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Why Start an Affiliate Marketing Program in 2020

In this increasingly competitive e-commerce climate, companies need a way to dramatically increase their odds of generating more leads, sales or even announcing their online presence. Launching an Affiliate Program is one of the ways to do just that.

In this 5-part series, we will cover tips and strategies around the following topics below:

  •           Starting an Affiliate Program
  •           How to find and recruit affiliates
  •           Keeping affiliates active in your Program.
  •           Best practices for managing your Affiliate Program.
  •           Launching your Affiliate Program

 

[ Part #1 :  Starting an Affiliate Program ]  

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Today over 80% of the brands we love and support use some type of affiliate marketing to buy more customers. And it’s not just the Fortune 500 companies, the mid-size, Mom & Pop’s and even the entrepreneur down the street, have successfully launched their own affiliate program.. or soon will.

According to Statista affiliate marketing spend has grown from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $5.4 billion in 2017 and is predicted to grow to over $8 billion in 2022.  

affiliate marketing spend analysis

If the numbers don’t get you out of your seat, here are some reasons why starting an Affiliate Program makes sense in today’s world.

  • Low Startup Cost: Starting a business can be expensive, an Affiliate Marketing program is a great way to start with little out of pocket expense.
  • Choose the Affiliates you want to work with based on your industry and experience
  • Grow into foreign markets with local affiliates
  • Collect valuable insights based on traffic your Affiliate Marketers bring to your website.

Do any of the scenarios below, apply to you?

  • Maybe your company is introducing a new product line and needs to expand their sales-force?
  • Does your store need to ramp up marketing efforts, in time for the busy season?
  • Are you an entrepreneur who wants to take your business from the basement to the boardroom?

To summarize; if you are selling your own products online or even offline, an Affiliate Marketing program is an effective way to increase brand awareness and scale your business.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

How it all works?

To understand ” How it all works” we are going to first take a step back and learn what Affiliate Marketing is and who the key players are in the process.

Affiliate marketing is defined as the process of promoting another party’s products or services on a commission basis.  

Affiliate marketing is also referred to as “Performance Marketing”. Why? Because how much the parties earn depends solely on the Affiliates’ Performance.

The Key Players

With affiliate marketing, Companies (known as Merchants or Advertisers) rely on marketing partners to promote their products in exchange for a commission based on each website visitor, sale, or lead, that the partner drives.

Affiliates (known as publishers) gives the Company access to an audience of customers they might not already have. Affiliates can be influencers on social media, bloggers, they may have a pod-cast or Youtube channel.

When a Consumer (also known as the Customer) purchase’s a product through the publisher’s “affiliate link”, the affiliate earns a commission for that sale.

Affiliate Recruitment and Management

Affiliate Recruitment  is all about being active in places where your affiliates are. Try promoting your Affiliate program in Affiliate forums, blogs, even your current customers. Remember a closed mouth goes hungry, as they say. 

Content is King . Provide your affiliates with as much pre-made promotional material as you can. Why? This makes the affiliates job easier to promote your products and services over other programs.  This includes Videos, Banners ,  Landing Pages, Email templates.

If you ask any affiliate manager, Communication is the the Key to running a successful affiliate program.  Just as if they were at your office. The more they learn and more they can earn, for your affiliate program and for themselves. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of “How it all works” and “Key Players” let’s see this in action!

Meet “Lloyd”

Lloyd sells bow ties. He has a Basic website and promotes his products through social media using social media. Since Louis is a “one-man show”, he as a lot on this plate. For example, he often forgets to post his latest bow-tie creation on social media. Above all, Louis is finding it more difficult to compete online and does not have added resources to spend on Social media Advertising.

Lloyd is the Merchant otherwise known as the “Advertiser”

Meet “Harry”

Harry is an active fashion blogger and happens to have an extensive Bow-tie tie collection. Harry has even bought a few from Lloyd’s web site. For Harry to support his bow-tie habit and grow the collection, he joined a few Affiliate programs to earn extra income as an affiliate marketer . Harry loves to Blog about fashion and as a result Harry can earn money as an Affiliate without keeping product inventories or handing customer support.

Harry is Affiliate otherwise known as the “Publisher”

Meet “Louis”

Louis is at home, looking for a new bow-tie to add to his collection. He follows Harry on Facebook, since they are both into bow-ties.

Louis in the Customer otherwise known as the “Consumer”

What if there was a way to “increase the odds” of connecting Lloyd, Harry, and Louis so that  everybody wins?

Affiliate Marketing Partnership

 

Bingo! If Lloyd had an Affiliate Marketing Program in place and Harry was an Affiliate in Lloyd’s program, there is a much higher chance Louis would have found Lloyd’s website through one of Harry’s Blogs or Ad’s on Social Media promoting Lloyd’s Bow-ties. 

Lets wrap this up, shall we? So,  Louis finds Harry’s latest Blog entry where he is reviewing the latest 5 Bow-ties for the season. Louis likes one of them and clicks on Harry’s Affiliate Link   Can you guess what happen’s next? 

Drum-roll please….

Lloyd has a New Customer! Harry receives a commission for this Affiliate Marketing efforts and Louis is strutting around town with a new Bow-tie.

You can chalk this up as a “Win” – “Win” – “Win”  

In conclusion

As you can see Launching an Affiliate Program opens the door to a world of opportunity. Affiliate Marketing can provide anyone looking to start or already managing an online business the resources needed to grow quickly or get your business off the ground. It is cost effective and ensures you will not spend countless hours or waste money on expensive programs that don’t bring in the right buyers. Moreover, you develop connections to affiliates who can really help, as they already have the audience you are looking for.

Stay tuned for ( Part 2) of this series.

In (Part 2) of our series we will share Tips and Strategies on “How to Find and Recruit Affiliates” into your affiliate program.

Go ahead and subscribe to our Blog . You don’t want to miss it! 

Need Help ? 

Now its time for our shameless plug! Since 1999 iDevAffiliate has been the leading affiliate tracking software in its class. Our affiliate software installs in just minutes and easily integrates into your existing website. Contact us! We will be happy to assist.

Wishing you all the success in 2020 !

~ Your iDevAffiliate Family

(P.S.) Don’t forget to “Like” and “Follow” us on Social Media

 

Featured post

iDevAffiliate 9.2 Release

Our latest release, iDevAffiliate 9.2 is now available. This is a security heavy update with support now for the current releases of PHP, 7.1 and 7.2. We’ve also added a RESTful API for developers.

Major Features Added/Updated
  • Security: CSRF/XSS updated
  • Force SSL option added
  • PHP 7.1 and 7.2 support added – Now 5.6 – 7.2 are supported
  • RESTful API added
  • Affiliate lockout feature added for failed login attempts
  • IPv6 support added
  • New Mailing List Integrations: Infusionsoft, ConvertKit and SendGrid
  • New Tax Report added
  • GDPR Related: Create a Privacy Policy
  • GDPR Related: Hide IP from traffic logs in affiliate dashboard
  • New Plugin: Sliding Scale Commissions
  • Library Update: Smarty Templates
  • Library Update: PHP Mailer
  • Date/Time feature updated for more options

In addition to the major updates/additions above, various bug fixes have been implemented as well.

Developers can now make use of the new RESTful API we’ve implemented. This is in addition to the basic API we’ve always offered.

Define multiple commission scale rates based on the purchase amount. For example, you can pay 10% for all orders ranging $1.00 – $10.00 and 12% for all orders ranging $10.00 – $20.00. The scale levels you can create are limitless and work with both pay-per-sale percentage and flat rate commissioning structures.

How Do I Get This Update?

Cloud Customers
You have already been updated to the current release! You can login now and start using the new features.

Existing Self-Hosted Customers
Login to your customer account on our website.
Login Now

Once logged in, click on My Packages then View Details (next to your iDevAffiliate order) and click the Downloads button and download iDevAffiliate 9.2.

New Customers
Just purchase iDevAffiliate and you will automatically get iDevAffiliate 9.2 whether you choose the self-hosted or cloud option.

iDevAffiliate 9.2 Release Now Available

Manual Commission Creation – Missing 2019 Year

This update will fix the issue where the date (year) stops at 2018 when manually creating a new commission in your iDevAffiliate admin center.

Version Note

This patch is for iDevAffiliate 9.2 users only. If you’re using an older version of iDevAffiliate, you will need to update to the current release. By doing so, this patch is already included in the 9.2 distribution you will be upgrading to. Instructions for upgrading to the current release are below as well.

Existing 9.2 Users
  1. Download The Patch Update
  2. Save the file downloaded above to your local hard drive then unzip it. Inside the ZIP package, you will find a file called create_commission.php.
  3. Using auto-detect mode in FTP, upload this new file to your /admin folder. Allow this new file to overwrite your existing file.

That’s it. You can now return to your admin center and manually create a commission like normal.

Upgrade Instructions For Customer Using Older Versions

Login to your Client Area here:
http://www.idevstore.com/customers/index.php?task=login

Once logged in, click on Details & Download next to your order then click on the Download iDevAffiliate. You’ll want to download the latest possible version. Once downloaded to your computer, unzip the package and inside you’ll find a readme.pdf file that has the step-by-step installation instructions.

NOTE: If you aren’t eligible to download the latest release it means your upgrades extension has expired (you received 1 year free with your purchase). You can click “Renewal Required” to purchase the upgrade extension for $89.99 which will get you to the latest release.

Feature Rich Affiliate Tracking Option for Teachable!

Are you selling courses using Teachable? Are you wanting to start your own affiliate program? If you answered YES!, we’d like to welcome you to iDevAffiliate. We make operating your own affiliate program super easy and include all the features you’d expect to find in today’s leading affiliate tracking product.

Teachable Affiliate Program Option

With more than 16 years producing one of the leading affiliate tracking products on the market, iDevAffiliate is a fantastic solution for those looking to add an affiliate marketing component to your Teachable course offerings. Using iDevAffiliate with Teachable takes just a few minutes to get set up and has an unmatched array of features.

Built-In Advanced Commissioning Options
  • Commission affiliates for both one-time and recurring course payment options.
  • Support for our incredibly popular coupon code commissioning feature is also built-in and ready to go!
  • Support for per-product commissioning is built-in. Define product specific commission rates!

Pricing Starts At $39/month!

Integration Instructions

We make use of the very powerful webhook feature made available by Teachable. Its as simple as copy/pasting a provided URL to a specific location in your Teachable account.

For step-by-step instructions, login to your iDevAffiliate admin center and go the cart integration wizard. In the dropdown menu, pick Teachable and the integration instructions are provided for you. If you’re a current iDevAffiliate customer and don’t see Teachable in your dropdown menu, please contact our support dept. and we’ll get you taken care of. We will likely just need to get you an upgrade to the current release.

Commission Record

Once affiliates start referring customers, they will start earning commissions. All you have to do is approve these new commissions and pay your affiliates for the new sales they are delivering!

Teachable Affiliate Plugin!

Operate Your Own Affiliate Program With Your Sellfy Store!

affiliate program for sellfy

Are you a Sellfy store owner wanting start your own affiliate program? Welcome to iDevAffiliate. We make operating your own affiliate program easy and include all the features you’d expect to find in today’s leading affiliate tracking product.

Sellfy Affiliate Plugin

With more than 16 years producing one of the leading affiliate tracking products on the market, iDevAffiliate is a fantastic solution for those looking to add an affiliate marketing component to your Sellfy store. Using iDevAffiliate with Sellfy takes just a few minutes to get set up and has an unmatched array of features.

Pricing Starts At $39/month!

Integration Instructions

We make use of the very powerful webhook feature made available by Sellfy. Its as simple as copy/pasting a provided URL to a specific location in your Sellfy account.

start your own affiliate program for your sellfy store

For step-by-step instructions, login to your iDevAffiliate admin center and go the cart integration wizard. In the dropdown menu, pick Sellfy and the integration instructions are provided for you. If you don’t see Sellfy in your dropdown menu, please contact our support dept. and we’ll get you taken care of. We will likely just need to get you an upgrade to the current release.

affiliate commissions with sellfy

Commission Record

Once affiliates start referring customers, they will start earning commissions. All you have to do is approve these new commissions and pay your affiliates for the new sales they are delivering!

sellfy affiliate plugin

Sellfy Affiliate Plugin

Google/Mozilla Update

Important Note About This Update
This update only affects customers using the downloadable version who have installed iDevAffiliate prior to October 11, 2017. Cloud customer accounts have already been patched and should not be affected.

Patch Background
This update concerns the design of our custom incoming traffic page links. This feature offers two options. The second option “Manual Link Creation“, is the one in question here. When using this option, affiliates can define their own incoming traffic page directly in affiliate links. Like this: &url=http://www.yoursite.com/page.html

This can be potentially harmful and exploited. As a result, we have completely removed this option from the current release. You will want to update your installation using the instructions below. Once the patch is applied, the above option will no longer be available. However, affiliates can still drive traffic to alternate pages using option #1 which is “Automated Link Creation” where they enter the URL in to their affiliate account and we provide them with a special link to use.

The Error Shown By Google
Until this patch is implemented, you could possibly be given warnings from google showing this potential exploit.

Your affiliate program may also wind up on the “google harmful programs” list. Don’t worry, we’ll show you to go get removed below!

So, if you’re seeing either of these issues, this patch update will fix it. If you aren’t seeing it and haven’t implemented the patch yet, please do so now to ensure this doesn’t happen.

How To Fix It!
You will need to upload a couple patch files then request removal from Google.

iDevAffiliate 9 Users
Step 1: Download the patch update. Unzip the package to your local computer. Then, using FTP, upload the folders/files in their current structure to your existing iDevAffiliate folder. Allow these new files to overwrite your existing files.

Download 9.1 Patch Files Download 9.0 Patch Files

If you’re using any version earlier than 9.2, the best option is to upgrade to the current version as it has this bug fix built-in to it already. See: How To Upgrade

Step 2: Request removal of your affiliate program from Google.

Request Removal From Google

Most customers see removal within a few hours.

iDevAffiliate 8 and Below Users
Anything iDevAffiliate 8 or older are many years old now and no longer supported. The proper method to fix this Google issue, along with many other security related updates/patches will be to update your system from v8 to v9.

Upgrading From An Earlier Release
Here are instructions for downloading the current version of your product.

Login to your Client Area here:
http://www.idevstore.com/customers/index.php?task=login

Once logged in, click on “Details & Download” next to your order then click on the “Download iDevAffiliate“. You’ll want to download the latest possible version. Once downloaded to your computer, unzip the package and inside you’ll find a readme.pdf file that has the step-by-step installation instructions.

NOTE: If you aren’t eligible to download the latest release it means your upgrades extension has expired (you received 1 year free with your purchase). You can click “Renewal Required” to purchase the upgrade extension for $89.99 which will get you to the latest release.

Cognito Forms Affiliate Plugin Option

Are you a Cognito Forms user wanting implement an affiliate program for the forms you’ve created using Cognito? Well, we’ve got the Cognito Forms Affiliate Plugin you’re looking for! Welcome to iDevAffiliate. We make operating your own affiliate program easy and include all the features you’d expect to find in today’s leading affiliate tracking product.

Cognito Forms Affiliate Plugin

With more than 16 years producing one of the leading affiliate tracking products on the market, iDevAffiliate is a fantastic solution for those looking to add affiliate tracking to Cognito Forms. Using iDevAffiliate with Cognito Forms takes just a few minutes to get set up and has an unmatched array of features.

Integration Instructions

We make use of the very powerful webhook feature made available by Cognito Forms. Its as simple as copy/pasting a provided URL to a specific location in your Cognito Forms admin center. For step-by-step instructions, login to your iDevAffiliate admin center and go the cart integration wizard. In the dropdown menu, pick Cognito Forms and the integration instructions are provided for you. If you don’t see Cognito Forms in your dropdown menu, please contact our support dept. and we’ll get you taken care of. We will likely just need to get you an upgrade to the current release.

Our integration with Cognito Forms is designed for use with forms you have monetized. If you are accepting payment on your form and want to offer a commission to referring affiliates, our product is what you’re looking for! We also have advanced fraud protection to prevent fraudulent commissions, built right in to the integration!

Commission Record

Once affiliates start referring customers, they will start earning commissions. All you have to do is approve these new commissions and pay your affiliates for the new sales they are delivering!

Cognito Forms Affiliate Plugin

Cognito Forms Affiliate Plugin

iDevAffiliate 9.1 Release Now Available

We are happy to announce our latest release, iDevAffiliate 9.1. Sprinkled in with some new features as well as existing feature updates, comes PHP 7.0 compatibility. Oh, and it has a pretty map now too! 🙂

iDevAffiliate 9.1 Release Now Available!

iDevAffiliate 9.1 Release Now Available

Webhooks for Developers

Get Webhook notifications for various activities throughout your affiliate program.
Webhooks Documentation

Affiliate Dashboard Themes

We’ve added two more themes for a total of three options. Plus you can now replicate an existing theme to create your own. We’ve added more theme options as well as more control over the front-end theme content.

iDevAffiliate 9.1 Release Now Available

iDevAffiliate 9.1 Release Now Available

Geo Targeting

Based on geographical location (Country), you can now route traffic to alternate pages and you can have the landing page appending with the incoming Country code.

iDevAffiliate 9.1 Release Now Available

New Mailing List Integrations

We have added Vertical Response, Active Campaign and Campaign Monitor as mailing integration options.

Various Features Added/Updated
  • Individual incoming traffic page override
  • Easier to use search function
  • Improved plugin management UI
  • Updated IP table for geo locations
  • Numerous bug/patch updates
New Product Requirements

As technologies advance and grow, so does the iDevAffiliate requirements. 🙂

  • PHP 5.6 or higher (including PHP 7.0)
  • MySQL 5 or higher w/ PDO enabled
  • ionCube enabled
  • Mycrypt enabled
  • cURL enabled

Most hosting providers meet these requirements by default.

How do I get this update?

Existing Customers
If you are using the downloadable version, login to your customer account on our website.
Login Now

Once logged in, click on My Packages then View Details (next to your iDevAffiliate order)and click the Downloads button and download iDevAffiliate 9.1.

If you are using the cloud edition, you will be upgraded over time but if you’d like to be moved to the front of the list, just open a ticket and request the upgrade now.
Contact Us

New Customers
Just purchase iDevAffiliate and you will automatically get iDevAffiliate 9.1!

iDevAffiliate 9.1 Release Now Available

Eventbrite Affiliate Tracking Option!

Are you a Eventbrite user wanting to operate your own affiliate program? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to iDevAffiliate. We make operating your own affiliate program easy and include all the features you’d expect to find in today’s leading affiliate tracking product.

Add Affiliate Marketing And Let Your Affiliates Sell Tickets To Your Events!

iDevAffiliate

With more than 16 years producing one of the leading affiliate tracking products on the market, iDevAffiliate is a fantastic solution for those wanting to operate their own affiliate program. Why not have your own team affiliate marketers promoting your events! Using iDevAffiliate with Eventbrite takes just a few minutes to get set up and has an unmatched array of features.

Integration Instructions

Login to your iDevAffiliate admin center and go the cart integration wizard. In the dropdown menu, pick Eventbrite and the integration instructions are provided for you. If you don’t see Eventbrite in your dropdown menu, please contact our support dept. and we’ll get you taken care of.

Commission Record

Once affiliates start referring customers, they will start earning commissions. All you have to do is approve these new commissions and pay your affiliates for the new sales they are delivering!

Affiliate Tracking Option for Thinkific

Affiliate Tracking Option for Thinkific

Are you a Thinkific user wanting to operate your own affiliate program? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to iDevAffiliate. Our affiliate tracking option makes operating your own affiliate program easy and include all the features you’d expect to find in today’s leading affiliate tracking product.

Affiliate Tracking Option for Thinkific

With more than 16 years producing one of the leading affiliate tracking products on the market, iDevAffiliate is a fantastic solution for those wanting to add affiliate tracking. Operating your own affiliate program has never been easier! Using iDevAffiliate with Thinkific takes just a few minutes to get set up. After your iDevAffiliate account is setup, just install use the provided instructions for integration and you’re all set.

Integration Instructions

Login to your iDevAffiliate admin center and go the cart integration wizard. In the dropdown menu, pick Thinkific and the integration instructions are provided for you. If you’re an existing customer and don’t see Thinkific in your dropdown menu, please contact our support dept. and we’ll get you taken care of.

Commission Record

Once affiliates start referring customers, they will start earning commissions. All you have to do is approve these new commissions and pay your affiliates for the new sales they are delivering!

Affiliate Tracking Option for Thinkific

Affiliate Tracking Option for Thinkific