Affiliate Marketing Plan Outline

Affiliate Marketing Plan: Plan Outline

1 Research

1.1 Competitive Research
1.2 Affiliate Solutions Research
1.3 Prospective Affiliate Research
1.4 OPM Research
1.5 General Research Tools

2 Goals

2.1 Similar to business needs, but what *results* do you expect? When shall you gauge the results?
2.2 Sales increase
2.3 Traffic increase

3 Affiliate Compensation Options

3.1 PPL, PPS
3.2 Pay per email into sales funnel (PPL, but specifically for a product, not necessarily data business)
3.3 Hybrid: Slotting and CPA/CPS

4 Business Needs

4.1 Complimentary Traffic / Fill in holes to current traffic
4.2 Demographic reach – affiliates with users in your demographic
4.3 Branding
4.4 Increase Sales, Leads
4.5 Search Traffic
4.6 Performance based Advertising

5 Conversion Rate Testing

5.1 Crucial to success: Be sure to understand conversion rates PRIOR to Affiliate Program
5.2 A/B Testing
5.3 Analytic tools
5.4 Shopping Cart Abandonment rate & reduction – recovery efforts?
5.5 Lead form Conversion rate
5.6 “Before you leave” attempt to halt abandonment
5.7 Lead funnel – opt in to sales process

6 MultiChannel Considerations

6.1 Internal Search vs. Search Affiliates (Paid Search)
6.2 Internal SEO vs. Affiliates (organic)
6.3 Current Customers and Affiliates (pay on new customer only?; reporting on new vs. current customers and affiliate channel?)
6.4 Ordering Channel: Phone orders vs. Online Orders

7 Resources Available

7.1 Technology – shopping cart or ecommerce system
7.2 Tech support – integration help
7.3 Tech policies: ensure consistent, continued tracking integration
7.4 Website policies: ensure no phone number OR phone tracking
7.5 Tech support: updated, clean datafeed
7.6 Marketing Support: material for affiliates
7.7 Program support: dedicated staff to manage program

8 Technology Needs

8.1 Assuming you have e-commerce or lead form technology that converts
8.2 AND, Assuming you have a site or form that converts
8.3 What do you need for your Affiliate Tracking & Affiliate Management needs – technology-wise?
8.4 Network
8.5 In House Software
8.6 Integration with Affiliate Platform (Tracking & Reporting, DataFeeds, etc.)
8.7 CRM for Affiliate Management
8.8 Chat, Forum, Blog for Affiliates

9 Technology Available In-house

9.1 In house programmers with available capacity and expertise?
9.2 In house technology support for integration and datafeeds?

10 Retail Network or CPA Network

10.1 Retail (Rev Share) programs in Retail Network
10.2 Data Acquisition with high conversions (tested, and proven) in CPA Network
10.3 Fraud management / detection capacity: CPA Network concern

11 Network or In-house

11.1 Many technical and distribution considerations

12 Technology Provider Selection

12.1 Integration concerns
12.2 Tracking and reporting needs
12.3 Distribution
12.4 Platform scalability
12.5 Private Label-ability
12.6 API’s, DataFeeds, Technical needs
12.7 Interface concerns
12.8 Payment and trust from affiliates

13 OPM or In House

13.1 Needed expertise (and capacity) available inhouse?
13.2 Needed relationships available in house?
13.3 Sunk costs (of inhouse staff) vs. Opportunity costs (by hiring OPM)

14 OPM Selection

14.1 Experience with your vertical
14.2 Experience with your selected Technology Vendor
14.3 Relationships that can be leveraged
14.4 Marketing creativity

15 Program T&C’s

15.1 Refer to Program Features
15.2 Restrictions

16 Critical Milestones

16.1 Selection of Solution
16.2 Selection of Affiliate Manager
16.3 Affiliate “Sales” page – “why sign up”?
16.4 Affiliate Network Setup: Info / “join our program”
16.5 Affiliate Tracking Integration
16.6 Affiliate Network / Software setup: All automation and business rules
16.7 Press Release for launch
16.8 Blog for Affiliate Program
16.9 Twitter Account for Affiliate Program
16.10 FaceBook Fan Page for Affiliate Program

17 ROI Calculation

18 Program Features

18.1 Payout (default/public, private, level bumps, bonuses)
18.2 Per-Category or Per-Sku payout (optional)
18.3 First or Last cookie
18.4 2nd tier
18.5 Cookie Tracking length
18.6 Additional tracking (IP address, local tracking)
18.7 Email or Lead data is directly associated with Prospect – regardless of closing time.
18.8 No phone ordering
18.9 Phone tracking
18.10 Marketing Material breadth and depth
18.11 DataFeed
18.12 Support hours
18.13 Affiliate Management Staff

19 Program Operations

19.1 Single manager
19.2 Multiple managers: Based on Job Duty (Recruiter, Researcher, Designer, Tech Support, Affiliate Support, Director)
19.3 Multiple Manager: Based on Affiliate Segment (all mangers cover all aspects of support — but are assigned to various affiliate classes, or affiliate segments)
19.4 Policy: Approval time frame, Payment time frame
19.5 Accounting in the process
19.6 CRM solution for Affiliates

20 Recruitment Strategies

20.1 Tools to identify: Syntryx, Hitpath
20.2 Conferences
20.3 Forums
20.4 Affiliate Program Blog
20.5 Intra-Network recruitment vs. extra-network recruitment
20.6 Network resources

21 Activation Strategies

21.1 Initial outreach
21.2 Automated emails – plan
21.3 Emails: include affiliate-specific code within message!
21.4 Use Affiliate Communication to show (a) success of program, (b) proactive management, (c) successful affiliates as examples, (d) build trust in inactive affiliates, and (e) be top of mind for when they’re ready to activate
21.5 New Affiliate Sales contests, or first sale bonus
21.6 Auto-deposit $10 in account (conditional withdrawal of funds)

22 Social Media Integration

22.1 Blog
22.2 Facebook
22.3 Twitter
22.4 Flickr

23 Reporting Needs

23.1 New Affiliates
23.2 Trends among affiliates, affiliate segments
23.3 Fraud detection and management
23.4 Identifying hidden affiliate potential
23.5 Multi-Network Crossover sales attribution
23.6 Multi-Channel crossover sales attribution (internal SEO, internal Search, current customer vs. affiliate transactions)
23.7 Affiliate Activation reporting
23.8 Subtopic

24 Automation Needs

24.1 Welcome to the program email
24.2 Email training series
24.3 Upon first sale email
24.4 Upon threshold email
24.5 Identify affiliates using program for discount on own purchases

25 Optimization Strategies

25.1 Conversion Improvement
25.2 Implementing video
25.3 Implementing email capture “call to action” tracking to affiliate, with automated followup and affiliate attribution
25.4 Continual Promotions to Motivate Affiliates

26 Program SWOT Analysis

27 Post Launch Analysis

28 Multi Network Options

28.1 2 networks (CJ and SAS)
28.2 In-house and Network (partner program, affiliate program)
28.3 Managing multiple networks and/or programs: technical implications
28.4 Managing multiple networks and/or programs: support implications

29 PR of Program

29.1 Initial Press Release
29.2 Blog: Ongoing relations and awareness
29.3 Forum participation and / or Dedicated forum
29.4 Conferences

30 Affiliate communication strategy

30.1 Phone, IM, Email, Postal Mail
30.2 Newsletter strategy
30.3 affiliate promotions / contests – notices/newsletters
30.4 Blog utilization
30.5 Forum utilization
30.6 Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly – buckets of affiliate segments get appropriate personal outreach

31 CPA Network: Build Offer to generate leads

31.1 Aggressive strategy – only for well-prepared data “products”

32 Monitoring

32.1 Trademark utilization
32.2 Paid search monitoring
32.3 EMail compliance monitoring
32.4 Email Suppression list monitoring