Affiliate programs are a powerful way to grow your small business. The basic premise behind the programs is to align your potential referral sources and other interested parties to increase your sales while compensating them for the marketing and referral efforts. There are various compensation models that can be utilized, but the most widely used ones are: pay per lead, pay per sale or pay per click. Which model works best for your business depends on the type of industry you are in and how much you are willing to spend to make it appealing to you and your affiliates. How should you go about utilizing the power of the affiliate programs? Read our Top Seven Ideas below and start harnessing new, but powerful small business marketing tool.

1. Create an appealing affiliate program with competitive compensation. Your main choices are to pay per lead, pay per sale or pay per click.

2. Use a third party provider to track your program and to increase its credibility. Some examples of the third party providers are AffiliateShop and Commission Junction. Affiliate Shop charges a monthly fee and helps you setup the program. They don’t charge commissions on your sales. Commission Junction presents your program to their large network of affiliates, but they take a cut of your sales.

3. Publish a press release announcing the launch of your affiliate program. Great places to post your release are PRWeb, PR, or Free-press-release.

4. Submit your program to affiliate search directories. Here are some of the examples: Affiliate Scout and Affiliate Guide.

5. Contact related website that might be interested in working with you on referring potential customers and see if they would be interested in joining your affiliate program.

6. Don’t forget offline marketing to potential affiliates. Depending on your business, there could be a multitude of potential referral sources: your customers, business referral sources, or business people interested in earning extra money.

7. Make sure that your affiliate program offers a two-tier compensation. In that case if your affiliate refers another affiliate to you, they would get compensation from the transaction submitted by the second-tier affiliate. This could be a powerful way to continue growing your network.

Now that you are armed with the top seven ideas on how to harness the power of the affiliate programs for your business, you are ready to use this great marketing tool. Also, don’t forget about the potential benefits of using other business affiliate programs to earn additional income. If you haven’t yet seen our very appealing affiliate programs, check them out on our website. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and good luck!

Tiana Nelson, CMA, CFM is a Business Development Manager at Preferred Capital Alliance, Inc, a Better Business Bureau accredited company that helps small- and medium-size businesses obtain business loans, commercial mortgages, and equipment leases.
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