Starting an affiliate program is easy but it gets a bit tricky when you need to manage your affiliates. A simple explanation of affiliate marketing is paying someone or a company to bring potential visitors to buy your product. They will receive a commission from your store whenever a product is purchased by their visitors. This technique is practiced by both small companies and large companies around the world. Companies such as Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay get multi-billion-dollar revenues by running affiliate programs.
If you are just starting out with an eCommerce store and want to manage your affiliates efficiently then this article is especially for you. I will discuss all the techniques to manage your affiliates in WordPress to run a successful affiliate marketing program. Let’s get started!
1. Best CMS to manage your affiliates
CMS stands for Content Management System. It is used for web content management. While choosing a CMS you need to keep in mind how easy it is to manage. Also, you should have clear information if that CMS has enough resources to accomplish your needs. The most popular CMS includes –
WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular CMS in the world. Over 450 million websites around the world are built using WordPress. This is 43% of all the websites and 60.8% of the CMS market share. This CMS has a huge resource for its users with over 55,000 plugins and the number is growing each day.
In the case of eCommerce solutions, WooCommerce stands out as one of the most popular. WooCommerce powers 22% of the top 1 million eCommerce websites in the world. That’s why I highly recommend using WordPress and WooComemrce for your new online business. These two great platforms will help you to manage your affiliates smartly for sure.
2. Get an affiliate tracking software
Choosing an affiliate tracker system for WordPress depends on your requirements. Here’s a list of some of the best affiliate management software –
1. Affiliate WP – Most popular affiliate plugin. With this plugin, you can manage your affiliate program with ease. It has an informative reporting system, coupon tracking, cookie duration, individual product, and affiliate rates, the option to disable referrals for specific products, etc. The pricing starts at $149/year for a single site.
2. WC Affiliate – This plugin is popular for its multi-level affiliate system. To manage your affiliates this plugin offers great features like discounts for customers, an advanced reporting system, a customizable dashboard, short link generator, email notifier, one-click payouts, and much more! WC affiliate has many flexible plans and the basic plan starts at $79.99/year for a single site.
3. Tapfiliate – Another popular plugin to manage your affiliates with features like custom banners, affiliate autopilot, custom commissions, and easy-to-implement shortcodes. This plugin costs $89/monthly for a single site, which is pretty expensive if you are just starting out your online business.
3. Set your expenditure per lead
It’s always better to get an estimation of how much you are willing to spend per lead. In order to get an estimation, you need to understand how much revenue they might bring and the profit margin of your product. This will help you figure out the highest percentage you are willing to pay in affiliate commissions. Thus, you will be able to negotiate with the affiliates within your comfortable commission rate.
The profit margin you are going to sacrifice will bring you a lot more customers and eventually boost your gross revenue. That’s why you need to have a clear knowledge of your own margin and plan before starting the affiliate program. This understanding will bring the maximum amount that you can spend per customer while maintaining profitability.
4. Affiliate partner’s advertising channels
It’s really important to know where your affiliates are advertising if are already investing in paid search marketing or have direct deals on other sites. If your affiliates are in the same advertising networks then they will start competing with you for your own keywords and product. That’s you need to keep an eye on where they promote you after they sign up to become an affiliate or after your approach. You need to create a simple affiliate guideline. It should include what the affiliates can do and the restriction.
If possible, you can ask each new affiliate for a list of the channels they are using. You can prohibit them from promoting extreme discounts, features, and services that you don’t offer. Also, you can ask what demographic audience they are targeting for your product. This will help you manage your marketing materials for them to use more effectively.
5. Keep a strong bonding with affiliates
Trust is one of the key elements of marketing. It’s also essential it’s time to manage your affiliates. That’s why you need to maintain a good and trusted relationship with your affiliates. To do so, always make sure your affiliates are paid in a timely manner. If you miss a payout try to convince the affiliate of the reason and send the payment as soon as you get the chance. Set up easy payouts and payment request terms. Make sure that the affiliates you work with are agreed to these terms.
Try to reach out to the best affiliate partners in your industry. Don’t hesitate to cut non-profitable deadweight affiliates. It’s very easy for someone new to apply for your affiliate program and promise a performance or lead number. But it’s quite difficult for them to deliver those leads most of the time. You need to be mindful while choosing the correct affiliate or else you may end up with dead weight.
Wrapping it up
If you follow these simple yet very crucial techniques, you will be able to run an affiliate program effectively. Always do research when starting an affiliate program. To smoothen up your affiliate program try the affiliate plugin suitable for you from the list we mentioned. These plugins will offload a lot of work and maintain full automation on your affiliate program.