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Should I Launch My Affiliate Program In-house?

Guest Blog Post:  By Janice Scrim
Communications & Media Strategist

If you’re thinking about launching an affiliate program, there is plenty to consider. Somewhere near the top of your list, you will need to think about whether you want to launch your affiliate program in-house or within an affiliate network. With pros and cons to each option, it really depends on your individual business, your goals, your resources and the experience that you have in launching, managing and growing an affiliate program. 

If you opt to run your affiliate program in-house, you’ll need affiliate software so you can manage your online business, track your affiliate activity and measure your overall ROI from this secondary online acquisition channel. 

Here are the top five reasons why you should launch your affiliate program in-house and manage your program with your own private software (aka, white label software). 

1. Transparency 

Transparency goes at the top of the list of reasons why launching your own affiliate program in-house is a good idea. When you have white label software, it acts as a window to your affiliate program. You have a clear view of your affiliate partners, promotional activity and methods, payment terms, traffic, commission structures, marketing campaigns—the works. Transparency is crucial to a successful affiliate program because it gives you control, which allows you to then customize your specific affiliate program to meet your unique goals. 

2. Relationships 

When you launch an affiliate program, your relationships with your affiliates are an integral part of your business and long-term success. Through your software, you have a direct line to your affiliates, with no third party sitting between you and your partners. You can garner simple details such as the names and contact information of your top performers or drill down deeper to find out how they promote you and which campaigns have been most successful. You can communicate directly with them, leverage their strengths and meet their growing needs. Through your software, you can create immediacy in your relationship management that can’t be equaled in an affiliate network. The benefit of immediacy and having a direct line to your affiliates is higher quality relationships, and therefore, a more profitable affiliate program. 

3. Control 

Keeping your affiliate program in-house provides you with the control to develop the personality of your product that is directly in line with your core message and values. Control can come in the form of customized commission structures, exclusive incentives, marketing creative options etc. Your software can also be branded to reflect your business, so affiliates can identify with you on a further level. With your own program you have the freedom to tailor your program to truly reflect your unique business, and do not have to manage your business with the kind of limitations that are sometimes associated with networks. 

4. Cost Effectiveness 

The cost effectiveness of an in-house affiliate program is one of its most appealing factors for online retailers and merchants. With a lack of network fees, affiliate management fees (if you take this on internally as well) and additional fees that often come with special add-ons or customizable features, this option is, for the most part, a much less expensive option. You can also use your ROI and savings to re-invest into your program, give higher commission rates to top performers and provide additional incentives that will help retain and motivate your affiliates. 

5. Added Value 

An affiliate program that remains in-house becomes added value for your business, and essentially a strong asset. Your program becomes a reflection of what you put into it, and this provides you with the incentive to give it what it needs to succeed: dedication, time and a strong team of people to support its growth. 

If you’re thinking about launching an affiliate program and are considering your options, we can help find the solution that works best for you. 

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