Affiliate programs allow businesses to get a lot of extra traffic and sales by having third parties promote their products and services. It is also a cost effective method of advertising that will introduce the products brand to many people.
Starting your own online affiliate marketing program can be overwhelming or rather simple depending on the size of the program you want to start and the payment methods you choose. There are several options from you to choose from in managing your program. These should be examined to determine which would be the best for your business.
Two major options for affiliate programs are to either have the whole system outsourced to another company or run it your self. Each one has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when making your choice.
If you plan on having a small affiliate program with only small amount of affiliates then you can probably manage it yourself with your own software. However, if you plan to have a large amount of affiliates, then you should consider outsourcing the system Otherwise you may be overwhelmed by tracking large numbers of sign ups, statistics monitoring and tracking payments.
Types of Payments
There are a few types of payment options that should also be considered. You can consider paying the affiliates for each sale that is generated from the affiliates links. Or you can choose to pay the affiliate for each lead that they refer. A lead is simply a click sent from their links.
Affiliate Sign up
Another aspect to consider is whether or not to manually or automatically let people sign up for the program. This partially depends on the payment method that you choose. If you choose the pay per lead or pay per click method, then it may be wise to manually approve people. That way you can check out their sites and reputation before letting them join your program. The reason for doing this is that the quality of traffic they send will greatly effect your sales.
If you do decide to manage the affiliate program yourself, there are many software packages available for you to set it up. They will allow you to track your sales and the commissions.