You started your online store, made some initial sales, but now you want to expand! How do you do it?
Table of contents
- What’s the affiliate program?
- Who are affiliates?
- Is affiliate marketing the best approach for you?
- Benefits of an affiliate marketing program
- Push sales effectively
- Why is affiliate marketing successful at driving sales?
- More loyalty to your brand
- Increase your scope
- How to get started with your affiliate program?
- What is the estimated scale of your affiliate program?
- What means are open to you (brand advocates/influencers/etc.)?
- How are you going to reward your affiliates?
- A step-by-step guide to adding an affiliate program to your Shopify store.
- 1. Choose affiliate app and add to Shopify
- Scaleo – Affiliate Marketing Software for Shopify
- 2. Promoting your affiliate program
- Promote your affiliate program to your audience
- Reaching out to specific affiliates.
- 3. Recruit your affiliates
- 4. Manage the affiliate program
- Conclusion – Let’s get started now!
When money is tight, and you’re counting every dollar with your Shopify store, it can be frightening to dive in and justify a big investment in ads.
That’s why many online retailers are searching for a more cost-effective, low-risk way to bring more prospective customers to their stores; affiliate marketing!
Your affiliates do the marketing job for you in a successful affiliate marketing program. And the best part of it? You only pay your affiliates (who referred customers to your Shopify store) when they refer customers who completed a purchase.
In this article, you’ll discover not only what affiliate marketing is but also how an Affiliate Program can be a game-changer for your existing Shopify store and how to get started with affiliate marketing right away.
What’s the affiliate program?
An affiliate program is a reward-based online advertising strategy in which affiliates advertise your goods and send potential customers to your e-shop.
This is a win-win situation.
You get traffic to your Shopify store with almost zero initial investment, and your affiliates get rewarded for every customer who purchases products through their link.
Who are affiliates?
Affiliates are the advocates of your brand and/or your Shopify store.
They advertise your goods to their audience through their social media, website, ads, or blog links. In exchange for their contributions, the affiliates are rewarded with a flat commission or a percentage of each sale they make.
Affiliates would usually (and ideally) endorse goods that are aligned with their specific niche or desires.
Let’s assume, for example, that you sell eco-friendly, biodegradable diapers. Your perfect affiliate will be an environmentally-conscious “mommy blogger.” You (the diaper saler) and your affiliate (the mommy blogger) will be approaching the same audience (environmentally-conscious new moms).
You must promote your affiliate program to attract affiliates that have the same target audience. Your affiliate must market your goods to their audience and draw potential customers to your Shopify store. The closer your audience is associated with your affiliate’s audience, the greater will be the performance of both of you.
Is affiliate marketing the best approach for you?
Although the lack of initial investment means that affiliate services are likely to pay off, some companies are better suited to affiliate marketing than others.
Businesses with limited profit margins may be less effective in the marketing of an affiliate program. The awarding of commissions may not be worthwhile if your profit margins are too small to warrant more reductions in profits.
Benefits of an affiliate marketing program
As we have already mentioned, Shopify store owners profit from affiliate marketing because it is a low-risk marketing strategy; you only pay your affiliates for a successful sale.
Although it’s a huge benefit that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get things going on your Shopify affiliate program, how else will your Shopify store benefit from an affiliate program?
Push sales effectively
Not only is affiliate marketing perfect because it’s low-risk, but it’s also considered to be high-priced. Low risk + high reward = double victory!
Affiliate marketing is responsible for up to 16% of eCommerce sales in the US, making it one of the top 4 eCommerce sales sources.
Affiliate marketing is so successful because it works!
Why is affiliate marketing successful at driving sales?
Almost 75% of shoppers visit up to 3 non-retail websites before making a buying decision. Buyers want to hear feedback from other people, particularly the people they trust, until they’re sure they’re going to make a purchase. That’s where the affiliates are coming in.
More loyalty to your brand
Your affiliate partners would usually already have established relationships with their readers/watches.
When affiliates advertise your products to their audience, their audience is much more likely to trust your brand. They trust the affiliate not to cheat them and lead them to a worthy purchase.
For instance, if a pizza company told you that their new pizza is “the best pizza you’ll ever taste,” would you believe it? What if your favorite food blogger told you the same thing? You’re probably going to click on the blogger’s link and order that pizza. The blogger has built a level of trust with you and confers that trust in the pizza’s brand.
Fear of “buying regret” is one of the biggest reasons people would opt not to make a purchase.
No one wants to waste their hard-earned money or think that buying them was a mistake. Affiliate marketing makes it easier to overcome buying anxiety and also helps you convert more sales.
Increase your scope
A good Shopify affiliate program would have an army of affiliate partners promoting the Shopify store worldwide.
Instead of spending a lot of time and money to build up your online presence with a handful of people, affiliate marketing offers your brand potential access to the entire audience of each affiliate you partner with. Suddenly, your Shopify store is open to thousands of customers whom your brand would never have been able to score.
Your affiliates have invested time and resources in building up their markets, and you will reap the benefits of their reach.
How to get started with your affiliate program?
For a start: what are your company objectives?
The following is a list of company objectives that could fairly be accomplished by a good Shopify affiliate program:
- Increase brand recognition and reach;
- Increase conversions;
- Increase traffic in your Shopify store;
Identifying which of these objectives is most important to your particular company will help you set your Shopify affiliate program’s performance criteria.
What is the estimated scale of your affiliate program?
How many affiliates are you planning to accept into your affiliate program? Bear in mind that a greater number of affiliates would take more time and more resources to handle.
Don’t have a lot of time to invest in your affiliate program? You could try to get a few great affiliates that are closely associated with your niche, rather than a lot of affiliates that could possibly turn fewer sales per person. The projected size of your affiliate program will also affect the Shopify affiliate app you are using. Some apps (especially free ones) restrict the number of affiliate partners that you can have. You’re going to have to keep this in mind when deciding which affiliate app is right for your company.
What means are open to you (brand advocates/influencers/etc.)?
Do you have a list of brand ambassadors or influencers who may be interested in joining your affiliate program? If so, excellent! Get them to know specifically about joining your affiliate program.
If you don’t, you will need to advertise your affiliate program to your audience. You can reach out to your audience through social media, email, or through your own Shopify website. Regular shoppers at your Shopify store could be great advocates of your brand.
Choosing the right applicants for your affiliate program is key to the success of your program.
How are you going to reward your affiliates?
Although most of the affiliates receive a fixed sum/percentage per sale, exclusive deals or free goods may also be used as additional rewards.
Note that while affiliate marketing can be mutually beneficial to you and your affiliates, you will also need to persuade potential affiliates to join your affiliate program.
Setting good incentives will make the affiliate program more attractive to prospective affiliates (especially if you are in a competitive niche).
Affiliate programs with generous incentives are more likely to attract well-known affiliates who are capable of directing consistent sales to your company. It also shows that your Shopify store is trustworthy and trusts future affiliates.
Bear in mind that you need to have a wide profit margin to guarantee a generous affiliate incentive.
A step-by-step guide to adding an affiliate program to your Shopify store.
Now, we’ll take you through the step-by-step phase of launching your Shopify affiliate program.
1. Choose affiliate app and add to Shopify
As you probably know, there are a lot of powerful Shopify affiliate apps that can help you improve your Shopify sales. Did you know that there are even Shopify applications to help you build an affiliate program?
Making up your mind, which affiliate app to choose for your Shopify store can be difficult. As you can guess, we recommend Scaleo affiliate marketing software.
Scaleo – Affiliate Marketing Software for Shopify
Scaleo is a popular affiliate software for many store owners. It can be quickly set up and incorporated into Shopify stores via API and offers an easy-to-use dashboard for affiliate management.
There are many key benefits for Scaleo, which you can check out in the features section, but among the top benefits is the instant access to the demo, flexible pricing structure, paying only for conversions (not traffic volume or clicks), and super-extensive dashboard with dozens of data points and statistics.
Need help integrating Scaleo with your Shopify store? Don’t hesitate to contact us, and our support team will be happy to assist you.
2. Promoting your affiliate program
After you’ve set up your Scaleo affiliate app (or any other), it’s time to employ affiliates to join your program.
Unfortunately, the affiliates will not be racing out of the blue to join the program. You will need to advertise your affiliate program to your audience across different platforms and channels or reach out to brand supporters and influencers to find affiliates for your program.
Promote your affiliate program to your audience
You may wish to promote your affiliate program through:
- posts on your social media accounts,
- emails to your subscribers,
- or a link to a program overview page on your website.
Make sure that the ads demonstrate the benefits of your program to encourage future affiliates to join.
- What kind of commission is allocated to affiliates in your program?
- What benefits are available to affiliates that join your program?
People want to know if your affiliate program is worth their time and effort.
Your ads can also provide details about your affiliate program’s reputation or your affiliate website to attract potential affiliates.
Reaching out to specific affiliates.
You may also want to reach out to other people who share the same audience or interest to see if they are interested in joining your affiliate program. This is another productive way to extend the scope of your affiliate program.
Let’s assume, for example, that you’re selling trendy dog collars. You’d need to look through Instagram to find some trendy dog accounts to show off your product.
You may be in cold touch with people (or their furry friends) who are unfamiliar with your brand and products. In this case, you would need to share the specs and benefits of your affiliate program and the details of your brand to attract these potential affiliates to join your program.
3. Recruit your affiliates
Once affiliates join your affiliate program, they will need resources and promotional material for the program and your brand, as well as rules and restrictions.
- What are the rules of your affiliate program that affiliates would need to follow when producing promotional content?
- What do you recommend your affiliates do to make a success of your program?
- How do affiliates keep track of their referrals?
- What will the affiliates be paid when the customer is effectively referred?
- What are the brand values you want your affiliates to express in their posts?
You may also want to provide affiliates with pre-approved content to benefit their audiences. This could include graphics, pre-written social posts, or a list of hashtags that you want to include in each message.
Be transparent with your affiliates about your objectives and provide them with the resources they need to succeed in your affiliate program.
4. Manage the affiliate program
After you have taken your affiliates on board, you’ll want to keep track of their progress in recognizing the efficacy of your affiliate program.
Find out which of your affiliates make the most sales. You’re going to want to look at the factors that make these affiliates popular so that you can target similar affiliates to join your program in the future.
In addition to affiliate revenue, you would also want to include the following criteria when reviewing the success of your program and affiliates:
- Average order size of purchases attributable to the affiliate’s referrals relative to normal sales
- Payouts for your affiliates
- Ratio of payment-to-sales
- Affiliate turnover rate
Conclusion – Let’s get started now!
You’ve heard more about affiliate marketing, how affiliate marketing can improve your store sales and traffic, and how you can get started by setting up an affiliate program on your store. Now it’s time to use all this experience and get started by adding an affiliate software to your Shopify Store!
Scaleo is an award-winning, certified Shopify Partner, and our Shopify marketing experts are always here to help you along the way. Good luck!