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  • Everything you need to know about Affiliate Programs – Part 2

    Everything you need to know about Affiliate Programs – Part 2

    Considering all the points addressed in the first part of this article, there are few Real Estate Affiliate Programs and tips you should consider for the start.

    1. Arrange a recruitment page

    Create a page on your website dedicated to your affiliate program recruitment.
    This page will be the link you share across social media, in your email campaigns, and funnels to attract the attention of Affiliates to join your Program.
    To be easily found and intuitively used, it needs to be SEO Optimized.
    This page should include 

    • A well-written summary of what is your offer and why it is worth joining your Program
    • A submission form for affiliates to express their interest in working with you and leave their details.
    • Informative  details such as: what are the terms of joining the program
    • Include a clear link to the terms and conditions
    • A clear and detailed structure of the commissions ( can also be shared after the affiliate left its details).

    2. Set commission plans (make sure to be competitive)

    What kind of remuneration plan are you going to offer and how much are you ready to pay for it? These are the main questions you need to be answering to guarantee a stable, durable, and remunerative campaign.
    The commission plan needs to have an incentive high enough for the affiliate to want to advertise your projects over someone else’s and affordable for you to fit your budget and be cost-effective.

    So how should you calculate the Affiliate Commission Rates Plans?

    It is important to take the time to find a formula that benefits both you and your affiliates, there is no universal rule, but being in the real estate vertical allows you to go for attractive pay-outs as any transaction involved in this industry is substantial and can’t be compared to a plan made for Amazon items promoters.

    You need to keep in mind that you want to keep track of all your costs, as ultimately, your goal is to make a profit.
    Also, setting the affiliate commission structure means more than just establishing a flat amount or a percentage to pay based on every sale or other pre-determined qualifying actions.
    In order for your affiliate program to grow and drive performance, you need a more complex commission structure.

    In case you decide to handle your program in-house, your affiliate payout budget should cover at least the following if you want it to be attractive and successful.

    If you decide to go through a Network- there is no need to make these calculations on your own, the dedicated support team will guide you. Also, the various commission’s baits are becoming unnecessary as affiliates are already in the system to promote and don’t need additional incentives: just make sure to have a CPA/CPL/Revshare attractive enough to be competitive.

    • Standard affiliate commission rate and structure
      The basic amount or percentage the average affiliate will earn for driving one qualifying action, it can be a PPA, PPC, revshare, that is entirely up to your consideration. 
    • Performance incentive
      Consider a flat number of bonuses or commission increase meant to encourage affiliates to sell more and reward the best-performing ones.
    • VIP commissions
      Some affiliates will drive more value to your Program than others, those affiliates should be approached with a higher commission.
    • First sale bonus
      Paying a flat amount bonus or multiplying the commission on the first sale(s) (subject to time restrictions) is a great way to convince affiliates to put up their links and begin promoting your brand as soon as possible.
    • Commission for affiliate referrals
      Consider paying a commission to affiliates who refer other affiliates to have them work as recruiters for you and cut your efforts of scouting the net for new collaborations.

    3. Determine your Affiliate Program Policy & Rules

    An affiliate program policy is a binding agreement between you and your new affiliates.

    As this documentation is your contract of collaboration, which is detailing the rules and mutual responsibilities for both parties to follow, it needs to be properly drafted.

    The affiliate program policy is your opportunity to frame and disclaim your rules and restrictions such as restricting promotion methods, marketing channels, and addressing payment issues.

    It is recommended to address the following subjects:

    When and how you will pay your affiliates

    Scheduling – when is the commission payment due? On a weekly/ bi-weekly/ monthly basis.
    Is there a conditional waiting period of 30/60 days after a conversion has taken place in order to get paid?

    Thresholds – Does the affiliate need to reach an accumulative defined amount before qualifying to receive payment?

    Method- what method of payment is acceptable for you to issue to payment: Paypal, wire transfer, prepaid card… 

     What promotional methods or marketing channels are restricted?

    Trademarks – Is the affiliate allowed to use your logo and website screenshots?

    Offer Placement – Can your offer be promoted by the affiliate on a coupon website? Instagram? Via bulk email? Google ads?

     Cases when affiliate action will be disqualified for commission.

    Negative Commentary – If the affiliate is managing a blog for example and the bad comments on your brands are not being handled properly by him, for example.

    Offensive Content – The affiliate is advertising your projects’ links on adult-themed websites. 

    It should include the following sections:

    •       Collecting Information
    •         Information Usage
    •         Usage of Cookies
    •         Opting Out or Unsubscribing
    •         Security and Protection
    •         Transfers of Information
    •         Links to Sites
    •         Legal Disclaimer

    If you decide to work through a Network, the program proposed falls under the Network’s T&C: make sure to read it and agree with its conditions.

    4. Produce advertising material and product file

    It’s essential to offer to your new affiliates quality marketing collateral.
    By doing so, you’re making it easier for them to promote your affiliate product. For example: you found out that banner ads with your product outperform text links in conversion rate. Consequently, such information or product review in your collateral material would help your affiliates attract new customers and perform better.

    Even before applying to your affiliate program, typically, affiliates are looking for collateral or creative materials.

    They want to see what they will have to work with.
    So, it’s crucial to offer them as many useful and relevant data as possible.

    5. Implement Tracking & Reports

    Another vital part of your program management is to keep tracking and optimizing performance.

    While choosing an affiliate platform you should be searching for an intuitive tracking & report display, as it will give you the necessary tools to evaluate your program performances, forecast results, and adjust your strategy for higher profits.

    Knowing what’s your best traffic source, PPC, SEO, social media, influencers, bloggers, or email lists, could grow your affiliate sales and number of affiliates.

    When working with a Network, the Affiliate Program Management System is provided to you and the back end is calibrated to your needs; also, a dedicated support team is at your disposal to help you understand and analyze your reports.

    6. Network at industry events

    Networking events of your industry are attended by a variety of personas: some competitors, some potential clients and some potential affiliates.

    Networking at events is a great way to grow your program, as it puts you physically in direct contact with the people you hope will go and promote your projects.

    In turn, they can learn about your company, get a first-hand impression about your trustworthiness and understand your vision from you in person, which will give them tools to pitch it down the road on their channel of advertisement.

    It is your opportunity to create a bond where the affiliate feels committed to you as a person- this can hardly be achieved through your onsite landing page! 

    7. Work with super affiliates and affiliate directories.

    You may be working at scrutinizing the net to discover affiliates, but those affiliates are likely working just as hard to discover you.
    This is where super affiliates and affiliate directories come to be of use.
    By reaching out to these organizations, you can more easily connect with those looking for projects to promote and sponsor.

    8. Invest ad money behind it

    Dedicate a PPC budget for that effort and educate yourself on how to do it effectively.
    The money you will spend to attract one sale on your own on-line could as well be spent on recruiting your army of promoters. Putting Google Ads money to promote your affiliate program is money well spent to gain exposure: it is well spent if well done!

    All is now left is for you to decide if you want to join a Specialized Real Estate Affiliate Network and cut your efforts, costs, and learning curve while gaining in exposure… Or to handle the Program in-house with all the effort, expenses and expertise it requires.

    Ben Givon Affiliate Marketing Guru

    With many years of experience in the world of digital marketing, Ben combines his love of affiliate marketing with an international outlook on the real estate markets. From his start in the legal profession to his transition to the world of marketing, his passion for what he does is the driving force behind his success.

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