Affiliates


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Ways to Effectively Manage and Grow Your Affiliate program 
Launching an affiliate program can be a great idea for ecommerce websites to increase traffic and sales through a large diversity of traffic sources. Affiliate marketing has been around for more than 10 years and really just started as a way to compensate traffic referrers who were sending business through to various types of websites. It has steadily evolved with various affiliate networks and tracking platforms into a huge channel in the commerce industry. So what should you do as a merchant or advertiser looking to launch into affiliate marketing? First, you should launch on a major network so you can access a database of existing affiliate marketers and web publishers. If you are a merchant or a website owner and you are selling products or generating leads, you should first launch on one of the major networks like CJ, Linkshare, or Shareasale, depending on your budget and wherewithal. You may also consider launching an "inhouse" affiliate program as well to cultivate direct affiliate partnerships for your company. Here are some important concepts and strategies to maximize and run a successful affiliate program:

LinkShare  Referral  Prg

Recruiting Affiliates – this is one of the biggest question marks as to methodology and effectiveness. Recruiting affiliates is really easy if you know how. You have to do a lot of pro-active reaching out, contacting websites, and contacting known affiliates, doing it very tastefully and offering them some benefit of working with your company, otherwise you just become one of the thousands of companies vying for their time, which is why it’s important to differentiate yourself by standing out from your competitors with perks for affiliate marketers. Another way to recruit affiliates is to advertise in Search. You can advertise in Google and Bing/Yahoo under “affiliate program” keywords. You can also advertise on forums and in places where affiliates frequent in order to recruit affiliates to either your affiliate signup page or directly to one of your affiliate network signup pages. You can advertise on Facebook targeting people interested in affiliate marketing. Exposing your website's customers to your affiliate program can also be an effective strategy to grow referral partners, but I usually recommend a proper customer referral program for that purpose.

Publishers, webmasters and Electronic Commerce merchants to drive new users and sales to Konga.com.

Affiliates promote Konga.com with banners, text links and innovative tools such as the Editor's kit and the Flexible destination tool.

In return, they receive commissions for driving new and active users to Konga.com.  It is that simple!


 
You don't even need a website (although having your own website helps). You can promote Konga product via free Ads or paid Ads packages search engines submission services (Learn how), and social media networks, postings in forums, or simply email to all your friends and people you know with your affiliate link attached to our product. If you have your own website, simply talk to your visitors in real time using live chat software on your website and send them your affiliate links through chat. All you need to do is to send a visitor toKonga.com via a special link (called 'affiliate link'), and if he or she buys anything from us, you will get commission. 

Managing Affiliates – This is one of my favorite phrases: “Management is everything.” If you launch an affiliate program or a performance marketing channel and you don’t have intensive, competent affiliate management behind it, it’s likely not going to gain traction unless you are a huge Fortune 500 retailer that’s never done affiliate marketing before, then it might grow on its own with coupon affiliates. But otherwise, it needs a lot of doting upon and lots of TLC to grow properly. You need very proactive affiliate management in place to both grow it and manage the affiliates we well as possible. Whomever handles your affiliate management, or is working with your affiliate partners, needs to follow a very detailed strategy and take it extremely seriously. It really is a 24/7 type of process. You need to encourage your affiliates to contact you to discuss the program or they won’t. Most affiliate programs aren't managed intensively enough in my opinion, mainly because the affiliate managers in place don’t have the background or experience to effectively work with affiliates of all experience levels. Simply getting them their tracking link isn't enough! You need great affiliate management strategy and processes in place to really grow the program effectively.

Affiliate Payout Levels – affiliate payout levels have got to be looked at frequently, and you should look to payout as much as you can to the right types of affiliates to make lucrative for your affiliate/publishers. You should also look to throw in some kind of incentives and say, “if you make 50 sales this month or even 10 sales this month, we are going to give you a $100 bonus,” or we are going to give you an iPad or an iPod or pay more now. Pay as much as you can initially and then you can reserve a couple of percentage points for people who can produce serious amounts of volume. There are many different types of affiliates, so make sure to pay them based on the value they are delivering for your company. For instance, many companies value affiliates that produce new customers over those that produce repeat customers. Some companies highly value affiliates that have relevant websites and blogs, as opposed to coupon sites. But you can't ever lump all affiliates into a certain type, they all have to be evaluated and measured individually. 

Don’t be Cheap with your Affiliates and Partners – this is one of the biggest mistakes companies make. They just don’t compensate affiliates well enough and they kind of look at it as just another marketing channel and say, “I really don’t need to payout much because it’s just my affiliate program…I don’t know what it’s going to do.” Wrong attitude! You really should look at it as a real sales force for your company, your online “feet on the street” so to speak and you need to make it's really lucrative for people to work with you and send you traffic.

Affiliate and Partner Management – personalization works best when managing affiliate marketers. Typically, personalized affiliate management always works better than a mass approach, but you have to have experienced people in order leverage personalized affiliate management properly. Most companies and agencies use a mass approach and aren't helpful or friendly enough to their affiliates, which doesn't build the relationship properly. Make sure to have proactive, friendly affiliate managers in place to work with your affiliates, or it won't come close to reaching your expectations. Affiliate newsletters are also really important, as they are the primary method of communicating with your affiliates, however most companies fail miserably at this task. A really good agency (like mine) sends gorgeous looking affiliate newsletters that are highly engaging and friendly, with a great subject line (another aspect that affiliate managers do poorly in general). 

Affiliate Network Choice – one network versus many networks can be the questions. This is a common issue in performance marketing because the more you spread out your offer or your advertiser account onto several networks, the more management has to be put forth. You also have to make sure the same order isn't being credited to more than one network source. So it can actually have problems when you branch it out a little bit wider with additional networks. I usually recommend maximizing one network and then possibly trying a couple others when you want to add more volume if there are additional partners you can pick up there. Or launching an inhouse program and recruiting directly to your inhouse program via website contacting and advertising in search and on Facebook to build affiliates there.

Want your Affiliates to Succeed – Make it worth your affiliate's time and effort. If you just look at as just another marketing campaign, then don’t even bother because you really have to nurture your affiliate program to get the most out of the channel. Facilitating your affiliates and partners with good management, tools, helpful resources, content, info about your company, keywords, and guidance will ensure you have a well-supported affiliate program. I always say you have to spoon feed your affiliates to have the greatest amount of participation. Affiliate management is a 24/7 endeavor. If you aren't willing to put that much effort into it, don't expect much as far as a diversity of producers. Anyone can have a bunch of coupon sites collecting sales, but the beauty in affiliate marketing is having a plethora of sale producers from all different directions. 

Strategize on Growing your Affiliate Channel – Don’t just sit there and kind of let it happen. Every month you should be putting a new strategy together, asking certain questions like: "what are we going to do this month to maximize this channel", "what are we doing for Q1 to maximize our affiliate channel?" "Are we going to pay out a little more or are we going to do a recruiting campaign?" "Are we going to run new promotions?" So you really have to strategize pretty heavily and leverage experts like myself to tell you what works in the channel, and then commit to doing them. 

Spend Money on Your Affiliate Channel - most companies are really cheap when it comes to investing in their affiliate channel. Primarily because they don't know how to effectively spend money to grow the channel or have tried it in the past and failed miserably. But there are several ways you can spend money to grow your affiliate channel, including: hiring a competent agency, paid recruitment emails through the affiliate networks, advertising in Google and Bing/Yahoo, advertising on Facebook, advertising on affiliate forums, and conducting website prospecting. These are all ways to spend money to grow your affiliate channel and can absolutely be measured for effectively, you just have to know how to do so. Another very effective way to meet affiliate marketers is to attend Affiliate Summit, which is the leading affiliate marketing conference in the world. They do shows in NYC and Las Vegas every year, make sure to check it out, it's a great networking and learning experience. I'm lucky enough to be a frequent featured speaker at Affiliate Summit at last once a year.
These are some basic concepts in affiliate marketing and growing your performance marketing channel. Only through a tremendous amount of hard work, competent affiliate management, and dedication to growing the channel, will your affiliate program even come close to reaching its full potential. Affiliate programs should grow larger on an annual basis and you have to keep your expectations in check. The better your website “converts the traffic” or performs, the quicker your affiliate program will grow and prosper. So make sure you have done a great job on your website and work to improve your conversion rate over time if you want to have a truly productive affiliate program. Let me know if you would like to speak to me about what my agency can do to grow your affiliate marketing channel. We are the best in the business and have the best processes, managers, and strategies for growing affiliate programs in any niche. 



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