who will market their products.

  6. Reputation

    Affiliate networks already have a reputation. You can investigate these businesses and read customer reviews before signing up to be sure the platform will work for your business whereas, in an affiliate program, one has to start from scratch and work hard to advertise, find, contact, setup, analyze, evaluate and take important decisions on their own.


List of Software to Manage Affiliate Program

  1. Offer18 is an "Award Winning" Performance Marketing Solutions for Affiliate Networks, Advertisers, and Agencies, with extensive tracking features. To enhance the profitability and growth of affiliate programs, performance marketing software is crucial. That is why we came up with Offer18, cutting-edge software that provides you with amazing metric insights, real-time reporting, more targeting and advanced features like fraud fender, automation, link tester, etc.

  2. Unbounce is a leading landing page builder as well as an extremely powerful conversion optimization platform to run and manage affiliate programs efficiently. This sophisticated tool aids in the creation of landing pages, retaining visitors for longer periods of time, increasing subscriptions and ultimately persuading them to purchase more.

  3. Leadpages is basically a tool for creating landing pages for affiliate programs. Without any prior design knowledge, anyone can use it to create landing pages from scratch. They include templates and a drag-and-drop builder that make it simple to design landing pages. Other features that Leadpages provides include popups, alert bars, templates for lead funnels, webinars, sales pages, and other landing pages.

  4. Thirsty Affiliates is also known as the WordPress affiliate link management plugin. It enables website administrators to effortlessly create, manage, and insert affiliate links into their posts and pages. The Thirsty affiliate tool is used by affiliate programs to manage and regulate all affiliate links through automatic linking and cloaking.

  5. Mailchimp is an email service provider (ESP) that is designed to promote as well as provide informative details to clients and prospective clients via email. It is a one-stop shop for managing mailing lists, creating custom email templates, and fostering and automating your entire affiliate program.


Conclusion

Usually, niche-specific affiliates have genuine followings, which increases the likelihood of attracting more traffic and contributes greatly to generating more sales. Also, it provides handsome profits to the affiliates who promote the company's products, so affiliate programs are advantageous for all parties involved.

We hope that this digital handbook of Offer18 will help you to understand how the affiliate program works and how you can get the most out of it. There is one last piece of advice for you.

If you are operating as an owner of the affiliate program
  • Categorize the products into segments if you have more than one product.

  • Conduct extensive research before appointing an affiliate because this single decision has the potential to change the course of your entire business.

  • Figure out niche-specific affiliates who have a genuine audience.

  • Offer sales or lead-based commission to get maximum output.

  • Evaluate the performance of each affiliate and take action accordingly.

If you are an Affiliate/Publisher
  • Remember to look at the commission rates and cookie durations before selecting a program.

  • Evaluate if the programme offers one-time compensation or regular commissions.

  • Before accepting any product promotion, carefully review all the terms and KPIs.

  • The company’s values and reputation are equally important to promote the product because a well-known product has more chances of getting a conversion.

  • Always select those products that provide value to your audience because it would not be right to promote other companies' products at the cost of your audience’s trust.


    So yes, you are good to go!



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