Affiliate Marketing Strategies

Get more wins--and more sales--from your affiliate program by stacking your roster with internet-marketing pros.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Want to pay a marketing team only for results? Then get an affiliate program in place, and invite internet-savvy marketers to promote your business for no upfront cost. To launch a successful program, plan your strategy based on these questions:

1. What do you want your affiliates to do? First, decide if you'll pay affiliates per click, lead or sale. Then, discuss their role in your overall marketing strategy. Experienced affiliates will use e-mail, search engines, content sites and possibly offline opportunities to promote your business. Do you want this sales force to dominate all marketing channels for you, or will you set restrictions to prevent same-channel competition?

2. Is your compensation offer competitive? To find out, check out competing offers on resource sites such as You can also sign up as a network affiliate to review offers in that community.

3. How will you help affiliates make more money? Yup, that's right--put your affiliates first, because by igniting their success, you'll be fueling yours. Create various ads and persuasive copy blocks they can use. And consider writing a newsletter with new-offer announcements, marketing tips and performance contests to help them perform even better.

You'll also need an affiliate management solution, which includes tracking link assignment and performance reporting. You can save money by using an e-commerce solution that includes a basic affiliate management tool; the higher-end versions of and Yahoo! Small Business Merchant Solutionsare examples. Keep in mind that if you buy or lease tools, then you usually need to find and woo your own affiliates.

Although you'll need to pay to join networks such as My Affiliate Program, Commission Junctionand LinkShare, you'll immediately tap into thousands of eager affiliates and robust tools to help you optimize your program.

Speaker and freelance writer Catherine Sedaowns an internet marketing agency and is author of Search Engine Advertising.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.