When is the best time to start an affiliate program?

When is the best time to start affiliate marketing? This is one of the common questions in the world of affiliate marketing and let's find out the answer here.

Affiliate Marketing
Guide Series
October 3, 2022
min read

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing that facilitates collaboration between firms and influential marketers to spread the word about their wares. Affiliates participate in this arrangement because they stand to gain financially from the success of their promotional activities. This type of marketing can be an effective way for brands to reach new audiences and drive sales, as affiliates are incentivized to promote the brand and its products to their own audiences. If you know when to start an affiliate marketing program, your brand can maximize their return on investment and achieve their marketing goals. All may seem perfect and easy, but it is difficult to pinpoint the best time to start an affiliate program. In this article we’ll discuss everything there is to know about starting this profitable business and how you can maximize your profit as a brand.

When is a good idea to start an affiliate program?

Affiliate marketing has a good chance of succeeding for any business, whether it sells physical goods or digital subscription services. However, affiliate programs are not for every business; rather, there are specific criteria that must be met before an affiliate program can be effective. The following are some considerations if you want to start your affiliate program right away or not:

  • If you want other people to advertise your business on their own channels and bring traffic to your website, an affiliate program is a good way to go about it. In other words, affiliates won't resell your goods. They will instead suggest and link to items in your own online shop.
  • Affiliates expect to be compensated monetarily for every sale they help you make.
  • If possible, aim for mass market appeal when releasing a new product. You will succeed only if you can find and work with relevant affiliates, or content makers whose target demographic is similar to your own.
  • If your business has a high rate of returning customers, an affiliate program could be beneficial. You will be in a better financial position to pay the recurring commissions if the customer continues to generate revenue for your company. Since you won't have to allocate as much capital toward customer acquisition expenses, you will be in a better position to reward your affiliates with larger percentages of revenue.

Affiliate programs are most effective for businesses with high margins of profit. The most common types of businesses that benefit from affiliate programs are those that deal with online subscriptions or sales (such as SaaS).

8 easy ways to kick off a successful affiliate marketing campaign

Follow this step-by-step guide to launch a successful affiliate program now that you've decided an affiliate program is right for you and you've seen the benefits of affiliate programs.

1. Plan out your brand's objectives

Establishing objectives for your affiliate program is a necessary first step for any successful marketing initiative. The first step is to target your demographic. Who is it that you hope to attract to your affiliate program? Find out what extent will different types of affiliates contribute to this goal's achievement. Second, decide on a handful of key performance indicators (KPIs). Your program's success or failure can be gauged in this way. The best key performance indicators (KPIs) are those that are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

  • Your primary focus should be on the annual, quarterly, or monthly money you hope to earn through affiliates.
  • You should establish targets for conversion rates, i.e., what percentage of visitors who click on affiliate links should actually make a purchase.
  • Think about targeting an affiliate-driven average order value (AOV) target.
  • In addition, you should establish targets for the total amount of one-off affiliate sales you hope to achieve by the end of the defined period.

Of course, sales are the most crucial measure, but using these will help you better understand the performance of your affiliate program overall.

2. Pick a suitable affiliate commission

Consider what other affiliate programs are doing and use that information to inform how you build your own. Your affiliate commission structure will be one of the most consequential design decisions you make. If you've seen affiliate programs with varying commission guidelines, don't let that deter you from just paying an affiliate for sales that originate from their affiliate link.

First, determine whether affiliates will be paid a flat rate or a percentage of sales. You will need to decide whether you want to pay with cash or store credit. Affiliates are most likely to be interested in a monetary commission of some sort. Second, settle on a certain affiliate commission rate. You should aim to have a payout that is competitive with other affiliate programs, but remember that trying to outdo the competition isn't always a good idea. You must also consider the requirements of your business. Think about how much it costs to acquire a customer, how long they stay a customer, and how much money they're worth to you over their lifetime.

3. Start searching publishers

An online publisher is a business that creates, releases, and promotes its own content through various digital channels. If you've already built the framework for your own affiliate network, the next step is to seek out partners to promote your business. You may either join an already established network of affiliates or develop your own exclusive network of affiliates.

What plans do you have to create your own affiliates network? Affiliate marketing software allows you to keep track of your affiliates and automatically pay them, even if you decide to create your own affiliate network (also known as an affiliate platform or affiliate management software). It's common for the annual cost of affiliate software to be significantly lower than the charge required to join an established affiliate network. Software also allows you to manage all parts of a program, including its data. Thus, there are several benefits to employing the appropriate affiliate software rather than an existing affiliate network.

Where to search your own affiliate network? Consider authoritative online resources, popular bloggers, and popular users of social media who are followed by your target demographic, create engaging material, and are relevant to the market your brand operates in. You should next compile a list of the accounts' owners you'd like to recruit as affiliates. It's much better if they're already familiar with your goods or service (and perhaps regular purchasers and enthusiastic fans). However, it's not necessary. You can promote your affiliate program and an open application form on your website to attract potential affiliates. Assess how well their target market and specialization align with your own before deciding whether to work with them.

4. Choose the best affiliates

Select the most compatible partners and ask them to join your affiliate team. You need to search for trustworthy affiliates and stay away from scammers. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly vet potential partners, both manually and with the help of business intelligence software. In addition, you will need to choose a goal for the quantity of associates you intend to sign up. What you choose will be determined by the scope of your ambitions and the level of exclusivity you demand from your affiliate network. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you evaluate potential partners:

  1. You can check if their online personas align with your brand's ethos by visiting their websites, blogs, and/or social media pages.
  2. See that they are actively posting new content on a regular basis, and that their audience responds well to it.
  3. Make sure they haven't done anything unethical, like using spammy links, by checking out their public profiles.
  4. Have prospective affiliates provide a detailed strategy for promoting your brand if they are chosen.

Send a customized message to the affiliates you've chosen to join your program. This communication should outline the structure of the program, outline the affiliate's benefits (such as the structure of commissions), and briefly outline the obligations of the affiliate. The aim is to win over the affiliate so they join up, and then to build a strong and friendly rapport with them. Once affiliates have joined your program, you should advise them on the program's terms and conditions and have them sign a contract committing them to following the terms.

5. Assess how well your affiliate program is faring on a regular basis

After launching your affiliate program, you should monitor its performance on a regular basis. Either the affiliate program software you're using or the affiliate network you joined will facilitate this. If your affiliate program isn't producing the results you would hoped for, then you might reconsider your commission structure or the partners you are working with.

How to Find Partners Who Will Sell Your Product

Assuming you already have an affiliate network or your own affiliate arrangement in place, we will examine how to find affiliates and recruit them to work for you.

Collaborate with an Affiliate Marketing Service

Consulting with an Affiliate Agency is a viable method for locating affiliates. Affiliate recruitment and management is the only focus of these firms, setting them apart from traditional AMCs. Only companies with a high demand for affiliates should consider hiring an affiliate recruitment agency. Companies can outsource the laborious process of affiliate recruitment to firms like PartnerBoost without outsourcing the entirety of their affiliate program. Through their established network of affiliates, they may also often assist in negotiating more favorable terms. The most significant upside to joining such networks is the access to experienced professionals who can guide your affiliate marketing efforts. You have the option of either speaking with a live support agent or using an online knowledge base.


Every marketing-related conference or blog recently has featured discussions about the importance of influencers. They are widely respected individuals who command a large fan base due to their status as an authority in their field. They could be anything from an actress to an artist to a stay-at-home parent. If you use the influencer's audience, choose a platform-appropriate product, and provide top-notch promotional materials, you can considerably raise your revenue. Influencers that can aid your company in a positive way can be found on a number of different sites. Millions of individuals worldwide spend considerable time every day on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. By endorsing or discouraging a product or service, influencers sway the opinions of their followers.

Coupon Websites

Customers continue to show incredible devotion to coupon sites. There are a number of discount sites, such as DeaLAM, that you may get in touch with to discuss promoting your company. The number of people who see your business thanks to discount sites can increase considerably if you haven't been reaching out to them before. In addition, many of their site visitors end up buying something. Remember that these partners are coupon sites, so you will need to provide your own discount to attract clients.


Thus, you now have several simple options for locating affiliates to promote your product. However, keep in mind that this is only the introduction. The key to a successful affiliate marketing strategy is making your offer enticing, delivering substantial incentives, and rewarding your affiliates based on sales. Affiliate programs may be quite useful for a company if they are managed properly. They can boost revenue, raise brand awareness, and instill a sense of trust in the minds of your current clientele. Due to this, affiliate marketing is now integral to the success of many companies. When an affiliate joins your program, they become advocates for your business. You, like any other company, must guard the consistency of your brand. It's important to be selective about the affiliate network you join and the content they produce in order to promote your brand. Affiliate marketing can be a huge boon to your online store and its ability to generate sales if you implement it properly.

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