So the other day I had an argument with my friend who wanted to get his business online. He wants to sell his hand made high end bags for men and women to a larger audience.
His question to me was how can he generate the most sales with out having to wait years to build up his name on a national or world level.
I asked what he thought of affiliate marketing where people could sign up for his online affiliate program. Basically how it would work is that each affiliate would receive a special tracking link and every sale they helped generate, they would be paid a commission. Either a flat rate or percentage.
Like many business owners I talk to, he really didn’t like the idea of having to pay commissions. No one wants to share a piece of the pie if they don’t have to I suppose.
As a former full time affiliate marketer, I think a successful affiliate program can be a huge business asset so I will give you these points to consider:
- Affiliates get your sales you would not have had otherwise.
- You’re only paying when sales occur so it would be difficult to lose money. It’s not like having to pay a salesperson a salary or hourly wage.
- Good affiliate software can be purchased and set up for a few hundred dollars and there are even a couple of free options out there.
- Once your affiliate program is set up, all you have to do is pay your affiliates at the end of the month or however you want the payment schedule to go. Not a lot of maintenance.
- Selling other companies products is what a lot of affiliates do full time. Some have their own niche mailing lists which took years to form. One email blast with your product to the right list of people can be worth thousands or even millions. Other affiliates take out newspaper ads, TV ads, blog posts to targeted audiences. The industry term we use is “super affiliates”. With the right super affiliates on board, they can help you make more money than you would have ever thought. Finding them is the challenge.
Cons? I can’t think of many. I will say that depending on what you are selling or what your current reputation is, an affiliate program might not fit into your business model.
Watch for Part 2 next week where I highlight the best affiliate program software. Everything from self hosted solutions to monthly affiliate management services.