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In 2004, Murphy launched an affiliate marketing program on the ShareASale platform with the goal of developing a diversified revenue stream for her business. At the time, the majority of her web traffic was coming in through search engines. As of 2012, the company still relies on search engines, but they have developed additional (healthy) revenue streams.
An important step is to get out and talk to prospective publishers and business partners. Do they participate in affiliate programs already? What has the yield been in terms of performance? What are the typical revshares that ad networks are taking? What are typical conversion rates? What would be the incentive for publishers and business partners to promote your products and services?
Arlen: Well, it's definitely had a tremendous impact 'cause we definitely eat our own dog food, we use the software, and we've been using it internally for quite a long time. One of the things that it's helped us do is isolate and form a longer-term relationships with companies such as web developers and other agencies that actually have a pool of customers.
New traffic to your site and company is a huge benefit. The affiliate lead will bridge trust between you and the customer which is vital for a consumer to take the next step and buy the product. The customer will more than likely return to the site and spread the information to others about your product.This is a win because the potential customer might not have otherwise had access to the product if had not been advertised and marketed through the affiliate’s website. In addition, with the ever growing and changing market of the internet the company may need to be looking for new affiliates to work with to match their target demographic. So, the method of marketing is constantly growing and adapting to match the current customer.
Bonuses: Some merchants will offer bonuses for reaching certain sales thresholds, creating another opportunity to generate revenue for major affiliates. For example, a company may offer a $500 bonus to affiliates that generate $25,000 in sales in any given month. While only a very small percentage of affiliates will ever hit this target, it can translate to a higher effective commission rate (the extra $500 on $25,000 in sales is effectively an additional 2% commission). Here’s an example of a bonus commission offer (in this case, $625 for hitting the $25,000 mark and $1,250 for generating $50,000 in monthly sales):
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
So you are ready to take the affiliate world by storm. The first big hurdle is to decide what you are going to pay your affiliates. Affiliates who refer sales to you get a commission once a sale (or a different conversion action) is completed. Payments can be either (a) a flat amount (in whatever currency you operate) or (b) a percentage of the total sale (exclusive of taxes and shipping). So, how do you determine what your affiliate program commission rate should be?
Consumers are your customers. They are the ones who see the affiliate link/form and then complete the action (click, submit, etc.). It is important to really understand the mindset of these people. For Affiliate Marketing, this is especially important, as how you portray these users will dictate much of your decision making around design of your affiliate system. If you glaze over this step, your program (and marketing as a whole) will likely be ineffective!
But before I get into that, we started off almost 20 years ago now, actually, as a full service web development firm, providing custom web based applications, custom web sites for a variety of different firms and different industries, different niches. That time, early 2000 and right at 2000, was really the boom where there was so many internet start ups left and right looking to get a website out, looking to get a web application out, so we really took advantage of that for several years developing a number of niche websites and custom web based applications.
Overpriced. The Basic Membership is not expensive, but if you want to earn big commissions you will have to spend thousands of dollars buying the rest of their products or at least the Pro Membership. Although the training is good, it only focuses on a couple of marketing strategies. SAN is not a cheap program and no one can guarantee your success.