Webinar are you ready to launch an affiliate program?

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  • – while your registrar says you need it or bad things will happen, they are talking about private registration for personal websites. Your business site needs to be transparent about how to contact you and who your domain is registered to.
  • One of the hardest concepts for some merchants is the link to somewhere else.

Transcript

  • 1. 10 Point Checklist Before You Launch a Killer Affiliate Program
    Things to check on your site before launching an Affiliate Program
    Presented by
    Deborah Carney – MerchantABCs
  • 2. Who is Deborah Carney?
    Affiliate: since the early days
    Affiliate Manager: Former In-house for CaféPress.com
    Consultant: for several CPA networks and other ecommerce companies
    Outsourced Program Manager: (OPM) since 2006 – Multiple programs in Shareasale Top 100 Merchants List
    Merchant:LoxlyGallery.com
    Training and Podcasts: ABCsPlus.com –for Affiliates, Bloggers, Merchants and more
    MerchantABCs.com
    @loxly
    @merchantabcs
    Facebook.com/loxly
    Linkedin.com/in/loxly
  • 3. Merchant ABCs
    Focus on the basics – most overlooked area of affiliate marketing
    Focus on training merchants how to run their affiliate programs
    Free podcasts and videos with industry experts
    Premium services:
    Private access forum
    Complete training for merchants from inception to recruitment
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 4. Site Elements
    You may think your site is well designed, your designer and tech teams say everything is great and someone in the company heard that this thing called Affiliate Marketing can get you tons of sales fast.
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 5. Site Elements
    First thing: Affiliate Marketing isn’t going to get you fast results, it is a long term commitment with long term results.
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 6. Site Elements
    Let’s take a look at some elements and see if they are on your site.
    The same elements that make your site Affiliate Friendly will also increase your conversions.
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 7. Building Trust
    Customers
    Affiliates
    MerchantABCs.com
    Customers need to trust you and your site before they will buy from you. Unless you are Amazon or Walmart that means your site needs to have some elements customers look for.
    Affiliates know what drives a customer to make a purchase and they know that the following elements – at the very least – need to be on your site before they will promote your products or services
  • 8. Transparency
    WhoIs Registration– Affiliates (and Customers) want to know who you are
    Private Registration sets off red flags
    Shared hosting sets off red flags
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 9. The Big 5
    • AboutUs
    • 10. PrivacyPolicy
    • 11. ReturnsPolicy
    • 12. ShippingPolicy
    • 13. ContactInfo/Customer Service Info
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 14. The Big 5
    • AboutUs– tellaboutyourcompany, howyougotstarted, howyourproducthelps the user, whatisyour point of difference from yourcompetitors
    • 15. PrivacyPolicy – Whoyoushare info with, what do youshare, whohasaccess, 3rd party newsletter, 3rd party toolsetc
    • 16. ReturnsPolicy – Ifyourproductcan’t be returned, sayso. Ifitcan, outlinerequirements and restrictions
    • 17. ShippingPolicy – Be clearaboutshippingcostsup front
    • 18. ContactInfo/Customer Service Info – must be easilyfound on yoursite.
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 19. Live Chat?
    • Great for building trust
    • 20. Live Help – not commission based, convert the sale with the affiliate retaining credit for sale
    • 21. Be sure you are using a service that doesn’t take the affiliate cookie away
    • 22. Answer questions but customer finishes purchase without clicking links in chat
    • 23. Most useful for pre-purchase questions and post purchase customer service
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 24. Leaks – What are they?
    Any link that goes off your website.
    Any link that goes off your website.
    Did I say ANY link that goes off your website?
    Seriously, you are in business to sell YOUR products, your affiliates are in business to sell YOUR products.
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 25. Leaks
    Links to your products at Amazon
    Links to your products at eBay
    Links to your webmaster
    Backlinks to people that link to you
    If it’s a link off your site, it’s a leak and affiliates will not work with you.
    Exception: pay per click or pay per lead
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 26. Selling on eBay or Amazon
    • Must link to only your own products on your own site or sites of yours that cross track all the sales to your affiliate
    • 27. Why take someone ready to purchase and send them to another site?
    • 28. Niche sites that cross track are ok (Still your cart)
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 29. Phone Numbers
    • Phone numbers build trust, but they are also a leak.
    • 30. Check with your network for phone tracking information
    • 31. Keep phone number limited to customer service pages
    • 32. Require people who call to complete the purchase online
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 33. Merchant acting as an affiliate
    Sending traffic away to same or complementary products
    If you don’t carry the product, get it through a supplier but don’t link elsewhere
    If you are running affiliate program you need to get the merchandise in your cart
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 34. Adsense
    • Why would you?
    • 35. Don’t do it, affiliates can target you
    • 36. Adsense is a separate bot from the Googlebot, Adsense doesn’t bring search engines to you
    • 37. Keep your customers
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 38. Non-Commissionable Items
    Make it clear to affiliates about non-commissionable items
    Must be in terms and conditions
    Worse than other leaks, if affiliates don’t know they aren’t getting paid
    Everything on your site should be commissionable unless you are paying per lead
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 39. Product Pages
    Clear call to action
    Sharp product images
    Images all the same size
    Professional looking images
    Complete description – more is better – pretend you are explaining your product to someone over the phone
    Easy way to indicate choices – Size, Colors available etc
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 40. Navigation
    • Clear and easy to follow
    • 41. Affiliate will go through site to see if they can find things that customers will be looking for
    • 42. Categories need to be clear and not too many levels
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 43. Branding
    • Keep the message and site branding consistent
    • 44. If there is a “hop” to a different site for the cart, be sure tracking and branding carry over
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 45. Checkout Process
    Make your checkout process fast and easy to use
    Make sure your customers know your checkout is secure
    Don’t have distractions get in the way of finishing checkout
    Shipping costs clear prior to checkout begins
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 46. Checkout Process
    Top reasons for shopping cart abandonment:
    • Shipping too high
    • 47. Coupon prompt with no coupon available
    • 48. Requiring an account
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 49. Checkout Process
    Don’t require account creation until after the sale is completed
    Finish the sale, then ask if they want to create an account
    Provide an option for Guest Checkout
    Worth the money to pay to get this programmed into your stock or open source cart.
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 50. Checkout Process
    Don’t use 3rd party cart recovery services –
    Don’t give your customers away
    Your customers belong to you, they trust you with their information
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 51. Summary
    Site Elements that build trust
    Transparency
    Public Whois
    The Big 5
    About Us
    Privacy Policy
    Returns
    Shipping Policy
    Clear Contact Us Info
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 52. Summary
    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
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 53. Summary
    Product Pages – clean, clear images, professional looking
    Site Navigation
    Consistent Branding
    Clear and easy Checkout
    No distractions during checkout
    Most importantly – keep your customer data, give your customers a good buying experience and your affiliates will love the conversions and keep sending you more customers
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 54. Next Steps
    Now that your site is all ready for an affiliate program you need to find out what it takes to create and run one.
    Join the Affiliate Summit Networking Forum to talk to OPMs (Outsourced Program Managers) and networks, and when you are ready – post a free job notice for a manager
    http://forum.affiliatesummit.com
    Head over to Merchant ABCs for a free video that explains the terminology and roles
    http://merchantabcs.com/training
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 55. How We Can Help
    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
    MerchantABCs.com
  • 56. Contact Us
    Find Deborah at:
    http://forum.affiliatesummit.com
    http://merchantabcs.com
    http://twitter.com/loxly
    http://affiliatesummit.com - Speaking at ASE11
    Email: dc@merchantabcs.com
    Phone: (702)582-6742
    MerchantABCs.com