3 Benchmarks of a Healthy Affiliate Program

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Launching your affiliate marketing program is only half the battle. You’ll need to stay on top of its performance and watch out for specific metrics that indicate that the effort you’ve invested is bringing adequate returns. To put it another way, measuring success using relevant affiliate program benchmarks is crucial.

However, awareness of the key indicators you should be on the lookout for can come in handy. To illustrate, say you have tons of signups for your program. Yet, it’s possible that the quality and niche relevance of a high percentage of your affiliates are simply not a good fit for your brand.

In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to regularly assess the health of your affiliate marketing program. Then, we’ll look at three benchmarks you can use as points of reference. Let’s get to it!

Why It’s Vital to Assess the Health of Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Continually assessing the progress and performance of your affiliate program is crucial to ensuring its long-term success. As we mentioned earlier, although it may seem that all is well when you’re consistently receiving signups, the quality of some partners may not be up to par. For instance, they might not be well-established within your niche, in which case they may be unable to generate targeted traffic.

Tracking and assessing the performance of your program can also mean examining it from the perspective of your marketing partners. This can help to inform you about their overall experience. For example, it may lead you to eliminate obstacles that may cause loss of motivation, such as an overly-involved signup process.

Overall, tracking the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing program will help you see what is going well and what can be improved. This can potentially lead to increased revenue and long-term sustainability.

3 Benchmarks of a Healthy Affiliate Program

Although there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) you can track over the lifetime of your affiliate marketing program, some are more relevant than others. Let’s take a look at three of these.

1. You Have at Least an Average Conversion Rate

First on our list is your average conversion rate. This metric measures the effectiveness of each affiliate, and is defined as the percentage of visitors from advertising partners’ traffic that converts. This can be signing up for emails, filling out opt-in forms, or purchasing a product.

For example, if your total number of visitors equals 1,000, and 50 purchase products, then your conversion rate would be (50 / 1000) * 100, or five percent.

You can easily find and analyze this metric in Google Analytics by navigating to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium. Here, if you’ve previously set some goals, you can view the conversion rate for each of them:

Viewing conversions in Google Analytics.

You may also want to track your affiliate conversion rate specifically using Pretty Links and Affiliate Royale:

Viewing affiliate statistics via the Affiliate Royale plugin.

Keeping your rates healthy is fundamental to the success of your affiliate program, as more conversions may mean more revenue. However, it’s also important to keep your expectations reasonable since average conversion rates tend to vary by industry.

Additionally, you’ll want to be on the lookout for overly high conversion rates (higher than ten percent), as they might be an indication that your affiliates are engaging in less than stellar promotion practices that can damage your brand’s reputation and hurt your business.

Overall, maintaining a healthy conversion rate can be challenging. However, you can improve it by providing swipe copy to your affiliates to make it easier for them to create effective and targeted campaigns.

2. Your Active Affiliate Rate Is Ten Percent or Higher

The next benchmark you want to consider keeping track of is your active affiliate rate. The basis for defining what “active” means varies between businesses. For example, some companies may consider a marketing partner active if they generate sales, whereas others may focus on just traffic.

Regardless of what “active” means for your business, what’s important is that your affiliates are helping you meet some type of goal through ongoing efforts. If you have 4,000 affiliates and a mere 20 generate traffic or sales, it should be cause for concern.

In short, your active affiliate rate will significantly impact your bottom-line, and you'd be better off with a trim, but effective list of marketing partners.

To calculate your active affiliate rate, you’ll need to divide the number of active marketing partners by the total number enrolled in your program. You can navigate to Affiliate Royale > Affiliates for an overview of your affiliates and their performance:

Viewing your list of affiliates and their performance via the Affiliate Royale plugin.

Keep in mind that the 80/20 principle often applies here. This guideline states that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of the effort. In other words, your best performers may form only a very small portion of your total affiliate roster.

Overall, you want to aim to have at least a ten percent active affiliate rate. If yours is low, then you’ll want to take some concrete steps to improve it.

You can do this by making better promotional materials available and providing more enticing incentives. You may also consider converting existing customers into affiliates. Loyal users can be some of your best marketers if you aim to keep them engaged and satisfied.

3. Your Reversal Rates Are Suitably Low

Imagine this scenario – a customer makes a purchase on your website. However, they cancel almost as soon as they’ve placed the order. If this happened 40 percent of the time or more frequently, it would be cause for concern, and you would be smart to quickly find out the cause.

The above scenario is an illustration of reversal rates. This metric measures the percentage of reversed commissions or canceled orders that follow affiliate-credited transactions. Note that although low reversal rates are normal, if it’s too high as in the example above, it can deter potential affiliates from joining your program.

Some reasons for high reversal rates could be overselling potential buyers on bogus benefits. The quality of your products may also be lacking. Therefore, you’ll want to keep an eye on the merchandise, as well as the affiliates, with the highest reversal rates. This ensures that you can tackle any issues promptly.

Also, reversals can sometimes be caused by technical issues on your checkout page that prevent orders from going through completely. If this is the source of the problem, you’ll want to fix it immediately. This is where it can help to test out the entire buying process regularly to pick up on any errors.

Conclusion

Although you may have a huge line-up of marketing partners working for you, it may be possible that you have a quality problem or a high percentage of inactive affiliates. These are two among several scenarios that make it crucial to track the performance of your program over time.

You can potentially boost the success of your program by making sure that:

  1. You have at least an average conversion rate for your industry.
  2. Your active affiliate rate is ten percent or higher.
  3. Your reversal rates are suitably low.

Do you have any questions about the three benchmarks we’ve listed for measuring the health of your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing Payment Models: A Beginner’s Guide

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Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool for bringing in new business. We're talking about an industry worth $12 billion, so we know that affiliate marketing works. However, for your program to be successful, you'll need to choose the right payment model.

There are several payment systems you can use for your program, including offering commissions for leads or for successful sales. Which option you choose will depend on what your ultimate goals are.

In this article, we'll introduce you to the four most common affiliate marketing payment models, and talk about when it makes sense to use each of them. Let's get to it!

1. Cost Per Click (CPC) Payments

Cost Per Click (CPC) is one of the main metrics that you'll encounter when you engage in online marketing. If you publish on an ad network, for example, you usually pay for each click on one of your campaigns.

If you run an affiliate program, you can also use CPC as your primary payment model. Under this setup, you'd pay affiliates for every click they generate that leads users to your website, landing page, or product.

Affiliate programs that use a CPC model can be very attractive, because getting clicks is much easier than closing a sale. However, this also means that you might end up paying more for fewer qualified leads.

If you're looking to get your website or offer as much traffic as possible, then CPC payments can encourage affiliates to drive that traffic to you. Once users are on your site, it's up to you to get the conversions you want.

2. Cost Per Lead (CPL) Payments

Paying for leads instead of clicks enables you to cast a more precise net, and get more out of your affiliates' work. Leads can come in many shapes, depending on what kind of product or service you're selling.

Three of the most common types of leads include:

  1. Email sign-ups. With this approach, you pay affiliates for every new email subscriber they refer to you.
  2. Free trial sign-ups. Convincing users they need your services becomes much easier once they have first-hand experience. That's why many companies pay for free trial sign-ups.
  3. Consultation calls. This approach involves paying affiliates for customers who reach out to you for a consultation call.

In any of these scenarios, affiliates usually have to do a lot more work to get leads than to simply encourage clicks. Once users sign up to your email list, for example, they become part of your sales funnel, and you can begin to nurture them:

An email signup form.

This affiliate marketing payment model is remarkably similar to the ‘Cost Per Action (CPA)' approach. With the CPA model, you pay for very specific actions, such as app downloads or free trial sign-ups. In most cases, the CPA model is all about collecting leads, which is why it falls into the same category as Cost Per Lead (CPL).

Since collecting leads takes so much effort, you'll need to offer higher payments than with the CPC model. At least, that's the case if you want to attract the best affiliates possible.

If you're interested in getting very specific types of conversions for your website, this is a fantastic affiliate marketing payment option. However, it also requires a sizable budget, as not every lead will translate to a sale.

3. Cost Per Sale (CPS) Payments

The Cost Per Sale (CPS) (or Pay Per Sale [PPS]) model is the bread and butter of the affiliate marketing world. With this system, you only pay when the affiliate's efforts result in a sale. This means that if you run the numbers properly, your affiliate program should never be in the red.

Let's say, for example, that you run an affiliate program to drive sales for your software:

Affiliate Royale's prices

If you sell your product for a one-time payment, your CPS costs should be lower than that price so that you can still make a product. When offering items or services worth hundreds of dollars, it's not hard to find a commission rate that attracts the best affiliates while also growing your business.

For subscription-based products, it's not uncommon to offer CPS payments that are higher than what you get upfront from customers. Hosting companies, in particular, tend to offer some of the highest commission rates for their affiliates:

Examples of hosting affiliate commissions

Other platforms, such as Amazon, pay their affiliates a small percentage of each sale they make. That approach may seem less attractive at first, but with a platform the size of Amazon, affiliates have so many marketing options that the program still remains competitive.

Ultimately, the CPS model works as well as the products or services you offer. If the quality is good, affiliates will be able to sell on your behalf, and both parties should reap the rewards.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing programs are only as successful as the rewards they provide. If you don't have a solid and transparent payment model in place, you'll likely have a hard time finding members. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent options.

In most cases, one of the following models should take you far:

  1. CPC payments: This approach is great if you want to get as much traffic as possible, and you're prepared to optimize for conversions.
  2. CPL payments: By paying for leads, you get more qualified users who are easier to nurture, although the costs tend to be higher.
  3. CPS payments: Paying for sales is perhaps the easiest way to scale your business, but you need competitive commissions to attract the best affiliates.

Do you have any questions about how to choose the right payment model for your affiliate marketing program? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: The Basics

Have you been wondering how to get involved in affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is a popular and effective tactic for boosting conversions, driving sales, and ultimately earning a passive income online.

However, considering that it's such a dynamic and expansive field, figuring out where and how to get started can feel overwhelming.

Fortunately, all it takes is some simple guidance and research. Once you understand the basics of affiliate marketing for beginners and how it works, you can use it to your advantage and increase the income you earn through your website.

In this post, we’ll begin by discussing what affiliate marketing is and its benefits. Then we'll explain how it works, and provide you with some tips for getting started. Let’s jump in!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

In short, affiliate marketing is a strategy in which a brand pays a commission to affiliates based on sales generated through their referrals. The key parties involved are:

  • Sellers (sometimes referred to as merchants, retailers, or brands) can range from individual entrepreneurs to global enterprises. They are the creators of the products or services being promoted and sold.
  • Affiliates (also referred to as publishers or advertisers) promote the seller’s products to their audiences by using affiliate links and ads. If their promotion or referral leads to a sale, they earn a commission from the seller.
  • Customers purchase the product or service from the seller based on the affiliate’s referral.

Essentially, affiliate marketing is a form of profit-sharing between sellers and advertisers. The commission earned comes out of the product price, so it doesn't create an additional cost to the customer.

Whether you participate in affiliate marketing as a merchant or an affiliate, there are many advantages when compared to other types of marketing. One of the biggest draws is the amount of control and flexibility available.

For example, a merchant can create an affiliate marketing program based on the products and services of their choosing, while affiliates can decide which programs to participate in. The shared goal is getting product promotions in front of relevant audiences who are likely to convert.

Affiliate links and banner ads are often used in informative, appealing, and engaging ways that are actually useful to users, such as through video tutorials or product reviews:

An example of a product review video that contains affiliate marketing content.

Affiliate marketing is also cost-effective. Most affiliate programs are free to join, and operate on a performance-based system. This means that commissions are earned only when a consumer completes the intended action (a purchase, sign-up, etc.).

How Affiliate Marketing Programs Work

When you sign up for an affiliate marketing program, you’re issued a unique ID and a trackable URL to use in your content promoting the merchant’s product(s). When a user clicks on your affiliate link or banner ad, it adds a cookie to the user’s browser.

If you click on an affiliate link or ad, you might notice the referral code or identifier within the URL. Generally, the link looks longer than it would if you were to visit the merchant’s page directly:

An example of an Amazon Affiliate referral code in the browser URL.

As an affiliate program manager, you would use these special IDs to verify the referral source of a customer. In other words, these codes are critical for confirming and crediting affiliate partners.

Not all affiliate programs operate the same way, of course. Some common commission models include:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC): Affiliates earn credit any time a consumer clicks on their affiliate links.
  • Pay Per Sale (PPS): An affiliate earns a percentage of the referred sale.
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL): If an affiliate’s link results in a qualified lead, they receive a fixed commission.

Ultimately, the structure and terms depend on whether you’re using a self-hosted program or an affiliate marketing network. Networks such as Commission Junction and ShareASale are popular places to get started.

These third-party services act as an intermediary between sellers and affiliates. Although they can help with finding and managing affiliate accounts, they don’t offer as much control or autonomy as self-hosted programs, such as what you can operate through Affiliate Royale.

With the latter, you can create your own program and exercise complete control — and it's simpler that working with a third-party service.

Tips for Getting Involved in Affiliate Marketing

If you’re interested in getting started with affiliate marketing, the first decision you need to make is whether you want to participate as a merchant or an affiliate. The side of the affiliate marketing relationship you’re more interested in will influence your next steps.

For example, if you’re a blogger or have a large social media following, becoming an affiliate partner to other companies and brands can be incredibly lucrative. Not only will it help you earn money online, but it can also help to grow your confidence and familiarity with affiliate marketing programs, perhaps even paving the way to starting your own.

To begin, it's smart to make a list of the brands and products you're most passionate about, and brainstorm potential affiliate programs you might join. You can check the website of your favorite brands to see whether they offer an affiliate program (this information is usually listed in the footer):

The footer of the MemberPress website.

On the other hand, if you are a business owner with existing products or services to sell, starting your own affiliate marketing program makes the most sense. If you do decide an affiliate program is right for your business, the next step is to launch your affiliate site.

Fortunately, our own affiliate program plugin can make doing this quick and easy:

The Affiliate Royale WordPress plugin website.

Built to simplify affiliate marketing for beginners, our all-in-one management plugin comes with all the features and functionality needed to set up and run an affiliate program. This includes a personalized dashboard for affiliates, shopping cart integration, banner and link creation, and more.

Conclusion

Whether you're interested in promoting other companies' products to earn a passive income, or you want to grow your own business through a network of talented publishers and advertisers, affiliate marketing can help. Although the structure, pricing, and terms vary by program, there are plenty of ways to get involved in affiliate marketing.

As we discussed in this post, as an affiliate partner you have the opportunity to earn a commission every time someone uses your affiliate link. We recommend looking into affiliate or referral programs offered by your favorite brands. If you're ready to create your own program, our Affiliate Royale plugin can simplify and streamline the process.

Do you have any questions about getting involved in affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments!

The 6 Most Common Mistakes When Starting an Affiliate Marketing Program (And How to Avoid Them)

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Affiliate marketing can be very profitable when done right. According to a Business Insider report, it accounts for about 15 percent of overall revenue in the digital media industry. However, there are some common mistakes business owners are prone to making when starting new programs, which can hamper long-term success.

By avoiding these stumbling blocks, you can maximize your income and build profitable relationships with your marketing partners or affiliates. Fortunately that isn't hard to do – in this case, a little foreknowledge goes a long way.

In this article, we’ll look at the top six mistakes commonly made when starting an affiliate marketing program, and talk about how to avoid them. Let’s get started!

1. Neglecting to Promote Your Affiliate Program

First on our list is neglecting to promote your affiliate marketing program. It’s nearly impossible to make your program a success if you haven’t generated any awareness about it.

Ideally, you'll want to begin advertising your program even before it’s launched. You can start by letting your existing audience know about it (for example, through an email blast), and by clarifying its benefits and how much they can earn.

In addition, it's a good idea to set up banners on your home page (or any other page with high visibility):

An affiliate program promotional banner.

Social media posts can also be an effective means for notifying both existing and new followers about your program. All of this content can lead interested parties to a dedicated page that explains all of the key details.

2. Forgetting to Vet Your Affiliate Partners

It’s tempting to indiscriminately accept anyone who applies to your affiliate program. This comes from a desire to grow it as quickly as possible. However, it’s smart to perform some due diligence and acquire basic background information for each applicant, since they'll be functioning as an advocate for your products or services.

Going into partnerships with people whose only goal is to make a quick buck can give your brand a bad reputation. Additionally, since these individuals may also be prone to spamming links and engaging in other less-than-stellar practices, your page rankings could be negatively affected.

Therefore, it's best to ensure that everyone you accept satisfies the following (at a minimum):

  • Has a quality content channel (blog, podcast, social profiles, etc.) that's regularly updated
  • Is a genuine business or has previous affiliate experience
  • Does not engage in spammy practices in their existing content
  • Is established within their niche and has the trust of their audience (as indicated by a highly-engaged following, a strong social media presence, etc.)

Overall, you'll want to focus on gathering a small but solid band of affiliates, rather than a sizable number who might do more harm than good.

3. Failing to Pay Enough Commission

The appeal of an affiliate marketing program is that anyone can earn money by promoting a brand’s products or services. While there’s certainly some work to be done, affiliates can bring in what's essentially passive income once the right structures are in place.

With that being said, the rewards will still need to be worthwhile in order to attract quality marketers. Since many businesses now have affiliate programs for promoting their offerings, it’s important to stand out or you risk losing to the competition. If your commission rates aren’t appealing enough, you may see few applicants.

An example of affiliate commission rates.

Admittedly, it may not be feasible to pay high rates for all of your products. However, it’s generally smart to have a list of high-commission items. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that payments are sent out as early as possible, and according to your affiliate agreement. Otherwise, your partners may lose their motivation for promoting your brand.

In the same vein, it’s important that you do not reduce commissions after sign-ups. This can cause your affiliates to stop promoting your products, or even leave your program entirely.

4. Not Tracking Affiliate Activities

Even your best efforts at vetting potential affiliates might be inadequate. You might find that you still have some marketing partners who overstep their bounds and engage in questionable or even unethical practices.

Therefore, you’ll want to set up a consistent schedule for reviewing affiliate traffic and sales for inconsistencies. Proactively monitoring your affiliates this way can ensure that they do not damage your reputation. It might even help you contain mishaps early on.

It's also very important to define the terms and conditions for your program before launching it:

An affiliate program's terms and conditions.

Then you'll just have to enforce them as needed, which can serve to deter further mischief.

5. Neglecting to Spell Out Acceptable and Unacceptable Marketing Strategies

We’ve established that some affiliates may engage in questionable marketing practices, regardless of your best efforts to vet them at the application stage. However, it’s also possible that you simply haven’t made your rules clear enough.

When starting your program, you'll want to create unambiguous standards about acceptable and unacceptable practices. For example, some companies forbid their affiliates from bidding on certain brand keywords in Google AdWords.

Consider including a list of allowed promotional activities in your affiliate terms, and forbidding everything else. This way, you can avoid the risk of your partners using techniques you’re unfamiliar with, and keep your reputation sparkling.

6. Failing to Treat Your Affiliates Like Business Partners

Affiliate partnerships are business relationships. Therefore, you’ll want to treat them as such. Although it’s your responsibility to lay down rules to ensure that affiliates do not damage your brand’s reputation, you'll also want to allow some flexibility and avoid treating them like employees.

To begin with, you should consider allowing flexible marketing techniques (within your established constraints, as discussed above). You'll also want to avoid creating too many rules, and generally being heavy-handed. The goal is to build and maintain solid working relationships with your affiliates.

Communication is a key factor in building such strong partnerships. Therefore, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open, listening to affiliates' concerns and suggestions. This might require scheduling regular meetings, as well as sending newsletters and educational content.

Another advantage of communicating with your affiliates is that since they’re often in direct contact with your end users, you can gain more awareness about what products or services your audiences want and are willing to pay for. Therefore, it's best to be proactive about soliciting such feedback, as your affiliates may unintentionally gloss over it. 

Conclusion

Starting an affiliate marketing program can be an excellent way to increase your revenue. When done the right way, you can build long-term relationships with partners who will help create more awareness for your brand. You can also gain deeper insights into the needs of your target audiences.

Along the way, it's also vital to avoid these six common mistakes:

  1. Neglecting to promote your affiliate program.
  2. Forgetting to vet your affiliate partners.
  3. Failing to pay enough commissions.
  4. Not tracking affiliate activities.
  5. Neglecting to spell out acceptable and unacceptable marketing strategies.
  6. Failing to treat your affiliates like business partners.

Have you made any of these mistakes, and how have you fixed (or how do you plan to fix) them? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Vital Things To Add To Your Affiliate Registration Page

To build and expand your online business, you need to make it as easy as possible for individuals to sign up for your affiliate marketing program.

The most important part of the sign up process is the affiliate registration page. On this page, people will expect to learn all about and sign up for your program.

In this post, we’ll share with you a few vital pieces of information you want on your affiliate signup page to make your program as successful as possible.

Are you struggling to manage your affiliates? Release the burden with Affiliate Royale!

1.Affiliate Program Information

One of the most important components of the registration page is information about your affiliate program. Without this information, potential affiliates won’t have a clear understanding of what your affiliate program is all about and will be less likely to join.

First, be sure to include information about your business and what it promotes. List the different ways your affiliate program can be shared. For example, can a podcaster share on their show? Do you only offer affiliate links? Or do you also provide banners for websites? Also, include information on how affiliates will earn commissions.

2. Program Rules And Regulations

To maintain an organized affiliate program and to help potential affiliates understand what will be expected of them in the program, be sure to include a link to the rules and regulations of your program on the registration page.

Detailing what’s expected of your affiliates is a great way to passively filter applicants and ensure a higher rate of quality registrations for your program. It will also help to boost the credibility of your program.

3. Affiliate Eligibility

Speaking of rules and regulations, another important element on your affiliate registration page is a list of the requirements your potential affiliates must meet to join your program.

Eligibility requirements aren’t necessarily an element in every affiliate program, but if you’re trying to target a specific market, having such requirements can be beneficial.

Eligibility requirements might include having a minimum number of followers, being active on a particular social media platform, or being over age 18. However, be careful when setting up requirements so as to avoid engaging in discriminatory practices.

4. Testimonials

Want to encourage your website visitors to take the big leap and join your program? Give them a little taste of FOMO, or fear of missing out. Include testimonials on your affiliate registration page to give potential affiliates first-hand accounts of how great your program is and how much passive income they can earn by signing on the dotted line. 

You might also include product reviews and testimonials regarding what services your business offers to assure affiliates that your program is trustworthy and high quality.

Consider including a few quotes from affiliate partners or a video testimonial from a satisfied affiliate, or share statistics on how many affiliates successfully make money through your program. This is the prime time to show off how amazing your company is and how big a difference your program makes in people’s lives.

5. Example Promotions

Including example promotions on your registration page is a great way to encourage people to join your affiliate program, to provide a better understanding of what they can expect from the program, and to passively filter applicants.

Consider including things like social media photos, hashtags your affiliates use to promote the program, or even example blog promotions by some of your best affiliates. These samples will help potential partners understand the quality of work they’ll be expected to deliver as an effective part of the team.

6. Next Steps

Last, but definitely not least, be sure to include the next steps visitors should take to join your program. Will they need to email you? Obtain a referral link? Fill out a form? Undergo an interprocess? Detail what they’ll need to do to become a partner in your program and start promoting your small business.

Many companies ask potential affiliates to fill out a form or create an account to get started. Some require affiliates to undergo an approval process, while others allow new affiliates to start as soon as they sign up. There is no right or wrong way to go, and what you choose should depend on the needs and goals of your program.

Are you ready to take your online business to the next level with affiliate marketing? Get started with Affiliate Royale today!

In Conclusion

Your affiliate registration page is one of the most important pieces of content in your arsenal for promoting your affiliate program. Therefore, it’s very important that you carefully curate what you put on this page — in addition to making it easy to find and user-friendly. 

Because it’s the final piece of the puzzle in the conversion process, you want this page to have all the information potential affiliates need to make a decision. Keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a high-converting registration page for your affiliate program.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, be sure to check out some of our other blog posts, such as places you can promote your affiliate programhow to know if an affiliate program is right for your small business, or what to look for in an ideal affiliate.

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

How To Use Your Affiliate Program To Do Good

There are many online entrepreneurs who not only want to create a thriving and successful online business but also want to make a positive impact in the world by advocating for worthy causes. 

If you happen to be one of those people, how can you go about growing your business while including philanthropy in your efforts? In today’s post, we’ll share with you a few ways you can use your business to make your charitable dream a reality without breaking the bank.

Have you started your own online business? Take it to the next level with Affiliate Royale!

How To Do Good as a Team

Have you ever heard the saying, “Charity starts at home?” This phrase also applies to your small business. Actively creating a culture of philanthropy within your company not only makes your business look good, it keeps your employees engaged, makes them feel empowered, and keeps them focused on the purpose of your business’ core values. Here are a few ways you can cultivate a culture of charity and giving back.

Encourage Employee Donations

One excellent way to encourage employees to do good is by making it easy for them to donate to their favorite local causes. Using payroll software like Gusto, you can give your employees the option to send financial donations to the causes they love each pay period automatically.

You might even take these efforts one step further by highlighting in your company blog some of the causes your employees support.

Organize a Group Collection Drive

If your team works in-person or operates in a location where you can identify local causes, one way to do good is to run a group collection drive for one of these causes.

This can be something as simple as a food drive, where your company collects canned goods for a local food pantry, a clothing drive for The Salvation Army, or even an old electronics and software collection effort for up-and-coming businesses.

Pursue Volunteer Projects Together

If your team is in-house or located close to one another, why not tackle a volunteer project as a group? Volunteer to work on a project with Habitat for Humanity, help out at a local soup kitchen, go out and donate toiletries to the homeless, or take on a group speaking engagement.

These types of charitable efforts will help bring your team closer together, show the public another side of your business, and help your community at the same time!

Ask For Employee Input

To really get your employees involved with a philanthropic effort, ask them if there are any causes or charities they are passionate about. For example, if one of your employees is a breast cancer survivor, why not have a group charitable effort around raising money for breast cancer research?

Or if one of your team members has a loved one who suffers from multiple sclerosis, participate as a team in the National MS Society’s Run MS program. Involving your employees in the process keeps them excited about the effort and shows them that you care about the team and what they think.

How to Do Good Corporately

Once you’ve mastered building a culture of charity inside the workplace, how can you do good as a business entity? Following a few awesome ways.

Partner With A Charitable Organization

One great way to work on doing good outside of your online business is to partner with a charity and use your platform to promote and help that organization gain resources.

You could start a promotional campaign where, for every sale your business makes, it will donate a certain amount to your partner charity. Or, you might promote them through your blog, sharing with your online following the importance of the organization’s work and why it is necessary for a healthy community.

Offer Free or Discounted Services

Another generous move for your small business is to offer services at an extremely discounted rate or totally free to a charitable organization. There may be a local nonprofit that needs help setting up a certain program on their website, building a Facebook page, or even figuring out how to operate their computer system.

Attend Charitable Events

Attending charity events as a representative of your company is a great way to network, help a worthy cause, and learn about other causes you may want to support in the future.

Events like these are fun (and fruitful!) alternatives to simply dropping off donations or giving money. Such events give you a chance to see who’s being impacted by your efforts and how you and your small business can help out even more.

Participate In Online Challenges

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took social media by storm a few years back? Challenges like these are happening all the time. If you hear about a challenge that’s gaining momentum for a cause you can get behind, join in!

Then, be sure to tag people in your network to help build awareness and support. Or, even better, start your own challenge and encourage your network to get involved to support a worthy cause.

Manage your affiliate promotions easily with Affiliate Royale!

In Conclusion

Using your company’s online and offline presence to support worthy causes doesn’t have to be a major and expensive hurdle. As you’ve seen, there are all kinds of ways you can implement philanthropy and use your business to promote the greater good. So get started today! 

Does your small business have a culture of charity? Tell us about it in the comments!

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How to Know if an Affiliate Program is Right for Your Business

Affiliate marketing has gradually gained significant momentum in the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. But, while tons of businesses are beginning to embrace this form of marketing, affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone.

Is affiliate marketing really the right thing for your online business? In this post, we’ll go over a few tell-tale signs you can look for to determine whether an affiliate program is the right move for you!

Easily manage and maintain your affiliates – use Affiliate Royale today!

Common Businesses That Use Affiliate Marketing

The first question to ask is whether your business falls within an industry where affiliate marketing is a standard practice. Following are a few of the most common businesses that achieve success with this type of marketing.

Ecommerce/Retail

Online shopping businesses are making a killing from affiliate marketing. Amazon is one of the originators of affiliate programs to promote products, but now most online stores have some sort of affiliate or referral program. For example, one large business, FashionNova, works with celebrities and influencers to promote their products to the masses.

Membership Websites

If you’re subscribed to a subscription-based business, such as a subscription box service, small business group, or educational subscription program, you know that these companies are continually seeking new clients, members, or customers. As a result, most of these programs offer affiliate programs to their current subscribers, allowing subscribers to receive rewards and perks when they refer customers.

Printing Companies

Companies that mass-produce products such as shirts, business cards, and product boxes target smaller printing companies and businesses to expand their affiliate programs. For example, Vistaprint offers the Vistaprint ProAdvantage program where smaller companies can offer printing for customers at a discounted rate. The more customers each business brings in, the more money both businesses make.

Software Companies/App Companies

If your business uses email marketing tools, social media management tools, or anything in between, chances are those companies have affiliate programs. These companies offer rewards or even discounts or free upgrades on their software for referrals.

Is An Affiliate Program Right For You? Other Questions to Ask Yourself

Still wondering if an affiliate program is right for your business? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to help determine whether an affiliate program could benefit you.

Can You Afford An Affiliate Program? Although an affiliate program can be a cheaper way to market your business, there are still costs involved. Whether it’s giving away free products and services, paying influencers, or offering affiliate commissions and perks to affiliates to provide referrals who convert, you have to make sure your small business can afford the associated costs.

If it’s not in your best interest to spend the money or sacrifice products or services, it may be a good idea to wait and reevaluate before starting an affiliate program.

Are Your Competitors Doing It? One of the best ways to judge whether or not an affiliate marketing program, or any marketing tactic for that matter, will work for you is to find out if your competition is doing it. If you notice that a competitor is operating a successful program, it’s definitely something you want to explore.

Will You Be Able To Handle It? Determining whether your budget will allow you to have an affiliate program is one thing, but deciding if you have the organizational skills and the staff to run the program are equally essential factors to consider. 

If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle a sudden influx of customers or if you don’t yet have systems in place, such as Affiliate Royale, to manage affiliates and customers, you may want to take a step back and work on some preparation before you launch your program.

Are You Confident In What You Offer? Before you can share what you have to offer with the public, you need to be confident in your product or service. If you don’t believe in your product or service, no one else will. It’s tough to sell something you don’t care about. Be sure that you are proud of what you do and confident in the value you can bring to customers.

Do You Believe It’s Worth It? At the end of the day, you know your business and what you have to offer a potential customer. If you feel that people are going to benefit from what you provide and that they will be likely to tell a friend or associate about it, then definitely go for it!

However, if you don’t believe that an affiliate program is right for you, or you aren’t willing to put in the work required to run a successful one, that’s okay. You always want to do what works best for you and your business.

Manage your affiliate program without hassle with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

In Conclusion

An affiliate program can be a significant asset to your business. However, it is a considerable task, and the work it requires isn’t for everyone. We hope that the questions and information we’ve provided above will help you figure out whether an affiliate program is a good move for you.

Ready to turn your online business idea into a thriving affiliate program? Be sure to read our blog posts on how to convert your customers into affiliates, ways micro-influencers can help your affiliate program, how to use swipe copy to help your affiliate succeed, and how to tell if your affiliate program is doing well.

Do you feel ready to start an affiliate program? What factors have gone into determining your readiness? Let us know in the comments!

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How To Utilize Split Testing In Your Affiliate Program

When it comes to affiliate promotions, you might assume you know how your customers will respond to your ads based on the basic research you’ve done for your business. However, to really understand your customers’ behavior, you’ll have to do a bit more digging. That’s why testing out different promotional methods is critical.

Split testing offers a unique opportunity to understand your customers’ behavior and how they respond to different advertising and promotional methods. Not only does this method allow you the opportunity to increase your viewership, but it teaches you how to better approach potential affiliate partners and customers, resulting in increased engagement and conversions.

In this post, we’ll explain what split testing is, how to implement the method in your affiliate marketing efforts, and just how effective it is for recruiting new members to your affiliate program.

Manage your affiliates with ease using Affiliate Royale. Sign up now!

What Exactly is Split Testing?

Split testing is the process of testing different versions of a website, copy, ad, or piece of content to see which one works best for your audience.

For example, let’s say that you’re testing out different ways to collect feedback from your customers. One method may be to create a popup form asking for feedback on your website. Another method may be to simply add a call-to-action (CTA) button on your website linking to a survey form. 

As time goes on, you track both methods so you can see which one gets more clicks and/or engagement. Based on the results of your test, you know which method your audience is more responsive to, so you know how to approach your promotions in the future.

Why Is Split Testing So Important?

Although it may seem like enough to just research and take tips and methods from other online businesses, it’s important to understand that every business is different, and each one has its own specific audience. So, rather than just copying and pasting other methods, it’s wise to take the time to test out different methods and tweak them so that they work best for your brand.

How To Start Split Testing In Your Affiliate Marketing Program 

Ready to start implementing split testing into your affiliate marketing efforts, but aren’t sure how to get started? Here are a few things you can do to hit the ground running:

  • Find out how customers are interacting with your website. Before you start split testing, you need to know what to test, right? So take some time and analyze your website data to learn how your customers are currently engaging with your site and what pages or CTAs could use tweaking. Tools like MonsterInsights and Google Analytics are great resources to help you tease out this information.
  • Determine how long to perform the test. Based on your goals and the data you gathered, decide how long the split test should last. Depending on the type of activity you’re analyzing, you can experiment for anywhere from seven days to three months. If you’re looking to track engagement, you may be able to opt for a shorter time span. However, if conversions are what you’re looking for, extend your test for a month or longer.
  • Let the test run its course. As your split test is running, you may notice a few adjustments that can be made before the trial is over, however, do NOT change right away! To ensure you get accurate results and a fair split test, you don’t want to suddenly switch things up. Let the test run through completely, and take notes so you can make changes afterward.
  • Focus on one or just a few larger elements at a time. You never want to overwhelm yourself with too many test items at once. By focusing on one or just a few large elements at a time, you’ll save yourself time and frustration in the long run. Focus on things such as headline format, images, or colors one at a time, and build on each element from there. Then, once you have the foundation of your content created, you can start performing multivariate testing and analyzing multiple smaller elements at once.
  • Be open to future split testing. Once you’ve completed your first split test, you’re not finished! The great thing about marketing is that there’s always something new to learn from your customers, so never stop testing and experimenting for the success of your online business.

Split Testing Tools For WordPress Websites

Gone are the days of having to manually track links, clicks, and customer engagement on your website. Now, there are several tools built specifically to help WordPress users split test and accurately and effectively track progress.

Nelio AB Testing 

This is a freemium WordPress plugin that prides itself on being “the most powerful and versatile conversion optimization service for WordPress.” Using the tool, you can split test landing pages, website themes, contact forms, and more. If you’re not ready to pay for this plugin, there is a free version for lower traffic websites. 

Divi Leads 

If you’re at all familiar with website themes and page builders, you’ve probably heard of Divi. Divi is a powerful visual page builder that allows users to create custom WordPress websites using a drag and drop interface. What many people may not realize is that Divi includes Divi Leads, which allows you to create and showcase different versions of your web pages to customers for split testing. Divi Leads tracks the progress of both versions and shows you which one performed best. Then, you simply pick the higher-performing option to use on your website. 

Pretty Links

Pretty Links is mainly known as a link shortening tool, however, this WordPress plugin also offers a split testing option. It allows you to create shortened links for the website pages or content that you would like to test, then gives you access to the data using the Split Test Report option under the links in your Pretty Links section in WordPress.

Help your affiliate program reach new heights with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

The Takeaway

Your affiliate website’s content is a key component of your online business’ overall marketing strategy and success, which is why it’s so important to know what works best for your customers. 

Rather than depending solely on guesswork or taking tips and copying methods from other businesses, why not take some time to use split testing, and see what your audience really gravitates toward? Keep our tips in mind, and you’ll be able to successfully split test content for your business and bring in more affiliates and customers for your business!

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Is My Affiliate Program Performing Well? How To Tell

You have your affiliate program up and ready to go, your affiliates are working hard, and things are going great—or are they?

How can you know for sure that your affiliate program is really performing at its best? How do you determine whether or not you need to change your onboarding strategy or seek new affiliates?

In this post, we’ll help you figure out if your affiliate program is really as successful as you think by cluing you in on a few key things to look for and offering up a handful of tips on how to improve.

Managing your affiliate program is easy with Affiliate Royale. Try it out for yourself today!

Why Is Tracking Affiliate Program Performance Important?

Measuring performance is a vital part of your success as a business owner. Setting goals in your business is a great way to track your progress and highlight key places where your small business can grow and develop. 

After all, the last thing you want to do is waste valuable time, energy, and money on campaigns and other marketing efforts without any sort of strategic goal or benchmark to reference.

Accurate, Updated Website

Is your website accurate and up-to-date? There’s nothing worse than an affiliate program website that features outdated information. If visitors go to your website and notice that your information hasn’t been updated in a long time, or your site seems neglected in any way, potential affiliates will be turned off and not want to work with you.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Keywords for Optimizing Your Website’s Content

Affiliate Program Quality

An affiliate program is only as good as the entities supporting it. This is not to say that you’ve got to have a program full of top-tier affiliates, but are those affiliates you do have in your program performing to the best of their ability? 

Be sure to pay attention to your affiliates and monitor their behaviors. Do you notice a number of inactive affiliates? How much traffic is each affiliate generating? These are important questions to ask and analyze on a regular basis. 

Read More: 3 Ways That Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

Promotion Performance

To achieve success, affiliate programs require time to plan, schedule, and implement promotions together with affiliates. By tracking click-throughs to your website and measuring online sales, you’ll be able to determine how well your promotions are working.

You’ll also begin to understand what percentage of each promotion’s progress can be attributed to your affiliates. This information will give you important insight into the value each affiliate is bringing to the table. 

Read More: 10 Ways to Prepare Affiliates for Online Promotions

Affiliate Communication

Another excellent way to ensure your affiliate program is performing at its best is to pay special attention to how you’re communicating with the individuals in your program. How often do you reach out to your affiliates? Do you offer personalized communication? How is your support team performing? Do you give your affiliates an adequate amount of information to properly promote your online business?

Read More: 4 Strategies for Keeping Your Affiliates Happy

Continuing Education

There’s nothing more powerful than a company whose culture is based on a desire to constantly try and learn new things. Combine that with affiliate partners who seek to do the same, and you have a recipe for success. 

How often are your company and its affiliates taking time to learn about the latest news and trends in the field? Are you helping your affiliates continue to grow in their knowledge of your business and industry? Addressing these areas of education will go a long way toward strengthening your business over time.

Read More: Why Industry Knowledge Is Vital for Affiliate Programs

KPIs to Keep In Your Back Pocket

KPIs, or Key performance indicators, are measures of performance that can help you evaluate the success of a specific campaign or your business as a whole. Carefully tracking KPIs allows you to determine how healthy your company is and how your efforts are helping or hurting its progress.

Here are a few KPIs to keep in mind as you grow your affiliate program:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). Your CTR is the number of clicks on links or ads generated by affiliates on your website. This KPI helps you see which affiliates are actively working and how effective they actually are.
  • Conversion Rate. The conversion rate refers to the sales your business is achieving from affiliate-generated traffic. This metric helps you track the success of your promotions.
  • Cost Per Click/Lead. The cost per click is the average amount of money you spend each time your affiliate generates click-throughs to your site or each time affiliate traffic generates a lead.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This KPI helps you understand how valuable your long-term customer relationships are and how effective your affiliates are at generating these types of relationships. 
  • Churn Rate. Your business’ churn rate measures the number of customers who visit your online business’ website but don’t wind up becoming repeat customers or who cancel services or memberships. An easy way to calculate churn rate is by using this formula: Customers Lost in a Given Period / Original Number of Customers at the Start of the Period = Customer Churn Rate.

The Takeaway

Your affiliate program depends on the success of your affiliates. That is, for your business to do well, your affiliates need to do well. Two of the best ways you can help them succeed is by paying attention to key performance indicators and doing your part to make sure that they have what they need to be successful at their part.

Tracking your affiliates’ performance, keeping up your end of the bargain by staying in contact with them, offering plenty of resources, and giving your affiliates a great product to promote are all simple but powerful ways you can keep your business moving forward.

Create your own affiliate marketing program quickly and easily with Affiliate Royale – get started today!

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How to Convert Customers Into Loyal Affiliates

Bringing in new affiliates means opening up your business to an even larger pool of customers. Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or a seasoned professional, finding people to promote your business is hard work, but it can definitely pay off in the long run.

If your business has existing customers, you already have a group of people you can look to as potential affiliates. Think about it: your customers already have experience with your online business, and they know the value your small business brings to the table. Why wouldn’t they be the ideal people to help you promote it?!

In this post, we'll give you a few tips on how to convert your customers to loyal and productive advocates in your affiliate marketing program.

Get The Word Out

The first step toward bringing current customers into your affiliate program is to let them know you have an affiliate program in the first place. Here are a few tips on how to promote the program to your customers:

  1. Use Emails. Send emails out to your customers to let them know about the affiliate program and what they can get out of it if they join.
  2. Promote on Social Media. Use your social media profiles to let your customers and other loyal followers know that they can become affiliate partners with your online business.
  3. Incorporate Banners. Use banners on your website to emphasize your affiliate program, show people how to join, and show them the benefits of joining.
  4. Blog Posts. Write blog posts to announce your affiliate program. You can also use your blog to explain how the program works. Include CTAs within the posts to entice customers to join.

Offer Plenty of Details

Another great way to persuade customers to join your affiliate program is to be completely transparent, and give plenty of details to help them make their decision.

Include information such as commission rate, the purpose behind your program, types of content affiliates will be expected to use, and requirements for the program: Do customers need a certain amount of followers? Do they need to have a certain social media platform? Will there be an approval process for them to join?

Offer Stellar Customer Service

When you start an online business, you quickly learn that customer service is vital to the success of the business. For many customers, great customer service is the factor that helps them decide whether or not to work with your company.

Not only will great customer service get customers on board in the first place, it'll also be another example for your affiliates to use when they refer your company to other customers.

Offer Freebies and Surprise Deals

It’s no secret that all consumers love discounts and free stuff! Customers who have not yet decided to make a purchase with your business are more likely to do so when a coupon is involved. And customers are more likely to make another purchase when a discount is involved.

Not only does this increase your business’ revenue, but it's another excellent way to get people talking about you and how awesome your business is. And that means more potential affiliates.

Personalize Your Business

There’s nothing more attractive to customers than a business that knows who they are. Consumers are naturally attracted to brands that offer a personalized feel and show that they genuinely care about their customers.

Recognizing special events, such as customer birthdays and business anniversaries, and including customers' names in emails are all excellent ways to add a personal touch.

Actively Ask for Feedback

You can’t read minds, so make sure you have methods in place to get feedback from your customers. Asking for testimonials, offering surveys, and having suggestion boxes are great ways to see what your customers have to say about your business and keep the lines of communication open.

And if your customers see that you are asking for feedback and acting on that feedback, they're more likely to stick with your business and want to tell others about it. 

Analyze the Data

The importance of analytics can't be emphasized enough. Any time a customer makes a purchase with your online business, you should have a system in place to see how they found your business, what pages were viewed, which products or services were purchased, and more.

You can use this information to understand the best ways to target and recruit customers. You can also use it to convert them into affiliate partners and help you improve your customers’ experience with your business.

Segment Your Lists

As your email list grows, you'll quickly find that you need segmented lists to serve different purposes in your business. You can create lists for subscribers by subscription level or purchase amount, or you can base lists on how often they interact with your customer support team.

You can use these lists to customize your messaging and cater to your customers on a more personal level, based on their interactions with your small business.

Reach Out

Last but not least, reach out to your customers personally. Watch for interactions with online mentions of your business, and make sure to engage.

Let’s say you wrote a blog post about your affiliate program and created a Click-to-Tweet link for your readers to share on social media. Any time a customer tweets that message out, be sure to like their Tweet and thank them. You can even encourage them to join your affiliate program.

Not only will they be impressed that your company actually noticed their Tweet, but they’ll be more likely to look into your affiliate program and join your team.

Gathering affiliates for your program requires some elbow grease, but it isn't impossible, especially when you already have customers actively participating in your business. We hope you'll keep these tips in mind and build an affiliate program that will take your business to new heights!

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