Q: What is the best way for a fairly new company to get started in a successful affiliate marketing program? I understand this maybe a big question so I would say if you were able to identify the most important way to begin. Thank you for your time!
A: Since this is a new company, I would urge you to get everything established and functioning well with your site before considering an affiliate program.
Analyze your conversion ratio, landing page performance, etc., so that you are sure everything is optimized and working fantastically before you even think about an affiliate program.
It can take a month or more to implement an affiliate program, but a motivated team can get it setup and tested way faster.
One thing I’ve seen happen over and over is that a company launches an affiliate program before they are ready for it – the site isn’t solid and already generating success, and they hope an affiliate program will get things moving.
But affiliates rely on a fully functioning, easy customer experience to make it worthwhile for them. They are paid on performance, and they will flee if your site does not close the deal. Not only would you be doing a disservice to the affiliates, but you’re likely alienating them for the future.
However, if you’re already seeing good conversion rates and things are all locked down, then you are probably ready to implement an affiliate program.
When you are ready for an affiliate program, seek out the affiliate networks (just search affiliate network on Google) and ask for a demo, as well as pricing and testimonials.
Also, unless you have somebody in-house who is an experienced affiliate manager, reach out to the OPM (outsourced program management companies) by searching for affiliate manager in Google. Outsourcing the management of your affiliate program will enable you to hit the ground running.