Lots of different web shops or organisations can have an affiliate program and they can all look very different in set up. But a successful affiliate program always has a few important conditions that can make or break it.
1. (attainable) Goals and KPI’s
Make sure you know what you want to reach with your affiliate program and please do share that with your Tradedoubler Account Manager. Is your most important KPI’s to have more sales? Or perhaps to obtain more new customers? Or perhaps you want to get a healthy ROI?
Also make sure that these goals are fair and obtainable, talk with your TD Account Manager about it to see what their opinion is and what they think is possible.
2. Deals or promotions
This depends on the type of webshop you have, but publishers will need to have promotions in order to push your program and/or create content. It is very tough to push a consumer to buy something from your webshop if there is no incentive for that person. So make sure you have regular deals, sales, promotions or voucher codes. This doesn’t have to be every week, but at least once a month or bi-monthly.
If it is impossible to make deals or promotions in your organisation then it is important that you communicate with your publishers on what they can promote. Let them know about your new products or services or the current bestsellers for example. Every information that they can use to optimise their campaign is valuable. So send your Tradedoubler Account Manager of your program regular newsletters that he/she can send to the publishers!
4. (Some) Budget
I hear you say: ‘But it’s performance marketing’. This is true if you only want a basic affiliate program. However, if you want to grow your online presence and thus your business, you will need some additional budget. We can set up exposures with the top publishers, so that your web shop or deal is featured in a newsletter, on a banner on the homepage or in a social media post.
Besides, if you want to start working with bloggers you will need budget for fixed fees as most bloggers don’t work purely on CPO.
It is already very good to start with a smaller budget, so you can test different publishers and business models.
5. Updated creatives
With ‘creatives’ I obviously mean banners, but I do want to include text links here as well. Banners can be JPG’s or HTML5, the latter being more and more common. Best thing is to have an IAB set so that you have the most popular sizes. Of course it depends on the type of web shop you have on how often you need to update the banners, but try to do this at least quarterly. Then publishers will have new visuals every few months.
If you want to go to a higher level have the possibility to create dynamic banners. With these publishers can ask for a banner with a specific product on it, this will make the promotion much easier.
Text links are as important as creatives. Try to have text links for all your most important pages (best sellers, sale page, new releases, gender or age categories, etc) but also your most important products.