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Tips on Finding the Right Affiliate Program for Your Business

June 21, 2024

An affiliate program can be a hugely influential part of marketing for many companies. In a 2016 survey, 80% of businesses surveyed indicated that they had an affiliate marketing program, and this number has likely only gotten higher in the years since. If you don’t have an affiliate marketing program, then it’s likely that you should create one. And if you already have one, then it’s always important to think about whether it’s meeting your needs. Here’s what you need to know to create a quality affiliate marketing program.

What Is an Affiliate Program, and Why Might You Want One?

So, first of all, what is an affiliate program in the first place, and why is it such a popular choice for businesses? An affiliate program is a type of marketing program based on referrals. With affiliate marketing, you partner with individuals who have connections with potential customers, usually individuals, like bloggers and influencers. You provide them with specialized links to send those potential customers to your company, and then pay them a commission if they drive revenue to your site.

The main reason affiliate programs are so highly prized is because you don’t have to pay upfront for the advertising. In many types of advertising, you pay a fee to get your product out in front of people, regardless of whether they buy something or even click through to look at your store. Affiliate marketing, however, only pays out when someone makes a purchase, making it a great option for many companies.

Tips on Finding the Right Affiliate Program for Your Business

So, when you’re looking to find an affiliate program, what should you be looking for?

First of all, you need an affiliate program that allows you to connect with high-quality affiliates. While large companies like Amazon may be able to partner with thousands of affiliates very easily, creating incredibly extensive affiliate networks, most companies will want to minimize the number of affiliates they work with so that they can ensure they’re only working with high-quality affiliates.

Second, it’s also good to look for affiliate programs that minimize extra commissions. The commissions you pay to your affiliates themselves are an important part of getting those high-quality affiliates, but when working with affiliate networks, you’ll often pay an extra commission. Looking into developing your own affiliate can be a great option instead.

How to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

If you’ve never used an affiliate program before, then you need to know how to set up this solution. One of the best ways to do this is with Refersion.

Refersion’s affiliate marketing connections allow your affiliate marketing manager to keep track of every element of your affiliate marketing program. With Refersion, it’s easier to offer a truly seamless affiliate experience to all your affiliates, no matter what marketing campaigns you’re currently running.

While an affiliate network can be a great way to begin your journey, starting with an in-house affiliate program can be a great way to have maximum control over your affiliate program from the beginning. Plus, affiliate programs often pay for themselves. This means you might be able to hire an affiliate marketing manager to build your affiliate program from the ground up.

The Most Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Working With Affiliate Programs

One of the most important parts of establishing an affiliate marketing program is making sure you avoid common mistakes. Here are a few of the most common mistakes you should work to avoid in your own business experience:

  • You try to assign someone to work on the affiliate program as well as their typical work. When it comes to affiliate programs, which often need a lot of regular maintenance, you’re going to receive sub-par affiliate marketing returns if it’s someone’s side gig. Assign someone to work solely on the affiliate program or reduce the amount of other work they have.
  • You accept everyone who applies to your affiliate program. When you’re a small company running a new affiliate program, you want to be a bit more selective with your affiliates. Vet your affiliates carefully to make sure you’re only accepting high-quality affiliates.
  • You’re focused only on how many sales you make. There are many elements to an effective affiliate program, and sales are only part of this process. You should also be judging how long people spend on your site, the general conversion rate, and how many people make multiple purchases, among other things.

If you can avoid these mistakes, then you’ll be more likely to achieve success with your affiliate program.

How Can You Measure Success With Your Affiliate Marketing Program?

Speaking of success, what does “success” mean for an affiliate marketing program?

This will vary depending on the business. Your definition of “success” may not be the same as that of another company. Typically, all companies want to make more money through their affiliate marketing program. But some companies may be looking for more repeat customers, some may be looking for higher purchase amounts on average, and some may be looking for more new customers.

Define what success means to you before you start working with an affiliate marketing program. That way, you’ll know whether or not you’ve achieved it.

The Bottom Line

A high-quality affiliate program can help you bring in more customers, create valuable relationships with affiliates, and generally grow your business across many axes. If you’re interested in creating an affiliate program, then these tips and tricks can help you start one or move to a more effective one. With these pointers, you can make sure you’re working with the best affiliate marketing program for your needs.


What are the initial costs or fees associated with starting an affiliate program using different platforms? 
The initial costs or fees associated with starting an affiliate program can vary significantly depending on the platform chosen. Some platforms might charge a setup fee, a monthly subscription, or a percentage of the commissions paid to affiliates. These costs are crucial for budget planning and should be thoroughly investigated before selecting an affiliate platform.

How do affiliate programs ensure fair play and prevent fraud within their networks? 
Affiliate programs typically incorporate several mechanisms to ensure fair play and prevent fraud, including tracking software that monitors and validates affiliate activity. These systems help identify suspicious patterns that may indicate fraudulent behavior, such as unusually high numbers of clicks or conversions that do not align with normal traffic patterns.

Can businesses customize their affiliate programs to cater to specific promotional needs or during different sales events? 
Many affiliate programs offer customization options to allow businesses to tailor their campaigns to specific promotional needs or during different sales events. This flexibility can include custom commission rates, special incentive programs for top-performing affiliates, or seasonal promotions designed to boost sales during peak times.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey