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Coffee Talk #76 – How to Start an Affiliate Program

by James Martell on May 11, 2013

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Coffee Talk with Sarah Bundy and Carolyn Kmet

James Martell, founder of The School of Internet Marketing, has worked successfully within the affiliate marketing space for well over a decade. In this edition of Coffee Talk, he sits down with Sarah Bundy and Carolyn Kmet, two powerhouse industry vets who have done the same. The expert trio discusses what types of businesses can do well with affiliate marketing and how those business owners can get started.

Sarah Bundy is the founder and CEO of All Inclusive Marketing and several other businesses. She and is a regular contributor to several industry publications has won several industry awards. Sarah is an instructor in The School of Internet Marketing and is currently writing her first book, The Art of Performance Marketing.

Carolyn Kmet has worked with several businesses in the affiliate marketing industry as well. She has worked closely with Sarah in particular and is the current vice president of performance marketing at All Inclusive Marketing.

Affiliate Marketing – Pay for Results!

One of the most exciting aspects of affiliate marketing is that the investment is strictly performance-based. Rather than paying for banner ads or other types of advertising and waiting to see if they perform, an affiliate program only pays out to the affiliate once a sale is mode or a lead is generated.

Affiliate programs are typically quite simple:

  1. Affiliate marketers promote the company’s products and drive traffic to the online store
  2. If the traffic driven to the site converts to sales, the advertiser pays a commission to the affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketers, of course, are highly motivated to encourage sales – otherwise, they don’t get paid!

A Team Effort to Increase Sales and Traffic

There are several key players in affiliate programs that all work together to drive traffic to the merchant and make sales. Carolyn and Sarah explain the specific role of each.

  • Merchants, or advertisers, sell products.
  • Affiliates, or publishers, use various methods to drive traffic to merchants.
  • Networks track consumers and transactions from the affiliate that sends them to the merchant.
  • Affiliate managers offer industry expertise to keep programs up-to-date and running smoothly.

Each party offers specific value to a successful program.

Listen in for 3 Affiliate Experts’ Stories

James, Carolyn, and Sarah each share some of their own experiences about getting involved with the affiliate marketing industry – listen in to learn from their stories.

In this podcast, you’ll also learn about exactly what types of businesses are likely to do well with affiliate marketing. There are a few key factors a business should already have in place before getting started with an affiliate program.

You’ll even find out how affiliate marketing can work alongside your other marketing efforts successfully.

Carolyn and Sarah also touch on some of the challenges some companies face as well as practical issues that need to be considered as an affiliate program gets up and running. They address many questions beginners might be asking:

  • Should I set up my program within a network?
  • Do I need an affiliate manager?
  • What do I need to get started on the right track?
  • How do I develop an affiliate marketing strategy?
  • How much is the program going to cost?

These questions and more are answered in this edition of Coffee Talk.

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