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How to Set up an Affiliate Program for Your Products

First, read why you should an affiliate program for your products and services

There are several ways to set up an affiliate program. You can use a script, use affiliate software, use a WordPress plugin, use a shopping cart service with a built in affiliate program or join an affiliate network.

First, you want to determine what functions and features you need. For example, do you want to set up one or more affiliate programs? Do you want to provide the same commission rate for each program?

Then, compare the benefits and cost of several methods or programs.

  • Purchase affiliate software and run your own affiliate program.
    Affiliate software will track your affiliate sales and enable your affiliates to view their stats. You are in charge of accepting payment and sending out commission checks. Affiliate software includes IDev (See more info below about iDevAffiliate), AssocTrac and Pro-Track.
  • Use a WordPress plugin.
    If you have a WordPress site, using a WordPress plugin is one of the easiest, fastest and least technical ways to set up your own, in-house affiliate program. There are several free and fee-based wordpress plugins to set up your own affiliate program.I checked out many WordPress plugins and purchased WP Affiliate Platform.The one I recommend and use myself is WP Affiliate Platform. Here’s why I choose WP Affiliate Platform over other WP plugins.

    • This plugin tracks the clicks, leads and sales. At $49.95, it’s the least expensive WordPress plugin.
    • It’s user friendly and I found it easier to set up than some of the other options.
    • The documentation, videos and support of  WP Affiliate Platform is superb.
    • You can use it on all your sites (I have several sites so that was important to me).
    • It integrates with Paypal and most popular shopping carts.
    • You can set up this affiliate plugin for multiple products or services so affiliates get paid for any product or service they promote. The affiliate sale will be tracked  no matter where they land on the site or navigate to on your site as long as they used an affiliate link. (This was important to me).
    • If the customer leaves the site and comes back later as long as the cookie is still active it will track the sale.
    • You can configure banners, links and creatives that your affiliates can use to drive traffic and sales to your site.
    • You have the option to enable lead capturing on your site.
    • You can use this plugin to measure the conversion rate of your online ad campaigns to find out the profitable ones.

WP Affiliate Platform
Check out WP Affiliate Platform here.

  • Use a script.
    A script on your server will track the sales generated by your affiliates. You have to check the sales and amounts you owe your affiliate and pay your affiliates their commission.
  • Use a third party affiliate tracking company to run your affiliate program for you and track your affiliate sales.
    Affiliate tracking companies include Clickbank, PaydotcomClick Trade, 1ShoppingCart and others.

    See more info about third party affiliate tracking companies here.

  • Affiliate networks. Affiliate networks will do the tracking and affiliate recruiting for you and make the payments each month. You should do additional affiliate recruitment yourself and not solely depend on the affiliate network’s database. The affiliate network charges you a percentage for using their service. Well-known affiliate networks include cj.com (Commission Junction) and Linkshare. These networks are expensive and are typically only used by large companies.

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IDev One time fee starting at $199.99+ Or $39/month

Click here to find out more information about idev.

idevaffiliate

  • IDev is the best affiliate tracking software in this price range and it works very well.
  • The set up is user friendly.
  • It works with almost all merchant accounts, shopping carts, billing systems and membership systems.
  • The support is great and I’ve taken full advantage of it.
  • And they provide great training videos.

I’ve been using IDev as an affiliate and I have also set up affiliate programs with IDev for merchants so I am familiar with it from both the affiliate and merchant side. I found it user friendly as an affiliate.

I highly recommend it as the best in this price range.

You can purchase the software at a low one-time fee of $199.99 and install it on your site. Or  you can use the cloud edition that hosted on the company’s cloud at $39/mo.

Click here to find out more information about idev.

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1ShoppingCart –  Starts at $29/mo – Pro version is $99/mo and includes shopping cart, autoresponder and affiliate model.

1shoppingcart provides a robust shopping cart and also provides an affiliate module and an autoresponder. It’s a great solution to have an affiliate program, a shopping cart and an autoresonder in the same place.

I’ve set up several products with 1ShoppingCart affiliate module. I am also using 1ShoppingCart as an affiliate.

Here’s my opinion:  It’s a good option if you need a shopping cart, affiliate program and autoresponder all in one.

1ShoppingCart’s affiliate tools are good if you only need an affiliate program for one product and it’s a good solution to have your shopping cart, autoresponder and affiliate program  in one place. But if you want to set up affiliate programs for several products, it can be confusing for affiliates.  The first program you set up becomes the default and that’s the one they’ll see first.

You should consider 1ShoppingCart’s to set up your affiliate program if you want to use 1shoppingcart as your shoppingcart and only need an affiliate program for one product.  (I do recommend 1shoppingcart highly for your shopping cart needs). And I use and like their autoresponder.

Click here to visit 1shoppingcart.

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Conclusion

Which affiliate programs are best for you will depend on your needs and budget. If you’re just starting out, using one of the third party affiliate companies is the easiest way to get started as everything is taken care of for you.

See more info about third party affiliate tracking companies here.

RESOURCES

WordPress Plugin:  WP Affiliate Platform

Affiliate software:  IDev

Shopping cart: 1shoppingcart

Third party affiliate tracking companies include Clickbank (See more info below), Click Trade, 1ShoppingCart, Paydotcom, E-junkie,  JVZoo 

Here’s the legal mumbo jumbo:

I only recommend products I believe in whether they have affiliate programs or not.  I have used all the products I’m recommending here either for my own web sites or clients’ web sites. Some links are affiliate links, and if you click on an affiliate link and purchase something, I might get paid a small commission.

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