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Start your own affiliate program
If you have a product or service that you market, you can start your own affiliate program. Even if you have no experience marketing your product online, starting your own affiliate program gives you a cost effective way to get your product on the Internet and selling.
What are Affiliates? They're one big mass of people that have the same kind of site, same kind of visitors, the same needs and deserve the same commission - right?
Well, of course not. But - if you think about it, that's how most Affiliate Programs treat their Affiliates. They give all Affiliates the same commissions, the same linking methods, the same incentives, same, same, same! They fail to recognize that Affiliates have a variety of needs, diverse reasons for joining, visitors from all walks of life, different marketing styles and varying degrees of interest in making a sale.
The hardest part of administrating an Affiliate Program is deciding what your Affiliates need to help them make the sale. But, by carefully categorizing your Affiliates, you can easily determine what their needs are and how to accurately meet them.
Here is a six step plan designed to help you accurately categorize your Affiliate Members:
STEP ONE: Pick at least three types of Affiliates.
Take a look at your Affiliates (or potential affiliates) and try to determine one outstanding characteristic that can easily be compared across the board and choose at least three types of the characteristic. Here are some examples:
STEP TWO: Determine the needs of each type.
Each of your Affiliate Types will have different needs -- some of their needs will overlap, but you should find a distinct difference in many of their needs. If you find that they all have the same needs, go back to step one and re-think your Types.
Here are some basic things to look for:
STEP THREE: Create and compile Linking Methods for each type.
Based on the needs you identified in Step Two, create and compile linking methods for each type. Here are a few linking methods to think about:
Review each Affiliate Type and match them up with your new linking methods. You may have some linking methods that overlap Types -- this is okay. Just be sure you are concentrating on the Affiliates' needs!
STEP FOUR: Decide on compensation for each type.
Your ideal: 0% commissions
Your Affiliate's ideal: 99.9% commissions
Since neither you or your Affiliates live in a perfect world, it's up to you to decide on a fair commission level. Your first decision will be to determine whether you want to pay a flat rate or percentage of each sale.
Based on the needs you identified above for each of the Affiliate Types, decide on a commission amount for each Type. If you have a two-tier program, consider the possibility of different second tier rates as well.
STEP FIVE: Develop a plan for effective yet painless management.
This could be one of the most difficult parts of your categorization process. You have your Affiliate Types, the linking methods for each and a fair compensation plan for each. Now, how do you manage it all?
Most software programs aren't set up to handle Affiliate Categorization. So, you may have to develop a database or a spreadsheet to keep track of your Affiliates and their Types.
There is one Affiliate Program Solution on the market that handles Affiliate Categorization called MY Affiliate Program.
My Affiliate Program Software will allow you to manage an unlimited amount of Affiliate Categories. The software makes customizing commissions, click-through pages and linking methods fast and easy. You simply set up an Affiliate Type, name it and choose its characteristics like commission rate, linking methods and so on. Then, as new Affiliates sign up, tell the software which Type you'd like them included in -- that's it. The software handles the rest.
STEP SIX: Develop Promotions for your Affiliate Types.
Once you have your Affiliates properly categorized and your system under control, consider developing promotions for your Affiliate Types. Give them special incentives to sell more during a certain time frame, move seasonal products, or increase business during your slow months. Offer them additional commissions, or even bonuses for reaching a specific amount of sales.
Whether your Affiliate Categorization strategy is complex or simple -- just keep in mind that your Affiliates are not clones of one another. They have different vistors, different backgrounds and different needs.
For More information
MY Affiliate Program software, click here.
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