What's your idea of Affiliate Program Best-Practice?

by 7 comments
We've yet to set up an affiliate program for our products but are now ready to. We may go with Clickbank, but we may not. This thread might help us to decide.

I'd like to know some best-practice tips and advice from both program managers/publishers and affiliates. I'm confident that we could just go ahead and do this with the knowledge I've picked up so far, but I thought it might also be useful to others to see the answers (and I also want to minimise my own learning curve)

Here's a few questions that might start the ball rolling:

As a publisher, what do we need to do so people will want to become an affiliate? How do we set-up and organise the program? What software do you recommend? To what extent do you provide graphics, banners and e-mail copy for example? (e.g. Is RAP looking like THE product to have?)

As an affiliate, what do you want from a publisher? What do you expect as a minimum? When and how do you expect to get paid?

Any specific examples of best/worst-practice? (No bitching please, let's keep it civil, useful and avoid deletion!)

There are probably more fundamental questions that I should be asking - by all means, put me right!

Thanks guys.


P.S. I'm sure I saw numerous threads about this on the old forum and maybe there's been some on this new board too, but I can't find them. If someone has a link it would be appreciated.
#internet marketing #affiliate #bestpractice #idea #program
  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Hi Peter..

    At this moment in time... here's what I look for.. I'm gonna assume the product and sales copy is top notch already
    • Pay me with RAP.. on 50% commissh.. we both get a kick then, eh?
    • A Few Banners - some smooth wide and some 125 x 125 - nothin crazy required..
    • Maybe some articles in the back office, but nothing too spectacular, just so there is a base of structure with the product in the creators words.. I get to see your vision this way..

    This probably isn't what the rest of the affiliate's want.. they usually want a lot more but then again... they probably want you to market for them too


    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      Originally Posted by JayXtreme View Post

      I'm gonna assume the product and sales copy is top notch already
      Don't assume anything Jay...

      ...but you're right!

      Thanks for the input.

  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    There are so many affiliate software and management options. From idevaffiliate and post affiliate pro at the cheap end of the scale right up to myaffilliateprogram, fantasos and a whole host of online options running into the thousands of dollars to set up with a monthly fee and a cut of the profits.

    Of course then there are the networks, from Clickbank, ShareaSale at the lower end right up to Commission Junction, TradeDoubler as well as many other high end affiliate program/management companies.

    You have to decide what you need from your affiliate program before looking at potential solutions.

    Things like multiple commission tiers, JV partner rates, the facility to run performance related rates, affiliate races or competitions. Do you need to recruit affiliates or do you already have them in place? Do ou want to outsource affiliate management and recruitment? Or the whole program? DO you just want somewhere to build a list, communicate with your salesforce, and calculate a mass pay paypal file in order to pay them?

    As for marketing collateral, the simplest and easiest thing to do in order to get a feel for what "everyone else is doing" sucessfully, is to sign up as an affiliate for a similar/competing product. Then, of course, do it better. Do it YOUR way. Don't simply follow the herd.

    If you have any data from any tests, PPC, conversion rates, etc Make this available. Be open to altering your sales copy to accomodate the advice of those who may have some suggestions. Be open to creating viral collateral that affiliates can brand with their own links.

    I could go on and on...the best thing is to get out there and be as thorough in your research of this area of your launch because it could make or break it.

    Good affiliates are hard to come by. The top guys even harder. They're not multi millionaires for nothing. And they rarely leave much to chance!

    The more you can do for them, the more they will do for you...

    Just be careful...keep your wits (and a calculator!) about you. I have come across so many people that have been talked into offering a high commission percentile in order to recruit good affiliates on a network, then after giving the network it's cut, payment processing fees and PPC costs they don't make any money themselves on their own product!

    Always remember there is ONLY 100% of anything

  • Profile picture of the author tomw
    Wow! Hamida, I bet you're a swell date.

  • Profile picture of the author midwestmedia
    Here's what I look for:

    1. Frequent payments by PayPal with preferably no minimum payout or a minimum payout equal to one sale's commission.

    2. Graphics, particularly a selection of 125X125 buttons, and a skyscraper banner that can fit nicely into a Wordpress sidebar.

    3. Very good statistics and tracking tools.

    4. Something that I can rebrand and give away like a PDF report.

    5. Coupons, discounts, and other promotional items to re-spark my interest and give me something to talk about in a review or post.

    First and foremost though...communication! Stay in touch with me! Let me know what is going on with the program and offer to help me or to create some custom campaigns/graphics and the like.

    Just my two cents from 10+ years of affiliate marketing!
    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      Thanks for your detailed responses guys.

      I get the feeling that I'll get as many viewpoints as I get replies.

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