Are you thinking about getting a third-party affiliate management system but aren’t sure it’s worthwhile? Read on to find out how you can benefit from using it in any industry or company type.
Affiliate marketing is booming. 81% of companies from virtually all industries are already running affiliate programs (from retailers such as Amazon, through e-commerce platforms like Shopify, to online course platforms like Kayabi), and increasingly more are jumping on the affiliate marketing bandwagon every day. Looking at Google Trends data, the number of people typing “affiliate marketing” into a search box has increased by over 200% since 2015.
The stories of earning unbelievable money with little effort that can be seen in various ads are exaggerated in many cases (only 3% are earning over $150k per year). However, affiliate marketing still has many benefits that make it a great marketing channel for companies of all sizes and industries.
Affiliate marketing – the benefits and drawbacks
First, affiliate marketing can help companies get noticed by their target audience. Since companies reach out to affiliates from either the same or fairly similar industries, the chances of their followers being interested in the promoted products or services are significantly higher.
The cost of affiliate marketing is also much lower than regular marketing tactics. Rather than paying money upfront like with many other marketing methods, you only pay your affiliates whenever they bring in sales. There’s no risk of financial loss on your side. Moreover, scaling up an affiliate program comes with little or no additional costs either, so it’s a perfect advertising method for businesses with tight budgets.
While the costs of managing an affiliate program might be low, it doesn’t mean that no effort is required to make it a success. Quite the contrary, it requires far more work than the “few hours” mentioned by various ads or on the websites of so-called “affiliate gurus”.
Your daily tasks may include tracking all KPI metrics of your campaigns, storing and updating collected data, creating promotional materials for your affiliates, researching keywords, and answering various affiliate questions.
You also need to ensure your program is safe from dishonest marketers, keep an eye on your affiliates’ performance, and take care of their payrolls as well. You could do all of this manually, but do you have enough time for that? Most likely not.
Fortunately, you don’t have to – you can “hire” a third-party affiliate management system to take care of some mundane tasks for you. It’s like having a virtual accountant (or several, more like!) who keeps an eye on your affiliate marketing performance and notes down everything relevant to your business.
How else can such a system help you? Have a look at the 6 biggest reasons why you should use an affiliate management system in your company.
Why is it worth investing in an affiliate management system?
1. Keeps track of important metrics
Without tracking metrics, you won’t know what your affiliates are doing and whether or not your marketing is going in the right direction. The more data you have, the better. But try as you might, you probably won’t be able to track and count every single click, comment, or action made by your affiliates – especially if you have several of them.
That means you might be missing out on various opportunities for a sales boost. For example, if you had access to data about who clicked on a link but didn’t finish making a purchase, you could reach out to those people with a retargeting campaign.
That’s where affiliate management software can come in handy. It tracks everything related to your campaigns and your affiliates 24/7 and displays the data in real-time. Thanks to that, you can be sure you have all the data you need for growing your program neatly organized in a management dashboard.
Affiliate management systems also use several tracking methods to make the tracking as accurate as possible. Can you imagine doing this yourself?
2. Better detection of fraud cases and term violations
Affiliate marketing is performance-based — the more people that click on an affiliate link, the more the referring marketer will earn. Unfortunately, rather than working on connecting with their audience and making sales, some marketers prefer to take the “easy” way out to earn a commission.
For example, dishonest affiliates can use several illegal ways to get more clicks — like by using bots or copying content from other marketers. And because fraud becomes increasingly more sophisticated, noticing that a marketer may be violating your terms and conditions is getting more and more difficult even for a savvy business owner.
Affiliate management solutions can lend a hand here as well. A good affiliate management system contains several tools that can alert you to any suspicious activity on your affiliate website and prevent the majority of them from harming your affiliate business.
With fraud detection tools, you can see if there are repeated clicks, sign-ups, or orders from the same IP address or location. You can also create a blacklist of suspicious IP addresses, which the system won’t take into count when counting clicks or sign-ups. This protects you from losing money on illegally earned commissions and keeps your affiliate metrics safe, as they won’t get affected by unreliable data coming in from suspicious activities.
3. No need to hire an accountant
If you don’t have time to take care of an affiliate program yourself, you might be thinking about hiring a person to do it for you. However, that would mean that you need to go through a lengthy recruitment process to find a good accountant. Moreover, this means additional costs for your business such as a regular salary, benefits, taxes, office supplies, and so on.
If you have a large affiliate program with many products, hiring an accountant might be what you need to boost your program. But do you really need to hire an accountant full-time just to track clicks and sales from your affiliate program?
Not necessarily. If you are just starting out with affiliate marketing or don’t have enough time or money to hire an accountant full-time, “hiring” a modern affiliate management system could work just as well. Doing so ensures the costs will be much, much, lower as the only outgoings from your side will be the affiliate marketing system subscription fee.
Moreover, employing an affiliate management system will be beneficial to not only yourself but your affiliates as well, as it offers various tools that improve affiliate productivity.
4. Affiliate solutions are user-friendly
With the right affiliate management system, each of your affiliates can have their own account inside the program with a customizable dashboard that suits their needs. On it, they can find everything they might need during the busy day of an affiliate marketer. And by “everything”, we mean things such as customers’ data or detailed analytic reports.
Having access to this data eliminates the need for them to track the metrics themselves or email you about performance reports. They won’t have to get in touch with you to ask for promotional materials either.
All promotional assets can be stored inside the affiliate management system and be used right away. These include different types of banners, discount coupons, and even personalized landing pages. And as the icing on the cake, affiliate payrolls can be managed by the system as well.
5. Building an affiliate network for your business is easier
If you are just starting out with affiliate management and have a couple of affiliates to watch over, managing everything manually isn’t much of a problem. But what if you want to increase the size of your network? Your workload would increase tenfold, and there’s a risk you would miss something important.
But with affiliate management tools, you can scale your affiliate program as much as you need. As an affiliate management tool takes care of all your affiliates for you, increasing the size of your affiliate network isn’t a problem.
To make management even easier, you can create separate affiliate groups within the app and set different commission levels for each group.
6. More control over the affiliate program
As we have already mentioned, tracking all of your affiliates and campaign metrics would take far more time than you have on your hands. And tracking is one thing, but storing the data is another. Where would you save all of your campaigns’ data for later use? In spreadsheets on your drive? That’s the most popular option, but just how much time would it take you to add or update the files manually? Or let’s say you need to compare the results of several affiliates. By using spreadsheets, you run the risk of getting lost and confused when faced with so much data.
An affiliate management system stores the information inside its vast database, so there’s no need for you to use several spreadsheets to keep your data in check or to update it manually. Moreover, you can also customize the affiliate dashboard to show you the metrics that are the most important to you.
This feature also makes affiliate tools a great choice for vendors who have many products to promote and several affiliates to manage. As each affiliate can have their own account in the app and all products are tracked separately, there’s no risk of the database turning into a bundled mess.
Affiliate management systems and their various tools can make affiliate work easier for you and your marketers. Tracking metrics? Updated in real-time. Affiliate performance analytics? Clearly visible in your dashboard, with all the data you need. Payrolls? Handled automatically as scheduled. Suspicious activity? Spotted, and the app administrator already alerted.
Plus, since an affiliate management system handles the mundane workload, you and your affiliates can focus on building your program and offering the very best content for your audience. So how about bringing a new “employee” onboard? Post Affiliate Pro is ready to start anytime.