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Affiliate Program Series Part 2: Incentives to Sell

You've set up your affiliate program and have a good foundation of affiliates, but how do you ensure that they sell your products? There are some creative incentive programs you can offer to encourage them to continually market your products and services.

Commissions and Percentages

The most common form of compensation for marketing affiliates is to pay them a cut of whatever sales they generate. These can be as generous as 15 to 20 percent. The higher percentage you offer, the more affiliates will want to market your products. If you can't offer a large commission consistently, you can host periods of time where that percentage is increased. Those periods of time can help boost sales and encourage affiliates to use creative methods of advertising your products, like advertorials.

Rewarding affiliates with commission bonuses for having the most clicks-through or boosting their sales percentages is another easy incentive program. The downside to this idea is that affiliates might be tempted to spam their audience to get the bonus. Make sure to come up with guidelines for the contest like limiting advertorial posts to once a day or once a week. You can also designate a maximum number of links on affiliate pages since affiliate spamming might have the opposite effect and bring negative publicity to your company.

Freebies and Special Offers

In the same vein as commission contests, companies can offer their affiliates free benefits like trips or sports tickets or free products as incentives to sell. If you aim to widen your affiliate base, offer free products or discounted services for new affiliate accounts created.

Affiliate network, RevenueWire offers the chance to win an all expense paid trip to Affiliate Summit East in New York City and other freebies like tickets to a Yankees game or a helicopter tour of New York. To be eligible to win, RevenueWire affiliates must be brand new, or have significantly increased their percentages or total revenue generated. Those eligibility requirements mean that in addition to raising sales, they are also gaining a bigger affiliate base, which will improve their long-term sales.

Make Marketing Easy

To make advertising your products and business easier on affiliate marketers, it's important to have a variety of resources for them to post. Sending press releases, uploading entertaining videos about your product, even sending samples of your product to affiliate marketers for review purposes will help them better advocate your business.

Designing logos and graphics for affiliates to post on their sites with click-through links are also helpful and can help enhance your brand identity. Offer automatically generated HTML code for your online store badges to make it easy for affiliates to add your logo to their Web site.

Art.com's program gives affiliates the option to post an online store directly to their Web content making it easy for users to see and purchase their products from an affiliate site. Through the live-store windows, Art.com can control and update products when they have promotions or are trying to sell particular pieces. This takes the responsibility off the affiliate and makes earning a hefty commission much easier.

Read the full Affiliate Program Series here:
Part 1: What do you need to get started?
Part 2: Incentives to Sell
Part 3: Bestsellers