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Managing Your Affiliate Program: Software Systems vs. Network Systems

Sat, 09 Aug 2008 08:24:00 +0000

There are numerous aspects to starting an affiliate program.You've got to do all kinds of research and footwork to get theball rolling, and the work doesn't stop there. Assuming thatyou've already done your research, found a great product, andenrolled several affiliates, you've now got to decide on how torun and manage your program. There is a long standing debate onwhether it is better to use a pre-set network management programor your own software based program.The benefits of a network based program basically come down tothis: With a network based program, you don't have to do a lotof work. You sign up with a network program, and the networksystem basically runs your whole system for you. It runs yoursales tracking, your affiliate communication, and your commissionstructure. Network systems even promise to bring in newaffiliates for you. You just sit back and watch the cash flowin. Sounds great right? Great if you don't have a lot oftime, or great if you're involved in several other ventures, butif you're counting on your one program to really work for you,using a network management system is selling yourself short.Now I'm not saying that using a network system is bad, a networkcan be really helpful for someone who's short on time. I'm justsaying that if you have the time and energy to manage your ownprogram you should do so. As with any other business, whensomeone offers to do something for you, they generally wantsomething in return. Network management systems are nodifferent. In exchange for their services, they will expect apercentage of your commissions, and with the reigns taken out ofyour hands, they also will effectively have control of youraffiliate relationships.If you want to truly manage your affiliate program to the best ofyour abilities, you've got to do it yourself. By using anaffiliate management software system, you can keep total controlof your program, and keep all your commissions. You can decidehow often to get in touch with your affiliates and make itpersonal rather than relying on group e-mail. Your affiliateswill be impressed, and may even work harder for you. And as forrecruiting, you're far better off working on your own. Thenetwork programs that offer to sell your program to potentialaffiliates do that for ALL their customers, so the people who arebeing notified about your program are also being notified aboutcountless others. You may get lost in the shuffle.So make a little time and take a little initiative. With just alittle extra work, you can run your own affiliate program withoutsacrificing your personal involvement and your commissions to anetwork. Running your own program may seem intimidating now, butonce you get the hang of it you'll be glad you did. [...]