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Affiliate Marketing Software: 6 Must-Haves When Choosing A Vendor
To avoid getting started with the wrong affiliate marketing software, here are the 6 must-haves when it comes to finding the perfect fit for your business.
In an age where marketing is increasingly driven by technology, most marketing leaders know that one of their most important responsibilities is evaluating, buying, and implementing the right marketing technologies and then building strategies around them. And that rings especially true when it comes to scaling with affiliate marketing software.
The problem with selecting the “perfect” affiliate marketing solution is that it's easier said than done. With dozens of marketing channels and thousands of technologies to choose from, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to decide where to allocate your time and budget.
We've heard from many marketing directors about how much time and resources are wasted evaluating vendors, only to find out that they can't meet the requirements. Even worse, we've had affiliate program managers reach out to us because they are stuck in a contract that is depleting time and energy from the team without adding any business value.
In fact, here's a real story from an Ambassador client:
Fresh off a negative experience with an affiliate marketing software vendor, this reputable Consumer Home Goods & Services company needed the security of true, end-to-end program support.
More specifically, the company was looking for a trackable way to automate manual processes and scale results from their existing program that was delivering thousands of referrals and directly generating new business.
Initially, the business signed with a lower cost vendor. The team quickly realized they weren’t able to integrate that product with Salesforce and their existing commission structure as easily as they had hoped.
This left them with two options: Keep their process in place and try again with another platform that was a better match - or - piecemeal an approach that could potentially work with this existing vendor.
We're thankful that the company's smart marketing team reached out to us to consult on how to best leverage technology to fit their specific needs and we were able to deliver.
Within five days of implementing Ambassador, the company's program was fully operational and the company had the flexibility it needed to customize it to their unique sales cycle and process.
Affiliate Marketing Software: What to Look for in a Vendor
It's important to know what to look for when navigating the landscape of marketing software providers. To avoid the pitfalls of getting started with the wrong affiliate marketing software, here are the 6 “must-haves” when it comes to finding the perfect fit for your needs:
1. Custom Registration
The ability to own, brand, and customize the recruitment and registration experience for the affiliates you want and need while keeping true to your brand. Control who receives access, when they do, and to what aspects of your program.
2. Affiliate Portal + Unique Share Links
This feature is extremely important in order to proactively provide your affiliates with the assets, insights, and reporting they need to optimize engagement. This will also eliminate constant requests and streamline processes.
3. Enterprise Security & Fraud Detection
In today’s cyber world, you can never be too precautious. The platform you invest in should be able to provide complete control over terms and conditions while flagging any suspicious activity, and even ban affiliates. Especially for international brands that require GDPR compliance, your provider should be well-versed in rules and regulations.
4. Automated Cash Payouts
The ability to deliver real-time, or scheduled, automated cash payouts to your affiliates is a feature your partners will appreciate - no more manual checks, excel files, or logging into multiple accounts or systems.
5. Tiered Rewards
Want to pay out differently based on number of sales, revenue thresholds, or specific purchases? That shouldn’t be a problem if your affiliate tracking solution can structure different payout models based on affiliate type, sales generated, or special promotions.
6. Multiple Campaigns
In order to scale, you’ll need the ability to tailor specific programs, and commissions, or revenue shares for each affiliate campaign or affiliate segment, while ensuring the lead, sale, and commission are continuing to be tracked.
The brands that understand the importance of leveraging the best affiliate marketing software to automate and scale are the ones that see the best results. Once you establish authentic partnerships with members in your program that are aligned with business goals, you have the ability to grow your business with the right affiliates for your brand.
Learn how to create an affiliate program capable of driving high quantities of qualified leads, new customers, and revenue in our latest eBook, "The Definitive Guide to Affiliate Marketing."