Affiliate Program - As It Should Be
Every off- or online business has a target of growing its market share. Under all other equal conditions the percent of the market, occupied by a company, means certain level of recognition, brand, exposure and, therefore, sales and income.
For small business owner a shift from 0.01% internet market share to 0.04% may result in tremendous four times income growth, the problem is in the limits of resources this particular owner has access to. Usually they are weak enough to allow such expansion at their own cost.
Help may come from two massive marketing instruments:
- viral marketing;
- business partnership based on outsourcing necessary resources.
Today we are going to speak about latter instrument of gaining exposure you deserve.
Business partnership is an agreement between two or more legal entities to cooperate together in order to reach mutually beneficial results. By extrapolating such statement into a framework of gaining market exposure, we can narrow this meaning down by focusing on uniting promotional efforts for reaching mutually beneficial results.
In practice the owner of affiliate program with the aim of gaining extensive market exposure attracts fellow marketers to promote the owner's(s') product(s) for a reward usually in the form of commission from retail price per sale. A commission for popular info products may vary from 5% to 70%.
Promotional materials (like, endorsement letters, reviews and articles) can greatly assist your partners in promoting your product as highly effective pre-selling tools.
The dilemma of joining affiliate programs
The most common mistake beginners do is registering with all possible and impossible affiliate programs they see in hope to promote them all and collect all the money they were promised to get on the page of respective affiliate program owners.
In dominating majority of cases they end up with wasted time and money. The reason is simple, they don't have necessary resource - a database of consumers, subscribers, business partners - people who may be interested in such type of offers. Instead, those newcomers decide to start their online businesses by promoting other people's products, what is extremely hard, because you will build client database and credibility for the company products of which you promote, not for yourself. The only thing you can do is to grow the subscription database, unfortunately, the most valuable asset - loyal clients - won't be accessible in any case.
Some well-known internet millionaires, making fortunes cross-promoting 3rd party products may truly support the idea of "easy income with affiliate programs", but they tend to forget that all their profits were possible due to huge subscriber databases, thousand of affiliates and customers a newcomer does not have!
That is why start wise by creating your own product, grow your credibility, circle of loyal customers and then join and promote as much 3rd party products as you consider necessary.
Setting up partner program
Every partner program you will create or setup should have, at least, basic must-have features:
- Database driven registration of affiliates.
- Tracking affiliate sales in order to count commission.
- Admin control panel to support affiliates and track their sales.
There are 3 basic methods of having fully functional partner programs application, not going far into science, they are "do it yourself", "setup 3rd party application", "use 3rd party service".
The first method is for those, who are knowledgeable programmers and fortunate enough to invest a lot of time in creating such a solution for personal needs or those, who are lucky to have a lot of money and hire those knowledgeable programmers. Responsibility for taking under control all support and function-related issues would lie on your shoulders.
Setting up 3rd party affiliate program solution requires much less time or money, if any. The result will be the same as above - fully functional partner program and inevitable support problems. The only difference is that you won't be able to develop that partner application the way you need and like.
The main advantage of 3rd party service is the ability to stay unaware of how your partners sign up, track sales, receive checks and so forth, because in this case servicing your partners or affiliates will be the headache of independent company, not yours. For such "reluctance" 3rd party affiliate program provider would charge you on monthly or per sale basis, slightly decreasing your net profit at each sale.
Having your own affiliate program in place enables you to expand your market boundaries exponentially.
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