If your business has a suitable product or service, starting an affiliate program can help you develop a whole new income stream. Affiliate programs for digital products especially provide business owners with an additional stream of income for selling the exact same product the business sells directly. The return on investment (ROI) might be lower for each product now that you have to split the profits with a sales person (affiliate), but the rewards can be enormous too.
If you realize that when a product is digital, your cost per item goes down each time you sell a new one. Therefore you can afford to contract with affiliate marketers to promote your products. It might be a little harder to stomach if you are selling services, but if you sell for a high enough price, and are able to outsource the work, it can work.
It’s common to make mistakes when you start an affiliate program, heck we all make mistakes daily. When you know some of the mistakes that others have made, you can learn from them and avoid those mistakes yourself. Here are a few you’ll definitely want to try and avoid:
Not Getting the Right Software
Don’t be cheap here, but similarly don’t think you have to get a software product that has all the bells and whistles either, especially if you’re not going to use them. Test out different software to see what works for your program with the features you want it to you have.
Not Creating Marketing Graphics
Affiliates don’t want to have to create their own graphics to market and sell your products, so you should create them for them. Plus, it also helps you to maintain some control over your brand by creating your own marketing graphics.
Not Creating Marketing Content
The other thing that is important for a good affiliate program is to offer your affiliates plenty of marketing content that they can repurpose on their blogs, email newsletters, social media and more.
Not Developing Excellent Sales Pages
Nothing can be more maddening than trying to promote a product even a fantastic product with a horrible sales page, or worse, no sales page at all. If you don’t create specialist sales pages for your product, no one else is going to do it for you. You’re going to lose out on a lot of sales and affiliates as a result.
Not Recruiting Superstar Affiliates
Almost always those super affiliates don’t just land on your doorstep. You need to do something to recruit and attract them to you. Get some sales behind you, and then send a couple of super affiliates a sample of your product if it fits in with their niche, offer them a special commission rate for promoting your products.
Not Paying High Enough Commissions
Most people aren’t going to sell something for a 10 percent commission, or just a dollar or so. Most people are hoping to get 20 dollars at least if not more per sale. While some products are really great at lower prices with a 50 percent commission, the higher priced and higher commissioned products will naturally attract better affiliates.
Not Treating Your Affiliates like Business Partners
A huge mistake that some business owners make is treating affiliates as if they’re employees instead of the business partners they actually are. They are sole proprietors just like you are, and they love working how they want when they want. Avoid making too many rules or requiring too many hoops for them to jump through, or you’ll lose lots of good affiliates.
Not Asking for Input from Your Affiliates
When you have attracted some great affiliates who earn full-time livings being affiliates, it will work well for you to ask them for help in improving your affiliate program. They will also give you input on products that they think the audience wants and needs. Just ask them.
Fixing these problems with your affiliate program will improve your income almost immediately. Plus, it will help you develop a long-term affiliate program that gets results, now and into the future, no matter how many products you create.