How do I do affiliate marketing? Here’s how!

Let’s chat about how to set yourself up for success and have a profitable affiliate marketing experience.

What are you hoping to achieve with your affiliate marketing experience?

Before you jump into a program, you have to identify what it is you’re hoping to achieve from affiliate marketing. That’s the first and foremost element that you have to figure out. From there you have to select your affiliate network. This is much more than just selecting an affiliate website to sign up on and then letting it run affiliate marketing. While it’s often pitched as a “Set it and Forget it”, if you do that, you’ll have a crappy affiliate marketing experience.


Protect your brand

Where I see a lot of small businesses go wrong is they sign up, but then they don’t do the extra work, (that in my opinion), is required to protect their branding. What does this look like?

First, you want to have clear brand standards. Then, you want to make sure you communicate those.  It’s key that you communicate your brand standards to your affiliates. Most of the affiliate websites will let you publish those before people even sign up. So they get a chance to see them before they even put in an application to be an affiliate of yours. On the backend of that, do not hesitate to remove or block an affiliate if they violate those brand standards. Do not hesitate because you have to maintain control over your brand.

That is crucial to the success of this program and the success of your brand going into the future.

how do I do affiliate marketing man on laptop

Make it Enticing

The second important step to having an awesome affiliate program experience is you have to make it worth it for the affiliate and for you. Most programs we see pay between 5 and 15% commission. On your side of things, you want to make sure you’re only paying on the sales, don’t pay for clicks or impressions.

I advise you to make sure you’re only paying the affiliates based on closed sales.  Set it up to where if a refund or return is processed on that sale, that the affiliate does not get paid for the top line. Returns should be calculated into their bottom line commission.

A successful affiliate marketing experience also needs a Communications Plan

This is the part that I think is missed most frequently. You have to have a plan to continually communicate with your affiliates. We usually recommend setting up some type of email marketing program just for your affiliates. Use it to communicate things like ideas, new products, and special offers. We even suggest going as far as creating content for your affiliates to share. What we see so frequently is that an affiliate will sign up, but then if you don’t continually communicate with them, they will forget your brand. They will not put your brand on top priority.

You can also use social media. Engage with affiliates on social, and if they share information about your product, (if it makes sense) share that back to your own social accounts.

Finally, you want to make sure you thank your affiliates. I’ve even seen some companies create, for example, a Facebook group to kind of keep their affiliates all in one place. That really depends on what you’re doing. That’s not something we recommend for everybody, but it is one way you can communicate with them if you don’t want to go the email marketing route.

how do I do affiliate marketing women collaborating laptop

Those are some basic guidelines and rules around building a successful affiliate marketing experience. If you have any questions or any concerns, reach out to me, I’d be happy to discuss this with you and discuss what we’ve seen work and not work with some of our clients so that you can make better decisions and determining if an affiliate program is right for your company. Thanks.

Stay in touch! Get ecommerce tips, tools, and access to survey results.


* indicates required