When looking for an affiliate program, it is important to look for programs that offer the best features and incentives. This will help you promote products better and make it easier for you to scale your affiliate business. Although affiliate programs are great, not all are built equally. In this post, we’ll explore the best features to look for when joining an affiliate program.

1.  Relevance

Relevance is one of the most important aspects of choosing an affiliate program. The more relevant an affiliate program is, the better you’ll typically perform on organic searches. Topical authority is an important aspect of ranking your posts on Google. Publishing a review post on an affiliate within your niche will likely get you much better results than publishing a post on unrelated affiliate programs.

If the program is not in line with your website or blog’s content, it will be much harder to promote to your audience. For example, if you have a cooking blog, it would make more sense to join an affiliate program for kitchen appliances rather than fashion accessories. When a program is relevant to your niche, it becomes much easier to promote.

2.   Commission structure

In addition to relevance, commission structure is a vital aspect of promoting a product. Commission structure includes what percent you get paid in addition to the type of commission you receive. Taking this into consideration will help you decide whether the affiliate program is a worthwhile investment based on the commission you will receive. There are several ways commissions are structured; they include:

  • Pay per sale: With this type of commission, you only get paid if a sale is made. The commission percentage can range from a few percent to over 150% depending on which product you are promoting.
  • Pay per click: Some affiliate programs are very generous and they pay per click for each visitor that’s directed to their site. These sites will typically pay a small amount of money (typically cents and up to a few dollars) for each click.
  • Pay per lead: With pay per lead, affiliates are paid when they bring a lead to a business. This typically comes in the form of a trial signup, contact form fill out or something similar. Pay per lead can be very lucrative in some niches and programs can pay up to hundreds of dollars for a single lead. A good example of this is Atera’s msp software affiliate program. They give up to $250 in affiliate commissions per new lead generated.

3.  Payouts

Another key factor in choosing your affiliate program is to ensure they offer prompt payouts. There’s nothing worse than working hard to generate sales only to find out that the program you’re promoting doesn’t have good payout timing. Most reputable affiliate programs have a standard of paying out within 30 days or less. If you find an affiliate program that takes longer than this to pay out, it might be worth reconsidering.

A common payout tactic that many programs follow is to pay after a certain threshold is met. This is typically a dollar amount and affiliate programs can withhold your earnings until then, so make sure you read the fine print. For example, if an affiliate program has a threshold of $100, you won’t receive any payout until you generate $100 on their affiliate platform. This can be frustrating for many affiliates, so make sure the programs you work with offer prompt payments.

4.   Cookie life

The cookie life on your affiliate links will determine the time frame in which you are responsible for a sale. For most programs, the cookie life is generally between 30-60 days. There are some that are much shorter like Amazon affiliates, so it’s important to know this prior to promoting any product. Cookie life is important because it will determine how long you have to generate a sale in order for you to receive credit.

The cookie life is typically listed on the affiliate program landing page. If the cookie life for a program is 30 days, you will get the credit for a sale up to 30 days after a customer has clicked on your affiliate link. In general, the longer the cookie duration, the more likely it will be for you to land a sale for an affiliate program.

Some affiliate programs offer lifetime cookies, which means that as long as a customer clicks on your link, you will receive credit for the sale, even if they don’t purchase right away. These are great because it allows you to generate a sale even if the customer doesn’t purchase until months later.

5.   Brand value

An often overlooked aspect of succeeding with affiliate programs is brand value. Brand value refers to the trust that a customer has with a certain brand. This is typically determined by how well the company treats their customers, the quality of their products, and the customer service they provide.

If you’re promoting a high-quality product with a reputable company, your conversion rates will be much higher than if you were promoting a low-quality product. This is because customers are more likely to trust a well-known, quality brand over an unknown or unproven one.

Additionally, customers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand they trust, even if it’s more expensive than the competition. This is because they know they can rely on the quality of the product and customer service provided by the company.

For example, if you’re promoting web hosting, choosing Bluehost will likely lead to much better results than picking a new web hosting startup. Bluehost is a recognized brand in the web hosting niche, so promoting it will yield outsized returns in comparison to doing the brand recognition work for a new brand. You can still succeed with promoting new brands, but established brands typically have much better conversions.

These are just a few of the features you should consider prior to joining an affiliate program.  By taking the time to consider these factors, you’ll be better equipped to find programs that are a good fit for you and your website. This will ultimately help you improve conversions, make affiliate sales and scale your affiliate marketing business. To learn more about how to promote affiliate products, check out this blog here.

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