Our most successful merchant partners tend to be those who know — at least roughly — what kind of affiliate marketing program they’re trying to build.
Typical affiliate marketing program paths:
- Influencer or micro/nano influencer: A content creator that might have a large or a niche (valuable) following. For this type of network you’ll want to reach out 1-1 with influencers to entice, set expectations and to bargain.
- Publisher: Similar to an influencer but with a broader reach, and often powered by AI. Publishers sometimes have networks of thousands of sites and PPC/PPA methodology. You’ll have less bargaining power with them. Publishers typically choose you and not the other way around :)
- Professional Affiliate: A person or company that might run CPC ad campaigns, coupon and discount sites, and the like.
- Multichannel: A mix of the above strategies, running simultaneously. If you’re running a Multichannel program, you may have both a publicly available registration page and also some private offers with bigger influencers.
And once you’ve identified the type of affiliate network that is right for you, start simple:
- Get your house in order. Create a solid registration page and terms & policies and privacy statement
- Get affiliates in the door. Find and onboard Affiliates - we recommend starting with a couple of your most trusted customers.
- Monitor their activity. Create a simple offer and wait to see how that does before trying on tiered commissions and other more advanced things.
Once you’ve gathered enough data, then you can really start to play!
And regardless of your path, for your program to succeed, you’ll need to set some goals.
Your performance benchmarks will vary depending on who your people are. From certain influencers, you might want to see at least 10 conversions a month. For micro and nano influencers in a niche market, you might be happy with 1-2 sales a month.
Get familiar with your Dashboard, where you’ll see the numbers come in.
Some influencers have the reach that they advertise and some don’t, so it’s important to vet them carefully and follow the numbers once they’ve joined your network. A model like pay-per-post, for example, relies on influencers coming through with the reach they claim to have. Until the conversions come in, it’s all theory.
And speaking of conversions, there are no conversions without affiliates to facilitate them! In addition to the trusted customers we recommend starting with, you’ll want to actively pursue the strategy you’ve chosen to expand your network and make sure you’re working with productive partners.
Tool: registration page
📍 Where we are in the app: Channels > Affiliate Registration
Think of this as an experiment: In order to make a program like this work well, you’ll need to activate the right number of affiliates as test subjects —real people who have a real connection to your product(s). This could be 100+ influencers who get your product and are prepared to rep it faithfully. Or this could be a small circle of celebrities who believe in your brand and have proven their ability to drive sales. But generally, you will get more meaningful test data if you have large numbers — and this is especially important if you are newer to the game.
You can place your registration page anywhere you like, but there are other ways to cast your net. Refersion is partnered with experts who can augment your recruitment effort:
For influencer programs, we have PerformEx; for publishers programs, we have Sovrn, Skimlinks, Magiclinks. There are also affiliate management agencies who really get what we do. And finally, we also have the Refersion Marketplacewhere you affiliates can find and apply to your program. Note: This is an open forum, and we suggest you vet all applicants.
Who does best practice recruitment?
And once you have affiliates, you’ll need to give them the most effective tools to entice customer clicks (and track them in Refersion).
Tool: conversion triggers
📍 Where we are in the app: Dashboard > Add Conversion Trigger
In addition to referral links, you and your affiliates have these as an option. For micro and nano influencer programs in particular (which tend to be highly visual), conversion triggers will come in handy because they don’t rely on a click:
- Coupon code - Your affiliates can choose a code from the registration page, and you can create them on the fly, for your affiliates to drop anywhere.
- Customer Email - Your affiliates provide their customer emails, and we’ll track their purchases, associating them with that affiliate, as they roll in. Note: You can also upload a list of customer emails on your affiliate’s behalf.
- SKU - This is a royalty arrangement at the product/SKU level.
Learn how to set conversion triggers.
If you’re coming with an army of affiliates, and you’re ready to upload the list, you can explore our more advanced offer settings. Namely:
The performance-based commission structure
Learn how to build a Tiered Commission Structure.