Impressing your fellow affiliates is an achievement reserved only for the mightiest among the mighty. Mega affiliates know a lot – they’re subscribed to the best newsletters and they get the most important info pushed to their mobile devices. They’re the first ones to try new solutions and aren’t afraid to take risks if there’s money to be made and fame to be collected.
Impressing fellow affiliates is like trying to impress Andrea Pirlo. Many have tried, and many have failed.
Image Credit: YouTube
So how do you impress such a group? With great, exclusive offers; cool communities, flexibility, honesty, and transparency. Top affiliate networks and programs, those that are able to impress the unimpressible (is that even a word?), have those features.
Though they can be helpful, not all programs nor networks are created equal. Here are 8 facts that will help you find impressive ones.
1. Simplicity and flexibility
Best programs are the ones that are simple to use, flexible in their offerings and quick on payment. Such programs will usually allow affiliates to register for free, and will not hide extra charges in the small print. Affiliates will have the freedom of selling whatever they like (obviously, some common sense limitations do apply) and will be paid for their work – fast.
2. Large, active community
Affiliate programs and networks offer a lot of support for new marketers who try to use their platform. This support usually comes in the form of tutorial videos and FAQ’s. However, the very best ones have a thriving community, which can offer additional support for marketers who are starting out or ones that are already seasoned veterans. Signs of a good community are a wealth of information and people trying to make you successful. Members solidify their knowledge and position in the community by sharing information and ways of making money. Be sure that people offering products usually look for affiliate programs that have a thriving community, to ensure that their products are properly represented.
3. Exclusivity of merchants
Programs that feature exclusive merchants (i.e. merchants that offer affiliate offers only on their sites,) usually ramp up their campaigns. This is mostly followed by very competitive offers, detailed and thorough support and lucrative and attractive reward structures. You should keep an eye out for such campaigns since some sites can have over 3,000 merchants. Exclusive offers mean that the merchant has a very special product and is willing to pay good money for you to push and promote their labor of love. Of course, this means that there will be more competition but with good content, you will be able to keep the competition at bay and your customers close.
4. Automated ad rotation
Great programs offer a small but yet very useful feature, something most programs term the “dynamic ad rotation” system. Normally, you would like to disperse your ads throughout the site and have them show in random order; with the ad rotation system, the ads will be randomly chosen and served at various parts of your web page. When working on ad optimization this feature can come in handy and make your life much easier.
5. Different payment models, methods and payment plans
CPA (cost per acquisition) could be termed the most popular payment method since it works on a principle of being paid once your referred customer completes a purchase. CPC or CPL (cost per lead/click) is the next in line when it comes to popularity and it is on the rise. In essence payment is made once you send a lead to the promoted site or product. Keep in mind that quality is valued over quantity. Finally the fixed cost payment which is dependent on a set goal tied to the reach the merchant is looking for, as well as unique leads one can send to their site.
These payment models might be familiar to you and even part of some lower level affiliate programs, but the following two methods are icing on the cake.
- Two tier program – activity on the affiliate site generates income for the affiliate marketer after a transaction has been completed by the customer the marketer has referred
- Residual program – mostly run by merchants that have a subscription service, but gaining popularity among diverse merchants; the marketer keeps earning money if the referred customer keeps purchasing services or products after the initial purchase (very popular on Amazon)
6. Amazing reporting tools
Tracking the progress and success of your campaigns will be the lifeline that will keep you afloat. It is imperative to track ads conversion rates, responses to new posts and generally the flow of traffic from and to your web site. What sets apart top affiliate programs and networks from average ones are the reporting tools. Look for deep linking options and deep linking automation processes along with real time tracking and monitoring options. Though you might be using a third party site for your reporting tools, top affiliate programs and networks should provide you with all you need.
7. Flat learning curve
In a desire to offer the best, some affiliate programs and networks underestimate the importance of highly skilled programmers and great web platforms. This leads to illogical set up of the dashboard and the web site itself. With time spent on the creation of content, your own web page and choosing the right program and network, little time is left to spend hours on getting to grips with how a certain site works and how the design of reporting tools fits into your grand scheme of things. For newcomers to the field of affiliate marketing a flat learning curve can make the difference between toughing it through or giving up after some bumps on the road.
8. Great customer support
Having a simple contact form on the site as a means of getting in touch with customer support simply doesn’t cut it anymore. With numerous affiliates on the site as well as merchants a marketer needs to have access to detailed FAQ’s and customer support which can help guide the marketer through the process of starting up and solving stubborn issues. Code can sometimes be counterintuitive and having someone walk you through the cycle of setting it up properly can make all the difference in the world of affiliate marketing.
In the end
It all comes down to you and your choices, the above facts will make the process of choosing the appropriate affiliate easier for you but make no mistake that you will have to do some digging to find the best one for you. Top affiliate programs and networks aim to offer great value for reasonable time invested, easy application and management process and to top it all of a fun user experience.