How to Launch an Affiliate Program That Drives Revenue?

There is no magic bullet for lead generation; what works for one company cannot work for another.


However, when used correctly, several lead-generation techniques yield results and effectively generate new sales.


We're talking about affiliate marketing, which is used by 81% of brands in some capacity. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of developing a profitable affiliate program for your business.


What exactly is affiliate marketing (and how exactly does it work)?


There is a lot of confusion about affiliate marketing out there, so let's start by clearing some things up.


Affiliate marketing, in a nutshell, is a means of outsourcing marketing activities.


Rather than being solely responsible for acquiring new clients, you recruit 'affiliates' to do it for you. What's the best part? They work solely on contract, so if they don't produce results, you don't have to pay them anything.


Here's how the process works from start to finish:


  1. You provide your affiliate with a one-of-a-kind URL or parameter to use in a URL. This is their unique identifier, which allows you to monitor which leads came from them.
  2. The affiliate begins selling your goods or services, driving traffic to your website via their URL.
  3. Hopefully, the opportunities will turn into paying customers or clients.
  4. You pay the affiliate a pre-agreed-upon percentage of the total transaction.
  5. Rinse and repeat!


How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

Now that you know the ins and outs of a legal affiliate marketing scheme, why not start your own? It's not as difficult as it sounds.


In just six stages, you can turn your affiliate program concept into a revenue-generating machine...


Step 1: Define your priorities.

Before you contact others, you should first establish key goals for your affiliate marketing campaign.


These goals will be specific to your business, but here are a few examples to get you started:

●   X amount of new sign-ups or purchases
●   Over time, revenue rose by a certain amount.
●   A certain number of new affiliates have been added.
●   Over time, sales rose by a certain amount.

It is important to take a step back and understand the affiliate marketing targets. A straightforward set of targets will not only help you identify progress, but they will also serve as a stress test for any potential efforts. If something in your pipeline does not help you get closer to your target, it is probably not worth doing. Save your time, resources, and money and put it to better use.


Stage 2: Consider your positioning

When it comes to affiliate marketing, positioning is everything.


With so many affiliate services available, standing out from the crowd will make a huge difference in recruiting new affiliates and making sales.


However, there is another explanation why positioning is so important: your credibility. Keep in mind that the barrier to entry for affiliate marketing is very low. There will be no shortage of affiliates willing to partner with you, but that doesn't mean you can work with them all. Be picky about who you work with, and be specific about how affiliates can represent your brand. The more you understand about your positioning, the easier it will be to clarify and monitor that picture in others' eyes.


Step three: Examine the competition.

Without a doubt, affiliate marketing is more common than ever. However, rather than seeing this as a competition, consider it an opportunity to learn.


Affiliate marketing is a form of trial and error; seldom do you get it right the first time. So, if someone else is a little further down the road than you are, why not follow in their footsteps? This is especially true when it comes to determining your commission structure, which we'll discuss in the following section.


Examine your direct rivals and see if they have an affiliate network of their own. If so, pull out your notebook because it's time to take some notes.


You should keep an eye out for:


●   Their compensation plan (preferably a specific percentage rate).
●   What they're saying about their affiliate network.
●   How frequently they pay their affiliates
●   Whether or not they have some sort of performance monitoring.


Step 4: Create your commission structure.

Now that you've seen what your rivals' commission systems look like, it's time to pay attention to your own.


It's at this point where things start to get interesting because it's all about balance. If you offer too low a commission, you will not attract high-quality affiliates; but, if you offer too high a cost.


So, how are you going to do it correctly?

Best practices in the industry are a good place to start. Consider the Amazon Associates network, which is perhaps the most well-known affiliate program in the world. Their commission rates are calculated on a sliding scale, ranging from 1% on video games to 10% on luxury beauty goods.


Setting your commission structure in line with your colleagues is a smart idea, but don't forget to do thorough forecasting before committing to something. Another great way to keep the emphasis on your sales is to introduce a tiered system: the more money your affiliates bring in, the more commission they'll get.


That is a formula that we can all understand.

But don't be concerned if you don't have your percentages exactly correct from the start. As previously said, it is all about learning as you go. If something isn't working, simply change the approach.

Step 5: Build your website.


As we've seen, how the goods or services are marketed is entirely up to each affiliate.


But that doesn't mean you can't give them any guidance and direction.


A website that showcases the goods and services is at the center of most affiliate marketing operations. Similarly, as the program host, you would need a website (or, at the very least, a section of your current website) to market the program to new affiliates.


Don't worry if that sounds confusing. There are many "no-code" web design frameworks available now that are suitable for this purpose. Any of these platforms can provide you with useful features such as drag-and-drop design and one-click publishing:

●   Webflow
●   Squarespace
●   Wix

 It's now time to talk about results.


Step 6: Add affiliate management software in place.

Now that your affiliate software is up and running, there is only one more challenge to overcome: management.


Giving affiliates unique URLs is great, but what good are they without tracking? Monitoring output is critical — it is the bedrock of every effective affiliate program. You will easily see who is bringing in sales and who isn't with easy-to-use affiliate management. You can also provide affiliates with a place to monitor their own results, discover actionable insights, and see how much money they're making.


It is here that the Scaleo platform really shines. Our platform, which is completely white-labeled so you can make it your own, allows you to not only fully manage, monitor, and even pay your affiliates on the operation, but it also provides each affiliate with access to a dedicated portal filled with useful insights. They will be able to monitor output through various platforms and devices based on goods, advertising, deals, and other variables.


Scaleo's powerful reporting features will provide your affiliates with all the data and encouragement they need.


Are you ready to expand your company with affiliate marketing?

There is no better time than now to dip your toe into the world of affiliate marketing for your own software.


Affiliates will not only help increase your revenues, but their efforts will also directly increase your revenue.


Schedule a free demo with the Scaleo team today to learn how a well-managed affiliate marketing program can transform your business.

About the author

Nijam Seth is a full time blogger and a part time foodie. He likes to share technological trends on web developments and also has published his bylines on major platforms.


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