Affiliate Program Made Easy
Traffic is very important to e-commerce stores. Traffic is equal to visitors and visitors equal to sales, more or less. The more traffic you have to your site, the more likely you are able to convert those visitors to buyers.
There are many ways to garner traffic and one of them is through affiliate marketing.
So, for the uninitiated, what is Affiliate Marketing?
In its simplest form, affiliate marketing involves bringing together a business with products to sell and someone who is willing to do the selling. In this case however, everything is done online. So the e-commerce store in this case is the business and the affiliate is the marketer. Makes sense right?
Say for example your e-commerce store sells shoes, and you are in need of customers, so you contact an affiliate marketer. He/she sends people to your website, and he gets a commission for his efforts.
Who Needs Affiliate Marketers?
Amazon Associates is one of the first ecommerce affiliate programs. Since then ecommerce giants like EBay and Alibaba have been using this system, and these are without question the largest e-commerce stores in the Western world. If stores as big as these, with huge ad and marketing budget employ affiliate marketers today, then who doesn't need them?
The fact is traditional advertising can be expensive for e-commerce store, especially for one that is starting new. Since there's no way to really measure your ROI on ads, it can be difficult to tell how well an advert is doing until much later.
With affiliate marketing, you can immediately tell your Return on Investment. If an affiliate marketer doesn't send qualified leads your way, there's no way you'll be paying him. He gets paid based on commission. It is actually a no stress way to bring in customers, and according to statistics is pays more than traditional advert methods.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing with Your Store
There are two ways to go about this.
You can either join an affiliate marketing network or you can set up your own affiliate marketing system. An affiliate marketing network gets majority of the job done. They get the marketers, they track their performance using their system, and what you have to do is pay either a monthly fee or per product sold. This varies from network to network.
This tracking is one of the most important parts of affiliate marketing, with this tracking, you and your affiliate know exactly how much he or she brought it, therefore you and the affiliate are aware of how much he should be paid. Using an affiliate network will cost you more money and less time. For those just starting out, it could be a better choice. This is because it can be difficult to get the right affiliates. That is affiliates in the niche that you operate in. coupled with the fact that not everyone wants to work with someone who's just starting out. So the affiliate networks act as go-between you and the affiliate marketers.
How do you find Affiliate Marketers?
If you are using an affiliate program, this is very easy. All you need to do is visit the website of the network you use, and search for affiliates in your niche.
If you are building yours though, then there are a few ways to get affiliates in your niche. One is to find entrepreneurs in your niche and contact them; they might want to be an affiliate of your store. You could also contact e-commerce store owners that are in your niche or in a related niche, if they might be willing to become affiliate marketers for your store, or even put our word about your need for affiliates.
VPCart merchants can learn how to easily integrate a concise affiliate system from their shopping cart admin and shore up traffic and sales on their stores.
Decide on a Commission
Now that you are on your way to getting marketers, the next thing you need to do is decide on a commission. Remember these guys are going to spend money promoting your products so you totally have to make it worth their while.
So, be generous with your commissions, in fact this is another way to pull in affiliates. If you pay a generous commission, word will spread amongst other affiliates and entrepreneurs and they'll come wanting to have a piece of that cake. This will bring more traffic to your store. If the customers are satisfied with the service they get from your store, they'll likely come back and this time, you won't be paying affiliate commissions. Affiliate marketers when treated well can actually get you customers that will last a lifetime.
Affiliate marketers help promote your product through their individual channels. Using an affiliate program will cost you more, but it will get you high quality affiliate marketers. Starting your own program will be cheaper, but it might be difficult getting affiliates. Good commissions will help you attract affiliates, and if you are just starting out and can afford it, it might be the route to take.