This is a guest post by Andy. If you wish to write one, kindly check out our guidelines to write a guest post.
If you are selling anything at all on the Internet then you really should consider the use of affiliates if you are not already doing so.
Simply put affiliates can explode your online sales if you put the right affiliate system in place. Even many big blue chip companies run and make use of their own affiliate marketing schemes.
So what is affiliate marketing and why is there such a buzz about it online? Well simply put affiliates now sell Billions of pounds worth of other peoples products online.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
An affiliate marketing scheme works by you paying the affiliate a commission every time they sell something for you, but it is a win-win situation as you only pay them when they make you a sale.
Typically when setting up an affiliate marketing scheme you will use software that allows the affiliate to sign up with their details, and your software will then allocate them a link to your site that is unique to them. This enables them to track their clickthroughs to your site and enables you to pay them their commission on sale, knowing it is them and only them that has made the sale.
The unique code will be embedded into a variety of creative’s that they can then use to display and advertise your products on their site, typically these creative’s take the form of banners that will be provided by you to the affiliate. It normally works by them being able to download the creative’s from your affiliate software.
Why It Works: Affiliates Want To Promote Your Products
When the affiliate registers you will have the option to automatically approve them or you may want to manually check their application and website for quality and potential traffic.
To get affiliates that try the best to promote your products though, you will have to put some effort in to providing good creative’s and staying in contact with them via email to keep them promoting your products.
Also you will have to have a good think about your commission structure as predictably the more commission you are offering and the better your creative’s are, then the harder affiliates will go about promoting your products. So you really do want to put a lot of effort into doing this, as believe me if you get it right then you will not believe the rate that your sales increase at.
When setting the commission levels you may want to go for a tiered approach where affiliates that sell more products each month get a rising commission scale. Or you may just choose to pay a flat fee or percentage per sale. Just always remember the more attractive you make the proposition then the more affiliates you will recruit and the more sales you will make.
Get the commission structure wrong and affiliate marketing simply will not work for you, but one easy way is to look at your competitors and see what commissions they are paying their affiliates, this should then give you a good benchmark. If your competitors are paying 5% but you can afford to pay 10% then do so as you will see the payback in more sales.
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