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What Makes A Good Affiliate Program?
Affiliate marketing horror stories are everywhere on the internet. The stories consistently talk about marketers who have invested time and money into promoting and selling a company’s product – only to find the company has changed its rules and limits or suspends its affiliate program’s payouts.
The best way to avoid dealing with a questionable company and their affiliate program is to do your research before investing the time and money into promoting their products or services.
In this post, we’ll list what makes a quality affiliate program. We’ll use GrooveFunnels current affiliate program as our example of what is a good program.
Properties Of A Good Affiliate Program
Product(s) Or Service(s) People Want Or Need
So you’ve done your research and have found an affiliate program that has great payouts. Great! But before you launch right in, ask yourself:
- Does the product or service fulfill an emotional desire?
- Does it satisfy a person’s dream, like weight loss, get rich, etc.?
- Does it fulfill a business need like accounting software?
Determine whether there’s an audience that is ready to buy this product. How big is the audience? Are we talking millions of buyers for a product off Amazon? Or are we talking about a few thousand buyers of digital products of “Learn To Knit Winter Caps?”
Make sure there are enough potential buyers of the product you will be promoting. If not, even if there is an excellent payout attached, a low scale product would probably not bring in satisfactory financial results.
With GrooveFunnels, a digital marketing platform, basically anyone selling and promoting on the internet, can benefit from the GrooveFunnels platform. That’s a huge audience. Because it’s a vast audience, there are many traffic channels available to reach potential buyers (Facebook ads, Google search ads, YouTube, etc.).
Company Offering Affiliate Program Must Be Reputable
After you’ve found a company that has a great product (that should reach millions) and a desirable affiliate payout program, how do you determine if they are a reputable company?
One of the easiest ways to research a company is to google the company name along with the word review. In our case, your search would be “goovefunnels review.” Be sure to look past the paid ads to get at unbiased content. You can determine if there are any issues after you’ve scanned the first couple of pages of your search results.
Retry the Google search by setting Google’s Tools to “Past year” to get more recent results.
Also, determine who is the founder of the company. Are they an authority in their field? Do they have a history of success? If not familiar with this person, do another google search. This time, search on the founder’s name.
For GrooveFunnels, our example company, one of the founders is Mike Filsaime. He founded Kartra.com – a top company in online-course distribution with sales pages and email marketing.
In this case, he’s an authority in the internet marketing and sales platform industry. This is a positive sign this company is worth spending time and money to market.
Next, search for the company’s affiliate program reviews. Google the company name + affiliate + review. Scanning several pages of results from Google will shed light on any issues.
In all of your review searches (company, founder, and affiliate program), be watchful for the articles that are titled something like, “Why You Should Never Purchase GrooveFunnels.” It’s a current trend to use “shocking titles” like this to encourage people to read it. While it seems like it would be a negative review, it quite often is very positive. Which brings up the point that you can’t rely solely on the titles of your searches, but have to open each article up and at least scan for the relevant information.
Good Affiliate Marketing Management Team
The next thing to ask is, does the company have a dedicated affiliate marketing person(s)? Are they accessible? When you search and find the affiliate program page on the company you are researching, look for the name of the affiliate representative listed. It is not a good sign if you don’t see any Q&A Forums or any other public discussion of the affiliate program.
Check to see if the affiliate program has a corresponding Facebook group. Many companies use this platform to distribute news and updates, along with answering affiliate marketers’ questions. This is an impressive way to keep the momentum going for everyone involved.
Good Promotional Material
Now it’s time to check to see what advertising materials are available. At a minimum, the affiliate program will provide you links that include your affiliate id (how you get credited for the sale). Usually, your affiliate id will be embedded in the code snippets for the banner images they provide. Once you have their banner images, all you have to do is to copy a snippet of HTML code onto your website or landing page. This will then display the ad with your affiliate link.
Referring back to GrooveFunnel’s affiliate program, they provide links, banners, and swipe files. The swipe files contain pre-written content for an email campaign, should you wish to send one out. Also provided are the text for Facebook ads, blog posts, and articles.
You can use this promotional content “as is” to distribute and generate sales. Or, you can use it as a starting point when writing your own sales pages and emails.
In some rare cases, the graphics you receive may not be the quality needed to sell the product. Or you may feel a different message may work better with your target audience. Here, you’ll want to create your own banner ads. It’s important to read the fine print on your affiliate program agreement to avoid violating the terms and conditions.
Good Payout On Initial Purchase
Let’s remember why we’re going to all this work. It’s the money. And chances are you’ll have to spend some money to create content or drive traffic. So we need to make sure there’s a good payment up front for each sale to pay for your time and effort.
Initial payouts under $25 may not be worth your effort. Some hard core marketers that won’t touch anything under a $100 payout on the initial purchase. The higher the initial payout, the more you can spend on traffic to make the sale. And the more you can spend on traffic, the more sales you are most likely to make.
You will also want to take into account the time between the sale and when you get paid. Usually, there’s at least a 30 delay from the sale to you receiving your affiliate payout. This is because there is a refund period that needs to be completed before you can get paid. It’s always advisable to check to see how long you have to wait to get paid.
You should also verify that you are getting paid in cash and not gift cards, VISA prepaid cards, etc. The quickest way is having deposits made to your PayPal account or bank account.
Next up is perhaps one of the best benefits in the affiliate market world: recurring payments. Getting paid for the initial sale is great. Receiving a payment every month, the customer stays with the service and pays their bill – is even better. This is called “recurring payments.”
When reviewing GrooveFunnels, you’ll see a recurring monthly payment from 20% to 40% of the monthly payment made by the member. Here’s an example:
GrooveFunnel’s lowest monthly package is $99. For every month the buyer stays with GrooveFunnels and makes a payment, you’re receiving 40% x $99.00 = $39.60 monthly from that one initial sale. (At the time of this writing, GrooveFunnels
Lifetime Platinum plan pays out 40% commissions).
Zero To Low Product Price Entry To Entice Prospect
As stated above, recurring affiliate programs are great because once a buyer makes a purchase, the marketer will receive a commission on all future purchases. Your marketing strategy may be to get people to purchase the low-priced item in order to get them in “the program.”
Marketing the lowest price item to get a prospect in the door and build trust is a great strategy. This also enables the seller to market all their programs to this new member. Including the higher-priced programs. They do all work of up-selling and yet, you still receive the commissions.
Returning to our example affiliate program, GrooveFunnels, they are currently offering a free startup package for life. This comprises three free sales funnels and more for life.
This is a significant opportunity for an affiliate marketer. The marketer can either push the free package for life and get the prospect into GrooveFunnel’s system or sell one of their lifetime unlimited packages and earn the commission. Either way, it’s win-win for the affiliate marketer.
Multiple Tier Commissions
The next step is where it can get a bit confusing. Nevertheless, multiple tier commissions are a significant advantage to the affiliate marketer.
A multiple tier commissions program is where you get a commission for the people you sign up (first tier) and you get a commission for the people they sign up (second tier).
For GrooveFunnels, the first tier is from 20% to 40% and the second tier is from 5% to 10%. Meaning for every person who purchases GrooveFunnels through your affiliate link you receive 20-40% of what they spend AND you get 5-10% of every sign-up and sales they make.
Most of the people you sell to will want the product or service you are offering. However, you can easily connect with other affiliate marketers or influencers who can greatly extend your affiliate reach.
If the prospect should come back to the offer-page via a different path (not your affiliate link), and they make a purchase – the cookie in the prospect’s browser application will identify you as the original referrer and credit the sale to you.
Cookies have a lifespan before they expire. An excellent affiliate program will have a 365-day cookie lifetime. For the next 365 days, you will be credited for getting the prospect to a company’s site and making a purchase.
There is a situation where your cookie (containing your affiliate id) sitting in the visitor’s browser may get overwritten by another affiliate’s cookie. Should the visitor re-visit the company’s site through a different affiliate marketer’s link, that affiliate marketer may get credit for sale if nothing was purchased from your affiliate link. This can vary from company to company.
Read The Fine Print
This one is simple – follow the affiliate program’s rules. Don’t get kicked out of the program. While it is great to be creative and try various methods and means to market their product, be sure it fits the expectations of the company. You want no surprises down the road.
Just like everyone else, affiliate marketers have limited time and money. One key to success is choosing the best affiliate program from the start. Hopefully, this information will help you to be able to do just that!