If you’re thinking about adding an affiliate program to your site, there are services that will do the hard work of integrating the program and keeping track of your affiliates. These affiliate program management services can track sales, pay your affiliates, and manage your affiliate program, leaving you free to run the rest of your business.
An affiliate program pays other Web site owners a commission for sending you sales. In most affiliate programs, webmasters include links to your products on their Web sites. When a customer clicks on a link on an affiliate site and purchases one of your products, you pay your affiliate a commission on the sale. It’s like having the benefit of a sales staff working on commission, without the headaches of managing employees.
So what’s the catch?
Managing an affiliate program can be extremely time-consuming. In order to accurately track affiliate sales, commissions, and payments, you will need to either install affiliate-tracking software or hire a company that can handle this for you.
One of the most popular affiliate program management programs is Commission Junction. Commission Junction offers not only the ability to completely outsource the management of your affiliates, but also the ability to reach the vast network of affiliates that already use Commission Junction.
LinkShare is another program that offers step-by-step guidance through all the aspects of setting up and running a successful affiliate program. If you’re new to the concept of affiliate programs, LinkShare is a good choice.
LinkProfits offers a complete turnkey affiliate management solution that will automate your affiliate program. This is a good option if you want to outsource your entire affiliate program.
If you are looking for a completely integrated solution, 1shoppingcart.com offers an end-to-end solution, from shopping cart to affiliate program. Adding affiliates is as easy as posting a link on your site for sign-up — the software handles the rest.
ClickBank is another provider that bundles their affiliate-management product with a payment-processing solution. ClickBank already boasts thousands of affiliates, and your products will be listed in the ClickBank directory as soon as you join.
ClickBank also makes it easy to sign up new affiliates. To join your program, affiliates just add their ClickBank username at the end of your URL, and they can begin selling your products right away.
All of the programs listed above handle tracking and reporting for you. These are probably the most time-consuming task of any affiliate program. Your affiliates need a way to keep track of their sales, visits, and clicks so that they can maximize their earning potential. If you’re thinking about launching an affiliate program on your own, don’t forget to factor in the time it will take you to manage it.
Affiliate management services makes running an affiliate program easy. And outsourcing the day-to-day running of the program makes it easy to add one to any site.