Last updated - March 23, 2018
Affiliate marketing is a popular strategy that is widely used in eCommerce stores. When you compare affiliate marketing with traditional advertising, you can see that it is more action driven. That means affiliate gets paid only when a user performs a certain action, such as subscribing to a newsletter or purchasing a product. Basically, affiliates and the merchant site creates a collaboration, where the affiliate will drive traffic to the merchant site. However, the affiliate will get paid only if a user performs the action as per the agreement – mostly the purchase of a product. WordPress WooCommerce environment offers great opportunities to set up an affiliate program. If you are running a WooCommerce store, you can try out some of the WooCommerce affiliate plugins that we are going to discuss in this article.
WooCommerce Affiliate Plugins
There are quite a few WooCommerce affiliate plugins that will help you automate this process in your store. Let us look at some of the popular ones currently in the market.
This plugin helps you automate the affiliate program on your site. It will take care of aspects such as affiliate registration and commission payments. In addition, you can also assign coupon codes to affiliates, and grant commissions on subscriptions as well. Another interesting feature is that you can set individual rates for each product. Moreover, it helps you get detailed reports on your affiliate program like referrals and link statistics.
You can have unlimited affiliates using the Affiliates Pro integration. Also, you will find great flexibility in setting up commission rates for affiliates. For example, you can set rates based on individual product or category, or based on affiliates. There is also a choice between fixed amounts and proportional plans based on custom calculations. And, you can customize how you want to receive notifications when an affiliate signs up or other related actions. A single site license of this plugin would cost you $59.
If you are not keen to purchase the premium version, then you may find this free version quite useful. In fact, the free version integrates Affiliates free plugin with WooCommerce. The plugin will create referrals automatically when your affiliates are successful with sales. You can set a referral amount based on a percentage of the net sales amount.
This is an easy way to set up integration that will help you set up an affiliate program almost instantly. You can ensure accurate tracking of all your referrals with the help of AffiliateWP. Interestingly, there is no restriction on the number of people who can sign up as affiliates on your site. Also, you can share creative material with affiliates more readily. AffiliateWP also enables you to view insightful reports on your affiliate program with details on referral earnings, visits, and registrations. Managing affiliates too is an easy process as you can view, and edit affiliate details without trouble.
You will also get a choice in the process of creating affiliates. Either create affiliates automatically when they register as a WordPress user on your site or create a step where you manually approve the registration process. In addition, there is a built-in referral link generator, which enables your affiliates to start promoting your products readily. There are also multiple ways to set up commission rates – globally, per product or per affiliate basis. You can choose a flat rate or a percentage rate as the commission. AffiliateWP has a perfect integration with WordPress and the many popular plugins that you may use. Great customer support and extensive documentation enhance the overall appeal of this awesome WooCommerce affiliate solution. Prices start from $99 per year for a personal license.
This YITH plugin helps you automate the affiliate program on your WooCommerce store so that you can forget all the hassles associated with it. You can reward your affiliates more using this plugin by choosing to permanently associate users reached you through their referral links. This way, affiliates will receive a commission every time such a user purchases from your store. Also, this plugin helps you save relevant information from each user visit on your store. In addition, you can set up varied commission rates for each affiliate or product.
With the YITH Affiliates plugin, you can show detailed statistics of your affiliate program and get a clearer picture of the performance of your affiliates. The plugin will cost you $79 for a single site license.
This plugin helps you set up a complete affiliate system on your site. It is feature rich and works with most of the popular WooCommerce themes. The plugin provides a form for the users to register as affiliates on your site. From your store’s admin side, you can manage the applications for new affiliate sign-ups. The affiliate link generator would be a great feature, as you can create the links based on the user id. Also, you can decide how long you want to keep an association between a customer and an affiliate, by validating the cookie responsible for it.
Moreover, if you have a lot of commission in your store that is yet to be paid, you can export the list as a CSV file and do a mass payment using PayPal. Throughout the process, the store owner will have the control to disable or discontinue a particular affiliate. The plugin also provides detailed reports so that you will be always on top of your affiliate program. A regular license of the plugin is available for purchase at $24.
Benefits of having an affiliate marketing program
If you are running a WooCommerce store, most probably you already know the benefits of keeping an affiliate program. If you still want to validate the reasons for why it’s a good idea, here is a compilation of expert opinions on the matter.
Surge traffic to your store faster
When you set up an interesting affiliate program, you are in fact attracting the industry leaders and influencers to your store. More the number of people sign up for your affiliate program, more the traffic to your site. This would help your store a lot. As traffic surges, the chances for conversion also increases. Your products will get a better reach and sales will increase organically.
Another notable advantage of having more affiliates is in page ranking. When affiliates are signing up and linking to your site, it helps a lot with your domain’s search engine rankings. If your affiliate sites got a good online reputation, the advantage you gain just from the backlinks itself will be enormous. If you manually filter the affiliates sites based on their reputation, it can do a lot of good in your SEO strategy as well. And, if you are operating in a niche domain, it becomes all the more relevant to come on top of search pages.
Enhances a mutually beneficial partnership
If you look at the current affiliate programs in the eCommerce industry, most of them are based on the simple logic of mutual advantage. The affiliate redirects some of his/her users to the merchant site. And, when these users perform some of the pre-determined actions on the merchant site, the affiliate gets a commission. This is why experts say it is more action-driven compared to traditional advertising. The role of a traditional advertisement ends in bringing users to your site. Whether they make a sale, or register is not really a concern in such cases. However, as the reward of the affiliate is solely dependent on a sale or registration, there is less risk for merchants.
The primary advantage for the merchant is that they get a whole set of new users that the affiliate brings along. If this user base is not otherwise targeted, it would be a huge advantage to the merchant. Amazon is one of the best examples to understand the potential of affiliate programs. Companies that sell digital downloadable products are another great option. Most of these companies offer good commission ranging from 20 to 40 percent.
Helps with targeted marketing
Since affiliate marketing is majorly based on content, there is a lot of scope for targeting specific customer demographics. Blogs on niche domains can create a lot of interest among readers who can be potential customers. And there is always better possibilities to rank well in niche domains when done right with quality content. You need to do quality research on what prospective customers are reading, and find affiliates who have relevant content. This way, there are better chances for conversion when affiliates redirect users to your site.
Widen your reach
The success of any eCommerce venture is greatly dependent on developing the online presence of your brand. By creating an affiliate program, you are essentially widening your reach to a larger customer base. However, the point to note is to target affiliates who have a good online presence already. That way, your marketing efforts will get some assistance without major investment.
Influencer endorsement would do a lot of good
Often traditional advertisements focus on celebrity endorsements for easier reach. In the world of eCommerce, there are increased possibilities to find domain experts. If you are able to feature your product on one of the influencers in the domain, it will open unmatched possibilities for your store. This is because customers trust an opinion of an expert more readily than any sort of advertisements. Again, this is especially important when you are selling gadgets and software products.
Better return on investment
This is one area where affiliate marketing scores better than traditional online advertising. If you look at the traditional online ad banners, these are mostly based on clicks. You pay the advertiser when a user clicks on the banner. Contrary to this, affiliate marketing is action driven and performance-based. Most of the time, merchants pay affiliate commission when a user purchases a product from the merchant. This way, there is considerably less risk for the merchant. Whenever you are paying the affiliate marketer, you are ensuring there is definite revenue coming to their store. This sort of assurance is not really there in traditional advertising strategies.
Another aspect to consider is that getting affiliates is an easier approach to introduce yourselves to a new market. A lot of marketing expense can be saved if you get a few affiliates who already have a considerable user base. In addition, if you get a few influencers too to sign up, things will be much easier for you.
Easier to track
The success of most marketing campaigns depends a lot on how you are able to track them. Affiliate marketing efforts really score in this area as you can easily analyze the performance of various affiliates. Most of the plugins we discussed above come with great reporting options. You will be able to view the statistics related to the entire program at all times. How a particular affiliate is performing, how the conversions are progressing, etc will be especially helpful. In addition, you will be able to compare the expenses paid in commission with your other marketing efforts. This will give you a better perspective in understanding your entire marketing initiatives.
Affiliate marketing is one area that is finding a lot of attention with the increased popularity of eCommerce. Since it provides a win-win scenario for both merchants and affiliates, more people are getting interested in it. For eCommerce store owners, it is a great way to keep their marketing budget in check. Getting a large number of affiliates to sign up on your site means you are getting ready access to their customer base. It will also help you find new markets without spending large amounts of money. For those who are running an online store based on WordPress WooCommerce, there are great options. We have listed some of the best WooCommerce affiliate plugins that should help you set up an effective affiliate program on your WooCommerce store. You probably have understood some of the obvious advantages in setting up an affiliate program too.