If you have created a product, and want to sell a lot of it, but don’t have a lot of money to invest in marketing, you may want to consider starting an affiliate program. Offering an affiliate program will allow you to develop a sales force throughout the world. And the best part is, you will only have to pay them after they make a sale.
There are several options for managing your affiliate program. You can choose to have a third party affiliate network handle the tracking for you. However, some of the companies charge a sizeable fee.
If you are technically inclined, you can install scripts onto your server. You can also hire someone to do this. Be advised that if something goes wrong, you will need to hire someone to fix the problem.
You can also choose to subscribe to a shopping cart system that includes an affiliate management system, such as 1shoppingcart.com. These programs are great because they not only include the shopping cart and affiliate manager, they also include an autoresponder.
To help your affiliates sell more of your product, you will want to create some tools for them to use. You can have images and graphics of your product as well as text links. You may also want to create some sales letters, articles, and special reports that they can use on their website to gain publicity for your products.
Stay in contact with your affiliates by sending them motivating emails; create excitement and urgency with your affiliates by offering incentives. For instance, you can have a contest where the affiliate that sells the most during a certain time period wins a prize. You can also offer coaching to help them determine ways to increase their sales.
You don’t have to wait for people to join your affiliate program. You can recruit affiliates. Visit sites that are complimentary to yours and ask the website owner if they would like to partner with you. You can send them a sample product, and offer them a special commission. For instance, if you normally offer 40% commission, offer these special partners 50%.
Another option is to outsource this work to an affiliate manager, also known as an AM. They can handle the day to day tasks of your affiliate program as well as recruiting new affiliates and answering current affiliate’s questions.
Paying a monthly fee for your affiliate managing program, and possibly the salary of an affiliate manager will take a way from your profits, but the fact is that you will be able to sell so much more product with an affiliate team than you could by yourself that these costs more than pay for themselves.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.