Q: We sell products that have a high conversion rate but low market exposure, and so we want to set up an affiliate program. Where do we start?
A: As the old adage goes, slow and steady wins the race. A lot of folks are anxious to see magic happen with an affiliate program from day one.
I would advise you to take your time to set up your affiliate program (expect to spend four weeks) to be sure all of the pieces are in place.
I wrote a book about affiliate program management, Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants, back in December 2000 (it came out in April 2001).
The book is dated in some aspects, but the overall principles to get started are largely unchanged. Pick up a copy as a primer on things.
One part of the book is an action plan to get you started.
As far as a topline list for getting started, here are some things you’ll need to do:
- Development of a strategy and budget for your affiliate program
- Affiliate solution provider evaluation and selection
- Competitive analysis
- Technical implementation
- Creation of a comprehensive affiliate agreement
- Designing a personalized communication strategy for each segment of affiliate, based on their level of activity
If you are feeling lost, you might want to check out the prospect of an Outsourced Affiliate Program Manager.