It is therefore not surprising that many beginner marketers and others find themselves in doubt and with many unanswered questions regarding whether to choose that affiliate program or another.
To solve this dilemma, in this article, I look at the top seven factors to consider when selecting an affiliate program.
Read on and check if the affiliate program you would like to join is a profitable business or not.
1. Do the products align with the blog content?
Finding the right affiliate programs aligned to your preferences is essential, but just as important is the value you bring to your target. This is where your mindset, your expertise in your chosen niche, your personality, and your marketing skills intersect. You need to find a way to be relevant and engaging in front of your target audience.
You need to choose a program that has a logical connection to your niche as an affiliate. It is important that your readers identify the product with your site’s theme.
If your site is about pets, you can promote a cooking affiliate program, but you probably won’t be as successful as promoting a dog food or pet training program.
If you have a blog related to web development, then you need to promote digital tools which are related to web development, UX, copywriting, etc.
The reason is very simple, by promoting products that are aligned with your blog’s niche, the likelihood will be higher than you will have targeted visitors with those products and therefore increase the chances of conversion.
2. What is the commission structure?
With reference to the commission structure, there are two main aspects to consider when selecting an affiliate program: the percentage and the recurrence of the commission.
Percentage of commission
In principle, the higher the commission rate, the more you can earn per conversion.
Obviously, it is also necessary to do the calculation in absolute value. Since for example, if an affiliate program offers 5% commission for a product of 150 euros and another program offers 10% on a product sold at the price of 50, it is evident that the former is preferred by having a higher payout.
It is also worth looking at the industry average commission rates for the programs you have chosen. Most companies tend to closely follow their competitors when it comes to partner programs.
Ask yourself the right questions: What percentage of commissions do they pay? Are they high ticket affiliations, i.e., in essence, do they offer high commissions? Will it be financially feasible for you to spend time promoting the product, or is there something like this that pays higher commissions?
Recurring or one-off commission
Many affiliate programs in the most disparate digital product niches, such as ActiveCampaign and Clickfunnels, offer recurring commissions, guaranteeing more consistent income in the long run.
Basically, an affiliate partner is paid for the customer they originally brought without exerting any additional effort to sell to that individual. Who Can Resist Guaranteed Passive Income?
Other even reputable affiliate programs like Bluehost pay commissions only on new and unique customers and for that specific sale. This obviously turns out to be less interesting. So, you should try to invest in something that has long-term benefits for you and contributes well to this passive income idea.
3. Is the brand known in its market?
Do not decide on the selection of a product based solely on the commissions you will receive. There are many affiliate programs that pay very high commissions for poor products.
It also evaluates its reputation, which must be flawless on the market. Avoid choosing a program with a poor reputation.
Therefore it is crucial to do appropriate research on the reputation and level of awareness of the brand and affiliate products. The higher the brand recognition, the easier it will be to sell the product/service. If customers trust the company, then your job is half done.
Even better would be to choose a program that has evergreen products, which have value and demand throughout the year. All things being equal, prioritize products or services that never die.
Do your homework well and conduct proper market research. Search Google for the brand name. Read independent and unbiased reviews from existing customers and affiliates, if available. Be an active member of the various affiliate forums and blogs. Research the product before considering promoting it. Check the manufacturer’s website. Read reviews online. Evaluate their presence and activity on social media,
In addition to this, judge the website well, and the sales page evaluates whether it is of excellent quality and safe or not. Both should be fairly easy to navigate and should have all the necessary information clearly mentioned, with no inconsistencies creating doubts.
4. What is the duration of the affiliate cookies?
First, let’s clarify what an affiliate cookie is?
The key point is that these affiliate cookies have a duration and, therefore, an expiration date.
The duration of an affiliate cookie corresponds to the amount of time within which you are entitled to receive the commission for the purchase made by the referral customer. This duration can be 24 as that of the Amazon Affiliate program or for life.
For example, if the duration of the cookie is 30 days, if the customer decides to buy the product within this time period, then the affiliate partner will receive a commission. If the lead does not make the purchase within this time, then it means that the affiliate partner will not receive the commission, even if the sale ends later.
The same rule applies to commissions that are recurring.
5. Will you also be paid for the sale of Backend / Upsell products?
Affiliate programs that have a backend and upsell products can multiply your earnings many times to do the same amount of work, as long as it is stipulated in the terms and conditions of the contract.
The backend (otherwise known as the Bottom of The Funnel or BOFU) is where many companies make the most money.
Let’s say a lead buys a $ 15 e-book on how to train their dog: After the purchase, the product owner builds a relationship with the buyer through email marketing, providing valuable content, sending guides downloadable for free, and offering him to subscribe to his mini-course on how to teach the dog the basics of obedience, for free.
After about a week, he introduces him to his dog obedience training course worth 297 euros.
A percentage of people who have bought the e-book will probably invest in the online course, also guaranteeing the affiliate a percentage of the sale not only of the e-book but usually also of the online course.
This is a very rough example, but it demonstrates the sheer power of backend products.
6. Does the manufacturer provide promotional materials?
Before choosing an affiliate program, it is important to check the promotional material you get to promote the product: The most common methods are banners, but there can be other methods such as sending a ready text in a newsletter, for example, reviews of products or even publications optimized for sharing on social networks.
All marketing materials must be error-free, platform-optimized, and professional-looking.
It is the seller’s responsibility to create and provide marketing materials to their affiliates to enable them to start their promotion as soon as possible. They shouldn’t skimp on their marketing collateral, as they will pay for themselves in the long run.
While affiliates are more than welcome to create their own content, the basic marketing structure should already exist. Additionally, merchants should speed up the process of acquiring and implementing these marketing materials. This will allow affiliates to quickly run successful campaigns.
The best affiliate programs have the following resources:
- Contents: including copy and product descriptions
- Guidelines: rules and best practices for promoting a product, including the use of fonts, colors, logos, widgets, etc.
- Visual/graphic materials: such as screenshots, templates, banners, images, etc.
It is also important to receive updates, as affiliates need up-to-date information on promotions or offers. Affiliate marketers need to know about the latest changes to make sure they are promoting the correct product on their website.
7. Does the manufacturer offer training for its affiliates?
More and more companies are setting up internal affiliate programs, but unfortunately, only a minority offer training materials to their affiliate partners, leaving the rest to rely on trial and error. Industry-specific training is important, as affiliates need to know the best way to advertise a particular product or service.
Some of the most powerful and profitable affiliate programs in the online business industry stand out because they offer digital marketing certification. Not only do they provide value to their partners, but these companies can also expect to reap the benefits of having competent affiliates. To name a few, I would say ClickFunnels, which offers free training in English only of an extraordinary level to all its affiliates.
We recommend reading this article: How to make money with affiliate marketing for beginners
These are the top seven factors to consider when selecting an affiliate program. Apart from these, there are many other factors like earnings per click, conversion rate, average order value, etc., which can be influential and decisive in the choice. Make sure you study all factors carefully and weigh the prospects and consequences before enrolling.
Understanding what makes an affiliate program great is the key to finding and promoting the best one. Knowing the fundamentals of commission structures, cookie lifetimes, and sales funnels will help you earn more by investing less time and resources.
Hence, it is vital that you read the terms and conditions carefully before entering.
Affiliate marketing has a lot to offer. It’s an amazing field for passively making money online. However, you need to invest your time and energy wisely before you leave.
We recommend you to read: Is it still possible to make money with an affiliate?