Technical shortcuts and a bit of pre-planning will have your performance marketing activity up and running in no time.
When you sign up to an affiliate network, you want to be up and running as quickly as possible to start growing your network of partners and increase sales volume. The time to turn a program live can vary greatly and, while ShareASale can take care of certain elements, the merchant’s input is needed to implement the tracking technology and define how they want to work with different partners.
With a little preparation, you can start generating sales and grow brand awareness via your affiliate program in no time. Here, we share our top tips for getting your affiliate program off the ground.
Utilize tracking setup guides
The most time-consuming part of getting an merchant’s affiliate program live is the tracking integration. This is also the most important part of the process as the tracking is what keeps a record of all the activity on your program, allowing you to incentivize partners to be rewarded for the sales they help generate and keep encouraging them to want to do so.
At ShareASale, we know correctly installing the tracking code doesn’t need to be complex or require outside help. During our setup process, merchants can simply select their shopping cart and follow the directions to get tracking up and running.
Once technical testing is complete from ShareASale’s side, your program is ready to start generating sales. This is important, as we can only launch an affiliate program with 100% certainty the tracking is working correctly. Our guides and plugins guarantee this.
Implement product feeds
Another challenging, but important, part of launching an affiliate program is the addition of a product feed. Product feeds lets partners find and promote your brand’s products and services.
While we recommend you provide publishers with a product feed, it is not a requirement for launch and can be added after your affiliate program is up and running.
To create a product feed from scratch, you need to compile a list of all products sold on site with specific information like price, product number, product image and so on. For more details on how to create a product feed, and if you’ll need additional technical support, check out our product feed guide here.
Create graphics and banners
Outside of technical work, it’s essential to add banners and logos (referred to as creative) to your affiliate program so publishers can easily promote your brand. The ShareASale wiki has further details on how to set up some of our creatives and the common sizes and types that merchants typically utilize.
You can add both generic and promotional creative for seasonal or special events. To get your program up and running right away, upload standard creatives prior to program launch and continue to adding images for upcoming events, seasons or campaigns too. Not only does this help partners better promote your affiliate program, but it ensures the message aligns with your brand.
Decide how you want to run your program
The last main obstacle to navigate is how you want to run your affiliate program, especially regarding how to commission or reward partners and for overall program management.
From a commissioning perspective, it is important to understand your margins so you can determine a fair reward for publishers driving sales and traffic to your website. ShareASale’s Conversion Lines and Commission Rules give merchants full control over exactly how every publisher is rewarded; for example, you may wish to offer a higher commission for new customers or certain products and a different rate for certain publisher types or if a voucher code is used.
In terms of management, you need to consider the types of partners you want to work with and how. Thankfully, this is all made easy within your ShareASale merchant account where you can quickly set account terms and conditions updating your Affiliate Agreement within your account settings. You can also set up your account to automatically approve or decline specific publisher account types using our application rules.
If you are having difficulty understanding any of the terms or the impact they may have on your program, please reach out to our Client Success Team.
Taking care of these four things from the start, alongside timely responses to any questions or requests from ShareASale, will help get your affiliate program up and running as quickly as possible.
If you do not operate an affiliate program on ShareASale and would like to, get in touch with us here.