This article is the second of my two part series on setting up your own affiliate program. Once you are starting an affiliate program, you must manage and keep track of it.
The key is to promote your products and services to people who NEED them. Affiliate business is no different. You may create your own affiliate program or you may promote other popular affiliate programs that are related to your product or service.
The best way to manage and track is by creating your own affiliate program website. This is where you can list all your affiliate programs.
Keeping a track of all affiliate programs in a single network is easy. You would generally be given one username and password as well as a single interface that controls all the programs.
However, if you have many of your own affiliate programs or you promote several stand-alone affiliate programs from your website, the task of staying organized becomes a bit more complex.
There are software programs available on the Internet that organize and keep track of all data associated with affiliate programs. A typical database would include some of the following fields:
* Program Name
* Email Address
* 1st Tier Sale
* 2nd Tier Sale
* Total commission for month
Some of the advanced software programs also provide analysis and comparison tools. If you take the time to input data about clicks, sales, and page views, impressions, emails sent etc. from your various campaigns and enter all of it into the program, it will show you:
* Click to Sale Ratios
* Impression to Sale Ratios
* Amount Earned Per Impression
* Amount Earned Per Click
Keep a close watch on your activities
Ensure that your website is up and running. The danger in not knowing that your site is down comes when you are running a pay per click advertising campaign. The click costs add up whether your site is functional or not.
Check your statistics daily. This will give you a better idea of your income trends and also highlight any area of concern such as sudden decrease in revenue.
Be prompt in answering any queries from affiliate partners or customers, especially when these are about your products or services.
One of the main aspects of any affiliate program is residual income. You've got to make the most of every customer. The best way to do this is by promoting affiliate programs that offer residual commission as well as one time sales. Membership sites are a good way to collect residualcommissions.
Track your links - guesswork is no use
Track all your affiliate links. The best way to accomplish this is by setting up tracking software for your affiliate links. There are a number of scripts that will do the job.
Most tracking programs typically allow you to setup tracking links for any product you promote, telling you how many hits each product has received, and where the hits are coming from.
It is not enough to have a few banners and classified ads if you provide an affiliate program. You must provide as much help as possible . You should have tested and proven endorsements, testimonials, sig files, ezine ads, and other unique tools and techniques. You should also make yourself available to answer any questions they may have.
You should determine what methods work best for your affiliate program or one you might promote in a particular medium. For instance, which ezine ads work best and in what ezine; which banner ads produce the greatest clickthroughs and from which sites or banner exchanges; and where on your website is the most effective spot to include a testimonial.
This can only come about through active promotion and looking at results both good and non productive. Assumptions can be tested and the results guide you. Just hoping for the best is a recipe for disaster.
If you can sort out your payment procedures from the start, you will save yourself an administrative headache and more to the point, keep your affiliates happy! Or use a third party like clickbank to pay out and manage instead. Its less flexible than your own set up to begin with but everyone gets paid without you lifting a finger. You just pay out in fees.
This concludes my overview on starting your own affiliate program. If there is any one thing I would recommend, it is to track everything you can so you can refine your strategy further and increase your earnings.
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