From time-to-time I’m asked about Affiliate Programs, and whether there are good systems that work well with Shopify.
Until a few months ago, the answer was “none that I particularly like“. But things are changing. There are some newcomers on the affiliate circuit, and some of them are beginning to recognise Shopify as an important platform and making it easier for store owners to generate traffic, sales, and affiliates without the hassle of previous affiliate software.
What follows is an honest review of one program I’ve been extremely impressed with: Lead Dyno.
(If you already know about affiliate programs and want to skip to the details of Lead Dyno, you can skip the next section, which covers some affiliate basics.)
First up: What is an Affiliate Program?
Affiliates are people who promote your products in return for a commission. They can sign up to be a part of your program, then they refer people to your website. If they refer someone who buys, you pay them a portion of the sale.
Another example: Amazon makes millions of dollars by working with affiliates.
So what’s all the fuss about – why have an affiliate program?
If you can build a small (or large!) community around your company or product, having affiliates on board can be a way to massively and exponentially increase the reach of your products, and increase your sales. Instead of you promoting yourself and trying to take on the world, you have a small army of people helping you. Bloggers, marketers, other E-commerce store owners or people on social media — all can send traffic and sales your way.
Affiliate programs can boost your sales.
Is now a good time to consider affiliate programs for Shopify in particular? (Answer: I believe so.)
A couple of years ago, there were not many good options for affiliate programs. Those that existed for Shopify weren’t very robust, were difficult to manage, and confusing. Now, the options are much better. With the advent of Lead Dyno and some others, it’s become much easier to:
- Set up your affiliate program with terms and conditions (how much are you going to pay people? What can they not do?)
- Allow them to register – fully automated without the need for time-consuming manual approvals
- Pay your affiliates. You’ll find this important if you want them to stick around.
- Track and report who’s sending you traffic, and how often.
A Great Option For Shopify: Lead Dyno
Lead Dyno is an affiliate management software that works with Shopify. With a few clicks, you can set up an affiliate program for your Shopify store, get and sign up affiliates, track them, and pay them.
Why I’m Impressed (What I like About it)
As we’re always keen to test out new software and have a genuine need to know about it when working with clients, I’ve used Lead Dyno myself on a Shopify store and found it very easy to set up. Including:
- Quick & Easy Setup. It took me under 3 minutes to set the app up with my Shopify store, via their app here > https://apps.shopify.com/leaddyno
- Easy to create assets. It’s easy to create banners, text, and content to give your affiliates. This can be cumbersome in some other software. In a few minutes, I’d set up some assets which could be passed on to affiliates. The linking is all automated.
- Well Documented. No-one likes complicated jargon for new systems. Lead Dyno’s documentation is easy to follow for anyone with basic website knowledge. They keep it fairly simple, and topics are well-linked.
- Advice (for free): After you sign up, Lead Dyno’s team proactively deliver helpful guides and tips via email. I wasn’t expecting this and found the content to be solid. It’s nice to see app developers following up with actionable business advice as well as providing the system. They also have webinars, tutorials and personal emails available to help.
Here is a screenshot of the backend. You’ll see it’s fairly intuitive once you know what you’re looking for.
Improvement Points – What Could Be Improved With Lead Dyno
- It took some getting used to and self-study. As with any new software, it took me some time to learn the system. This isn’t really a downfall – all new systems take time to learn – but you do need to expect to put in some time to learn the tool and some basic affiliate marketing concepts.
- A little complex to understand how the links work. It took me some extra reading & experimentation to understand how affiliates would receive their affiliate links in assets. Actually, this is automated (!), which is excellent — but I learned this the hard way but signing myself up as an affiliate and experimenting with assets. I wished I’d know this up front. (Now, you do.)
Pro Tip: A Note of Caution About Affiliate Programs. Affiliate programs are a great business opportunity when done right. Some companies set up their affiliate programs such that spammers who are only interested in commissions, spam potential customers with their affiliate link in the hope of generating a sale. This kind of ‘spam affiliate marketing’ will only serve to damage your brand. Don’t let people do it.
If you do create an affiliate program, have firm terms and conditions in place (with rules), review new affiliates regularly, and set a Google Alert for your product or company so you can keep an eye on affiliates.
To sum it up: Most people are honest, but those that aren’t can serve to hurt your brand. Don’t let them. Run a solid, honest affiliate program with people who actually like your products, want to promote them, as well as getting their share if sales are made.
What next? Keen to start your own affiliate program?
If you’re interested in creating an affiliate program to increase your traffic and sales, you may like to consider Lead Dyno. It’s quick, easy to set up, and comprehensive. You won’t have to deal with lots of confusing jargon, either.
Thank you for checking out our Shopify Insider Blog @ Blackbelt Commerce. Please make sure to check out our services. We also have some top blog recommendations for you to check out; SEO For Your Shopify Store and Shopify Incoming Sales. Keep a lookout for new blog posts.
Questions? Feedback or thoughts on Lead Dyno? I’ll be doing a Q&A in the comments.
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