Going Global: Prep for Success – By Kim Salvino

by Sara Szado on January 21, 2016

feedfront-33 cover-188x240Going global, much like going mobile, is an initiative that continues to spike in popularity. Your site is ready for international e-commerce, but does that automatically translate to successful affiliate channel sales?

The short answer is no. Hastily thrown together plans and lack of realistic expectations make for a poor experience where, in the affiliate world, you get only one chance to make a lasting impression. Please consider the below points prior to installing those extra pixels and activating your sign up pages.

Is Your Brand Globally Recognized?

How big is your presence outside of your most successful market region? How does that success translate to potential affiliate sales according to global market trends? If customers aren’t actively seeking out your brand in a specific region, affiliate marketing isn’t going to offer the solution you seek. It’s your job to market your brand and create a respected, well-received presence, worthy of publisher traffic.

Scrutinize Your Network of Choice

Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions of reporting solution providers and perform a full competitive analysis before signing on the dotted line. Spell out your requirements for reporting, invoicing, publisher payments, and any other important criteria. Get the costs IN WRITING and ensure the contract contains clear legal language, specifying service levels by region if necessary.

What are the Legal Considerations by Region?

Research on the latest tax law, privacy law, trademark law, etc. isn’t just a great idea – it’s a requirement. Looping in your legal team early on and getting the clarity on important issues prevents launch delay and lots of wasted time.

Are You Equipped for In-Language Support?

You can utilize Google translate for some communications, but sending publisher newsletters, creating text links and other creative materials, and drafting the Terms and Conditions are going to require someone fluent in the local language. You’ll also want to ensure those vetting potential publisher sites can do so effectively, ensuring the sites approved for the program are operating within the terms of your agreement.

Set Internal Expectations

All affiliate programs require ramp time. Anyone selling you on the fact that a launch will immediately lead to large profits is quantity and not quality focused. This will ultimately lead to disaster. Expectations should be communicated up front to dispel any confusion. An affiliate program presence will not immediately translate to instant revenue spikes.

Creating an international affiliate marketing program is a viable way to increase revenue for globally recognized brands with the proper network, management, and in-language support. Recognizing that the process will require research, legal clarification and commitment over time will be your best investment.

Kim Salvino, Client Services Director for Performance Horizon, has been optimizing programs since 2005.

This article appeared in issue 33 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2016. http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-33

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