Prospective merchants may need to evaluate a number need to take into considerations prior to making a decision to create an affiliate program. These represent steps that may require irreversible decisions which may be hard to undo during the runtime phase of the affiliate program business. These steps are as discussed below;
1. Establishing the Program’s objectives
The internet entity seeking to become an affiliate market merchant need to establish what they intend to achieve with the program. For instance, some of the objectives may include attaining some levels of sales, acquiring significant number customers in an emerging market, or improving the site’s traffic (as may be the case for websites selling advertisement). Objectives are important in helping the to-be merchant in making decision making while exposing possible management activities that may be required by the program.
2. Establishing a suitable budget for the program
Running a successful affiliate marketing program requires significant resources. It’s therefore mandatory for anyone seeking to become a merchant to invest well in the program. Some of the areas that require resources include developing the program software, or partnering with other companies, and marketing the program. During budgeting, the to-be merchant needs to establish the basis for what they’ll offer affiliates/affiliate program users.
3. Developing a merchant website
To run a successful affiliate marketing business for the merchant, they need to have a website in place. It’s through the website that affiliates join the program.
4. Developing the program and testing it
Once the budget has been agreed upon, the merchant to-be can develop the affiliate marketing program software or contract other companies to help it offer these services under it. Upon development of this software, the merchant needs to test it thoroughly with a limited number of affiliates.
5. Program Deployment and monitoring
After a satisfactory test phase, it’s then important to roll out the program so that more affiliates can join. One key thing that the merchant needs to take care of is ensuring that there’s no compromise the quality of service on their affiliate marketing program.