Pillars of Affiliate Marketing Strategy: 4 Key strategies for a successful affiliate marketing program

Have you thought about launching an affiliate marketing program for your financial services company but aren’t sure how to get started? We hear you. Launching an affiliate marketing program can seem daunting— but it doesn’t have to be.

To prove it we’ve put together:

  • Tips on what to do before you pilot your plan
  • 4 key strategies for making it work

Alignment & Focus

According to eMarketer affiliate marketing is forecasted to have a 62% increase in US retail spending between 2015 and 2020. In fact, affiliate marketing’s scalability and measurability are part of what make is so attractive (and effective).

But, before piloting your plan you need to make sure the target end results align with your defined business goals. Start by asking the right questions. Smart Insights’ interview with author Geno Prussokov nicely summarizes the top 5 questions to ask when crafting your affiliate strategy:

  1. What is the primary end consumer action (sale, lead, subscription, etc.) that you want to facilitate through affiliates?
  2. What types of affiliate marketers are you most interested in recruiting?
  3. Who will manage your affiliate program?
  4. What key performance indicators will you use to measure your campaign performance?
  5. How will your affiliate program become (and stay) attractive and competitive through commission arrangements and other incentives?

Now, consider your affiliate channel—instead of viewing it as competition for the same market with your other marketing channels, focus your strategy on increasing the size of a new market using a performance-partnership model. Or, as Robert Glazer describes it in his article on Entrepreneur:

“Rather than compete for bigger slices of the pie, the affiliate marketing model requires both sides to work toward increasing the size of the pie as a whole and allowing many options for customization.”

4 Key Strategies

Once you establish business alignment and areas of focus you’ll have the groundwork for planning your affiliate marketing strategy.

Use these 4 key strategies to optimize your results:

  1. Measure real time performance now where your customers are
  • Know where your customers are coming from. Tracking which sites are generating traffic and customers, and which aren’t proves the ROI of your marketing spend. With ShareResults you can customize the integration of the reporting from an affiliate to you—so you can analyze data the way that makes sense for your business
  • Know which affiliate campaign and tactics are performing to see what affiliates are doing to drive performance
  • Be responsive to affiliates and their marketing needs to ensure results through regular account management
  1. Recruit quality affiliates who align with your target market and target audience
  • Leverage the affiliates’ audience to promote your product. For example, the affiliates’ website could provide value through comparison tools, content insights, and 3rd party reviews to create a following. This following and established trust with the audience can resonate with your product/service enhancing your brand.
  • Try geo-targeting if your product or service is available at specific locations, recruit affiliates with an audience in those areas
  1. Use a commission structure that drives your business objectives

There are plenty of commission options depending on what your business is trying to achieve. Some options ShareResults offers are:

  • Flat or tiered CPA/CPL
  • Revenue share or CPA at a product level
  • And multi-tier referral commission

If you have a high value product, revenue share or higher CPA for that specific product might make sense. If you want to boost all sales, a tiered CPA can have greater incentives.

  1. Launch promotional campaigns to increase the participation of affiliates
  • Spearhead a campaign to attract affiliates to come onboard to promote your product/service.
  • Incentivize new affiliate programs to feature a product/service by offering a special bonus.

Follow these steps and strategies and you’ll be well on your way to a successful affiliate marketing program.

Still have questions or want to learn more about how ShareResults can help you with your affiliate marketing strategy? Contact us; we’d love to hear from you.

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