Q: We are in the beginning stage of managing an affiliate program, can you advise me where to start?
A: I don’t know what you have done so far, but I suspect that the affiliate program has launched if you are already managing it.
As far as where to start, if you haven’t done so, begin gathering competitive research on the like affiliate programs. Be sure that your affiliate program has a payout that is in lie with the competition. And try joining those companies as an affiliate to learn a bit about their communications, conversion rates, etc.
Once your affiliate program is fine tuned, start recruiting affiliates. If you are going to solicit affiliates via e-mail, be sure that your communications are CAN-SPAM compliant.
I would suggest using advertising, phone calls, direct mail, and face to face interaction at affiliate marketing conferences to recruit affiliates.
When the affiliates have started joining your affiliate program, you should then also start focusing on a communications plan to activate and retain your affiliates.
One of the best ways to make affiliates happy is to come out and ask what they want – and then give it to them.