* Your products/services being advertised
* The audience you’d like it be advertised to
* The program structure (i.e. commission, restrictions, etc.)
* The right network or platform and affiliate partners to align with

Let’s walk through this. Selecting your products and services should be the easiest part. Which ones do you need help advertising? Which ones would be best suited for affiliate marketing? After answering these, select a few to begin. For each product, define your audience so that your affiliates know what you’re looking for, including both their demographic and psychographic information.

Next, you’ll want to find the right third-party network. Finding a good one is absolutely crucial. You can select a one or a series of affiliate networks. Another option is to skip the networks and launch a direct affiliate program yourself with an affiliate tracking platform. Once your program is in place, you’ll begin identifying, recruiting and engaging with affiliate partners.

For your program structure, you’ll want to account for the commission, commission window, program restrictions and program policies. You want to make sure you are commission cost will keep you ROI positive and that the program policies protect your business. But, you’ll also want to ensure that the program is attractive to affiliates.

Managing Your Affiliate Relationships

Affiliate marketing is not an immediate payday. Just like sewing the seeds for any new business venture, they take time and effort to nurture and grow. The affiliates involved will take time to understand yourproducts and services and to A/B test (or very often, stumble upon) the messaging or channels that produce the greatest results.

So who are these affiliates? They’re most likely an industry blogger, content site or affinity site for our travel agency example. They may post consumer offers, content, and/or banners about your travel agency with links back to the website. You’ll now be reaching thousands of potential customersand generating revenue from your affiliate partners.

Over time you’ll also start to see that there are some affiliates that you want to work with, and others that you don’t. This is where the 80/20 rule comes into play, as about 20% of your affiliates will drive 80% of your affiliate marketing revenue. You want to refocus on these priorities and de-prioritize ones that didn’t produce anything.

It’s also important to keep your affiliates engaged over time and there are a number of simple ways to do this. First and foremost, lucrative commission structures drive activity. You should also stay in at least weekly communication, providing tips and news that can give them ideas and make it easier to promote you.

Now that you’ve seen how to do it on your own, here’s what an Affiliate Management Company can do for you:

* A wealth of expertise and pre-existing relationships. Instead of trying to develop a network of thousands of people on your own you can leap-frog that step, so to speak, and jump right in. Through a consultative process you can simply explain your goals and objectives for the channel and your affiliate management company will start pulling in affiliate partners to promote your business.
* Program Maintenance. Getting started is only the tip of the iceberg and once it’s running, someone is going to have to manage your program and keep the affiliates engaged.
* Top Performing Media. A high powered team of designers is at your disposal to create a variety of media based on best practices, including banners, text links, email creative, product data feeds, and more.
* Reporting and Accountability. Will you be accountable for the program’s success? Hiring an affiliate management company is like adding a group of data scientists to your team and always having the right reports to show process, results, and revenue.
* Program Optimization. It takes an experienced professional to know what will work, what won’t work, and how to continually improve results. You’ll want one of the best on your team!

Whew, we’ve covered a lot. What it all boils down to is that partnering with an affiliate managementcompany lets you dart past the competition and get your program up and running no time. Whereas you’re an expert in running your business, they’re an expert in running an affiliate marketing program and if your goal is to see revenue results, it makes sense to partner with an expert.

This is where we’ll introduce ourselves. Versa Marketing Inc is recognized as one of the top affiliate marketing agencies in the space. Our team of dedicated and experienced Internet marketing professionals have years of experience positioning brands for optimal success and profitability. With expertise in a wide breadth of marketing channels,

We will diversify your online marketing efforts in order to create a campaign that is sustainable and increases bottom-line results. Contact us today to get started or for a free consultation. Visit www.versamarketinginc.com/online-marketing-services/affiliate-program-management and www.versamarketinginc.com/
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