Thousands of advertisers (from brands like Target, Puma, Jos. A. Bank, Under Armour and other major names to smaller businesses) are now facing the tough task migrating their affiliate programs to new platforms. With these businesses in mind I have decided to put together a cheat sheet to make their life a little easier.
Here are the 5 main steps that you want to take to move your affiliate marketing program elsewhere (in the next few months while Google winds down Google Affiliate Network):
Step 1: Do Your Due Diligence
Engage in high-level competitive intelligence to figure our what your immediate rivals (or closely related advertisers, if you don’t have much direct competition) are doing. Look at their affiliate program terms (payout structure(s), cookie life, locking periods, bonuses, policies) and, of course, the platforms on which they run their programs.
Step 2: Choose Platform
Your options will range from affiliate networks (here are just a few in an alphabetical order: Affiliate Window, AvantLink, Commission Junction, LinkShare, ShareASale) to platforms which allow you to manage the program entirely in-house (like DirectTrack, ImpactRadius, HasOffers, and others).
Step 3: Negotiate & Sign Contract
Do negotiate before you sign! If the platform’s compensation is in some way connected with the performance of your affiliate program (as is the case with most affiliate networks) and you already have an established affiliate program, the time spent on negotiating the deal will be the time well spent.
Step 4: Set Up the New Program
Migrate your creatives, data feed (if you have one), text links, as well as affiliate program policies. Also, if you go with an affiliate network and you’re using tools to monitor network-specific compliance with your terms, don’t forget to set those up to monitor violations on your new network!
Step 5: Announce to Affiliates
And give them plenty of time to migrate and switch links. Explain the importance of migration, provide all the necessary knowledge to make it easy for them (an FAQ devoted just to this may be pertinent), and ensure full support of all affiliates during the migration.
FYI: AM Navigator provides complimentary migration, which includes all of the above, as well as an additional program audit and preferred rates and discounts with all major affiliate platforms. Just email me if you’re interested.
Image source: Telegraph.co.uk