When it comes to long-term internet marketing success, the term bandied about is “affiliate.” Like all generic terms however, understanding what to look for in an affiliate program is another matter all together, and exercising your due diligence is critical when selecting the ideal affiliate program for your business model. Towards that end, understanding what to look for, beyond high payouts, should include the company’s reputation, how long they have been in business, which products are a good fit for your business, and how they compare with companies that are hot right now in the affiliate market. Just as all franchise experiences are not the same, neither is every affiliate program the ideal fit for the business plan that you have in mind.
Due Diligence and Believing in what you are Selling
The first things I do when contemplating an affiliate relationship is I spend significant time analyzing the product offered. As such, I will always Google the prospective company that I am considering joining, along with reviews of their products, to get a feel for what people are saying about the quality and services offered. After all, your name will be associated with the product and as any successful salesperson will tell you, you have to believe in the product that you are selling if you hope to convince others to make a purchasing decision. Determine whether the proposed affiliate partner has a good reputation, a seamless customer service program, and reputable money back guarantees for unsatisfied customers. Finally, at the most basic level is this product or service one that you would use yourself or recommend to friends and loved ones?
Affiliate Management and the Importance of Reading the Small Print
As an affiliate marketing neophyte, you will want to make sure of the type of staff support you will receive if you join the team. Typically speaking, you should determine whether you will be afforded an affiliate manager, or an affiliate network will manage your account. Regardless of whom you will be working with as your affiliate partnership develops, you will want to find out how responsive they are to your questions and inquiries. Will you receive immediate results when you request assistance, or will you be left dangling 72 hours to a week following your outreach efforts? Also, while you need not get a law degree before parsing through the terms and conditions of the relationship, you should note what types of advertising they allowed, the lifespan of your affiliate cookie, and information regarding CAN-SPAM compliance and any chargeback procedures involved with company returns.
Training and Tools to Help Grow Your Business
Regardless of your business or professional career goals, ongoing training is the hallmark of the intrepid entrepreneur’s eventual success. For those unwilling to reinvent the wheel, after all the wheel is a pretty good design concept already, hitting the ground running as a new affiliate means getting a leg-up with comprehensive affiliate marketing training material. Video tutorials, an easy to navigate affiliate dashboard, and a reliable method to track your sales and trends are all aspects of the affiliate relationship that you will want to explore prior to committing to an ongoing partnership. Superior affiliate training and intuitive tools will make your affiliate marketing experience far more successful than you otherwise might experience, but that eventual success can be accomplished without having the growing pains associated with a poorly managed and supported affiliate program.
Show me the Money
While the overall experience is the key to long-term affiliate marketing success, your monetary recompense is of no small matter when parsing through your affiliate partnership options. Beyond comparing commission rates and payment schedules, make sure that you fully understand the payment threshold as well as how they plan on paying you and in what frequency. Again, due diligence in the form of online research of the company will alert you to any red flags as regards problems getting your money into your account.
Your personality dictates the types of affiliate relationships that you want to explore, so make sure that your eventual choice is a good fit for your personal traits. Make sure that the product offered is an item that you would want to be associated with, and ensure that the company offering the product has a sterling commercial reputation.