Once you have begun to develop your own products, it is time to launch your own affiliate program. If you want to make the maximum amount of money from your products, it is vital that you have an affiliate program. Affiliate programs allow you to leverage the scale of a large sales force without having to pay the fixed costs of an in-house sales team. Just think about it, leveraging a large commission-based sales force can help you reach a much larger portion of the market than you could on your own or with a small in-house sales team.
The point of having an affiliate program is that it will be an incentive for other marketers to help you make money at the same time they are making money by becoming your sales force. You will be able to use your time to develop new products, create JV partnerships and take care of other aspects of your business.
There are several different ways to set up your affiliate program. You will need to use the method that is best for where you are in the world and what kind of product you are marketing.
The Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up an Affiliate Program
But the problem with PayPal is that you can’t use it if you live in certain countries. So, for those countries, you will need another solution. In that case, if you are selling a physical product, you can use Commission Junction.
Commission Junction is one of the largest and most respected affiliate managers in the world. To sign up, go to www.cj.com. You will have to follow their rules, which can sometimes be complex, but after you join, you will have access to a very large database of affiliates who are anxious and able to promote your products.
If your product is a piece of software or an e-book, a great place to sell it is ClickBank. This marketplace sells more digital products and e-books than any other site. It is very easy to run your affiliate program through ClickBank because they manage almost everything for you.
They take care of all your billing, deal with customer refunds and will field some customer service questions. They will even send payment to your affiliates. For these services, ClickBank takes fees that can be substantial. So if, for example, you are paying your affiliates 50% commission, you will take home a lot less than the other 50% because of their fees.
ClickBank also has an upfront charge of $49. This charge is for approval of your product before it can be sold on the marketplace. But don’t be discouraged by these fees because any marketplace will have fees.
There are alternatives to ClickBank such as PayDotCom. This marketplace is very similar to ClickBank, but there are differences. For example, if you are selling a single product through them, you don’t have to pay an upfront fee.
Another nice feature is that the money you earn will go directly to your PayPal account. Of course, if you don’t have a PayPal account, you won’t be able to use PayDotCom. That’s because this is the only method of payment that they use for both you and your affiliates.
E-Junkie is another great solution if you are selling digital products. This marketplace has an affiliate program already built in and they can host your downloads right on their site. They charge a monthly fee instead of a percentage and can be very economical to use.
It is possible to use a script with your own hosting, but it is so much easier and more efficient to let the pros take care of it.
Once you have chosen your marketplace, it is time to create your affiliate toolbox. To make sales, your affiliates will need marketing materials that are ready for them to use. Most of them will not be willing create their own so you have to do it for them. You will need to create articles, emails, e-covers, buttons and banners. The more helpful materials you create, the more likely it is that your affiliates will make sales. It will also mean that they will want to work with you in the future and good affiliates are like gold for your business.
Having an affiliate sales force will multiply your efforts many times over and, in the end, the money you pay them will be worth it because they can expand your market exponentially.