Affiliate Marketing in Practice
Profit Rank’s Affiliate Marketing Strategy incorporates the following steps:
- Establish Baseline Metrics. In order to measure success it is crucial to establish baseline metrics. Knowing average order amount and traffic source conversion rates will assist in predicting affiliate channel success. Normally this step involves the installation and configuration of web analytics software, but Profit Rank can also work with whatever website analytic package your firm may already have installed.
- Campaign Architecture. This step establishes the infrastructure and operational plan for the Affiliate Marketing campaign. It involves the following elements:
- Account setup. A small number of affiliate marketplaces or networks in the United States and Europe collectively account for most affiliate traffic generated on the Internet. Many include an exclusivity clause in their advertiser terms of service, meaning that your firm will typically only be able to advertise within a single marketplace. Within the United States, Profit Rank steers most clients toward Commission Junction who has an open policy providing and permits utilization of other affiliate networks as well as an excellent sales tracking, accounting, and commission payment system. However, we have experience in Linkshare, Commission Junction, Shareasale, Pepperjam, and several other second tier affiliate networks.
- Lead Tracking System. In order to analyze performance (and to provide a basis for billing), Profit Rank must have a method to track a prospect through the sales process. There are a number of ways to accomplish this goal, and Profit Rank will consult with your firm's engineers to select and implement one of them.
- Landing Page Design & Implementation. Unlike organic search marketing, Affiliate Marketing offers full control over where on a site the shopper lands first. This page should be designed to maximize on-site conversion rates using proven Usability Optimization techniques.
- Creative design & copywriting. By contrast with Sponsored Search Marketing, Affiliate Marketing is primarily accomplished with image-based banner ads, links to be embedded in publisher content, and data feeds. Profit Rank maintains relationships with a large network of affiliates, providing both a built-in marketplace and an essential source of feedback to fine-tune your campaign.
- Affiliate solicitation & management. The success of your Affiliate Marketing campaign is highly dependent on the number of affiliates you have selling your product and the traffic volume they produce. By leveraging its existing affiliate network and by aggressively marketing your program to the broader affiliate audience, Profit Rank can grow this critical metric quickly and efficiently.
- Affiliate approval process. An affiliate program is not just about the number of Affiliates but about the quality of the affiliates. Most affiliate campaigns will see that the majority of sales come form the top 100 or so affiliates. However it is important to note that that like any other business new affiliates are born each and every day and you just never know who will be your next successful affiliate. ProfitRank will work with you to establish the affiliate approval rules and conditions to best fit your needs.
- Campaign operation. In this step, Profit Rank puts the Affiliate Marketing campaign into motion. Affiliate Marketing campaigns follow an operational cycle that includes the following steps:
- Landing Page Design. Affiliate Marketing campaigns are heavily tied to your firm's seasonal promotion cycle. To maximize on-site conversions, landing pages must be continually updated to reflect current promotions.
- Creative design & copywriting. Like landing pages, Affiliate Marketing creatives must be updated to reflect current promotions in a timely manner. Additionally, this must occur in a fashion that is as transparent as possible to your affiliate partners, who typically must juggle programs offered by dozens or hundreds of advertisers.
- Affiliate Solicitation & Management. Acquisition of new affiliates and management of your existing affiliates is an ongoing process. In addition—and by contrast to the machines that determine ad placement in Sponsored Search Marketing campaigns—the editorial decisions of human affiliates can be influenced by a variety of incentive programs. Profit Rank maintains a separate CRM database of top performing affiliates accross multiple affiliate networks. We strive to develop personal relationships with these Internet Marketing movers and shakers keeping them happy and well informed about our managed merchant affiliate programs, and in return they sell more of your products/services.
- Most importantly Profit Rank works with you to continually grow your affiliate channel revenue month over month.