What are the four key components to an affiliate marketing program?

What does it take to get started in affiliate marketing? We hear this a lot, and the simple answer is: the right outsourced affiliate marketing consultant. With their guidance, it becomes a simple matter to generate more revenue. But, before you get started you’re right to inquire about all of the components that go into it because it isn’t simple and knowing this will help you choose the very best partner who can manage it all for you. 

Affiliate marketing essentially plugs you into a network of people who, for a slight commission, refer people to buy your products and services. Because they only get paid when a sale is made, you’re no longer left guessing at whether your marketing programs are worth the spend. You only pay when it works! 

Interested? That’s great – let’s get started with the 4 basic components to affiliate marketing:  

1. The Affiliates 

Affiliates are your on-demand, hands-free, totally remote workforce. Sound too good to be true? Don’t forget that they receive a commission for each sale that they help you make. Who are these fantastic people who are out there doing your sales and marketing for you? They’re industry experts who are keyed into the audiences that you’re hoping to reach. They’re active bloggers with thousands of readers who are happy to brag about your services. And they’re niche influencers capable of driving traffic to your website. Affiliate marketing plugs you into a world where thousands of these people want to promote your products. 

What’s the only downside? They can be pretty demanding. You’ll need to find the right ones and keep them engaged constantly. Thus while there is a lot of benefit to affiliate marketing, anyone who is successful usually opts for outsourced affiliate program management. 

2. Your Affiliate Management Consultant The biggest benefit that they bring is the existing relationships with affiliate networks. Many things can go wrong with affiliates: they can be a poor match for your brand, they can try to cheat the commission structure, or they can sign up for it and then never take any action. With an experienced affiliate management consultant all of this goes away because they’ve spent years vetting the right affiliates who are aligned with your brand and are in it for the right reasons. They thus allow you to skip several years of trial and error and leap right into the seat of a fully functional affiliate marketing program that’s ready to start producing revenue. And speaking of revenue… 

3. The Commission Structure Affiliate Marketing programs live and die on their commission structure. The goal is to incentivize affiliates to sell more while maintaining your profit margins in a world where there are tens of thousands of other companies competing for their attention. Affiliates typically follow the path of least resistance and whatever program seems easiest. Simplicity is thus key, profitability is key, and incentives are key. You want your commissions to be exciting and reward increased activity with increased rewards so that the affiliates see value, love your brand, and become loyal participants in the program.  

4. Your WebsiteHaving an affiliate program is all well and good but you’ll also need the infrastructure to support it! Is your website currently optimized for conversions? The top affiliate marketing management companies will engage with you to make sure that you have the full program planned out down to whether it’s easy enough for visitors to interact with your website. If affiliates are able to drive hundreds of thousands of people there but then nothing happens, a great joint opportunity has been wasted. Versa Marketing can say that it boasts some the only affiliate marketing consultants in the industry who actually specialize in this full-funnel website-conversion approach. 

The ultimate recipe for revenue And there you have it: if you mix together affiliates, affiliate management consultants, commission structures, and websites, you have yourself a recipe for revenue! 

affiliate marketing

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