A Checklist for Evaluating Affiliate Programs
As you may already be aware, there are many different affiliate programs to consider participating in and it is important not to rush into joining an affiliate program without conducting an evaluation and comparison of what the affiliate program offers. And, you’ll want to learn more about the product and/or services the company behind the affiliate program is offering.
Before you sign up for a program, there are some key criteria to evaluate. This handy checklist can help you make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to before you join and start promoting.
- Payouts – Look for programs that offer a good commission percentage. For example, Amazon.com generally pays between 4% and 6% for a sale. Other companies may pay as much as 50% or higher. You may also want to look at what they pay for. Do they pay for a visit or a click or do they pay only on purchases? You’ll find most pay for a sale.
- Cookies – Cookies are markers that tell a company where visitors are coming from. It helps them know which affiliates are sending visitors and when they’re sent. Cookies can last anywhere from a few days to a lifetime. Let’s say a company sets their cookies at 30 days and your visitor makes a purchase on day 31, you don’t get the commission.
If they buy on day 29, you get the commission. Ideally, you want lifetime cookies, which means that when your visitor decides to make a purchase, you get the credit for it. If the cookie only lasts a week or a month, you will miss out on those delayed and subsequent sales.
- Conversions – Does the company’s sales page convert? Will it turn the prospects you send them into customers? If the sales page isn’t effective, you’ll end up putting in the effort to pre-sell and then not make any money (or at least not the amount you had anticipated. Look for programs that have a high converting sales page.
- Evaluate their Earnings Per Click – Earnings Per Click (EPC) is metric used to determine the average earnings generated as a result of 100 clicks on an affiliate marketing link or ad. This is an important number. Think about the difference between making one sale for every 100 clicks versus 10 sales for every 100 clicks. It’s a reflection of their sales and conversion process.
- Marketing Support – You’ll find a variety of support levels. Some affiliate programs give you tons of content to use to market their products. Others give you an affiliate link and that’s it. The rest is up to you. Some also offer incentives, contests, and they work hard to make it fun and profitable. The more support and motivation an affiliate company provides, the more you have to use and profit from.
- Reputation – Check out the reputation of the affiliate programs you’re considering. Do they treat their customers well? Is their product top quality? Many affiliate marketers try out the products before they promote them. Consider doing this. You want to make sure that you create a solid reputation for your own business and that means representing businesses that are aligned with your values and vision.
- Payment Practices – How often does the program pay commissions? Some affiliate programs pay quarterly; some pay as soon as you earn a commission. Slow payers aren’t necessarily bad programs. It’s just nice to know when you can expect your money. Also, is there a minimum you have to reach before they’ll send you a check? Some companies have a set minimum, $100 for example, and you don’t get paid until you reach that amount.
- Relevance and Promotion Potential – Be realistic when evaluating an affiliate product based on how you might be able to promote it. Some products are easily woven into your current content and marketing materials. Others may require a lot of additional content. That’s fine as long as you plan ahead.
Keep this checklist handy and use it to help evaluate the affiliate programs you’re considering. You might create a data sheet for each affiliate program to help you plan your content and income goals.
Thank you for reviewing my post on tips on evaluating affiliate programs.
If you enjoyed and found value from this post, please be sure to check out my business coaching offerings.
Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you again!Mike Conkey