The best consulting advice we can give to brands, first and foremost, is to launch that affiliate program.
Over 80% of brands, including the majority of Inc 500 companies, operate affiliate programs. For those brands who do not need convincing on this front and are in the stage of searching for the ideal affiliate program solutions, we generally point clients first in the direction of affiliate networks. Although all affiliate programs should have some degree of dedicated management, going with an affiliate network is a more hands-off and reliable option than a hosted software platform.
While non-network, affiliate software platforms come with less startup costs and no transaction fees, there generally is less ability to customize payout structures and attribution rules, while necessitating more management ro run an efficient affiliate program. Nowadays, the barrier of entry is low, and small businesses can now tap the power of pooled network affiliates and reliable tracking platforms of the top-tier networks.
Awin’s Shareasale is our preferred affiliate network of choice. Offering both a “Green” and “Health/Wellness” category for affiliates to search and find viable brands to partner with, Shareasale boasts an impressive cadre of hundreds-of-thousands of affiliates, including content publications, health & wellness influencers, SEO super affiliates and shopping datafeed affiliates. Their activation fee is substantially lower than other networks, and there are no minimum monthly fees. Joining the Shareasale network ensures your program will be poised to acquire highly targeted affiliates.
Before an affiliate program can go live in Shareasale, all merchants are guided through the process of setting up several key program features. Doing so ensures the program will meet the minimum requirements for meeting the needs of affiliates. The degree to which these program features have been strategically implemented will have a direct impact on affiliate signups and engaging new affiliates who join the program. While these steps can be completed yourself, many program features offered through Shareasale require experiential knowledge to optimize. This is where the Green Affiliate Programs Network can help.
When choosing us to launch your affiliate program, we will oversee all aspects of strategically readying your program before launch and ensuring it makes a memorable first impression with affiliates, incentivizing your partners to launch campaigns right from the start.
Our Shareasale Setup Package includes the following:
Affiliate Signup Page – This is where affiliates will sign up and apply to your program listed within the network. The signup page is often where affiliates get their first impression of your program, hence why it is very important the signup page showcases your brand and affiliate program offer in a strong light, focusing on specific components in “affiliate speak” that provide a strong case for why affiliates should join your program, especially super affiliates.
Auto-emails – There are two instances when auto-emails are sent to prospective affiliates: 1) In reply to an affiliate request to join your program, and 2) After said request has either been approved or declined. Of these, it is imperative the approval email is strategically written to activate affiliates to begin promoting your program right from the start. This can be done by offering affiliate incentives as well as making creatives and banners readily available with corresponding shortcodes in the body of the email.
PPC Policy – So as to avoid any unintended PPC campaign setbacks, it is required that all merchant PPC policies are available to affiliates at the time of signing up to your program. Writing out a specific PPC policy helps prevent any cannibalization of your brands additional marketing channels.
Affiliate Agreement – This is the legal binding agreement that affiliates must agree to when joining your program. Policies regarding commission rules, coupon use, PPC bidding and trademark usage (among others), should be disclosed in this agreement.
Affiliate Banners – While this is not mandatory for launching your program, we highly recommend providing a set of engaging banners in the most popular and mobile friendly sizes at the time of launching your program.
Text Link/Banner Upload – Strategically uploading text links (category and product links) and banners with proper alt-text attributes.
Datafeed Integration – Depending on your shopping cart, we will integrate your datafeed with Shareasale via automated ftp so that datafeed affiliates can search specific products to promote and are kept abreast with accurate inventory status.
Global Commission Rules – Setting up of global commission rules ensures proper attribution and that commission payouts are contingent on touchpoint patterns in referred sales. Upon determining your PPC policy and how other marketing channels intersect with the affiliate channel, global commission rules ensure your margin is never being skimmed.
Tracking Code Installation
*Please note that instructions for tracking code installation will be provided by the network. Depending on your shopping cart solution, these instructions will vary, and all tracking must be properly installed and tested before the program can launch.
Visit Shareasale to learn more about our preferred network of choice.