So, boss has been reading all of great things about affiliate marketing, and next thing you know, you've been anointed as affiliate manager. You pick a solution provider and things are ready to roll, right?
Not exactly. If you are going to run a successful affiliate program, it is vital that you build internal support and it comes down to three basic tenets: activate, educate, and organize.
Activate program Before you can manage your program, it has to exist. Your first move should be to make fast friends with IT folks. They've got a lot of stuff on their plate, so if you hope to get proper attention during implementation process and after program has gone live, you'd better have an in with them.
They're people just like you and me… they get hungry in middle of day. So offer to take them out to lunch to discuss your technical needs. You know how Milton Friedman said there is no such thing as a free lunch? Well that's not strictly true, especially when you're trying to get your program up and running.
You will also want to establish a rapport with finance department. After all, they are going to be cutting checks to pay your affiliates. Whether it is asked of you or not, create an aggressive budget that covers commissions, service provider fees, education and marketing for your program. The finance crew does not like surprises.
And write up a detailed plan with short and long term goals for your program. Just how are you going to produce all of those amazing results? What methods will you be using to market your program and acquire new affiliates? If you want VP of Marketing to take your program seriously, they have to be able to take you seriously.
Educate yourself and your co-workers Odds are that majority of people in your office do not have a clue about affiliate marketing. By way, how much do you know? One of best ways to learn about your affiliates is to become one yourself.
No excuses. Even if you don't know a thing about creating a Web site, you should create one. Domains are cheap these days and you can get free hosting all over place. There are tons of free HTML tutorials available online, or you could use a WYSIWYG software like MS FrontPage to create your site without any knowledge of HTML.