What should you consider when choosing an affiliate program? You
need to think about two key things: what business are you in and
what can the affiliate program provide to your customers.
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No matter what business you are in, the largest investment you
make will be customer acquisition. If you have your own product,
and have acquired a base of satisfied customers, then single
product affiliate programs could work very well for you.
However, if your business is acquiring customers for other
businesses, that is, purely affiliate programs, then a better
choice for you could be affiliate programs with multiple
products or services. This will help you to capitalise on your
investment in customer acquisition.
The key to choosing successfully is to ensure that the affiliate
program offers products that meet the needs of your potential
customers. Coupled with this is the need for the products to be
high quality and for the supplier to provide excellent customer
service. Remember, your credibility is on the line every time
you refer someone to buy through your affiliate relationship.
Some of the other factors I consider when evaluating affiliate
Is the affiliate program a reputable business? You can check
out a business you are considering a relationship with in
variety of ways. Talk to the Better Business Bureau in your
local area or a similar body. In addition, I find web sites that
monitor affiliate programs to be worth looking at. The best I
have found is Associate Programs http://www.AssociatePrograms.com.
Allan Gardyne pulls no punches and tells it as it is.
Does the program enable you to share in the lifetime value of
the customer? Great programs will give you commissions on all
future purchases of the customers you introduce. This is where
the real profits are. These types of programs, in effect, allow
you to partner with the supplier.
Does the program reward you for introducing other affiliates?
This type of program is commonly referred to as a two-tier
program. Often your customer may become an affiliate also and
you will be rewarded for this.
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Is the supplier interested in your success as an affiliate? The
top affiliate programs engage in a process of coaching or
information sharing to help you succeed. Affiliates are provided
with regular newsletters outlining what is working for
successful affiliates and providing updates and details on new
Is the commission reasonable? Commission rates on commodity
products such as books and CDs are low. This is because there is
very little margin in the products due to competition. Look for
products that have a commission rate of 15% or more that are not
commodities - that way you will be better able to recoup your
customer acquisition investment.
Are statistics provided? The higher the level of statistics
provided, the better off you are. This will enable you to measure
the success of your marketing efforts and to determine the best
places to invest your marketing dollars. Insufficient statistics
is a sign that the affiliate program is not sufficiently
interested in your success.
Are new products being developed regularly? To get the full
value from lifetime commissions, new products need to be
introduced on a regular basis. Without this, lifetime
commissions can be worthless. Also, look for consistent high
quality in new products introduced.
How frequently are commissions paid? The more frequently
commissions are paid, the better off you are. Good quality
affiliate programs will pay you monthly. In some situations,
commissions are not paid until a certain level is reached. If
the program you are considering has this requirement, check how
many sales need to be made before the level is reached.
Have you read the affiliate agreement? This is a key area that
you should look at. Some affiliate agreements are totally in
favour of the supplier. Others are more balanced. Some
agreements restrict your ability to promote similar products
from other suppliers. Most agreements have anti-spam provisions.
Look for agreements that are fair and that do not stack
everything against you as the affiliate.
While there are other factors that can be considered when
choosing an affiliate program, following the suggestions above
will help you to make superior business choices that will lead
to long-term success.
Article by Kevin Sinclair, CPA, of Be Successful! Business &
Personal Success Resources (http://www.ksinclair.com/). He is
the author of 2 free ebooks: "Success Secrets" & "How To Choose
A Home Based Business". Kevin is also the publisher of "Be
Successful News" - a free ezine dedicated to your online
business success - to subscribe, send a blank email to