June 10, 2021

Ready to “Startup” an Affiliate Program? 6 Things You Must Have In Place to Be Successful

With a whopping 49.1% market share, it’s no secret that Amazon totally dominates the ecommerce market in the United States. But what may surprise you is, nearly half of Amazon’s revenue comes from affiliate marketing. Whether you’re a retail giant like Amazon or an emerging startup, that statistic highlights the undeniable power of affiliate marketing as a scalable engine of growth.

Fueled by the explosive growth of ecommerce and social media, affiliate marketing spending in the U.S. in 2020 topped off at $6.8 billion–and that number is expected to increase by 10% over the next few years. 

What Does That Mean for Startups?

Running a startup, let alone during a global pandemic, isn’t easy, especially when you’re up against much bigger, more established businesses with much deeper pockets. Some days can feel like a race for your very survival, on top of the ever-present pressure to grow your business, stay relevant, and top of mind with your customers. 

You’ve got big goals, and frankly, not succeeding is not an option. Jobs are on the line, your team is counting on you, and your investors are expecting results. Every bit of traction you can get in the marketplace counts, and you don’t have the time or budget to waste on marketing channels that don’t deliver. 

The good news is, affiliate marketing is a great opportunity for startups to not only monetize their web presence and create new revenue streams but also increase brand awareness–all with little to no risk. It doesn’t require a huge investment, and the performance-based model means you only pay for what you get. Even better, a well-crafted program can boost revenue by an astounding 30%

That said, if you don’t have the right resources, relationships, and strategy in place, affiliate marketing success is not a sure thing or easy to come by–and huge results certainly do not happen overnight. 

At PartnerCentric, we’ve spent over a decade forging game-changing relationships between ambitious startups like yours and strategically selected partners. Together, we’ve not only disrupted existing categories but we’ve also defined brand new ones to deliver the return on investment you’re counting on.

How Can I Increase My Chances of Success?

Affiliate may be a pay-for-performance model, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t considerations and expenses involved on the front end. At the very least, implementing a fully developed program requires creative materials, affiliate terms and guidelines to be written and negotiated, and industry expertise, whether that’s in-house or outsourced. 

Of course, you also need someone to oversee your program–and that’s no small task. No matter what you may have heard, affiliate marketing is in no way a set-it-and-forget-it solution. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow and optimization is the name of the game. In fact, in the world of digital marketing, the one and only constant is change. Trends, tactics, tools, and strategies must be regularly monitored and optimized accordingly–and probably, more frequently than you think. 

The reality is, affiliate has a lot of moving parts–and before you even think about launching a program, you have to do your homework. 

What’s the Best Place to Start?

As the leading affiliate partnerships agency for startups, PartnerCentric has assisted in the IPO or acquisition of over 65 brands. Through that experience, we’ve consolidated a set of six core questions every startup must consider before launching a robust affiliate program.

Download the entire checklist here.

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