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Promote Your Online Store
Banner ads are a thing of the past!
Affiliates today are sophisticated, driven and ready to sell! They need and want more than banner ads. As a merchant, you have to be ready to give them more! You have to be ready with an arsenal of linking methods like:
Instead of placing a banner on their site, your Affiliates should be able to choose from several linking methods. Along with giving them more flexibility in linking to your site, additional methods provide incentive to your Affiliates: By giving them an email advertisement you give them the idea to place an ad in their favorite email newsletter -- where they may have never thought to advertise before.
So, how do you manage all of these linking methods? Most Affiliate Program Solutions are set up to give Affiliates banners and simple URL links. Do you have to format each linking method? How do you get new linking methods to your Affiliates? Will you customize the links with their Affiliate ID Numbers, or try to explain to them how to do it? What a headache!
Affiliates simply copy and paste the HTML or the text for the articles, signature files, images and guestbooks and place them on their sites or in email messages that they send.
Affiliates get what they need to effectively promote your products and services -- and you're saved from the headache of customizing and distributing new linking methods.
Affiliate Categorization & Affiliate Promotion
What are Affiliates? They're one big mass of people that have the same kind of site, same kind of visitors, the same needs and deserve the same commission - right?
Well, of course not. But - if you think about it, that's how most Affiliate Programs treat their Affiliates. They give all Affiliates the same commissions, the same linking methods, the same incentives, same, same, same! They fail to recognize that Affiliates have a variety of needs, diverse reasons for joining, visitors from all walks of life, different marketing styles and varying degrees of interest in making a sale.
The hardest part of administrating an Affiliate Program is deciding what your Affiliates need to help them make the sale. But, by carefully categorizing your Affiliates, you can easily determine what their needs are and how to accurately meet them.
Here is a six step plan designed to help you accurately categorize your Affiliate Members:
STEP ONE: Pick at least three types of Affiliates.
Take a look at your Affiliates and try to determine one outstanding characteristic that can easily be compared across the board and choose at least three types of the characteristic. Here are some examples:
STEP TWO: Determine the needs of each type.
Each of your Affiliate Types will have different needs -- some of their needs will overlap, but you should find a distinct difference in many of their needs. If you find that they all have the same needs, go back to step one and re-think your Types.
Here are some basic things to look for:
STEP THREE: Create and compile Linking Methods for each type.
Based on the needs you identified in Step Two, create and compile linking methods for each type. Here are a few linking methods to think about:
Review each Affiliate Type and match them up with your new linking methods. You may have some linking methods that overlap Types -- this is okay. Just be sure you are concentrating on the Affiliates' needs!
STEP FOUR: Decide on compensation for each type.
Your ideal: 0% commissions
Since neither you or your Affiliates live in a perfect world, it's up to you to decide on a fair commission level. Your first decision will be to determine whether you want to pay a flat rate or percentage of each sale.
Based on the needs you identified above for each of the Affiliate Types, decide on a commission amount for each Type. If you have a two-tier program, consider the possibility of different second tier rates as well.
STEP FIVE: Develop a plan for effective yet painless management.
This could be one of the most difficult parts of your categorization process. You have your Affiliate Types, the linking methods for each and a fair compensation plan for each. Now, how do you manage it all?
Most software programs aren't set up to handle Affiliate Categorization. So, you may have to develop a database or a spreadsheet to keep track of your Affiliates and their Types.
STEP SIX: Develop Promotions for your Affiliate Types.
Once you have your Affiliates properly categorized and your system under control, consider developing promotions for your Affiliate Types. Give them special incentives to sell more during a certain time frame, move seasonal products, or increase business during your slow months. Offer them additional commissions, or even bonuses for reaching a specific amount of sales.
Whether your Affiliate Categorization strategy is complex or simple -- just keep in mind that your Affiliates are not clones of one another. They have different vistors, different backgrounds and different needs.
AffiliateManager.com is the leading affiliate management agency in the industry, ready to launch your new affiliate program or revitalize an existing one.They continue to lead the change as affiliate program managers with groundbreaking new software applications that streamline efficiencies in managing even the most complex of programs.