What should be affiliate marketing software for startups? Where to start and where to move? Which is better: developing your own software or using ready-made solutions that are already on the market?
The answers are in today’s article.
What startup are you?
Affiliate marketing is a bit like the three-headed snake Gorynych. There are partner webmasters, there are owners of products and affiliate programs, there are owners of online platforms that allow the former to find the latter on their online services and provide them with the necessary online tools and software for successful affiliate marketing.
It is clear that an individual webmaster is unlikely to think about turning into a startup at that stage while working individually.
If affiliates unite into teams, start working together, then at some point such a transformation is possible.
For example, the software of one or another online platform ceases to suit team members. The affiliate leader knows what can be done better. He begins to look for opportunities to change the situation.
This is how a startup grows from a spontaneously assembled team of partner webmasters. The main idea of such a startup is to make an affiliate marketing service cooler than those already used by webmasters and product owners.
The search for developers begins, writing your own software, going through all the stages that any startup goes through – from formulating the initial idea into a guide for developers, searching for investors to the official release of a new product in the affiliate marketing market.
According to the scenario described above, the Alanbase online platform is developing. Our founders first gained a lot of experience doing traffic arbitrage, and then we offered the market something that was not there.
For example, our clients can work like this: send only events to Alanbase, and goals will be automatically generated inside the system.
This is just one of the features of the system, you can read about all the others on our official website.
Now let’s move on to the owners of products or affiliate programs. Let’s try to figure out if they can be startups without developing their own affiliate marketing software.
How and where can product owners make money without developing their own software?
So let’s imagine that you are a product owner. You can easily be a startup if your product is unique and not bought cheaper in China and imported to Russia, Ukraine, another CIS country, where you are going to sell it at a higher price.
Although… even in this case, you can be a startup if you build the right marketing for your product and the right communication systems.
In this case, it is quite possible to use third-party software: a CRM system, tools like Slack or Chanty for building communications within the team, and so on.
But the owners of products and affiliate programs can earn money on existing platforms designed specifically for affiliate marketing.
Several existing affiliate marketing platforms to get you started
More and more entrepreneurs from the CIS countries are entering international marketplaces, where they build successful affiliate marketing.
Two main components of success: the availability of a unique and high-quality product (or an understanding of who will produce and deliver it), plus a well-thought-out competent strategy.
One such large international marketplace is Amazon.
Amazon differs significantly from Ozon and Wildberries, well-known in the Russian-speaking space. It works by its own rules, and once became a source of inspiration for the people who created the last two marketplaces.
One of the interesting features of the site is the presence of its own Amazon PPC service, which allows you to set up contextual advertising specifically for this marketplace.
The product owner will have to spend some time learning the Amazon PPC software, but if you understand the general principles and algorithms of contextual and targeted advertising, it will be much easier to figure it out. Depending on the niche in which you work on Amazon, the cost per click will cost from 50 cents to $7.
Here are some things to keep in mind as a product owner or aspiring startup who decides to build their business on Amazon.
It will take you about a year and a half to figure out all the intricacies of the site and its software.
It will be necessary to correctly calculate your financial resources so as not to suddenly go into the red.
Real earnings on Amazon and profit will not begin from the first day. However, as in any business. So the third success factor is a cool head with which you need to enter this marketplace.
Another Affiliate Marketing Software Suite
ShareASale is positioned as “the old foreign affiliate program”. Started working in 2000.
Perhaps, owners of products and affiliate programs from the CIS space can also join ShareASale by fulfilling a number of conditions of this CPA network. Product offers and CPA affiliates are accepted here.
Of the minuses: “old” does not always mean “best”. This affects not only the outdated design, but also the outdated approach to affiliate marketing. You will not find modern tools and real-time statistics in ShareASale.
If you read the reviews of affiliate marketers about the experience of working with ShareASale, it becomes completely sad.
Yes, someone has managed to earn $1,400 in ShareASale in one year. The majority of webmasters complain about problems when working on the ShareASale platform.
- advertisers shave webmasters and often change the size of the commission;
- the ShareASale platform itself does almost nothing to attract new product owners (their number is approximately 2,500);
- if the user copied the affiliate link, but followed it not from a computer, but through a mobile device, then the partner also remains without a commission, because there is no software that can track such a transition.
Bottom line: it’s still better to look for another platform for your affiliate marketing if you intend to work honestly on a win-win basis.
ClickBank is an American electronic goods trading platform that has also been operating since 2000.
Product owners get a powerful marketing system through the involvement of partners who are engaged in promotion.
In other words, ClickBank can also be called a software package for affiliate marketing.
Despite the fact that the site is American, ClickBank can localize affiliate programs in six languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese. At the same time, preference is still given to English-speaking traffic.
For all affiliate marketing participants there is a system of activity stimulation with “negative motivation”.
Any inactive (not earning) account may be subject to a fine. At the same time, penalties in ClickBank are dynamic and progressive. Applies only to accounts with a positive balance. After 90 days of inactivity, the account starts automatically debiting $1 per day, after 180 days – already $5, and after 365 days – $50 per day is debited.
A feature that webmasters should take into account is that you can withdraw funds only after five sales. At the same time, two out of five purchases must be paid for with two bank cards from the list that can be found in your ClickBank account.
Another difficulty is that the ClickBank service does not work with some countries at all (they are not in the list of countries in the registration form). The problem is solved through a VPN or a proxy, and in this case, the funds will have to be withdrawn through intermediaries.
The remuneration for webmasters in ClickBank is calculated by the owners of products and affiliates. Fork from 30% to 75%.
The Rakuten platform is an interesting affiliate marketing platform. Japanese equivalent of eBay.
And since Rakuten is a “Japanese miracle”, there are certain difficulties in using the platform with this software. Even if you choose English (this option is provided in Rakuten), the number of product offers will be reduced. There will be more in native Japanese.
There are also two ways to make money on Rakuten. Either put your own products for sale here, or receive a commission, like a webmaster.
It is profitable to sell goods to those who are interested in expanding their business and conquering the markets of other countries. In this case, choosing quality affiliate marketing software and placing products and services on a well-positioned platform in a specific local market is a smart decision. Especially when little is known about your brand or product in this market.
By placing your product on the Rakuten platform, you will automatically receive a part of its authority and will be able to increase the profitability of your business.
Why does it make sense to test the features of the Rakuten platform if you are engaged in affiliate marketing?
Japan also has a large billion dollar e-commerce market.
The Rakuten platform itself has over a billion members in various statuses.
The platform software includes online banking, the ability to book tours and travel, support for video streaming, and, more recently, online movie ticket booking.
In general, the list of services that end users and affiliates can find on the platform is quite extensive: from the purchase of various physical and digital goods to monthly subscriptions to various services.
What is more profitable: to create your own software or to use ready-made?
Each member of affiliate marketing answers this question for himself.
Our opinion will be just an opinion from the outside. Whether to take it into account is up to you.
You know, HR workers or HR managers, as they are called in modern companies, have one favorite question: where do you see yourself in 5 years?
So you should answer yourself honestly: in 5 years, do you see yourself in affiliate marketing?
If right now you give a positive answer, then it is definitely worth considering creating your own software for your business or selling the opportunity to use such software to your future customers.
The only thing you need to understand at the start is that creating software from scratch is not a fast process and not at all cheap.
Why did we take a 5-year time limit?
Everything will look something like this:
- First, you will have an idea for the software.
- It will take about six months to turn the idea into a technical task for developers.
- Another year to search for developers, set a task for them and get the first results.
- The next year is to recoup the initial costs and reach at least “zero”.
The remaining two and a half are for the process of turning a startup into a full-fledged profitable business. If you’re lucky, of course, and all the stars in the sky will align correctly.
So if now you can firmly tell yourself that you plan to be engaged in affiliate business for the next five years and even more, then you can safely think about creating your own software.
We only wish you good luck and go through this difficult path to the end!