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January 14, 2021

The Secret Weapon Every Startup Needs

Craig McGlynn
The Secret Weapon Every Startup Needs

Your startup has successfully raised some funding. Congratulations! Now you need to smartly build out your machine to execute on your vision, and importantly, impress your investors.

Affiliate marketing is widely misunderstood, so let’s clear up some of the nitty gritty so you can clearly see the power in this customer acquisition channel for both B2C and B2B companies.

Quite simply, affiliate marketing is a digital marketing channel designed to scale a large population of influential partners (generally referred to as “affiliates” or “publishers”) to promote your products/services and drive new customers with purchase intent. 

The beauty of this channel is that it leans on various forms of effective content – longform educational articles, influential blog posts, product reviews and recommendations, which then link directly to your site. 

This fully measurable channel not only drives sales, but allows you to ingest all the analytics from everyone who enters this funnel, from click to conversion (while even tracking factors like cart abandonment).

Here are 5 things to pay attention to when considering an affiliate program for your startup:

1. Get your website’s shopping experience right FIRST 

We see Shopify as a very hot e-commerce engine these days but it’s critical before you build your acquisition channels that your website is ready to convert those visitors into customers. 

  • Does your site have a logical user flow to engage customers from the moment they enter? 
  • Does it educate them quickly on your value proposition and allow them to make purchases seamlessly? 

There is a goldmine of information online about how to do this the right way. Check out Shopify’s blog for some great tips on building a strong UX on your website.

2. Get a simple set of metrics to start 

Clicks, Conversions, Sales, CAC are a good place to start, but the magic happens when you build out from there. Here is a good article on some critical metrics – and the best part is that it keeps it simple.

3. Lay out your digital marketing mix

Search, social, affiliate and influencer marketing are all the no-brainer acquisition channels to get started with.

4. Be careful who you engage 

I can’t tell you the number of conversations I have on a weekly basis where a company exec says, “I just had a bad experience with a self-proclaimed SEO guru who promised me the world and wound up taking me for X dollars.” 

Get some referrals, check references, and make sure any agency or hired hand understands your business and has experience in your vertical. 

Our search partner is a long-time trusted and experienced agency, LSEO,  but do your research and find a partner who really understands your goals and can map out a strategic plan to get you there.

5. Preserve your finite resources and engage experts

You don’t have time or money to waste. Find a company with experience in start-ups, one that shares your values for disruption and handles your business like you do, with the care and concern to regularly bring you new ideas with the urgency of a house on fire.

PartnerCentric clients enjoy a 7X average ROI and new programs can be up and live on publisher websites in HOURS. We grow and manage affiliate programs for many exciting, disruptive startups including Hims/Hers, Trust and Will, Keeper, Petal and Bestow, amongst others. Ready to learn more about affiliate marketing and how it can grow your business?

Grab your copy of our “Affiliate Marketing 101” ebook for details on the key players and how to get started with this high-growth performance channel or reach out to see how we can tailor a strategy to your business.