Affiliate marketing

8 Things I Would Love to See in Every Affiliate Program

12 min read
Jan 20, 2021

These days, most well-established companies start in-house affiliate programs to reach their target audience better and increase their bottom line as a result. A good thing about it is that marketers can now choose from a variety of programs. Such a broad choice allows you to be selective and sign up for just the right ones for you.

So, what do best affiliate programs have in common? Let's go through all the pro features of these, and maybe you'll be able to find the perfect affiliate marketing program.

1. Fixed, recurring commission

Needless to say, high commission rates are a must in a perfect program. It's even better if such a lucrative commission is fixed and recurring.

affiliate comission

Therefore, it makes sense to join and market SaaS affiliate programs. Especially that SaaS products are in high demand lately. Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs are transitioning their businesses to on-demand cloud software.

Being an affiliate marketer who operates in the SaaS industry can be a profitable way to get a solid stream of revenue on the regular for even a few years.

To give you a good example, let’s look at the LiveChat Partner Program. The average customer lifetime reaches approximately three years here. This average sounds like a pretty good guarantee of stable and predictable revenue, doesn’t it?

So, depending on the particular product or service sold through the affiliate link, your income can vary and potentially get significantly higher.

As for LiveChat — your commission depends on the number of seats* a prospect adds to their plan and on the payment frequency. A customer can go for month-to-month or year-to-year billing.

*Just to let you know, seats are nothing else than the number of agents that can be logged in simultaneously and have active chats.

Therefore, it makes sense to join the SaaS affiliate network. Especially since SaaS products are constantly in high demand. Increasing numbers of entrepreneurs are transitioning their businesses to on-demand cloud software.

Being an affiliate marketer who operates in the SaaS industry can be a profitable way to get a solid stream of revenue on a regular for even a few years.

To give you a good example, let's take a look at our LiveChat Partner Program. The average customer lifetime reaches approximately three years. This average sounds like a pretty good guarantee of stable and predictable revenue, doesn't it?

So, depending on the particular product or service sold through the affiliate link, your income can vary and potentially get significantly higher.

As for LiveChat — we offer up to 22% commission (here, you can read more about our commission guidelines). The amount of money you'll be able to withdraw depends on the number of agents a customer adds to their plan and on the payment frequency. A customer can go for month-to-month or year-to-year billing.

2. Affiliate cookie duration

Another crucial detail you must pay attention to while reviewing features of your perfect affiliate marketing program is cookie life.

Let's first define what an affiliate cookie is exactly.

To put it simply, a cookie is a small file stored on the user's computer. It's used to identify the site's visitors. In affiliate marketing, cookies are used to track affiliate referrals. And, of course, such cookies have their expiration date.

cookie

Basically, a cookie's lifespan reflects how long the prospective buyer who clicks through your affiliate link might make you a profit through a given campaign.

For instance, let's say a seller sets the cookie duration to 30 days. This means that you have exactly 30 days to seal the deal, once a link has been clicked. Once this time is up, that's it — no profit for you.

However, if a purchase is made within this period, it qualifies for a commission. This also applies to all recurring commissions. Thus, the longer the expiration date, the better for the affiliate marketer.

For instance, it can be based on the average duration between the first visit and purchase. Also, they sometimes worry that a longer cookie duration may result in much higher (perhaps too high) payouts for affiliates. That's why they often limit the cookies' lifespan.

Since the shortest acceptable cookie duration is 30 days for affiliates, I strongly recommend you look for affiliate programs that offer a really long cookie life.

The LiveChat Partner Program serves as a good example because we understand how important it is to adjust affiliate program terms and conditions to meet the partner's needs. Therefore, we've decided to meet you halfway and extend the cookie duration to 120 days.

3. High brand recognition

This aspect is crucial for affiliate marketing newbies who want a smooth start.

Make sure you also read this: The Ultimate List of Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons.

Brand recognition determines how easy it is to sell a given product. Naturally, becoming a successful affiliate is much more effortless if you promote well-established and highly trusted brands and products. So, before you join any affiliate marketing program, do your best to thoroughly investigate who your seller is and if their reputation can skyrocket or hamper your results.

Customers and revenue scale

First, check out how many customers the company of interest has and how many countries they operate in. Then, confront these numbers with the market standards and see how much a particular merchant is above or below the norm.

Social presence

Also, take a look at the vendor's social media profiles and study their social presence in niche-relevant communities. Find out how strong a social following the merchant has amassed and how active these followers are.

Testimonials

Pay attention to testimonials and reviews — do this product and its brand generate any strong sentiment or engagement? The more testimonials, favorable mentions, and sentiments appear in the community, the better.

Testimonials and positive reviews are indicative of the product's quality and reputation. This is exactly what affiliate marketers should look for when evaluating every program on the table.

4. Approach to transparency

When choosing the perfect program, you have to pay attention to the vendor's approach to transparency regarding your affiliate agreement. This includes crucial information — how your revenue is calculated. From a business perspective, transparency can strongly boost conversion rates and build trust between the merchant and affiliate.

There are a few best practices the vendor can implement to enhance the transparency of the in-house affiliate program.

Transparent affiliate policy

If the merchant creates a clear affiliate program policy, you can easily determine the requirements and expectations. Such cooperation guidelines should be formulated in simple terms so that both parties are on the same page.

If possible, the affiliate policy should also include how-to's, screenshots, and examples to illustrate how exactly things should be done. It would be great if the affiliate program policy is also open for discussion.

Access to a relevant dashboard with reports

A user-friendly panel that features comprehensive reports based on Google's UTM campaigns will let you monitor your month-to-month performance so you always know your account's status.

Of course, more advanced affiliate marketers are going to track this data on their end, but it's still an excellent idea for a merchant to be transparent here and enable access to various insights for all affiliates.

affiliate dashboard

The dashboard will keep you informed about your earnings in real-time. You'll see how your commission rates have progressed over the last few months or years, you'll see the number of times your affiliate links are clicked, and you'll learn about the number of paying customers you referred.

A side benefit is a fact that charts and figures subconsciously strengthen your motivation and challenge you to improve on your past outcomes month after month.

And what can you do to act transparently as an affiliate marketer?

Set up an affiliate links disclosure section on your sites. This way, you will be transparent with your visitors. No one is going to be in the dark or complain about your methods. An affiliate links disclosure section can be written up along these lines:

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” (source)

Disclose your links properly and always follow FCT requirements. Make sure such a statement is clear and straight to the point. Don't try to hide the fact that you earn money on affiliate links.

Finally, make sure you are consistent and use the same disclosure message throughout your affiliate site. This will make its contents familiar to your visitors and decrease confusions that may otherwise arise.

Seek out transparent affiliate programs about their business and introduce best practices in transparency into all your actions. This will never hamper your growth and reputation.

5. Top-notch marketing materials

We are all visual creatures. Namely, we buy with our eyes.

greedy

This simple fact makes it imperative to use only high-quality, flawless marketing resources in your affiliate campaigns. As a result, top-notch marketing materials constitute another crucial element of a perfect affiliate program.

The responsibility to create a repository of affiliate marketing materials rests on the vendor. They should provide you with all the tools and visual aids to help you hit the ground running.

And what resources does the affiliate usually need to be successful?

While the affiliate marketer's input is essential, and there is usually a lot of work involved in creating and promoting powerful affiliate marketing campaigns, vendors should meet their partner's halfway by providing an excellent marketing framework.

Affiliate marketing resources include:

Whether you leverage widgets, logos, banners, screenshots, or copy in your affiliate marketing activity, they should all be of excellent quality and wide variety in each partner program.

6. Dedicated affiliate manager

Such a person is absolutely indispensable to any project of this kind. An affiliate manager is usually responsible for managing and supervising the affiliate program and operates in the following areas:

Needless to say, when looking for the best affiliate programs to work with, you should always have a contact person who will help you with all your issues. An affiliate program cannot be successful without a dedicated affiliate manager.

7. Campaign builder

Campaign builder makes creating and managing links with unique parameters in one place easy. Such a tool automates the process of generating affiliate links and makes it much more convenient directly in a partner panel.

perfect affiliate program

Though rarely seen elsewhere, we have included a campaign builder in the LiveChat Partner Program. It makes setting up your campaigns much easier. It also allows you to track your progress after going live with your campaign.

Sign up for free and see how the campaign builder works.

8. Educational aspects

As I've mentioned in the introduction, a growing number of companies are offering in-house affiliate programs. However, only a few provide training material about it.

Affiliates need training in how to promote a specific product and brand, so it's best practice to share know-how with them or even provide certification in online marketing in the specific industry. This makes partner education a unique and valuable argument in favor of signing up for the affiliate program in question.

By the way, take a look at 5 Savvy Affiliate Marketing Techniques to Boost Your Business in 2021

9. Simplicity

Last but not least, the simplicity. Affiliate marketing takes time; it's not a get-rich-quick scheme. That's why it's so important that the way you operate through the program is quick, convenient, and allows you to get all important insights at a glance.

So, a perfect program should work as follows:

As you can guess, all these perks are available in our program. But what's even better, once you become our affiliate partner, we can give you resources to help you to create your digital marketing strategy.

For example, lots of our affiliate partners are bloggers and content creators. They boost their affiliate sales by creating valuable content for their readers, building email lists, and offering special offers for their audience. So once you have your blog, a website, or a community around your (personal) brand, you can follow this strategy too.

A bonus perk

Remember that you can also look for bonus features like the ability to create your own affiliate network. For example, our program allows you to refer other partners to our program. As a result, you can gain a 5% commission on all sales they make and build affiliate relationships with other content creators.

So if you haven't built your affiliate marketing strategies yet, maybe it's time to consider this opportunity too. Hey, it's an additional source of revenue ;)

Features of affiliate marketing

That's all for now. Let's have a quick look at the factors discussed in this article again:

All of them form the essential foundation of any solid affiliate marketing program. Make sure that the affiliate program you are about to join meets these standard market expectations.

Spread the word about our products and increase your revenue

Are you looking to take your digital marketing strategies to the next level? Look no further than the LiveChat Partner Program. Just ask Conscious Commerce, who saw a 379% increase in website sales and closed $50,000 in deals after partnering with us.

Our one-on-one support and dedicated affiliate managers will help you achieve your marketing goals and drive more revenue for your business. Don't miss out on this opportunity to join a growing community of successful partners. Sign up for the LiveChat Partner Program today.

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