Using affiliate programs can be an effective way to boost your sales. However, while the basic structure of these setups is simple, getting started with one may not be. You might not know how you can best set your program up for success.
Fortunately, there are a few rules of thumb that you can follow. By understanding a few key elements found in the best WordPress affiliate programs, you can confidently launch your own version.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to WordPress affiliate programs. Then, we’ll show you four strategies that you can apply to get your program off on the right foot. Let’s dive right in!
An Introduction to Affiliate Programs
If you’re running an online store, you’ve probably heard of affiliate programs. Affiliate programs – not to be confused with referral marketing – are agreements between you and independent marketers. Partners advertise links to your products, and if a customer makes a purchase, you pay the affiliate a commission.
There are numerous benefits to this kind of marketing. Firstly, it’s extremely cost-effective: you don’t need to pay your affiliates unless they make sales. Therefore, stores of all sizes and budgets can take advantage of this advertising strategy.
You might also find that using an affiliate program helps you access new niches. A wide range of partners means you can reach different audiences. These may contain potential customers who wouldn’t have found your business otherwise.
Finally, using affiliate marketing can also be an organic way of spreading your brand. Influencers are often free to add their spin on your products. As such, users may be more likely to follow links from creators that they trust.
4 Strategies to Launch a Successful WordPress Affiliate Program
If you’re ready to wield the power of an affiliate program, consider using these strategies to help you start strong!
1. Establish Clear Payment and Commission Terms
Like with most professional partnerships, transparency is key when it comes to paying your affiliates. That transparency starts with your commission terms.
We recommend that you prominently display your beginning commission rates for affiliates. That way, there’s a clear expectation for everyone entering the program. However, you don’t have to stop there – including higher-tier commission rates could help your partners know what to expect in the future, too.
You may also want to specifically lay out how that commission is calculated. For example, you could disclose whether the payouts are dependent on elements such as shipping or tax:
We also suggest telling affiliates what your payment process looks like from the start. For example, is there a minimum threshold before they can cash out? Will it be distributed directly into bank accounts or through a bulk PayPal process?
Finally, try to ensure that you promptly make those payments on whichever schedule you set. Not only is this best practice for most business relationships, but it will also demonstrate that you value the work your affiliates are doing.
2. Help Your Affiliates Track Their Sales
If you use analytics for your online store, you probably don’t need us to tell you that metrics matter. Knowing which strategies perform well and which don’t is key to efficient improvement. The same principle applies to your affiliates.
Helping your affiliates track sales can also help them increase their conversions. Because this will also increase their commission payouts, they’ll likely appreciate the help, too.
Fortunately, most of the best WordPress affiliate plugins can provide analytics data. With easy-to-understand, in-depth reports, you’ll be able to support affiliate sales from the very beginning.
For example, the Solid Affiliate plugin provides an affiliate portal with detailed information about referrals sources and amounts:
However, you may also want to consider keeping your channels of communication open. Reporting tools may be powerful, but your partners might have specific questions about their performance. A simple email could help keep your marketers on track.
On a similar note, we also encourage you to choose a tool that provides you with comprehensive reports. That way, you can get a better idea of who your top performers are. You could even use examples of their most successful content to inspire new affiliates.
3. Send Regular Updates About Your Program
Affiliate programs are rarely static. They’re likely to evolve, especially as your store grows. By updating your partners on the basics of your program, you’re helping them prepare and adapt to any changes.
Consider using an email list to contact affiliates. This straightforward mode of communication can help make sure that your partners are always in the loop. Email templates can help to standardize and speed up this process, too.
Regular updates are also essential for a successful marketing campaign. You can take creatives as an example. These resources help ease affiliate workloads while also keeping their marketing efforts on-brand:
However, you may decide to replace the existing creative content with a fresh batch. Letting your affiliates know ahead of time can help ensure that the transition happens as smoothly as possible.
4. Optimize Your Pages for Conversions
Affiliate links likely lead to specific pages on your website. However, if that particular page isn’t optimized to encourage purchases, the referral might go to waste. This consequence can be unfortunate for you and your partners.
That’s why we recommend that you take the time to curate your landing pages. The process doesn’t have to be complicated, either. There are a few rules of thumb that you can keep in mind to help you out, such as:
- Always providing a single, clear call to action that’s not cluttered with other links
- Using methods to cut down on as many steps as possible, such as direct product checkout links
- Applying tools such as count-down clocks or social proof to encourage conversions
Moreover, you may want to ask that your affiliates familiarize themselves with these pages. That way, they can more effectively advertise their links. This specificity may also help attract customers who are ready to make purchases.
When launching a WordPress affiliate program, it’s normal to be a bit cautious. After all, making the most of your partnerships can provide unparalleled marketing benefits. Fortunately, you can set yourself up for success by keeping a few essential tips in mind.
In this article, we showed you four essential strategies to help you start a successful affiliate program:
- Clearly communicate payment and commission terms from the beginning.
- Provide your partners with tools that allow them to track their success.
- Send affiliates regular updates about your program.
- Make sure your landing pages are optimized for conversions.
Do you have any questions about starting an affiliate program? Let us know in the comments section below!