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Affiliate Tracking Software

affiliate management in house vs agency

Affiliate Management In-House vs. Agency

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software, Digital Marketing, Network | No Comments

Affiliate marketing or, as it is being referred to more and more, performance marketing continues to blossom as an online marketing strategy, supporting a wide range of sectors by driving new revenue streams. In 2016, AMNavigator reported that developed affiliate programs generate 15% to 30% of all advertiser’s online sales. Yet, 78% of CMOs admit affiliate marketing to be their least mastered area of digital marketing.

This means, if you are a financial institution looking to increase the sale of your products and services or a marketer looking for new ways to get quality leads, it is vital to consider an affiliate management program.

Affiliate management consists of the following:

  • Proper tracking and report technology to monitor campaign performance
  • Recruiting and screening new affiliates to diversify exposure
  • Activating existing affiliates on new offers and promotions
  • Providing fresh creatives and content to create engagement
  • Monitoring and reporting on program growth and delivery
  • Optimizing affiliate performance to drive results

Choosing Between In-House and a Specialized Agency

When it comes to planning your affiliate management approach, you have two main options, and each has its pros and cons. The first option is to keep the management in-house. The second option is to leverage the expertise of an outsourced organization and partner with a company that specializes in affiliate marketing.

Read on to find out which solution is right for your business:

In-House

For an affiliate program to be successful it requires someone to manage it.  Managing an affiliate program is dependent on building quality relationships and taking a partnership approach with your affiliates. Therefore, it is important when establishing an in-house affiliate manager or team to dedicate resources to manage both the strategy and day-to-day operational activities.

Here are some of the pros of in-house affiliate management:

  • The team has direct access to key decision-makers and planning to provide affiliates with timely content.
  • Affiliate marketing can be fully integrated into the marketing team.
  • The team can learn from the affiliate strategy and apply these lessons to other channels.

And the cons:

  • It often detracts from being able to focus on other areas of the business, as managing an affiliate program takes time and resources, especially in the growth phase.
  • Building relationships with affiliates and creating a diversified, scalable approach can be challenging without an established network and understanding of the market.
  • It can take longer to achieve desired results, as affiliates require attention and need to establish trust in your tracking and reporting capabilities.
  • Affiliate networks normally have a finance team that oversees invoicing and commission payments. When running an in-house program, you will be ultimately responsible for affiliates being paid.

Affiliate Marketing Agency

Working with an external party means leveraging a team with expertise in a niche channel. You’ll have a dedicated affiliate manager working with you to ensure they are meeting expectations and growth targets. They handle the day-to-day work and provide regular reports to optimize performance.

Here are some of the pros:

  • Outsourcing can be resource efficient, as the key team members are already trained in affiliate marketing and have established relationships with affiliates.
  • They have bespoke affiliate technology and an established affiliate network, which ensures that you have the tools needed to quickly grow and scale across partners, payments, commission calculations and campaigns.
  • You have a partner who focuses on your industry and has relationships with affiliates in your niche, industry context and an understanding of key metrics that drive business growth.

Cons

  • When affiliate management agencies are not included in the overall business strategy, they can be less integrated in your overall marketing approach, which may be detrimental to program growth.
  • Outsourced partners require support from an internal resource to provide creatives, direction, and approvals when needed.
  • Depending on the business approach, resource costing internally, and prioritization logic, outsourcing can be seen as an unnecessary expense.

What about cost?

As it pertains to cost, since affiliate marketing is based on a performance model, the bulk of the cost will correlate directly with the results delivered by affiliates. These acquisitions ultimately contribute directly to the business’s revenue.

Managing a program in-house means an additional salary and overhead expenses, as well as a longer training and time to get up to speed. A salary can range from around $40k to $80k per year, which for some companies makes sense. With an outsourced agency, you’ll likely spend less than a full-time employee.

Ultimately, when considering what approach is most suitable to your business, key considerations should include your goal and future plans for the affiliate channel.

Still have questions on what approach to take? Please don’t hesitate to reach out! We’ll be happy to help.

If you’ve enjoyed this read, visit our website for other articles and our management services.

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The value of turnkey financial affiliate tracking software and how it solves your measurement problems

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software, Key Features, Mobile Tracking, Network, Payment Processing | No Comments

These days, data is essential when you are looking to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. When investing marketing dollars, it is important to understand which channels and campaigns are performing best, based on your chosen metrics of success. This requires the ability to track and report the customer journey to identify where the customer came from, and how and when they ultimately converted.

Understanding the customer journey to craft a seamless experience using data is becoming the essence of digital marketing, according to Forbes. Adding to that, eMarketer reveals that better reporting, measurement or attribution command the most attention in 2018, according to US senior marketing professionals. That said, tracking traffic with advanced analytics tools is becoming more important than ever since it allows you to make well-calculated marketing decisions.

Since you need to collect and analyze data to fine-tune your marketing strategy, a turnkey tracking software with financial performance-based metrics should be something to consider if you are looking to improve your conversion rate. This type of software is easy to use but is also regularly updated to improve user experience (UX).

Read on to find out how affiliate tracking can help you solve your measurement problems and save time and marketing dollars.

It shows and calculates transactions for you to view and approve.

Though there are countless digital marketing tracking platforms out there, like Google Analytics, very few provide you with the data necessary for a financial affiliate program. Most analytic tools lack the capability to provide you with useful data such as CPA (Cost per Action) commission, transaction status, current balance, and approved sales figures.

In addition to providing insightful data, a good financial affiliate marketing software lets you visualize the performance of important metrics over time and allows you to review your payouts on a daily, weekly, monthly, and month-to-date basis.

It has a pre-built platform with an easy-to-navigate dashboard.

The advantage of a platform with a well-designed dashboard is that it lets you look at all key figures and view a summary of the account across all affiliates, which allows you to keep track of who is performing well and identify your top affiliates. In addition, period comparison lets you view the performance of key metrics of over time and identify your best creatives across all your products/services.

It provides traffic tracking, so you know your customer’s experience.

It’s important to understand what your customers are doing when something triggers the need or desire for your services. According to Google, “75% of marketers agree that lack of education and training on data and analytics is the biggest barrier to more business decisions being made based on data insights.”

Having a turnkey solution, which provides you with advanced analytics for insight-driven marketing, allows you to see which creatives are resonating with your customers by type and status, and makes it easy to know where your customers are in the buying cycle. This means you can keep pace with them, so you know if they are at the awareness, consideration or decision stage of their buying journey, and help them move from one stage of the sales cycle to the next, which can go long way to improving your conversion rates.

There Is Integration and Customization Support

If you have worked with affiliates in the past, then you know that they can provide their data in various formats, which can make it hard to integrate since different formats are not always compatible with all platforms. Keeping this in mind, if you do not want to transcribe the data manually, it is important to have an affiliate platform that supports automatic integration to make sure the data is properly converted. Share Results supports custom integration that converts data of all affiliates in a compatible format.

A turnkey financial affiliate tracking solution collects and provides you with data on standard traffic, transactions, and earnings analysis, but your business might need different metrics and/or visuals, so it is possible to complete an affiliate marketing management program with account management capabilities to customize your reports.

Takeaway:

Consumer insight and data are becoming more important than ever. Therefore, if you are looking to improve your conversion rate, a turnkey financial affiliate tracking software with financial performance-based metrics is certainly something to consider, as it allows you to work smarter and not harder.

benefits of affiliate marketing for financial products

5 Benefits of Using Affiliate Marketing for Your Financial Products and Services

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software, Digital Marketing, Network | No Comments

Performance marketing is one of many channels of digital marketing. If you are an advertiser that is familiar with this approach to advertising, you may appreciate that participating in affiliate networks connects you to a vast pool of expert marketers and publishers that focus on very niche content areas.

What makes this so interesting is that niche marketers become experts in their subject matter, and are seen as trusted sources of information for their audience. They are also active marketers that leverage various tactics like search-engine optimization to ensure their site is as visible as possible to their target audience. According to an article by Entrepreneur, it is affiliate marketing’s targeted and timely content that allows brands to stay relevant and engage target customers.

If you are unsure whether performance marketing is right for your business, here are five more reasons to consider:

Performance marketing is cost-efficient

  • Since affiliate marketing operates on a cost-per-action performance based basis, the advertiser only pays for qualifying actions, such as per sale. It’s a low cost marketing channel with minimal initial capital.
  • We recommend a commission structure that aligns with your business objectives. For example, maximize the number of sales by increasing the amount of incentives once a target number is reached. We don’t advise paying out a large incentive to get started and then lowering it after.

Affiliates offer niche, grassroots marketing

  • Affiliate marketing targets a specific audience. Share Results have affiliates segmented in the Canadian and US markets as their key demographics. Customers visiting affiliates’ sites are also highly engaged because they have their interests aligned. For example, customers going to a credit card comparison site or searching for an interest rate calculator tool are also looking their next credit card. These are your target audience with needs in financial products and services.
  • Key Stats: Share Results 2018 Q1 conversion rate for all financial products reached 27%.

Easily track results

  • Advertisers can benefit from traffic monitoring and reporting. You can track any variables from website visitors, impressions, click-through-ratios, clicks, registrations, conversions, transaction status, approval ratios, commission amount, etc. These are valuable information that give you details of the customer journey, whether they are in the top, middle or bottom of the marketing funnel. They also give insights on how well each campaign is doing and whether a strategy or tactic is performing.

share results Easily track results

Easy to maintain

  • Since sales are generated by affiliates, you don’t have to invest time and resources into building additional campaigns. Affiliate networks are fast ways to scale your marketing efforts. Affiliates’ website, its user experience, and campaign appeal are all important factors to engage customers and affiliates have to be skilled in those areas as well as having the target audience and market fit. The success factors are finding this fit and developing and nurturing these partnerships. You can either manage it yourself or through an agency with all-in-one affiliate management services.

Generate additional conversions from cross selling

  • Many affiliates have tools and information regarding a range of financial products and services. This builds a customer journey that maximizes lifetime value. Having a vast affiliate network also allows for complementary affiliates to cross sell your products and services. For example, placing travel credit cards on travel or airline booking affiliate sites can increase the chances of selling to existing customers, who are much easier to attract than new prospects.

 

Part 2: Smart, Data-Driven Campaigns with ShareResults

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software, Analytics, Miscellaneous, Promotions | No Comments

Part one of Smart, Data-Driven Campaigns focused on the manual reporting that so many marketers have to rely on.  Today we are going to look at the importance of giving your partners, the affiliates, the right tools in order to run a successful campaign and essentially drive more conversions.

Quick Insights for Financial Marketers and Affiliates

If your financial institution wants to test or focus on performance marketing (a solid goal considering that 40% of financial services companies have 20%–80% of their overall revenue driven through their performance marketing partnerships) your partners, the affiliates, need the right tools to run a successful campaign and get you as many customers as possible. Your internal tracking is great to compare and track your marketing efforts but when working with affiliates who need real-time tracking, pulling the results from your in-house tool every week or once a month isn’t efficient.

The ShareResults software can be made available to both parties and allows a deep view into each campaign and how it’s performing. For example, the software can show how many applications were made and how many of those were approved — something other tracking tools can’t show.

This dynamic software also allows for comparing different affiliates. For instance, the Affiliate Manager can see if the “approval rate” for an ongoing gift card promotion is much higher on one affiliate website compared to another affiliate website. Maybe the first affiliate is also using targeted mailers and the other is running a less-trafficked PPC campaign. Using these data driven insights, the Affiliate Manager can recommend a different strategy for the PPC campaign and affect the overall success.

Plus, Affiliates often spend money on promoting their partners, so why would they spend extra time and money on a campaign that they can’t optimize? It’s an advantage to both the affiliate and the financial institution to access in-depth reporting.

An Affiliate traffic report allows users to see which merchants are performing the best using various KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Each report has customizable sorting and filtering capabilities to better analyze the data.

With real-time tracking, affiliates can log into their accounts and see which campaigns are working best. From number of impressions to click-through rates, from reporting by creative to seeing which is your top performing banner, and so on. Shedding light on those campaigns from beginning to end.

ShareResults offers easy-to-use and customizable software that delivers:
● Real-time data and reporting
● Paperless payment solution
● Easiest and most flexible interface around
● Unlimited users and affiliates

Case Study: Using Data to Make a Difference

Here’s an example of the power of using data strategically. In one month an Affiliate might run two campaigns: an email campaign and an online gift card campaign.

During the month, the Affiliate is able to see some click data on these two campaigns, but won’t be able to see the sales/conversion rates until the end of the month when the financial institution sends over a spreadsheet.

When the spreadsheet is finally sent, the Affiliate Manager discovers the email generated 90 approved sales and the online gift-card had 110 approved sales. This leads the Affiliate to think the online gift-card campaign was more successful than the email one. But was it?

Maybe the email campaign received 100 sales and 90 of these were then approved. And the online gift-card campaign received 300 sales but only 110 of these were actually approved. The conversion rate of the email ended up being a lot higher, making it the more successful of the two.

The Affiliate might have spent more time and money on the online gift-card campaign, but if they had put more resources behind the mailer, they would have sent the financial institution more approved customers. And both the Affiliate and the financial institution would have made more money. Without access to real-time data to expose this information during the campaigns, there’s no way to know until it’s too late.

The time for using big data to make strategic decisions in your marketing programs is here. Do you have the right tools to make a difference? Or are you still using a manually-created spreadsheet?

Shared Results offers turn-key reporting solutions and knowledgeable Affiliate Manager who will partner with you. Reach out for a demo and to learn more.

 

How Banks can use Affiliate Marketing to Acquire New Customers

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software | No Comments

Have you considered affiliate marketing for your finance offers? Affiliate marketing has proven to be one of the most valuable and cost-effective channels for banks and financial institutes attempting to target and convert customers online. By leveraging affiliate partnerships and paying only for approved transactions or conversions, financial brands have more control over their online marketing spend.

If you’re thinking about testing the affiliate marketing channel for your financial services products here are some types of affiliate sites you should consider recruiting into your affiliate program.

Rate Comparison Sites

Finance comparison sites like RateSupermarket and Ratehub attract like-minded, targeted shoppers search for the best rates available for a range of finance products including mortgage rates, insurance, credit cards and personal banking. The combination of high traffic and loyal following is a recipe for high performance.

Coupon & Deal Affiliates

Coupon sites get an estimated 48 million monthly users and are adored by price-savvy consumers who are looking for a deal. Many coupon sites, like RedFlagDeals.com, promote not only retail discounts but personal finance and credit card offers as well.

Loyalty Affiliates

Affiliates offering cashback, points, or other types of rewards have a loyal member base and offer exposure to a large audience of consumers. These sites, like GreatCanadianRebates.ca, use campaign commissions to pay their devoted customer base for using their recommended products. Characterized by a strong community and a healthy, active email database, loyalty sites are a great addition to you affiliate mix.

Content Affiliates

Consumers are becoming more and more “ad-blind,” especially to traditional PPC advertising images. About 200 million internet users have installed ad blockers (source).  As a result, content marketing has grown in popularity because it’s less intrusive. Personal finance blogs like HowToSaveMoney.ca and other niche sites offer articles and ideas that appeal to their audience while including a bit of information about your financial product. Social media and newsletters are also avenues widely used by personal finance bloggers.

 

At Share Results, we have also seen vast success when finance brands offers a customer rewards tied with a financial service offer. Based on previous campaigns, we know that a customer rewards in the form of a physical or digital reward significantly increases the overall exposure and number of conversions for the respective provider by over +400%. This type of strategy works best when introduced during certain times or the year and helps boost brand presence and increases activity.

Share Results offers turn-key marketing solutions for your financial institution with a knowledgeable Affiliate Manager who will partner with you with right affiliates to suit your suite of finance offers. Reach out for a demo and to learn more.

Part One: Smart, Data-Driven Campaigns with Share Results

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software, Miscellaneous, Program Optimisation | No Comments

Financial industry marketers have long known that data-driven strategy can have a huge impact on their campaign’s success. But some companies lack the tools to analyze the high-volume of information available, such as real-time user activity and trends, and to make strategic refinements on the fly. How well are you using data?

Death by Manual Spreadsheets

Some financial businesses rely on manual reporting — spreadsheets that are passed around to gather data from various, ongoing campaigns. Once compiled, they are reviewed by the team and leadership. This method is slow and doesn’t allow for in-the-moment changes that could lead to increased success. Plus, the man-hours used to create such a document could be better spent.

When a financial institution is running an affiliate program, the process is even more time-consuming. Often, the affiliate has to wait for the company to send a monthly spreadsheet detailing acquisition results (often with very basic information and manually created), before they can analyze campaign performance. Basically, the campaign runs in the dark.

To sum up, manually-created tracking spreadsheets are:

  • Time consuming
  • Labor intensive
  • Lacking access to real-time insights

Premier Reporting Tools For High-Performing Campaigns 

Ready for a real data solution? A best-in-class reporting tool cuts out the time to manually compile this information and delivers a full-view of all running campaigns in the moment. And that’s exactly what the ShareResults software offers.

Earnings Report

Earnings Report: In the robust ShareResults software, a merchant or financial industry marketer can easily drill down to specific metrics, including click-through, approved transactions and commission information.

Easy to use and customizable, this robust software reports real-time data and can compile a myriad of reports which you can email with one click — making those paper spreadsheets a thing of the past.

The customizable dashboard keeps things organized and easy to use.  It also allows users to manage multiple affiliate campaigns, with important data at-a-glance. It can be set up with an unlimited number of custom commission plans, multiple products and creative images. It also includes a paperless payment system for affiliates with monthly invoicing, balance statements and more.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Ding and Share Results Partner and Launch Affiliate Program

We’re Excited to Welcome Ding to the Share Results Family

By | Affiliate Tracking Software, Digital Marketing, Key Features | No Comments

Share Results Has Partnered with Ding

Ladies and gentlemen, get excited – we’re happy to announce our recent partnership with Ding, the world’s largest international top-up provider. Many of you might be wondering… what exactly is top-up? Well, the majority of us in Canada and the United States have cell phone contracts that we pay each month. It’s standard practice for obtaining a mobile device in much of North America, but around the world, it’s a much different story.

Think about your phone like a parking meter; for those of us with contracts, we pay the meter on a monthly basis and that’s it. For people who use top-ups, they put credit into the meter (i.e. their phones) which grants them the ability to make calls, browse the Internet, send texts or Tweet as much they please until the credit (i.e. top-up) runs out. This is where Ding comes in, as their service enables people to send top-ups around the world in just 3 seconds.

Care for another example? No sweat. Imagine that you are originally from China, but have journeyed across the world all the way to Canada in order to find work and support your family back home. Using Ding’s service, keeping in touch with your loved ones is a relatively simple task that’s not bound by distance – all you would need to do is transfer a top-up to their mobile phone.

Company History

Ding was founded in 2006 by Mark Roden, a man on a simple mission – to make the process of connecting with loved ones as quick and effortless as possible.  The inspiration for the company stems from a trip Mark took to Dubai, where he met a waiter who described how difficult it was to send credit to his wife’s phone back home in India. Mark wanted to change this, to make it easier for people to communicate with their families, and as a result, Ding was born.

Mark successfully developed the business which has grown to a network of 350 mobile operators and over 500,000 retailers scattered across the world – it’s an amazing feat by any means.

Looking Ahead

Here at Share Results, we are tremendously proud to lend our top-notch proprietary software to help Ding acquire more customers via the affiliate channel. Using our turnkey software, Ding will be able to reach an entirely new customer base, helping them to achieve continued growth in their industry.

We wouldn’t be so excited if we didn’t believe in Ding’s cause, and we hope you will get excited about it too!

Interested in becoming an official publisher for Ding? Sign up here.

Halloween 2014 – The Spooky Side of Affiliate Marketing (Part 2)

By | Affiliate Program, Affiliate Tracking Software, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Ideas | No Comments

The Spooky Side of Halloween!

Trick-Or-Treat! – Protect Yourself From Pranksters!

We’re back at it again on Devil’s Day to discuss pranksters. For those of you who didn’t know, Devil’s Day is what the day before Halloween is called, and the day for ghoulish Halloween pranks! So Affiliates and Merchants alike need to be on the lookout!

Affiliates

Beware of any too good to be true affiliate programs. Choosing the wrong program can have some ghoulish side effects, including:

  • A bad reputation. You could risk scaring away your hard earned traffic and you may compromise your own reputation as a quality affiliate.
  • Lost commissions. After sending sales to a merchant you may find that your commissions are scarcer than candy after midnight on Halloween. This is perhaps the biggest risk for an affiliate. You’ll have wasted your precious resources for a payout that will never come.

To protect yourself, work with reputable networks and do your research. Before promoting any merchants check that their checkout process and shopping cart are secure. Affiliating with solid merchants means that you won’t have to deal with angry customer fallout making you look like the boogeyman.

Merchants

It’s not only on the thirty-first of October that you have to worry about little masquerading devils… all year round you need to be on watch for potential partners marketing themselves as affiliate genies when in reality they’re affiliate fraudsters. As a merchant, you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Cookie stuffing – Affiliates taking credit for others affiliate’s referrals
  • Inflating – Affiliates who artificially inflate the number of clicks in a CPC program
  • Spamming – Affiliates who send out misleading emails
  • Squatting – Affiliates who take advantage of typos
  • Cloning – Affiliates who clone legitimate sites

Don’t be a Zombie! Protect yourself!

Monitor and engage with your affiliates closely, enforce your terms and conditions and work with affiliate software that has in-built affiliate fraud detection features. When starting an affiliate program, choose your partners wisely. You can read more on recruiting new affiliate partners here. Keeping up to date with the pulse of your program is the surest way to keep the Grim Reaper out.

If you have any questions about the hair-raising details above, contact us at info@shareresults.com. Here’s to hoping your Halloween is a real scream!

Tutorial: How Affiliates Can Use Custom Tracking in Share Results

By | Affiliate Tracking Software, Key Features | No Comments

Do you follow the affiliate marketing blog of Sugarrae? A little while ago she published an excellent blog post titled How to Add SID Tracking to the “Big Network” Affiliate Links. Well, we wanted to take this opportunity to show you how Share Results’ own custom or sub-ID tracking works. Over the years, affiliates in our network have had specific tracking needs to help them identify key trends and information from the traffic and transactions they generate. We’ve decided to show you how the affiliate tracking link feature functions in our affiliate network.

Firstly, Sugarrae is correct about many networks having different names for their own custom or sub-ID tracking feature. In the Share Results affiliate network, we happen to call ours the Affiliate Custom ID or ACID. Also, affiliates that use custom or sub-ID tracking for their links will have a clearer understanding about which of their marketing tools are converting the best. Having this type of real-time data can give affiliates the necessary information to optimize their campaigns and attain better results.

When you log into your affiliate account in the Share Results affiliate network, you can begin a creative search to look for the type of affiliate tracking link you want to use to promote your preferred merchant. You’ll notice that each affiliate link allows for custom characters to be added to the end of your affiliate tracking link URLs. This is what is known as the ACID feature.

How To Set Up Sub-ID Custom Tracking for Affiliate Links

Click Image for Larger View

To use this feature, you simply add your preferred characters in the ACID field. Your ACID can consist of up to 50 alphanumeric characters. For example, imagine that you want to promote an education lead gen offer for one of your more successful websites or inner landing pages. Perhaps you have decided that you want to promote degrees from a specific U.S. state for your campaign, such as California. You would enter californiadegrees in the ACID field. Your affiliate tracking link would then appear as the following example:

http://shareresults.com/cid/010101/sid/010/acid/californiadegrees

Should your affiliate tracking link with the ACID characters be used to trigger a transaction, then you will see those same alphanumeric details when you generate a transaction report.

As mentioned earlier in this post, custom affiliate tracking links are a major benefit to affiliates. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to use this feature as a standard method for setting up campaigns. In doing so, you are already steps ahead of other affiliates in terms of mining better data. Moreover, when this information appears in your reports, you are working with more compelling real-time statistics, which is essential for optimizing your future campaigns. What better way to quickly identify your most effective links than to include unique sub-ID tracking to your affiliate links.

We hope this helps you understand a bit more about how Share Results’ own custom affiliate tracking feature works and the benefit it offers you when wanting more real-time data. If you have any questions, email us at affiliates@shareresults.com, or feel free to leave us your comments below.

3 Tracking Software Considerations For Fashion Retail Brands

By | Affiliate Tracking Software, Online Marketing Ideas | No Comments

Yesterday, we explained a bit about how fashion retailers can use affiliate tracking software to manage primary and secondary retail brands. If you missed it, click here to view the post.

When it comes to adopting an affiliate marketing channel for a fashion e-commerce business, there are several thing to consider, especially when starting your own affiliate network. Here are three issues we think are important if you’re thinking about launching a fashion retail affiliate network for your various online businesses.

Consideration #1: Budget And Launch Date Of Network

Always set up your custom affiliate network of affiliate programs for your primary and secondary brands before peak seasons. Also, think of how much you’re willing to spend on your own software platform. If you concentrate on integrating your custom network during a busy period, it may not be the best use of time, as this is when time ought to be spent on stimulating sales. Integrating into a third-party CPA or affiliate network can happen in as little as a week provided both the network software provider and merchant make the necessary time to do things like import marketing creative and test tracking. Integrating multiple products to create your own affiliate network will require a more time and technical support depending on how many brands you have. All this needs to be considered before creating a budget, as investing time and money into a platform can end up being costly if services and software capability are not factored in.

Consideration #2: Long-Term Success And Your Affiliate Manager

Having an affiliate manager is one of the few key components of a stable and successful affiliate program. It’s a given that affiliate managers should screen all affiliates applying for your programs, but awesome affiliate managers are a pro at leveraging affiliate relationships to cross promote your multiple offers in your fashion retail affiliate network, and help stimulate sales. With the right training, an affiliate manager can navigate through your chosen affiliate tracking software, but they are also creative enough to think of new features and functions that might help make the affiliate tracking software superior. A great software provider will be open to this type of consistent development for a much more enhanced and customizable product.

Consideration #3: Flexibility Of The Affiliate Tracking Software

Some fashion retailers pay their affiliates tiered commissions based on the purchase volume generated. Others prefer to pay their affiliates a flat rate commission. And others may want to have a multitude of marketing tools that can be categorized and made accessible to only an exclusive group of partners. A great affiliate tracking software will be allow for this type of flexibility and be capable of supplying all these needs. Furthermore, it’s important to have a platform that can support a variety of administrative levels. Some affiliate tracking software providers only allow one type of login level for management and navigation of a network. It’s imperative to inquire about the ability to view the affiliate tracking software platform from an administrative level, but some merchants want to know how the software appears from the point of view of the affiliate.

Are you a fashion merchant, or any retailer for that matter, that has affiliate tracking software inquiries that you would like to share? Leave us your ideas in the comments section below. Also, check out our LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook Timeline pages.