How to set up your own affiliate program?

An affiliate is a person who promotes your service and will receive a commission for it after a successful transaction. In other words, affiliates are ambassadors of your service.

In the landscape of charities, ambassadors have been used as a persuasion technique for a long time already. If a celebrity from the United States advises you to donate to a specific charity, it creates trust in that charity. The use of ambassadors is essential for a charity to succeed. But what about commercial companies?

  1. The different forms of affiliate marketing
  2. Independence with your own affiliate program
  3. Administrative hassle
  4. How do you get affiliates?
  5. Offer interesting commissions
  6. Limited effort for the affiliate
  7. Examples of affiliate marketing
  8. The height of the commission
  9. Conclusion
  10. Free webinar

The different forms of affiliate marketing

Advertisers and Publishers

When we talk about affiliate marketing, people often think of advertisers versus publishers. An advertiser is the company who wants to run an advertisement campaign, a publisher is generally a website with enough visitors to be able to offer that promotion. Promotion is often done by means of a banner on the website or a link in a relevant article. This is called an external affiliate network, which practically any company can use. An effective way of affiliate marketing, but impersonal and expensive due to the old-fashioned CPC (Cost Per Click) model.

Finally, the publisher does not consciously choose to promote your business. Using an external affiliate network is therefore a disguised version of advertising, something you can also do on social media.

Affiliate Program

Another option is to launch your own affiliate program. Here you decide who gets access to the affiliate program and under what conditions. Often potential affiliates can sign up themselves for your affiliate program, so they already have more of a connection with your company. We call this an internal affiliate network.

The advantage of having your own affiliate program with an internal affiliate network is the method of promotion. Because affiliates have consciously chosen to participate in your affiliate program, they are more connected to your company and can truly act as ambassadors for your service. This makes promotions more personal and unique, which makes them to realize better results. Not to mention the interesting business model: CPS (Cost Per Sale). You only pay once a sale has been made.

Independence with your own affiliate program

Now that we know that having your own affiliate program is more interesting for the brand experience, we can also highlight the other benefits. Namely, it creates independence.

The advertising policy and algorithm of Google and Facebook change regularly. You need to continuously anticipate to this in order to achieve the desired results. Not to mention that advertising accounts can be blocked, causing your entire customer base to disappear. You will never experience these problems with your own affiliate program.

You have control over your affiliates and the promotion they do for you. The affiliates make a commitment to your business. Is the affiliate program running like a well-oiled machine? Then you have a continuous flow of new customers and a happy affiliate earning a passive income, thanks to your company. A win-win situation for both parties!

Administrative hassle

Is it all roses and moonlight? No. Rewarding affiliates based on a sale means a lot of administrative work. Managing the affiliates, the promotional URLs, the earned commission and above all the payment of it.

Fortunately, there are platforms that can take the hassle out of these tasks. Sir Affiliate is an example of this. Affiliates are managed, their activities are monitored and above all payments of commissions are automated by automatically generating invoices and facilitating SEPA and/or PayPal payment batches.

Try Sir Filiate completely free of charge by creating an account here >>>

Are you starting your own affiliate program? Then make sure you have a reliable (software) partner who automates all the operations for you. Are you serious about it? Then an internal affiliate network is guaranteed to bring you turnover and brand awareness.

How do you get affiliates?

Another challenge of having your own affiliate program: approaching potential affiliates. Although a large proportion of them know how to find your company, you will also have to actively approach new affiliates and make them enthusiastic about your company. How do you do that exactly?

Determine which parties are involved in the decision to use your service

In most cases, several parties are involved in the choice of a software platform. Which parties are they for your service?

An example from one of our clients: Woosa. They develop WordPress, WooCommerce plugins for web shops. There are two parties involved in the decision to use such a plugin:

  • The development agency: a webshop owner always ventilates his wishes to his development agency. These may include a request for a specific plugin or a latent need that the development agency can meet.
  • The online marketing agency: once the webshop is built, the online marketing agency often gets the question how they can realize more revenue. They will then advise to automate certain processes by means of plugins.

For its own affiliate program, Woosa logically focuses on the above parties. Fortunately there are enough of them!

Now it’s your turn: which parties will benefit from recommending your service?

Pick up the phone!

Have you found a potential affiliate? Pick up the phone and start calling!

You can explain your service over the phone much better than in writing. The potential affiliate hears the passion in your voice and may be charmed by your story. By doing so, you create an emotional engagement, which they want to be a part of. The first step has been taken, for the affiliate it is no risk at all to join your affiliate program. Now the real work begins: making sure the affiliate converts. How to do that, you can read later in this blog article.

Offer interesting commissions

An affiliate gets excited not only about your service and story, but also about the money. What can they earn? Make sure you offer an interesting commission.

Affiliates often get triggered by higher one-time commissions. They often put more effort into that because the math is simple. However, what is much more interesting in the longer term is commissions on subscriptions. After all, this really ensures that you achieve a passive and constant source of income. These days everyone wants to be sitting in a villa in Bali, by the pool with a cocktail in one hand and a laptop in the other. What better way to achieve that than with an affiliate income?

Limited effort for the affiliate

Speaking of the digital nomad lifestyle, the affiliate often has no work to do on passive income. In fact, an affiliate is only responsible for bringing in new customers, but often not for retaining or supporting them. That’s your job! That’s better than any dropshipping business and really living the life of a digital nomad. So you can think of the affiliate as a sales agent in disguise, who has his own ways of bringing in new customers for your service.

Examples of affiliate promotions

Let’s start by saying that each affiliate has their own way of promoting. One may have a blog website, another a community and yet another a following base on social media. So the promotion per affiliate will also differ.

  • Blog post
    For example, a review about your service
  • Email marketing
    Promotion to a mailing list of your affiliate
  • Social Media
    Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook etc.
  • Network
    Prospects, customers or partners

The height of the commission

How do you determine the amount of the commission? Often we express the commission in percentages. For example 15% or 20% of the total order value. However, it also happens regularly that we express the commission in fixed amounts. In many cases this sounds more interesting.

You determine your commission. This can be a general commission or you can make an appropriate offer per affiliate. It is advisable to calculate in advance what your margin is and how much of that margin you are willing to give up for an affiliate. Do not see the commission as a burden, but as a marketing investment.

Literally: acquisition cost per new customer.


Having your own affiliate program is investing and takes time. However, in the long run it is a very profitable, scalable and stable marketing strategy. You create independence from external affiliate networks or advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google.

By the way, the combination between these marketing strategies is even stronger. Focusing on one way of marketing is never wise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.