I’ve struggled with how to reward those who help us sell future ProofPass.com subscriptions. Some of this has to do with ColorMetrix being rooted in an industry that for many years has relied on the dealer model to move product to market. Heck, we even had a fairly successful relationship with dealers up until about five years ago. Then, the world changed; as it often does.
Helping everyone by simplifying
Since I’ve sold ColorMetrix products through dealers and manufacturer representatives in the past, I have no problem sharing the gross revenues of a sale with those who assist in making the sale. I also like that with affiliate marketing, we collect the revenue and then pay those who helped us. The system is further simplified because who referred the individual or company to us really can’t be disputed. If they got to our site by clicking on your link, we’ll both know it. That’s why you become an affiliate merchant.
If you visit here often, you know I utilize affiliate marketing to generate a few bucks of revenue each month. One of the things I like about affiliate marketing is the simplicity of getting set up with a new merchant I trust. The system works because, for the most part, I stick with merchants represented by ShareASale (affiliate link). ShareASale is an intermediary that stand between the merchant and the affiliates. There are several advantages for both parties in having a neutral party facilitate the relationship between the two parties. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on the benefits for the merchant.
3 reasons to be an affiliate merchant
1. Less Paperwork: Let’s say I sign 50 people up to help us sell ProofPass.com subscriptions. Without a company like ShareASale to manage those 50 relationships, I’d have to collect tax documents from each of the 50. I’d also be responsible for issuing 1099s for any of the 50 who sold enough to meet the reporting threshold. In addition, I’d have to issue as many as 50 checks in any given month. With ShareASale in place, I simply approve the affiliate at the beginning of the relationship and fund our merchant account monthly with enough funds to pay what we owe our affiliates.
2. Program Integrity: Above all, an affiliate network company adds integrity to a program. Instead of the clicks that convert to dollars being managed and maintained by us, there is a neutral third party involved. The affiliate gets the links to use from ShareASale and then all traffic passes through the ShareASale site first, making it almost impossible to not give credit where credit is due for a conversion that requires monetary compensation. While not all the traffic details are shared with the affiliates, I can tell you from firsthand experience that it’s enough to know you are getting paid what is due you.
3. Find new evangelists: It’s all about the companies like ShareASale that have huge networks of folks who find value in being affiliate marketers. While our initial affiliate program will be closed and by invitation only, that will likely change with time. When it does change, I look forward to being able to reach out to the entire ShareASale family and letting them know what we have to offer. Clearly, a service like ProofPass will only be a fit for a small fraction of the network; but, when that time comes, it’s nice to know I’ll be able to find them.
So, there you have it: The three reasons I’ll be setting up an affiliate network to help me sell ProofPass.com subscriptions. If you’d like to learn more about ShareASale, just click on the banner ad below.