If you have products or services online, you should by all means have your own affiliate marketing program. Affiliates are paid based off of their performance so it makes it one of the most beneficial marketing investments to make.
Below is a list of services and affiliate program management apps to save you a little time:
- Custom Software – You can have proprietary software written and hosted on your own server. However, unless your company has very specific needs not served by other solutions, this can be a very costly endeavor. I highly recommend that you look at a number of third party solutions before resorting to this option.
- Affiliate Network – Affiliate networks are the most expensive, yet feature-rich affiliate management solutions. Some networks charge either a flat monthly fee or a percentage of sales to handle all your affiliate sales transactions and in handle commission payment processing. The biggest benefit to joining most affiliate networks is that thousands of affiliates will be introduced to your offer as soon as your offer is made available on the network. Some networks are trade-specific, such as Credit Soup, which promotes only offers from credit card companies and financial institutions.
- Remotely-Hosted and Third-Party Software – You can buy an existing script for placement on your own server, or lease a solution that resides on the leasing company’s server.
- Shopping Cart Integrated – Some shopping carts, like 1ShoppingCart have affiliate program management solutions built right into them.
Understanding the different types of solutions, here are a few more things you’ll want to factor into your decision.
Do You Sell a Digital Product?
If you sell a digital product, like an ebook or software, you should definitely consider Clickbank, which acts as a third party payment processor, (say THAT 3 times fast) and has a built-in affiliate program/network. It is the company I’ve used since 2003 to process sales of my Super Affiliate Handbook. Jim Edwards and I also use their services for Affiliate Business Blueprint sales.
Checks arrive like clockwork every two weeks.
It’s super cheap to set up with Clickbank too. There’s a one-time $50 setup charge, and then a $1.00 fee and 7.5% applied to every order processed. Order fees are split between you and the affiliate who referred the sale.
Best of all, Clickbank has thousands of affiliates in their network who are always looking for digital products to promote…Nothing but nothing sells like information on the ‘net, and Clickbank affiliates know that well!
Do You Sell Hard Goods or a Service?
Merchants who sell hard goods and services have many affiliate program management solution options… and I do mean many.
Do you want to have your program introduced to tens of thousands of affiliates… today? Then consider partnering with Commission Junction, the largest affiliate network.
Although CJ is a costly solution – it will cost thousands to gain access, and an annual maintenance fee of 250 (or more) dollars – having so many affiliates available to promote your product from the outset, may offset the initial and ongoing costs of having CJ administer your program.
Clickbank is another – much cheaper – option, and they now permit the sale of hard goods.If you like the idea of having thousands of affiliates on your ‘doorstep’ by joining an affiliate network, but think CJ’s prices are a too steep, you might want to consider:
Don’t forget you can go through a third party affiliate management program or even set up directly through your shopping cart. Make sure you check out ll your options before investing but definitely look into it.
Which is your way to deal with affiliate marketing?