I would like to boot up an affiliate marketing program for our brand. We sell camera stuff and there is a huge and diffuse community of niche forums and blogs out there, besides the big ones. What I would like to do is partner with some of these folks and let them spread the gospel of our brand for 10% of each sale they generate. We would like to have an individual relationship with each affiliate we bring on; so we aren't looking to get involved with some big affiliate network or any sort of thing like that.
I'm having trouble finding a solution for managing such a program (i.e. generating affiliate URLs, tracking incoming visitors, plotting sales, figuring payouts and the like). My Google Fu for "Affiliate Marketing" programs/management/software is just littered with all sorts of get-rich quick junk or is dominated by the ships that provide such services to companies the size of GM or P&G (a bit outside of our scale to do business with... for now!).
So who do I call for such a beast integrated into Shopify? Any ideas?
There are a number of available add-ons for Shopify that include this type of functionality: https://apps.shopify.com/search/query?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=affiliate
We're in a similar position to you - the two we ended up looking at seriously were Refersion and LeadDyno. We're currently using LeadDyno as it ended up being less expensive for our use case - there are definitely a few rough edges, but it's working well so far.
Thats a big chunk of money you are willing to put up. Why not just advertise with Google AdWords and Google Shopping?
Yea, LeadDyno is looking like the way to do this. How are you finding the edges to be rough? On the Shopify integration side or the LeadDyno back-end side?
I think we will experiment with Google AdWords and Shopping. We did some fairly limited tests a couple of years ago and our quick toe dip in the water said Google AdWords wasn't a great fit. We sell a pretty premium built and priced product in a market that spans from $10 commodity camera straps to $150 hipster camera straps; Google traffic tended towards folks looking for the commodity solution, so the conversion rate was quite poor.
That sounds like a keyword optimization issue. More than likely, both product level, and in general the ads were not keyword optimized.
The Shopify integration for LeadDyno has been flawless so far for us and all data has been tracked/passed as expected.
Any rough edges we've seen have been in their back-end - small things like unclear terminology/typos and not enough support documentation, but their support team has been helpful getting us on the right track - or the affiliate portal (the main issue we have there is that we're unable to customize much of the language used in the dashboard to make it more appropriate for our affiliates).
I agree; we did nothing to get into the SEO optimization game beyond what Shopify does. I'm a bit focused on product design/dev/production right now to go into the murky waters of learning the basics of SEO right now... 😃
I'm glad to hear LeadDyno seems pretty solid in the tech and all the rough edges are, just that, rough edges. They also sound pretty responsive and on top of things. I think we may just give them a try and see how it goes.
As murky as those waters may be, I cannot stress how important it is that you optimize your website and then look into marketing online with either Google or Bing.
These are basic (even if the functionality is complicated) aspects of web development that must be addressed. You could be losing so much organic traffic.
Have you tried http://www.fuelmywebsite.com/ ? We haven't used it ourselves, but it looks like they could do what you want. You give bloggers samples of your products, which they then review and they include a link to your site from their blog. Be aware, the reviews can be good or bad.
You might also want to consider a referral solution. These are typically much cheaper and effective than affiliate routes (friends trust friends).
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