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A Handy Guide to Using Affiliate Marketing for Your Business

Sarah Bentley

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Affiliate Marketing is helping small businesses to grow beyond their marketing budget. It’s an exact opposite model of ROI (Return On Invest).

If you implement the “Affiliate Marketing” channel in your business, you can expect to have returns first (sales) and then invest in that (pay commissions). You can say IOR – Invest on Return.

A number of smart online businesses are using the affiliate marketing model successfully to grow their sales. For example BlueHost is has launched its affiliate campaign successfully, and it became one of its major revenue drivers.

However, not every business is doing good around this channel. Setting up an affiliate marketing campaign and managing it takes real expertise.

Truth is, only a handful number of companies are successfully using affiliate marketing for driving highly qualified, warm leads/customers, where the majority are failing.

If you are a business owner and wondering how you can use affiliate marketing for your business – keep reading.

The Affiliate Marketing Plan

A major reason for failing is, small businesses tend to buy affiliate software without really checking which one is perfect for them, integrate it and start to spread around.

And soon after, they figure out that no one is really promoting them.

The major part of using affiliate marketing for your business is knowing how you should use it.

And.. that means you need a “plan”.

The first thing should be – sit down with your team members, have a general discussion about what options you need, what controls you need, what commission you are going to offer, and what kind of payment method you’ll be using, your expectations from the affiliate program and all.

It doesn’t end here, how you are going to invite affiliates, onboard them, what kind of automated emails you’ll be needing, what kinds of metrics you should be tracking.

I am not making it look complicated, or not trying to demotivate you to use affiliate marketing for your business.

It is what it is.

However, there is plenty of good content available on how to plan and execute an affiliate campaign. Do your study first, and get a solid plan.

If needed, talk to an affiliate marketing consultant, and get your ideas / plan validated.

The Affiliate Marketing Setup

You can set up an in-house affiliate marketing software like LeadDyno or iDevAffiliate easily or list your product on a marketplace like LinkShare or Share-a-sale.

But, whatever setup you go for, you need to be careful about a few things –1. The signup page should be optimized to collect enough data about the affiliate so you can approve, and the same time should not ask too much to make it daunting for the affiliates.

2. You should load up high converting banners for the affiliates to use on their blogs/sites.

3. You should have a powerful, well-planned email automation campaign to onboard, train and activate affiliates.

It’s important to know – there are 2 kinds of automation.

Automated Trigger emails – such as – your account has been approved, you made a commission, etc.

Automated engagement emails – such as, you joined us a week ago, but haven’t sent any traffic, let me know how I can help .. like that, have few emails to welcome them, and then motivate them to promote you.

Optimize both kinds of emails for the best result.

Getting Affiliates To Promote You

It’s really not that hard to get good affiliates if you have a running business.

At first, put an “affiliate signup” button on the footer of your website (as if an affiliate likes your product and wants to promote, they’ll typically look for it in the footer)

Then, set up an automated email for your website leads/customers to go out on the 7th day about how your affiliate program can help them make money.

Pro Tip: Rephrase it as “Refer-A-Friend” for your buyer list. And instead of cash benefit, maybe offer free products or credits to pay for the current subscription. It works like magic.

To recruit more affiliates, you can set up a Facebook ad with “your niche based interest” and narrow down by “affiliate marketing”, or you can simply find good match blogs on google and shoot an email.

If you want to invest in it, approach affiliate marketing companies, or influencers to help you grow your campaign faster.

Sarah graduated from USC with a degree in Mass Communications and went straight to work as a freelance writer covering current affairs. After getting published in Forbes, Sarah did a brief stint at Vice before deciding that the freelance life was more suited to her. She started writing for The Fledged in 2018.

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