It's a challenge isn't it? Selling online, it's a challenge!
Apart from the setup costs of your e-commerce website you have your management time and learning curve to consider. Also, contending with an ever increasing and competitive marketing cost keeps many online merchants up at night.
It can sometimes seam like a hike too far, but there is a lower cost and effort solution. You can spread the word by sharing a slice of your revenue when you sell something. Now, you may feel uncomfortable about such a solution, but don’t be.
If you think about your current marketing budget for 100% revenue, you're probably looking at quite a scary number. Wouldn't it be better to pay this same budget only when sales are made? Performance linked sales is the Holy Grail when it comes to direct salespeople. You only pay a commission when a sale is made, perfect! Affiliate marketing is the same principle. People and companies that run successful and high traffic websites, drive potential buyers to your store or service website and hey presto more sales and less non-profitable advertising and marketing.
The biggest names on the Internet are all running affiliate schemes, eBayTM, AmazonTM even GoogleTM shares its wealth through its Pay-Per-Click scheme AdSenseTM. So it's not a question of if you should be doing it, it's a question of how you should do it!
There are 3 main ways to setup a successful affiliate scheme.
- Employ an affiliate manager to find new affiliates and manage your campaigns. You just need to ensure that they are of good quality and can show you a track record of previous successes.
- Join an affiliate programme or group, normally called a network. Again, ensure that it's a good quality community with a good success record. Take a look at Affiliate Window which is a well respected service provider.
- Do it yourself. This is a great solution and allows you to retain control of your campaigns and manage your affiliates yourself. However you will need to find and manage your affiliate partners yourself. A great solution here is Post Affiliate Pro, see below for more details.
In cases 1 and 2, affiliate managers and do it yourself, you're going to need a reliable tracking solution to help manage your affiliates, sale associations, commissions etc. I must say that as of yet, we haven't come across a better provider than Post Affiliate Pro and the best thing about it is that they offer a Free, yes Free, hosted solution, so that you can dip your toe in the water, before diving in.
So if your run an e-commerce website and you want to grow your sales without upfront marketing spend, take a look at Post Affiliate Pro, it's a great solution!
Do you run an affiliate network or are you an affiliate that is a member of a network? Send us a comment and we'll add you to this list!