Q: I am President of a skincare company with products in the natural product industry. We have rights to unique products that lend themselves to Internet marketing. My question is how do I go about selling my product on the Internet through affiliate marketing programs?
A: The preparation and launch of an affiliate program is key in getting started on the right foot. There are budgetary, legal, marketing, and technical issues that will need to be addressed.
As far as the budgeting, there are three cost centers involved – the costs for the affiliate technology, the salary of the affiliate manager, and the commission to the affiliates.
The affiliate agreement dictates the rules for your program. This is a legal agreement between you and your affiliates, and it must cover all of the hot button issues, as well as any rules and regulations unique to your industry or company.
Then there is the marketing. You will have to come up with the creative for your affiliates to use. At a minimum, I would suggest ten text links of varying lengths, and five banners in IAB standard sizes. I generally offer the following, as they tend to be most popular with my affiliates: 120×90, 120×600, 250×250, 468×60, and 728×90 pixels.
Finally, you should perform due diligence to determine the best affiliate solution provider for you. After this is decided, you’ll have to take care of the technical implementation of the affiliate tracking, as well as quality assurance and testing.
It’s important to dedicate proper resources to the affiliate management for your affiliate program. If you do not have the right candidate internally, you should consider outsourcing your affiliate program management.