Before launching an affiliate program, merchants should establish their default commission structures. This is the base commission rate that will apply to all of your standard affiliates. You will still be able to customize terms for individual affiliates, but your base commission rate dictates how affiliates that do not have negotiated terms are paid.
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?
The best analysts and affiliate managers will be able to interpret this data and use it to their advantage. For instance, lower-value partners –those who are commonly credited for driving actions when high buyer intent already exists (e.g. at the point of check-out) or who poach traffic from other channels—can expect to see their payouts adjusted accordingly.
3. Paying for leads. Some merchants benefit by paying affiliates on a lead basis. For example, an insurance company might pay affiliates a fixed bounty for each potential customer who signs up for an estimate. Alternately, a car dealership might pay affiliates for each customer that requests information on a specific car, and perhaps an additional bonus if the customer schedules a test drive.
With email marketing automation, you can write and design your emails, and schedule them to send at any time you want. In addition to scheduling emails, many email service providers give you the option to set up triggers that start campaigns based on leads’ and customers’ actions or inaction. For example, if a lead opts in for a free piece of content on your site, you can set an email to automatically deliver that content to their inbox. Conversely, if a lead doesn’t take any actions with your business for an extended amount of time, you can set their inaction to trigger a cold lead re-engagement campaign.

You might think that super affiliates would not want to help each other, but this is not the case. In fact, super affiliates become super affiliates because they help each other. Jim and Sue will sell Bob’s e-book. Next month Bob and Jim will promote Sue’s software tool. The month after that Bob and Sue will peddle memberships in Jim’s online community. Go through the archives of different super affiliates’ blogs and sign-up for their email newsletters. Watch for who they sell for. Then, follow those people. Soon you will uncover the pattern of cooperation for yourself. Notice too that super affiliate clans tend to share an industry or niche. This ensures that no matter whose product or service they are selling, they will always be selling something that can interest their audience.
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