When it comes to starting your own affiliate program, you first have the choice to use a third-party service like ShareaSale or set it up and run it on your own site. If you are using WordPress, there is a great plugin out that there will do the trick called AffiliateWP.
But it’s not all about the tech side of things. There is so much more. I had the chance to have Pippin Williamson, the creator of AffiliateWP, on our podcast and talk about his own experiences. I asked him this question.
Now I’ve decided I want to do my own affiliate program, do you have some really good tips, let’s say two or three of them, how they can most effectively set up, run and manage their own affiliate program because I’m sure it’s a pretty big undertaking but what are your top two or three recommendations?
Tip #1: Be prepared to put some work into it
Pippin Williamson: So number one is don’t just assume that affiliates will come because you put an affiliate program on your site, I think we do see a lot of people that just assume by the fact that they have an affiliate program that it’s automatically gonna make them a lot of money and that it’s automatically going to pay for itself and bring in more customers and make happy affiliates. While that can be true sometimes, an affiliate program takes work. It’s another part of running your business and you need to be mindful of that and be prepared to put some effort into it.
One of the things that can help a lot is active communication with your affiliates, be actively communicating to them things that you’re doing within your business. Perhaps if you have upcoming sales periods or special discounts, promotions let your affiliates know ahead of time because customers are more likely to purchase during that period and so it makes more sense for the affiliates to put in so effort and promote your sale period.
Tip #2: Communicate actively and encourage your affiliates to promote your products
Number two, actively communicate with your affiliates, don’t just assume that they’re gonna go and work for you, some affiliates will but you’re gonna end up with a lot of people in your affiliate program possibly that are not say your hardcore affiliate marketer. Maybe they’re a friend or just a customer who really likes your stuff and they’re gonna use it every now and then when one of their friend says “Hey, what should I use for X?” or “What company should I go to for Y?”
But by actually communicating with your affiliates you can help convert more of them … You can help encourage effort on their part. An affiliate doesn’t give you any value unless they’re making effort to try to bring in those sales for you and so that’s what you need to work towards.
Tip #3: Be selective
And the last one is be selective of your affiliates, don’t just assume that you should approve everybody to be an affiliate because they want to promote your product. I think it’s very common for people to think of affiliate marketing as kind of one of the scammy businesses. It’s like SEO in web development. There’s a lot of very legitimate companies doing it and then there’s a lot of really scammy stuff. Affiliate marketing is the same way. Be selective with who you let into your program. Make sure that they’re promoting your product in a way that you approve of, that you like, that is consistent with your branding.
I mean, for example if you sell a product or a service to a very specific group of people, a very specific audience, you don’t want to have affiliates promoting them to a very different group of people that conflict with your primary audience. You don’t want your brand misconstrued by an affiliate who is not respecting it. Your branding is important so be selective with who you let in and then all those people that you let in, treat them well.
If you would like to listen to the entire podcast, you can head over to our other site: Insights on Running an Affiliate Program on Your WordPress Site with Pippin Williamson
An audio version of this post: