No tool or software can replace the personal relationships you need in order to build trust and be a resource for your partners to succeed. Your affiliates have plenty of other merchants and options they can work with in your vertical — so anything you can do to make the process more efficient should be considered.
We’ve collected some affiliate marketing tools and resources tech marketers can use to keep track of their cooperative programs.
But there’s one thing we should mention before we talk about tools….
Affiliate marketing: keys to success
When you’re going to launch the program it’s an experiment. You have some assumptions, but it’s still a hypothesis, says Iryna Kandrashova, Head of Marketing at UXPressia.
You can’t be 100% sure that an affiliate program will work well for your product or application. That’s why I believe you shouldn’t put too much effort into the whole initiative and it’s better to find an existing solution.
In UXPressia’s case, there were several requirements:
- easy integration with the payment system we use
- reasonable pricing
- SEO friendly URLs for affiliates
- delay for commission payments (to make sure there are no refunds)
- at least basic options for analytics
Her company ended up using Rewardful.
“After several months of using it, I can say that the app meets our expectations and has all features need for this moment,” she says. “However, when the affiliate program attracts more and more leads, I’ll consider a custom solution.”
Brian Hawkins, Affiliate Marketing Manager at Nature’s Sleep, says affiliate marketing tools and resources break down into different buckets.
“I say the best tool is proof your program converts because everybody says they have the highest payout and high conversions,” he says.
“Study the trends and help your partners earn more traffic. Show them value but keep strategy from one partner to another confidential. Its a small industry and people talk. Trust is what your selling first then advice.
(See more tips for cooperative/affiliate marketing with integrators in our feature here)
“However you can give trends and insight to use the tools to bring some value to earn the traffic from providers with good will not nagging for more traffic.”
Profitable niches can be competitive. The key is to strike a balance between earning potential and competition, according to Thomas Smale, Founder and CEO of FE International at FE International.
“To determine the market and who you’re up against, target specific keywords and run them through an SEO tool like Ahrefs. By using this tool, you can audit competing sites, vet domains, and check their backlink profile. It’s an excellent way to discover strong keywords you’d like to target and rank for.”
Once you’ve determined your target keywords, start incorporating them into your content.
“Several websites can help in optimizing your performance. These include free options like Google Analytics or Google Keyword Planner or paid SEO tools such as Ahrefs.”
“There are also helpful CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) tools. These tools are helpful in terms of providing you with vital data like the number of leads generated, click-through rate (CTR) and conversions. VWO offers a free trial for their CRO tool. CRO is by no means a stagnant strategy. It will be an ongoing process of learning what content works and continuously optimizing to increase conversions.”
Check out our slideshow of affiliate marketing tools here