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How to start an affiliate program for your business: If you are a business owner offering any kind of product – physical, digital or online service-based, you really should have an affiliate program. Hosting an affiliate program is an excellent way to scale your business.
You don’t have to be a big business to start a successful affiliate program. Rather, small businesses and individuals can (and should) have one, for the reasons I discuss below. Read on to discover how to start an affiliate program for your business within minutes.
We use affiliate links. Disclosure.
How To Start An Affiliate Program: What Is An Affiliate Program?
An affiliate program is a performance-based agreement where you have affiliates promoting your products and company.
Affiliates are bloggers, influencers, marketers and salespeople.
Affiliates create blog posts, videos, emails, social media promotions and other content in promotion of a company’s products and services.
They earn a commission when they make sales for your company.
For an in-depth guide all about affiliate marketing, read this.
First of all, a professional affiliate network is typically where you will host your affiliate program.
The network handles paying your affiliate team and gives you a variety of benefits.
Most noteworthy, one of the most well known and trusted affiliate networks is ShareASale.
Why Is Having An Affiliate Program Good For My Business?
Having an affiliate program for your business is one of the best ways to grow your company.
Starting an affiliate program allows you to gain more sales and reach all new audiences that you may not have otherwise.
There is no better way to grow your brand awareness than by having affiliates promoting you all over the internet.
When you have affiliates enrolled in your affiliate program, you literally have an army of sales people promoting your products at all times.
Above all, hosting an affiliate program is a low-cost and low-risk investment due to the fact that they are performance-based.
For the reason that you only pay your affiliates when they make a sale. You only pay when you get results.
Unlike traditional advertising where you have to pay out a large sum of money upfront and hope for a return on investment.
When you start an affiliate program for your business you only pay when you earn.
How to start an affiliate program is as easy as signing up with ShareaSale as a merchant.
How To Start An Affiliate Program: What Is Included As A ShareASale Merchant?
There are a number of reasons why it pays to become a ShareASale merchant and host your affiliate program there.
The main benefits being:
- CHECK PROCESSING & PAYING OF AFFILIATES
ShareASale will process and write your Affiliates’ checks free of charge each month.
- TAXES TAKEN CARE OF
ShareASale collects all tax forms from your affiliates.
- AFFILIATE APPROVAL
ShareASale pre-screens all of your Affiliates.
- AFFILIATE HELP DESK
Your Affiliates may contact our help desk at any time for the life of their membership, without any cost to you.
- MERCHANT SERVICES
ShareASale Client Services offers a variety of integrated services which can help you establish, build and grow your affiliate program.
- AD SERVING CHARGE
ShareASale serves all banners, buttons, and text links for you.
- DATAFEED UPLOAD
You may upload a datafeed of your products, to be used by your Affiliates, at no charge.
- MERCHANT API
Utilize the ShareASale API to retrieve reporting data on an automated basis, update creatives, void/edit transactions and more!
- REAL-TIME TRACKING
All tracking is real-time. You’ll know the moment a banner is clicked, a sale is made and a commission is generated.
Use tags to segment & group affiliates. Easily track the trends of specific affiliate groups, deliver targeted content & setup rule-based commissions.
- AFFORDABLE TRANSACTION FEES
ShareASale’s merchant transaction fees (20% of your affiliate’s commission) are significantly lower than other professional affiliate networks such as CJ and LinkShare.
- CHECK PROCESSING & PAYING OF AFFILIATES
Another Important Reason Why It’s Smart To Start An Affiliate Program On ShareASale…
ShareASale not only a merchant platform, but they are also a HUGE network for affiliates.
They have thousands of professional bloggers, influencers and marketers in their network.
Furthermore, these affiliates have been vetted and approved by ShareASale.
They are active affiliates, ready to participate and promote your business.
So, this makes the process of acquiring people to join your team easy-peasy. This is because you have access to all of these people in one place.
Likewise, you want your business to pop up in the ShareASale merchant marketplace when these affiliates are looking for new programs to join.
What Do I Need To Start An Affiliate Program?
Planning how to start an affiliate program: You should have a selection of creatives ready.
Creatives are images that are used as banners and promotional materials.
ShareASale recommends these as the best sizes for banners and banner ads.
Although not mentioned in the image above, it also important to include a Pinterest sized graphic 600×900 as well.
Pinterest is becoming one of the biggest resources for marketing and making sales.
Pinterest is a massive viral sharing network and search engine which your business needs to be visible on.
Therefore, you want to make sure that you provide Pinterest sized ads to your team.
You can create all of your creatives for free with Canva.
Furthermore, you will also need to provide text links, deep-linking and optional datafeeds to your affiliates.
Above all, ShareASale provides all the tech you need to create and offer these things to your team, at no extra charge.
How Much Does It Cost To Host Your Affiliate Program On ShareASale?
ShareASale has a simple up-front pricing structure with very reasonable transaction fees for their merchants.
There is a one-time Network Access Fee of $550 that occurs only after all the setup steps have been completed. And prior to activation on the network.
Also, a $100 deposit which is used to pay your Affiliates and ShareASale for sales and other qualified leads that you define.
There are two types of recurring fees you could incur with ShareASale – Transaction Fees and Monthly Minimum Fees.
A transaction fee only occurs if an Affiliate sale/lead is made.
These fees are based on the Merchant’s chosen payout rate.
Finally, a monthly minimum fee occurs if, in a given month, your account does not generate a minimum of $25 in fees to ShareASale.
How To Start An Affiliate Program For Your Business Today
Head on over to ShareASale and click the merchant signup button to start your affiliate program now.
Upon registration, you will have unlimited access to their portal of resources and training to help you succeed.
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