AFFILIATE MARKETING

If you want to incentivize people from all over the world to help you sell your products, then you should definitely look into affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy that compensates people when they generate a sale for one or more of your products. For example, let’s say you are in the clothing line business and you specialize in selling swimsuits made out of recycled plastic. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that every swimsuit that you sell, retails for $100. If you were to set up an affiliate marketing program for your company, you would agree to pay anyone who joins your affiliate marketing program a fixed commission for every sale that they generate for you. These fixed commissions are usually in the form of percentages that can be anywhere from 1% to 75%+, but the most common commission rates are somewhere between 5% to 30%. Let’s say that you crunched some numbers and you can afford to give a 20% commission to your affiliates (the people who join your affiliate program to help you sell your products for a commission). This means that for every swimsuit that your affiliate sells for you at $100, you will need to pay them a $20 affiliate commission, netting you $80 for doing nothing other than paying out the commission. The affiliates do all of the marketing for you and you only pay them if their marketing efforts turn into a sale. It’s a win-win!

As stated above, affiliate marketing is a great marketing strategy for businesses that want a sales team that they don’t have to pay unless they get results, but do you know how to track your affiliate commissions? There are a few ways to do this.

Affiliate Tracking Method #1: Join an affiliate marketplace.

By joining an affiliate marketplace as an advertiser, not only does the affiliate marketplace track your affiliate’s sales for you, but they also help you find more affiliates to sell your products and by doing so, they are also helping you advertise your products.

There are dozens of affiliate marketplaces where you can list your products and each one has its pros and cons.

Here are the top 6 that we recommend that you look into:
Amazon Associates one of the largest affiliate marketing programs in the world, it wouldn’t be fair of us to leave this one off of our list. In order to have affiliates of this program sell your products, you need to sell your products on Amazon.com. If you are already on Amazon.com, then you are most likely already benefitting from affiliate marketing from Amazon Associates affiliates since this is done automatically. If you’re not selling on Amazon.com, then this alone should make you rethink this decision.
AWIN is the world’s largest affiliate network (according to Awin) with over 225,000 active affiliates (publishers) on their network. Their fees are reasonable too. To sign up, there is a $550 set-up fee, a $35 monthly fee, and a 20% network fee which is applied to the affiliate commission only when a sale is generated. The commission that you decide to pay the affiliate is up to you. For example, if the commission that you decide to pay your affiliates on each sale that they bring is $10, then your network fee would be $2.
Clickbank is a global affiliate marketplace that is very popular amongst small/entry-level businesses because the startup fees are so cheap. As of this writing, there is a $49.95 one-time activation charge and they charge around 7.5% of each sale. There is still the affiliate commission that you need to offer your affiliates, but at these cheap startup costs, no wonder this platform is so popular for small/entry-level product-based businesses. The downside of this marketplace is that the quality of the products is usually lower, but that’s to be expected.
ShareASale was actually acquired by Awin (above) and they have similar costs as Awin as well. There is a $550 on-time network access fee, $100 deposit, $25 monthly fee, and a $20 transaction fee on the affiliate commission. They have around 7000,000 affiliates though and around 4,000 merchants, so it would be worthwhile to try them out if they fit your niche.
One of the bigger affiliate marketing companies out there that require that your company has done at least $2 million in online sales in the last year in order for you to sign up with them. If you meet this requirement, then you will need to fork out a one-time fee of $2,500 as well as have a budget of anywhere from $500 to $2,000+ per month (depends on sales volume) in order to list your products on their affiliate marketplace. This is a great option for medium to large-sized e-commerce businesses.
These guys have been around for a long time and are one of the oldest affiliate marketplaces options out there. Their requirements to be on their platform are the highest that we have found as their ideal business that they want to sign up should make a minimum of $75,000 per month in online sales. If this is you, then expect a one-time fee of $3,000 to sign up, a deposit of $3,000 for them to hold, and a minimum monthly fee of $500 or 30% (whichever is greater) for commissions. This could be a great option if you meet their criteria.
There are several other options out there, but these 6 are the most recognized and credible options that we have found.

Affiliate Tracking Method #2: Add a plugin/extension to your e-commerce store.

If you would rather run your own affiliate marketing program, then this could be a great option for you. 

The biggest downside when going this option is that you will have to find affiliates to market your products yourself. But if you don’t mind this and if you are a quality vs quantity type of business when it comes to who advertises your products, then this option might be your best bet. 

The type of software that you will install on your own e-commerce store to run your affiliate marketing program will depend on the type of e-commerce platform that your store runs on. Each e-commerce platform has different plugins/extensions that run these programs. For example, SolidAffiliate, is a popular choice for e-commerce stores that are run on WooCommerce with WordPress. Mageplaza has a popular affiliate extension to run on Magento. Refersion is a popular plugin for e-commerce stores on Shopify. 

If you’re not on any of these e-commerce platforms, then you might want to look into other types of affiliate marketing tracking software like Post Affiliate Pro

There are a lot of options that you can choose from. Before you make your decision, make sure that you do your research and reach out to us if you have any questions. Let’s Talk.

Affiliate Tracking Method #3: Host your own affiliate program using promo codes.

If you want the quickest and easiest way to set up an affiliate marketing program, then custom promo codes could be an option for you.

All you have to do is give each of your affiliates their own custom promo code that they will give to their audience to use in your e-commerce store. For example, the promo code that you would set up for Wyle Entertainment might be something like “WHYLE15” where the customer gets 15% off on your products and the affiliate gets paid a 15% commission. At the end of each affiliate commission period (month, quarter, etc), you would then just total up all of the “WHYLE15” promo codes and send your affiliate, Wyle Entertainment, their affiliate commissions.

This method does require that the affiliate trusts you and your organization, so make sure that if you’re going to go this route, you will need to be transparent with your affiliates and you will need to communicate with them on a regular basis so that your affiliate continues to advertise your products.

Drew Restivo

Drew Restivo
Founder at HiredMarketing.com

We would LOVE the opportunity to help you set up and manage your affiliate marketing program! This is one of the many reasons why we created HiredMarketing.com because we want to be your hired hand when you need us. We can do as little or as much as you need us to. You can hire us part-time, full-time, or on an as needed basis. We work on a monthly retainer model where you get to determine how many hours we work on your product marketing projects each month. That way, you never have to worry about going over your marketing budget. The days of having to hire and train in-house employees for individual marketing tasks are gone. You hire us and we will use our own proven product marketing specialists to carry out your product marketing tasks efficiently, effectively, and within budget.

If you have questions or if you’re interested in learning more, let’s talk.

If you’re the type of person that needs more data before you want to talk to us, then let us conduct a FREE Product Marketing Analysis (PMA) on your business and products for you to show you what needs to be done. For your free Product Market Analysis (PMA), click here.

If you want to get down to business and have us quote you on how much it would cost each month to hire us to market your products and increase your product sales, then click here.