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Choosing the Right Affiliate Program for Affiliate Marketing – A Guide

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Choosing the right affiliate program is one of the most important decisions you’re going to make before you step into the affiliate marketing business. If you are familiar with what an affiliate marketing business is and how it operates, you probably understand what an affiliate program is.

But for your convenience here, let’s understand an affiliate program in depth:

What is an Affiliate Program?

‘Affiliate program is an arrangement between the merchant or service provider and the affiliate marketer, which defines the scope of association between the two.’

In simple words- with the affiliate programs, a business manages terms, policies, commissions, payments, and link tracking of the association with the affiliates. 
Choosing the Right Affiliate Program for Affiliate Marketing

The affiliate program is managed by automated electronic programs. These programs often include:

  1. Affiliate registration
  2. Affiliate link building and tracking
  3. Terms and conditions related to commission and returns
  4. Payment modules
  5. Sales tracking dashboards

Before making a decision to join an affiliate program you should check out everything related to the programs. Which might affect your business and earnings. There are few things you need to consider before joining any affiliate program like the commission model, the payment modes, terms and conditions of sale. These following tips will help you in: 

Choosing the Right Affiliate Program

Related to Your Niche Products

This is no brainer. The first and foremost thing to check before you join an affiliate program is to check if the products and services they are providing are related to your niche audience or not. 

Choosing the Right Affiliate Program for Affiliate Marketing

Choosing the right affiliate program that has products and services related to your niche can help your audience to solve their problems. By doing so, you will increase the conversion rate. If you have a niche audience for fashion and clothing and you join a software-related affiliate program, then you might not get the kind of sales you were hoping for.

You can choose cross-niche products and services for your affiliate marketing business as well. Like if your niche is about travel accessories, choosing an affiliate program of travel booking is a good idea. This will create an illusion for your audience that you aren’t forcing a sale on them.

Check the reliability of products and services

Affiliate marketing is all about promoting products and services. They are the center of the affiliate marketing business. Choosing the right affiliate program also means choosing the right kind of products and services. If the products you have chosen are of quality and are reliable, half of your affiliate marketing campaign is already done.

You can take some steps like ordering sample products to check the quality and delivery times. Opt for services you want to promote on your affiliate website to ensure the reliability and effectiveness support systems. 

Also, compare the pricing of services and products of your vendor with other competitors in the market. This will make sure the pricing is fair for your audience. Always remember, affiliate marketing business is all about helping your audience with choosing the right kinds of products and services. If you think about them, they will trust you and it will eventually help you with business. 

Research about brand reputation

Affiliate marketing is a trust-based business. If your audience has a bad image for your vendor in their minds, you are going to have a hard time convincing them to buy anything from them. Before joining any affiliate program, make sure your vendor doesn’t have a stinky past trailing behind it.

Research about the reputation of the brand name. It is ok if the vendor had less publicity. But make sure it doesn’t have “bad” publicity. Check if there is any scam or fraud related to your vendor’s brand. Which can affect your affiliate marketing campaign? 

Choosing the right affiliate program with a reputed brand can accelerate your affiliate marketing campaigns. The already positive image of vendors in the market will win the trust of your niche audience.

Commissions models

According to their business needs, different vendors use different kinds of commission or compensation models for their affiliate programs. I suggest you go through the compensation models provided by your vendor. There are several different types of compensation models used in affiliate programs:

Commission models in affiliate marketing

1. Pay Per Sale (PPS)

Pay per sale or PPS is the most commonly used type of compensation model used by the affiliate programs. In this model, the commission is based on the number of sales generated using the affiliate link. It is a fixed percentage of the product or service sold by the affiliate. Always check for the percentage of commission for each sale and compare it with others before subscribing to the PPS model of affiliate compensation. 

2. Pay Per Action (PPA)

Pay per action or PPA is based on the predefined actions of the users with the affiliate link. These actions are defined by the vendor. The affiliate gets paid every time the user takes the desired action. 

For example, if the user visits the link and registers with the vendor using email or phone number. The vendor agrees to pay the affiliate a commission for this action. Another example is that an affiliate gets paid every time a user signs up for a free trial using an affiliate link. 

3. Pay Per Click (PPC)

This compensation model is generally used by search engines like Google. Where the affiliate gets paid every time a user clicks on the affiliate links. 

Many affiliate programs use this model as additional compensation for affiliates with the PPS model. They might set a minimum number of clicks for say 1000 clicks for this compensation model.

4. Pay Per Mile (PPM)

This is the least popular model for compensation among affiliates. But there are some affiliate programs that use this method. In this method, an affiliate is paid every time he achieves a milestone, predefined by the affiliate program. Like 100 subscriptions, 1000 impressions, 100 registrations, etc.

5. Void Affiliate Transactions

There are some cases where the transaction between the affiliate and the vendor stands null and void. In such cases, the vendor has no obligations to pay any commissions to the affiliate. These conditions are defined in the affiliate terms and conditions by the merchant.

Payment methods

Though most affiliate programs pay the commission directly into the bank account of the affiliate these days. But there may be some affiliate programs which pay through cheques. So the wise thing to do is to check the kind of payment methods used by the affiliate programs.

Before joining an affiliate program, make yourself familiar with what kind of payment method they use. Some affiliate programs pay with redeemable vouchers and coupons as well. Look for the program with multiple payment transfers like bank transfer, electronic fund transfer, a Wallet transfer like PayPal and UPI transfer.

Also, check what is the minimum amount for payment withdrawals and what are the payment cycles. Some merchants use a locking system for commissions to save themselves from fraud. The locking system is a way to give the merchant some time to validate the sale made by the affiliate before finalizing the commission. After the lock date, the commission becomes irreversible and merchants can’t void or invalidate the sale. 

For example Commission Junction locks the affiliate commission on the 10th of every month, while Overstack locks the commission 50 days after the order is placed.

Affiliate Support and Guidance

If you are just starting out in affiliate marketing business in India, it would be best to get guidance and support from the affiliate marketing program itself. No matter how self-taught you are, it’s always good to have a guide along the way.

A right affiliate marketing program comes with a proper guidance system and support system. This helps you to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Affiliate Perks

Other than the compensation and commissions some affiliate programs also offer some affiliate perks. Like you can make customized offers for your audience, you can offer them an extra discount to buy with your own affiliate link. These perks help the affiliate marketer in running more customized marketing campaigns. Like Twitch Affiliate Program

Must-do-things before joining any affiliate program

Before choosing to join any affiliate program of any kind, make sure you do the following things to make yourself familiar with the whole concept of affiliate marketing.

Must do things before joining an affiliate program

1. Check the terms and condition for payments

Before you sign up for an affiliate program, carefully read all the terms and conditions completely. If you have any legal adviser or a friend who has the legal knowledge to ensure that there is nothing fishy about the payments from the merchant. 

Also check the requirements for payment setups like what kind of account is acceptable, what are transaction charges if any and other bank-related notices. 

2. Check their policies related to marketing:

Carefully read and understand the policies related to the marketing attempts by the affiliate. Check where you can share your affiliate link. Figure out if you can share your link on social media and WhatsApp groups. Some affiliate programs have strict rules around where you can share your affiliate link and where you can not. Be sure to learn all these prior. 

3. Check their affiliate management system

An affiliate program is great as its affiliate management system. Before you engage in association with the affiliate program, check out the affiliate management system. See if they provide a better profile and account management. You can also get in touch with already associated affiliates with the program to learn about their experience as an affiliate with the program.

4. Check their buyer return procedures

This is very crucial if the affiliate program uses the PPs commission model. Some affiliate programs have a null and void agreement in case of the return of physical goods.  In case of services check what are the policies of the affiliate programs for cancelation of subscription. You work hard to convert a sales lead and if because of the quality issue if the customer returns the product and cancels the subscription you should have a stand to take. 

5. Check their affiliate training and guidance

If the affiliate program requires any training prior to joining the program, complete the training with an open mind. If they don’t provide any training, go through their guidance system. Ask questions on their affiliate’s forum and try to resolve your queries with the program. 

6. Talk to their market representative personally

If you can find an affiliate support system with the affiliate program, try to get in touch with their program representative to understand the complete procedure, and conditions related to the program. You can use email or call to talk to the program representative personally.

7. Compare commissions with other competitors in the same niche

Always compare the amount of commission given by the merchant with other vendors and choose what works best for you. You can also choose multiple affiliate programs related to the same products. It gives your audience a fair competitive approach and you can earn a better commission.

Overall, in the process of choosing the right affiliate program for your affiliate marketing business, it is about awareness and readiness. The affiliate marketing field is ever-evolving and there are many more concepts to come around it. But one thing stays constant- ‘Efforts’. The key is to direct your efforts in the right direction in the best ways possible. Stay tuned for more updates on the affiliate marketing business in India. 

Summary

  • An affiliate program is an automated electronic program that monitors and manages the association between the merchant and the affiliate marketer. 
  • Choosing the right affiliate programs for your affiliate marketing business in India is a very crucial task. You can use the following tips:
  1. Choose an affiliate program that is related to the niche you are working with.
  2. Always carefully read and understand the terms and conditions related to link sharing, refunds, payments, and commissions of the affiliate program before signing up.
  3. There are multiple commission models used by affiliate programs like Pay per sale, Pay per action, Pay per mile and Pay per click. The most common commission model is pay per sale (PPS).
  4. Choose an affiliate program that has a strong support system, proper guidance system, and effective management. 
  • Check out what kind of affiliate perks you are getting when you join an affiliate program. Customized offers for the audience can boost your marketing campaign efforts.

FAQs

What is the best affiliate marketing program for beginners?

If you are just beginning in affiliate marketing you can choose Amazon Affiliate Program. It is very easy to understand plus you will have a variety of products to choose from. You can also join ClickBanks affiliate marketing where you can find multiple products related to your nmiches.

How many affiliate programs should I join?

In a particular niche, it is advised to join not more than 3 affiliate programs. Joining more than one affiliate marketing programs definitely gives comparative advantages, but to join too many affiliate programs isn’t good.

What is the most spending niche for affiliate marketing in India?

The most spending niche in India in 2020 are Health, Electronic Gadgets, Softwares and Fashion. You can for micro niches in these particular broad categories like Gym equipment in Health, Smart Watches in Gadgets, and Shoes in Fashion.

What are the most profitable niches for affiliate marketing in 2020?

The most profitable niches for affiliate marketing in 2020 are domain and hosting, health products and e-learning. These are fairly profitable over other popular niches as the profit margins are high for the merchants.


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Nandini
About Nandini

Nandini Yogi is Co-creator and Senior Editor at Online Business in India . She is Writer by Heart and Business Developer by Profession. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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