Having the right affiliate management program will save you time, as well as make things as easy as possible for your affiliates. Here are the most crucial things to look for in an affiliate management program, along with a few recommendations.
=> The Three Most Important Things to Look For
#1 Ease of use for affiliates
Ease of use for yourself is a nice bonus, but what’s really crucial is how easy the system is to use for affiliates. The easier you make your program for affiliates to sign up and use, the more affiliates you’ll get – it’s as simple as that.
Marketers often make it far too hard for affiliates to sign up for their program. They require an opt-in, then a multi-step process to get a link, sometimes even requiring affiliates to wait for approval.
The harder it is, the more affiliates will drop out. Choose a system that’s easy for affiliates to use.
#2 Tracking accuracy
One quick way to kill affiliate trust is to not track sales they made in your system. Unfortunately, some systems just don’t have the internal integrity to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
As a rule of thumb, stick to a proven affiliate management program unless you have a good reason not to.
#3 Integrated payment
It can be a real pain to have to cut dozens of checks every single month. Instead of manually processing your payments, you can save a lot of time by using a system that has an integrated payment system. These systems will not only track your affiliate sales for you, but also pay them for you.
=> Recommended Management Programs
Here are a few reputable affiliate management programs, along with why to choose one over the other.
* ClickBank – ClickBank is the leader in delivering online downloadable products. They have integrated payment and a solid reputation.
* 1ShoppingCart – A shopping cart system with built-in affiliate tracking. Very reputable tracking system, but you have to pay out affiliates manually. Generally use 1SC over ClickBank only if you have physical products as well as digital ones.
* PayDotCom – A system that’s similar to ClickBank. Though it’s been used by many, its reputation is less solid. Its main benefit is that it pays out via PayPal instead of checks, which many affiliates prefer.
* InfusionSoft – Infusion is the big player of affiliate tracking. It’s not built for beginning marketers; generally you won’t use Infusion until you’re grossing at least $5,000 a month. Their system is very robust, allowing you to split out customer emails from prospect emails, email affiliates, split test a host of different things and do just about anything you want. Set-up fees are around $1,000 and $200+ a month ongoing.
Each of these systems targets a different kind of user. Figure out which one works best for you, or find your own – just make sure it’s a reputable system with a proven track record.