Generating sales from your eCommerce business is a tough task. It is important to make a profit so that you are able to invest more in generating traffic and grow your business as a result. However, the problem that arises is that you first need the traffic to earn revenue and generating traffic is a difficult task too. If you go for paid traffic like Facebook ads then there is a low chance that you might get enough sales to make up for the initial investment. There are many different methods that you can use in order to bridge this gap but there still isn’t one method that can be applied anywhere.
If you have to search for the answer yourself, then you might have come across a term affiliate marketing. If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, then don’t need to worry because a lot of people out there don’t. In this article, we will touch all the bases related to affiliate marketing which will allow you to have a better understanding of the term. After you have read this article completely, you will know which tools to use and how to start affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing in the First Place?
Before we start to talk about how you can start affiliate marketing, it is first important that you understand the basic concept of the marketing method first. Affiliate marketing encourages you to partner with other established eCommerce entrepreneurs and asks them to promote your products in their audience. In return for their service, you will give the affiliate some percentage of the revenue that you earn from each sale. Affiliate marketing is undoubtedly one of the best ways to increase your sales if you are a new eCommerce business. It is probably the only marketing channel where you will get a 100% return on investment.
A lot of new eCommerce business tend to go for paid traffic, but this is the least viable solutions. You will invest money in Facebook ads and get traffic too, but the sales are often less than what we need to get the return on investment. With affiliate marketing, however, you are sure to get an ROI mainly because you don’t need to pay anything up front. Everything that you pay will be through commissions, so if your product gets sold, only then will you be required to pay. These are some of the main things that you need to know about what affiliate marketing actually is.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing?
Now that we have discussed what affiliate marketing is, it is time to show how you can create and implement your own eCommerce affiliate program. Here you will also learn how you can find the right affiliates and how much commission you need to pay them.
There are two main methods that you can use to apply an affiliate marketing strategy, one is to join a network and the other is to build your own tracking system. Joining an affiliate network is what most people do. It not only links you with other eCommerce entrepreneurs but also allows you to promote your products through those affiliates. Even though this strategy is largely effective, in some cases you might have to pay a monthly fee to gain access to this network. Some of the most popular networks in this regard are Commission Junction, Tapgerine and LinkShare.
Finding an Affiliate in your Niche
When you are promoting products through affiliate marketing, you need to make sure that the product is pitched to the right audience. To ensure this you need to find affiliates in your own niche so that you know that the traffic that the particular affiliate has is of use to you. If you are new to all of this, then affiliate networks are the best place to start. These networks will provide you with their own tracking systems which makes your job so much easier. Using existing affiliate networks is beneficial for both entrepreneurs and affiliates as it allows them to track how much sales they have made. In this way, you know exactly how much money a particular affiliate has generated for your business and how much commission they deserve. So, whatever you do, you should always look for a good tracking system as it makes all the difference.
If you don’t want to use existing affiliate networks, then you can opt to start your own affiliate program and build a tracking system. Although this sounds quite complicated, it actually isn’t. You can find a ton of free as well as paid apps on Shopify that help you set up your affiliate program. Apart from these applications, there are also plugins that you can use. Some paid and apps also provide a trial period so that you may test out a few of them and then determine which app or plugin you actually want to purchase.
The main benefit of using an affiliate network is that you know where affiliates related to your niche are and this makes it perfect for beginners. However, if you wish to build your own affiliate program it gives you a little more control and it will cost lesser. The downside is that you will need to find your own affiliates and this task can be quite challenging especially for a newbie. On the other hand, if you are using an affiliate program, it will be easier to find the right affiliates. All you need to do is search your niche in the search bar and this will give you a list of the best affiliate programs along with reviews.
Contacting an Affiliate
If you are not using any affiliate program, then you can use another method to find affiliates. All you need to do is email other people in that niche as well. You need to find possible affiliates and then contact them to start a partnership. For example, if you are selling leather products, you can search for another website that sells leather products and then asks them whether they would want to sell your products on their website as well. If they agree to your proposal then you can move forward with the negotiations to decide the commission.
When you are writing such an email you need to keep a few things in mind. One of the first things is that you don’t need to put forward a plan right in front of them. Instead make them understand why partnering with you will be beneficial for their business as well. You can send the affiliate a few sample products so that they know that you are a legitimate business.
Determine the Commission Percentage
The whole idea of affiliate marketing revolves around commission because you will be paying the affiliate a fixed amount for every sale that is made. Whenever you are starting a new partnership with another affiliate, you need to set the commission percentage beforehand. When you are deciding a commission percentage, you need to think about the affiliate as well because they are not just selling your products but they are also bringing more customers to you. If you pay higher commissions then it will be easier for you to find better affiliates.
Generating traffic, finding customers and making sales is a long process for every eCommerce business. However, with the help of affiliate marketing, you can start to share another website’s traffic and start making a profit from there. This makes life a lot easier and it also brings in more customers. Unlike paid marketing campaigns, the benefit of using affiliate marketing is that it almost always brings a 100% return on investment. This is mainly because you don’t need to pay anything up front and only need to deal commission.