This is the 3rd in a 3-part series on Affiliate Programs. Click here to read the first post discussing the benefits of Affiliate Programs. Click here to read the second post to get an in-depth look at Affiliate Programs from the perspective of your being someone else’s Affiliate. In the issue you’ll learn about how to run your own Affiliate Program.
PRACTICAL ADVICE is a regularly appearing column in the RPA Journal. Elizabeth Tobin, JD; Certified Resonance Repatterning® Practitioner answers your questions about creating a thriving Resonance Repatterning practice. If you have a question that you would like answered or if you would like to share your views about any of the topics discussed here, we welcome your comments.
Q: I just recently heard about Affiliate programs. Can you explain what they are and how they work? And why would I want to join someone else’s program or even start my own?
A: An affiliate program is a great way to earn extra money. It’s a way to increase your market reach by collaborating with other people who have products and services that are of interest to your target market. When you become an Affiliate you tell your contacts about someone else’s products and services and you receive a commission. You can also set up your own Affiliate program where you pay out a commission to people who send you referrals.
In order to have a successful Affiliate Program you’ll need to keep track of your affiliates’ sales and commissions. I recommend investing in an affiliate tracking software to ensure that your affiliates get credit for the sales that they bring to you. The more you can automate your system, the easier it will be for you. In addition, an automated tracking system will make your affiliate program more attractive to prospective affiliates, especially if they are seasoned professionals.
There are many kinds of Affiliate Tracking Software. I use 1ShoppingCart.com because it includes a bulk mailing system, a shopping cart and an affiliate program all in one. This system does it all and it’s the backbone of my thriving practice. Being able to automate certain details of your practice is the key to expansion and growth. It frees you to concentrate on your business instead of having to attend to repetitive administrative tasks. I’ve tried other systems and I’ve found 1shoppingcart is the most versatile, efficient and affordable. Click on my affiliate link to see how 1shoppingcart can support your practice.
Make Your Affiliate Program Attractive
The way you structure your affiliate program can make all the difference for its success. After you’ve decided on your affiliate tracking software, the next thing to consider is your commission rate. Most affiliate programs offer between 25% and 50% commission, depending on the price of the products and services being sold. I’ve found that it pays to give a generous commission to make it worth your affiliates’ time and effort.
Next you’ll need to decide how often to pay out the commissions. You want to make it so your affiliates receive their money fairly quickly, but balance that with what is convenient for you, so you don’t overload yourself with work. I pay my affiliates 35% commission on my proxy groups with payments made monthly. If you offer refunds on your product or services you may want to hold back paying commissions until the close of your refund period. (Ask me how I know.)
You’ll need to decide how long you will keep the referral window open. This is important because most people don’t buy on their first visit to a website. Prospective affiliates may want to know if their referrals purchase from you at a later time whether they will still get credit for that sale. Depending on your software, you can decide whether to set this for a number of months or even years. Obviously, the longer the term the more attractive your program will be to prospective affiliates.
Support Your Affiliates
The more support you can give your affiliates the more success you will realize. Keep in mind that most people are not professional Internet marketers so it may be up to you to teach your affiliates marketing basics including how to access and use their unique affiliate links.
Don’t assume that just because someone signed up to be your affiliate that they will be pro-active in promoting for you. You may have to guide them each step of the way and do things to make it easier for them.
Be prepared to put in the extra effort and give your affiliates all of the promotional materials they will need. By providing well-written emails that they can copy, paste and send, sample Facebook posts and Tweets, you’ll make it more convenient for them to spread the word about you and your work. Other materials could include banner ads for their website, articles, free reports and even doing a free teleconference for their audience.
Once you have your affiliate program set up then you can start inviting people to participate. The best affiliates will most likely be people who know you and trust your work so why not invite people from your own contact list? You can also reach out to colleagues and other professionals whose work has synergy with yours. Networking on the web and in person are great ways to establish collaborative relationships. Become an affiliate for someone else and then invite them into your program.
Affiliate programs are the embodiment of the new energy of unlimited abundance. Having an affiliate program can challenge you to move beyond the limitations of competition into a more expansive energy of generosity and collaboration. It’s well worth the extra effort. I love paying my affiliates each and every month and I’m grateful to have their support!
You’ve gotten a lot of valuable information over the past few posts. Wouldn’t you like to see for yourself how an affiliate program can help grow your business? To see an affiliate program in action please take a look at mine at LizTobin.com
Elizabeth Tobin, JD is a Certified Resonance Repatterning® Practitioner has been earning her livelihood through her full-time Resonance Repatterning practice since 2001. Geographically based in Massachusetts, Elizabeth serves an international clientele with individual telephone and Skype Audio sessions, global distance healing proxy groups and live workshops. Visit her website at http://LizTobin.com