Top 7 Questions You Need To Ask When Setting Up Your Affiliate ProgramBy Jimsun Lui
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Setting up a successful affiliate program can help you sell your products like crazy. The reason is that you can sign up hundreds or even thousands of affiliates, and they will promote your products. You only reward them if they can make sales. Compared to banner advertising and ezine advertising, it is far more effective and cost-justified. At the very least, you get a powerful "pay-for-performance-only" sales force. More probably, they will sell your products on their Web sites by putting a personal endorsement article there, adding a banner of your products, and selling your products on their ezine. You just pay when they can sell.
Now, I suggest you sit down and think thoroughly: What's the first step in setting up your affiliate program?"
YES! You are right.
The first step is to establish a back-end system for running your own affiliate program.
How? You can either buy affiliate tracking software or employ an affiliate service provider. Both solutions have their merits. You must make the right decision or else your own affiliate program may give you a lot of trouble or even ruin your business.
To make a wise decision, you must ask yourself seven questions:
- Do I have the capacity and willingness to deal with affiliate administration jobs like signing checks and sending checks on time to each affiliate? How about accounting duties?
- Do I have a budget to sign up tons of high-quality affiliates?
- Do I have the ability to handle customer billing and billing inquiries?
- Do I want to buy, install, manage and later update software? (It may consume a considerable amount of time.)
- Am I confident enough that my affiliates have trust in me so that they're willing to sign up?
- Do I have experience in affiliate fraud management?
- Can I manage the whole system in a consistent and timely manner?
My suggestion: If most of your answers are YES, then BUYING affiliate tracking software is a good choice. On the contrary, I suggest you EMPLOY an affiliate program service provider.
Buying Your Own Affiliate Tracking Software
To use your own affiliate software and run your program by yourself, you must install powerful affiliate tracking software and plan how to run the back-end administration jobs. The pro of this approach is that you only spend a one-time fee to buy software. The con is that you need to handle administration jobs like check preparation, etc. It is quite time-consuming and incurs administration costs. However, if you have the ability to do it, go for it!
Employing An Affiliate Program Service Provider
The pro of using an affiliate service provider to handle your affiliate program is that it handles nearly every administration job. These administration jobs are not only tedious and troublesome, but also incur cost. Sometimes, this cost is very high. If you use an affiliate program service provider to handle your affiliate program, you can really spend more time on developing your e-business. A really good affiliate program service provider can help you handle check payment and software updates, has a network to help you sign up more affiliates, offers a flexible affiliate program structure, and generates all necessary reports for you and your affiliates. If you have only a small team of employees or even no employees, it is wise to use an affiliate service provider.
Need details on how to choose your affiliate tracking software or affiliate program service provider? Click and read the long version of this article at: http://www.addto.com/aff4.shtml?ne7
For details on how to promote your program, click and read these two articles:
Jimsun Lui, owner of http://www.addto.com/
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Article Submitted On: July 10, 2000