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6 Tips for Magento Store-Owners to Run Affiliate Programs

When asked about the secret of their success, many Magento store owners said that affiliate marketing is a crucial activity that contributes a great deal to their revenue. A UK Company which provides websites and web services revealed that “Though being a small business, we have enjoyed the successful Affiliate program with over 90% of revenue from this channel every month.”

However, not every store succeeds with affiliate marketing and failed to see changes in their traffic and sales. Either you are just starting out in this field, or already running affiliate programs, read these below six must-know tips to avoid potential pitfalls and make improvements to your affiliate programs.

1# Know who your targeted affiliates

Some sites just opt for a tool to run affiliate programs and select methods without identifying who their targeted affiliates are. Remember you’re “selling” your program to affiliates, so it’s essential to know who your targeted “customers” are, otherwise you will use a bunch of methods that are totally in vain.

There are two types of groups to target: Individuals (your own consumers) and Businesses (Blog/Website of your field). A store may want to have both their customers and other businesses to be their affiliates, but it does not mean you can skip this step. Decide which one is your target, thus invest more money and effort to attract the group! Sometimes identifying your target affiliates is just common sense. For instance, if you are selling clothes then you would most likely be targeting your own customers and bloggers of fashion.  Researching carefully what your competitors as well as other businesses in the same industry will provide a more in depth understanding of your targeted affiliates.

2# Select appropriate affiliate methods

It’s not a hard task to choose appropriate affiliate methods when you have clearly defined the type of affiliates you aim at. If you wish to draw both individuals and businesses to your affiliate program, you may use all available methods. Nevertheless, focus on the methods that are designed for your targeted affiliate group since it will bring the most effectiveness.

If your affiliates are individuals, exploit their network! Everyone has friends, and actually nowadays people keep in touch with their friends via internet more than meet in person or phone calls. And what is even great about referring online is that it can be done in mass scale. A customer can suggest link of your product to hundreds of their friends just by some clicks. They may send to their email address books, or share on social network (Facebook, Twitter, Google plus…).

refer friends

Refer friend function of Affiliate plus module

There’s a new method which allow affiliates to refer using coupon code. Each affiliate is issued a coupon code to share with their friends and who purchase using this code will receive discount. Conversion rate of this method is higher than others since customers have more encouragement to make purchase.

coupon code

Coupon code function of Affiliate plus module

If you want Bloggers or other Website owners to refer your products, provide them banners, banners and banners. They can take advantage of frequent visitors and earn commission without putting a lot of effort. For store-owners, you don’t have to pay to have your banners displayed but just for tangible transactions that are generated.

In addition, widget box is also a useful way. Widget can display a list of your products, so it gives the readers more information than other methods. Best seller products are recommended to put in widget since there’s only a limited space on website for placing widget.

 banners

Widget function of Affiliate plus module

3# Choose an appropriate tool to start affiliate program

Affiliate marketing revolves around long term, thus consider carefully before choosing a tool to run it. You may run your affiliate program via a 3rd party affiliate network, however, most of these networks will require you to pay monthly fee and you can’t fully control your affiliate programs but must depend on their system. You can have proprietary software written and hosted on your own server. However, unless your company has very specific needs not served by other solutions, this can be a very costly endeavor. It’s highly recommended that you look at a number of third party solutions before resorting to this option. Go to Magento Connect- the market of Magento extensions and search the most appropriate module of Affiliate. Currently, the most popular affiliate extension for Magento is Affiliate Plus from Magestore, learn more here: http://www.magestore.com/affiliateplus/features.html/

4# Build truthful, attractive, and informative program

Successful affiliate program must meet those criteria: truthful, attractive and informative.

If referrals can’t be assured of receiving money for their effort, they won’t join your program though are offered high commission. Provide them the option to view directly clicks, traffic, and transactions that they make. You can also post images or interviews with the most active affiliates of your store to gain credit.

Commission, of course is the decisive factor, but don’t underestimate the payout level. Affiliates will choose to cooperate with the site that offers high commission and low payout requirement. The duration of cookies also decides your program attractive or not to affiliates. Too short storage cookies will make affiliates disappointed and opt out your program soon.

Affiliates are marketers and they need tools, not just “carrots”. Provide them full information of our store that they can use readily. If you provide banners, remember to well design them and provide multiple sizes for affiliates to easily choose. Plus, allowing affiliates to import all their contacts from different mail boxes would

5# Keep the relationship with affiliates

Affiliates are not your employees, not your sales. Respect them or they will move to other company, other projects… One of the biggest barriers affiliates meet is the inability to reach an affiliate manager to get their questions asked and find the support they need to properly promote a given product.

Leverage this relationship by providing support and training program, a place where they could go to find answers, recommendations and mentoring from beginning to full. Moreover, you have to initiatively contact your affiliates to ask if they need assistance or more information. Not every affiliate is active, many just sign up your program and leave it. When you contact them with the new updates, they will be reminded of your store and start their first activity.

6# Review the result of affiliate program regularly

Do not “set it and forget it”. Affiliate program is a marketing activity of your store, and like others, it needs to be reviewed frequently to measure the effectiveness. You should check it weekly, or monthly. How many transactions are generated? How many new affiliates sign up your program? Who are the most active affiliates?  If you have many referring methods, check to see which methods is used the most, and which is the most effective. Find the reason for the status of your program and bring out solutions.

More info about product:

Affiliate Plus extension by Magestore

affiliate plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.magestore.com/affiliateplus/

One-time purchase, Life-time support

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Mai Phan

    July 24, 2012, 6:57 am

    Great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  • Abidal

    July 24, 2012, 7:44 am

    Great tips, especially for newbie like me. I’m also running a magento store and looking to build an affiliate program for it.

    Reply
  • The eWAY Team

    July 24, 2012, 8:45 am

    Thanks for posting this! Affiliate marketing is an important tool for increasing revenue, but it’s worth remembering that neither the merchant nor the affiliates can reach their financial goals if the customers don’t follow through and complete their purchases.

    For this reason, it’s crucial to use a trusted online payment gateway with strong reporting tools and free 24/7 phone support.

    Kind regards,
    The eWAY Team

    Reply

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