There are many brick and mortar pet shops that sell their boutique products on-line to expand their customer reach. Appealing to new customers and standing out from the pack is always something that these sellers need to work on. If you have a unique product to offer, an affiliate program can be a very effective way for you to put an arm of marketers to work advertising your business, you’re products and your special offers. We aren’t just talking about coupon sites either like iGive or Retail Me Not either. Bloggers especially can be a great way to get your products in front of buyers who are devoted to their dogs and pets.
For those of you who don’t know what affiliate marketing is or how it works, you setup a system, either in-house or though a network like Commission Junction to host your program. From there you recruit affiliates who are willing to promote your web store in exchange for a percentage of any converting purchases that you send to their store. While some people might not be comfortable with sharing a percentage of sales, this can be a very cost effective way to get sales that you would otherwise never have gotten. It helps promote your brand and raise awareness about your products. One of the great things about affiliates is that they only get paid when they convert.
The big problem that many affiliate programs face though is recruiting the right kind of affiliates for your program. If you’re running your affiliate program by yourself you probably don’t have the experience needed to recruit the best affiliates for your niche. We asked Anne from the Affiliate Management Solutions company, if outsourcing your affiliate program management was the right thing to do for ecommerce sites looking to grow their program.
Anne said that there are numerous benefits to outsourcing their program management. First, every business owner knows that they can’t wear all hats, they need to focus in on what they do best and is the best use of their time. Tracking down people who blog about dogs, contacting them and recruiting them to your program might not be the best use of your time. Professionals in the business have the experience in reaching out to these publishers and convincing them that promoting your program will be profitable for them.
Secondly, may people who aren’t in the industry don’t have experience in the tools of the trade of be apart of the networks that exist to find and recruit the best affiliates. “I have thousands of blogger contacts that I can reach out to depending on the niche of my clients”, said Anne. Having that network of contacts already established is a huge advantage to programs that want to find new markets to expose their products to.
Our recommendation is, if you are just dipping your toes into affiliate marketing and you want to manage your own program to gain knowledge that’s fine. But if you’ve had some success and you want to take full advantage of the possible revenue this form of marketing can bring then hiring a professional OPM might be best for your business and your program.