A merchant affiliate program is an essential part of any ecommerce business whether it’s big or small. If you own a small e-commerce site, you can still effectively useit to get huge streams of traffic and sales. Discover how to harness the power of an affiliate program and howyou can grow your business by leaps and bounds. Well establishedretailers have used this method for years to build a successfulbusiness and brand. It’s now easier than ever for you to get in on the action.
A merchant affiliate program is not only one of the most useful marketing toolsin your arsenal, it is also one of the most affordable. Unliketraditional advertising where you are required to pay up front not knowing whether or not it will actually improve your business,affiliate programs will not cost you anythingunless you see results. It is literally like having anentire sales force doing all the hard work for you andyou reward them with a commission if they help you make a sale. The benefits of having an affiliate program softwareare enormous. Affiliates spread your links all over the web which help toincrease your traffic which leads to more sales. As a result ofall of the backlinks your affiliates are spreading throughout the web, yourweb site will improve its search engine ranking which will result in more organic traffic and even moresales.
You have to first make sure your e-commerce solution offers a built-in fully integrated affiliate program software. Onceyou set up the commission structure and everything else, you can start to find the right affiliates to help promoteyour site. How a merchant affiliate program works is aperson registers and gives you their information to join your program. Then they areable to publish your text links, image links and banner ads on their web sites, blogs and forums across the internet. The important thing for you to keep in mind is you need to select people you think will be able to help you the most, ideally someone who owns a site with relevant information or is in the same niche. It is alsoyour responsibility to remind your affiliates not tospam, because after all it’s your reputation that’son the line. The best way to get more targeted affiliates to want to help promote your site is to provide them with appropriate tools to make their life easier. Haveprofessionally written sales letters, text, image andbanner links available for them to simply copy and use wherever they want.Send them new alerts for seasonal or promotional discounts to remind them that they areyour affiliates, because a lot of people who join fail to do anything. What you have to do is stay on top of youraffiliates and be proactive in order to get them to do what they need to do efficiently.
There are several features to look for when choosing an ecommerce solution that has an affiliate program software. Here is a list of what theyshould be able to do:
Be fully automated
Track affiliate referrals and sales
Record and report payments
Have an easy signup process
Allow you to set up commission structure
Provide an admin area for your affiliates
Have recurring payouts
Provide auto generated affiliate links
Have mailing functions to contact affiliates
Have fraud protection
There is more to having a successful merchant affiliate program thanjust setting it up on your ecommerce website. You mustdo your part to promote the program in order to get the scalability you need to have a large team of affiliates hard at work for you. Makesure you submit details of your program to affiliatedirectories and networks. If you place it in the right category, you shouldbe able to attract targeted affiliates. Another good way to attract the type of affiliates you want is to actively search for them. Have a look around discussion forums, websites and blogs that have someconnection to your products and contact anyone who you think will be appropriate. Search for your direct competitors and find out the sites that link to them. Then contact thewebmasters and introduce your online store and affiliate program. Last but not least, do not overlook the importance of onpage SEO. Choose relevant keywords to describe your products and merchantaffiliate program and make sure to use it throughout your affiliate sign uppage. Good SEO will help you attract people specifically lookingto promote your type of products.
To be able to start an affiliate program you have to first select an e-commerce solution that has the ability to work with a large group of affiliates. Choosing the right solution to handle and manage every oneof your potential affiliates is critical. It must beeasily set up and work well by itself so that you are free to focus onthe other parts of the business.