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Merchant Basics - Things to Consider When Launching an Affiliate Program

Merchant Basics - Things to Consider When Launching an Affiliate Program



Viewpoints from a new merchant vs an experienced affiliate program manager about starting a new affiliate program. Presented at Affiliate Summit East 2011 in New York City. ...

Viewpoints from a new merchant vs an experienced affiliate program manager about starting a new affiliate program. Presented at Affiliate Summit East 2011 in New York City.

Check out our merchant podcasts and training at http://merchantabcs.com



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    Merchant Basics - Things to Consider When Launching an Affiliate Program Merchant Basics - Things to Consider When Launching an Affiliate Program Presentation Transcript

    • Merchant BasicsLaunching a New Affiliate Program
      Presented by:
      Jeff Grill, Mimeo.com
      Deborah Carney, Merchant ABCs
    • 2
      Jeff Grill
      VP, Marketing
      Mimeo.comOnline Printing
      PublisherDeborah Carney
      Affiliate: since the early days
      Affiliate Manager: Former In-house for CaféPress.com
      Consultant: for many ecommerce companies
      Outsourced Program Manager: (OPM) since 2006 – Multiple programs in Shareasale Top 100
      Training and Podcasts: ABCsPlus.com –for Affiliates, Bloggers, Merchants and more
      Who We Are
    • 3
      How to Avoid This
    • 4
      What We’ll Cover
      Getting Educated
      Key Decisions
      Program Launch
      Lessons Learned
    • 5
      Education: Get Smart
      LinkedIn Affiliate Groups
      Listen to Affiliate ABCs.com
      Geekcast.fmVariety of podcasts
      Learn about fraud Check AffiliateFairPlay.com
      Blogs – Read a variety
      Visit Affiliate Sites
      Join Affiliate Summit ForumAsk questions, get to knowpeople
    • 6
      Competitive Analysis
      Senior Management Commitment
      Documented Revenue Goals by Month
      Tracking Systems
      Profit Margins to support:
      Product or Service Offers
      Multiple Commissions (Affiliate, OPM, Network)
      Conversion rates
      Payment Models
      Network, OPM, Publisher
      Reversal Policies
      Cookie Life
      Nexus Tax
      Channel Conflict Considerations
      Affiliate Payment Options
      Preparation: Get Set
    • 7
      Performance Based Models
      Pay per Sale (PPS/CPS) – 80% of all programs
      Pay per Lead/Cost per Lead 20% of all programs
      Pay per Click/Cost per Click (PPC/CPC)
      Pay per Call
    • 8
      Tip: Do Not Launch Until the Machine is Ready!
    • 9
      Tip: They All Look the Same at First. Develop OPM Selection Criteria.
    • 10
      Choosing an OPM: Experience + Chemistry
      Knowledge of your category
      Point of view regarding coupon sites
      Team assigned to business – who, how much time, chemistry
      Reporting frequency and what does it include
      Who was contacted each week
      Monitoring capability
      Fees (monthly, %)
      Network Familiarity and Access
      Network OPM vs. Outside OPM
    • 11
      Network Selection: Not All Created EqualTIP: Pick Your OPM First
      Review the Majors CJ, Linkshare, Google Affiliate Network, ShareASale, Buy.at
      Niche Networks Might Make Sense Avantlink
      Similar Merchants
      Fees – Network Access, emails, newletters, ala carte fees
      Publisher Access – Networks allow various degrees of access
      Services Offered – Network Tools for Affiliates
      Promotional Opportunities
      Sponsored Conferences
      Competitive Presence
      Industry Reputation
    • 12
      Pre-Launch – Make Sure Your Site is Affiliate Friendly
      Does Your Site Have Elements That Build Trust?
      Public Whois
      The Big 5
      About Us
      Privacy Policy
      Shipping Policy
      Clear Contact Us Info
    • 13
      Pre-Launch – Make Sure Your Site is Affiliate Friendly
      Plug the Leaks
      No outbound links
      Phone number with tracking or walk customer through completing the sale online
      Sell only your own products, no affiliate links to elsewhere
      Adsense – remove it
      Non-commissionable items – remove or rethink
      Live Chat – make sure it keeps affiliate tracking
    • 14
      Pre-Launch – Make Sure Your Site is Affiliate Friendly
      Product Pages – clean, clear images, professional looking
      Site Navigation
      Consistent Branding
      Clear and easy Checkout
      No distractions during checkout
      Make sure your site is converting already, affiliates drive pre-sold traffic, but YOU have to convert that traffic.
    • 15
      Program Terms and Conditions
      PPC Guidelines
      Brand and Keyword protection
      Coupon Guidelines
      If you don’t prohibit affiliate behavior in your Program Terms, it means affiliates CAN and will do what you haven’t prohibited
      Creative and Affiliate Content Development
      Not just banners!
      CRM Considerations (publisher, customer)
      Program Funding
    • 16
      Network Promotion Plan
      Does the network have a launch plan?
      If not, create your own!
      Recruitment TrackingTip: Shared Google Doc to Track Targeted Publishers
      You Can’t Recruit Unless Your Program Stands Out Above Your Competition – You Need to be Better to Get Affiliates to Change or Add Your Company to Their Affiliate Marketing Mix
    • 17
      Look for an Outsourced Program Manager at the beginning of the process. You can hire most as just a startup consultant. They can guide you to the right network, help develop your Affiliate Terms, help with Competitive Analysis and with developing your creatives
      Join your network of choice as an affiliate to see what affiliates see and what your competitors are doing
      Talk to affiliates pre-launch to get their opinions and get them invested in wanting to run your program because you reached out and listened to them
      Join affiliate forums like the Affiliate Summit Networking Forum where you can interact with affiliates and get their opinions. Also OPMs hang out there and you can see how they handle questions etc.
      Lessons Learned
    • 18
    • 19
      Now that your site is all ready for recruiting, get out there and start talking.
      Join the Affiliate Summit Networking Forum to talk to OPMs (Outsourced Program Managers), networks, and affiliates
      When you are ready – post a free job notice for a manager
      Next Steps
    • 20
      Head over to Merchant ABCs for a free video that explains the terminology and roles
      We have a special offer for viewers of this webinar – free six months subscription at Merchant ABCs private access forum.
      • http://merchantabcs.com/specialoffer/
      We will have experts available to answer your questions and a variety of OPMs that you can talk to about your management needs
      Shawn Collins has a video series update to his groundbreaking book: Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants, originally published in April 2001.
    • 21
      Thank You!Be sure to fill out your session review form!
      Find Deborah at:
      Phone: (702)582-6742
      Find Jeff Grill at:
      The RogueMarketer.com