What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work with Dama Jue
July 4, 2023
Have you ever bought something and felt like you simply just had to share it with your family and friends? Wouldn’t it be nice to make some money off that referral? If so, there is absolutely no need for you to wonder “What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?” any longer.
Because it really is as simple as that.
An affiliate program allows consumers to share products with the people in their network. And when someone from their network purchases — using a specialized link or coupon code — the person who shared the link gets a small commission on that sale.
Affiliate marketing is a popular way for businesses to reach a wider audience and generate more sales. But how exactly does it work? And how can you set up an effective affiliate marketing program for your business?
I invited Dama Jue to join me on the Talk Copy to Me podcast to answer these questions and more. She’ll share her insights on successful affiliate program management and the tools and a business owner can use to manage their program effectively.
Wait, what is affiliate marketing, and how does it work? Here is what Dama and Erin want you to know
What an affiliate program is (and isn’t)
How affiliate programs work
The difference between an affiliate program and a referral program
When the best time is to start an affiliate program is
Why your previous students and clients are great people to invite into your affiliate programs
Whether or not you can create and manage your affiliate program or if you should hire help
The tech you need to create, run, and manage your affiliate program
How to build automations to monitor your affiliate sales, aka the products you sell and the people who help sell them for you!
Why an excellent affiliate experience is key to a successful and well-run program
How to create an affiliate hub and what type of copy swipe you need to make it easy for your affiliate to sell for you
What the average affiliate commissions are for product sales and service based commissions
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
Tools such as Dubsado, Honeybook, and HelloBonsai (they don’t have a way of tracking affiliate sales). However, if you need a CRM for your business, I highly recommend Dubsado. I’ve been using it for maybe six years now and recommend it to everyone. I even use it to help me run my podcast! You can watch my explain how here or here.
Tools to sell your products, such as Thrivecart (which both Dama and I use!), WooCommerce, WP Affiliate, LearnDash, Shopify, etc.
What’s on Dama’s Bundle Formula sales page about her love for a certain tech tool
Want to set up your own affiliate program?
I used two tools to help me set up mine. The first was Lizzy Goddard’s The Lazy Guide to Street Teams (aka Affiliate Programs) and the other was Dama’s Pay Your Pals, and BOTH were perfect for me to set everything up on my own. I highly recommend getting the two of these programs and using them together if you can.
And because we talked so much about our love of Thrivecart to run both our affiliate programs AND our product shops, I thought I’d share my affiliate link for Thrivecart with you if it’s something you’ve been eyeing but haven’t bought yet.
Quotes about how to set up an affiliate program for your business from Dama and Erin
“It’s never a bad time to have an affiliate program… as long as you have customers, I think you’re good to go.” – Dama Jue
“Adding an affiliate program isn’t going to be out of your skill level. As long as you have a good teacher and you have good materials in front of you. I think it’s totally doable.” – Dama Jue
“There’s the client experience, the customer experience, and the referral experience — all of these are different things.” – Erin Ollila
“I’ve learned a lot over the years of being an affiliate. And I think there is a major missed opportunity with the affiliate experience. I can’t tell you how often I joined someone’s affiliate program, and I’m like, ‘What do I do?’ You know, I walk in the museum, and I’m like, Where’s the map? Where do I go?” – Dama Jue
“You have to make it easy for people to share you and your business. Because everyone — whether it’s copy, content, marketing, networking — they still have the ‘What’s in it for me?’ being their guiding thought.” – Erin Ollila
Go out and do some affiliate marketing yourself so you can get a feel for it.
Not sure where to start? Dama says, “If you’re thinking about creating an affiliate program, start to do affiliate marketing yourself. Start joining other people’s affiliate programs. You’ll pay attention to that onboarding experience, how it made you feel as an affiliate, and what you want to do differently when you create yours. The shortest cut to this is every time you’re on a website…scroll to the footer more and often than not, people will have an invitation to join their affiliate program.”
She also wants you to join her program! Dama says, “If your audience is made up of course creators or product creators, coaches, I have a lot of products that might be able to help them, and you’re welcome to hang out in my world and jump in. Don’t just creep — jump in and share some stuff and let me pay you!”
Dama Jue is a funnel strategist and Thrivecart expert who loves helping biz owners build a profitable and impactful online presence through strategic funnels and all the automation you never knew you needed with high-impact-low-stress trainings and templates. Don’t miss her collection of modern, conversion-optimized Thrivecart templates!
Here are some of Dama’s products that I myself have purchased and used (affiliate links!)
On Brand Fillable Workbooks: Current price $9 USD I haven’t implemented this one yet, but boy oh boy is my customer experience going to get even better once I do!
Thrivecart Checkout and Sales Pages:Price varies I use Dama’s designs on all my Thrivecart checkout pages, and I own probably a dozen. Since I host my sales pages on my own website, I don’t use her sales pages, BUT I wanted to point out that these are a perfect option for so many people I work with because they are already designed and you can plug and play instead of needing to hire a designer for every new product you create. (And pair these with Menekse Stewart’s Marketing Magic and you’ll have your copy AND design done in under an hour!) I have a couple close friends who use the sales page templates and they look stunning!
Email Service Matchmaker: Current price $9 USD I haven’t grabbed this yet, but I will be getting it asap as I’m getting a bit frustrated with what I’m paying for email marketing compared to how I’m using it. I’m not necessarily ready to switch, but to see what’s out there for only 9 bucks? Yes, please! Sign me up!
Pay Your Pals: Current price $197 I already recommended Pay Your Pals to you if you wanted to start your own affiliate program, but the reason I’m including it here on this list too is because I want to urge you to get the order bump The Affiliate Hub Swipe Template. It is so low price and it saved me a TON of time. A TON!
Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
Learn more about Erin’s VIP Day options if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you with your marketing
Here’s the transcript for episode 080 “What Is An Affiliate Program and Why with guest expert Dama Jue:
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
affiliate program, affiliate, dama, swipe, love, product, sharing, promoting, referral, copy, cart, tech, offer, create, program, email, tracking, aaron, work, sales page
Erin Ollila, Dama Jue
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends, welcome to the Top coffee Timmy podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hello Friend. Today I am here with Dharma Jew. And you may know her as a funnel strategist, and thrive car expert. But what you don’t know about Dharma is that she actually grew up so obsessed with traveling and maps. And when she was young, she set a goal that she would fill her passport with stamps by the time that she turned 21, which is a fabulous goal. So what dama did was she got a job with an airline with one of our friends. And they spent the next three years going everywhere that they could to get free tickets as airline employees. What were some of the best places that you saw,
Dama Jue 01:01
I loved South America, I absolutely fell in love with Argentina. I was like, okay, Argentina is like under the radar. Loki bananas. Amazing. We also had an amazing time in Brazil. But Argentina was just overwhelmingly people were so welcoming. I just didn’t know what to expect. It was it was really cool. We got to go to Thailand. And that was sort of life changing for me because it was such a different, such a different place. And we went to the Philippines and Japan, Prague, Italy, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, we did all kinds of crazy, fun, unique stuff. I remember without my family, I was just like, by you know, and I grew up in a really conservative family who didn’t travel and I just was like, obsessed with maps and globes maps specifically, like I just any map I could get my hands on since I was a little kid. So the travel thing was deep. Like I watch where in the world is Carmen Sandiego. And I was like saying that, you know, as a little Mexican girl was like, that’s a Latina I want to imitate when I grow up. I want to I want to be where in the world is dama? You know, where where am I going to be when I you know, older. So travel was it for me?
Erin Ollila 02:12
Oh my gosh, I love this. Okay, so let’s talk about jumping right in. And let’s just jump right into our conversation today. We are here to talk about affiliate programs and you know, kind of the whole overview, when’s a good time to have them what what you should be doing as a business owner if you decide to have an affiliate program, and I was very excited that you were going to join me on this because I’ve actually worked through your affiliate program, and it was huge and helping me set up my own program. So I guess maybe let’s start from Yeah, right, thank you, I should say. I still have a couple of tasks that are like just moving day after day on my Asana list, but that’s kind of life, right? That’s running a business. And I think anyone can understand that. No matter how you kind of like shift or adjust or grow in your business, there’s always going to be something to kind of like, make sure you’re staying on top of things. But the beauty of the conversation is we want you listener to feel as prepped and ready and motivated and excited to create your own affiliate program, if that’s something that you know, would really benefit you and your business. Before we get too far into this. I guess my question for you is, if there’s anyone listening who doesn’t know what an affiliate program is, how would you describe an affiliate program to them?
Dama Jue 03:29
Okay, so affiliate programs are essentially word of mouth with benefits. So it’s like friends with benefits. So what an affiliate program is, is you needed a specific amount of tech involved in your setup. So you’ve got away if you have a digital product or say you sell templates or courses, you already have a way of taking payment, but what often your payment processor can also do is a essentially a way of tracking where that click came from. And if somebody was referred to you and made the purchase, because they were referred to you, you can set up a program that automatically gives them a little kickback. So I’m a contractor’s daughter, this is something that I saw in my dad’s like brick and mortar construction business that whenever somebody would refer a client his way he would, you know, like, they’d get a little bottle of wine or they get a little cash kickback and it was just a thank you a thank you gift. And so I saw the way that that grew my dad’s business and I just liked the idea of implementing that so as a done for you, funnel builder, I always had that enabled in my business as well. And it was much more manual. It’s like oh, you know, meeting a new client. How did you hear me oh, well, Aaron from Topkapi to me referred you to me and I’m like, Oh, let me send Aaron you know, mental note. Let me send Aaron a little thank you something a little thank you gift because I you know, that kind of referral and word of mouth. It’s one of the strongest forms of marketing but it’s completely out of your control, right. What folks say about you is out of your control. But when it’s something nice that can really have one Long lasting impact on your business. So an affiliate program is sort of a way for them to digitally refer you. So you might say, hey, you know, this week I set up my affiliate program, here’s how you can join. And then you might say, PS, if you’re thinking about setting up an affiliate program for your own thing, you should check out Damas pay your pals or whatever you can talk about what your experience was. And that kind of referral can go a long way. Because it means you use purchase a thing, you loved it, and you’re referring it. And on the back end, on my side as the seller, I have a tech system setup that makes note of when Aaron shares my offers out, and then I automatically give her a little commission. And so it’s totally legal. It’s totally kind of an automated hands off way of saying thank you to folks for shouting out your product.
Erin Ollila 05:51
Yeah, I love that. And, you know, something we’ve talked a lot about on this podcast is the idea of referrals and testimonials. So we know that social proof is what kind of makes sales and in it’s the same thing when it comes to a referral program, except what’s happening is the person who is sharing the referral, creating that social proof for you and sharing the link to purchase from you. They’re receiving some hate the word kickback, but a kickback of some sorts, whether it is a monetary amount, which is generally how referral affiliate programs will work and the conversation we’re having, or it’s something like you mentioned with your father, as a contractor, whether it’s a nice bottle of wine, or a different type of gift. It’s a system for kind of sharing the referrals instead of just the basics of a testimonial, like the like, share how much you care for something and keep your fingers crossed that that social proof does anything. This is actually like a system to keep them coming and to reward the people who are sharing your business with their network.
Dama Jue 06:54
And tracking. You know, it’s true, yes, as well.
Erin Ollila 06:57
Which is huge. Because then when you don’t know what’s happening, you kind of can’t guess or have someone just say, oh, yeah, I shared this person, right. And you’re like, Did you did you not win? How, at what point? I think the beauty of them too, is that there there are boundaries set up kind of so you know, you know, as an affiliate, when you’re promoting a certain product or a certain service, that the affiliate amount that you may get is a certain set amount, that the cookies when we talk about tracking, for example, the cookies that are attached to the link that you may be sharing are for a certain amount of days. So there is the guidelines that help both the affiliate and the affiliate program owner know how it works. So that it is like a clean systemized process for both both people right now. Question for you are affiliate programs, can they work for both service providers and people who sell products or other types of offers?
Dama Jue 07:53
Yeah, they can. So affiliate programs, it really depends on how you take payment, frankly, I. So I, as a service provider, use a software called Hello, Banzai. And it didn’t have that capability. So if you use dubsado, or Hello, Banzai or some of the other ones, I’m blanking on the other one, honey books, they don’t have a way of tracking that. But if you use if you have a productized service, so for example, a VIP day, or set packages, you really only offer web copy or sales page copy, and you know, one thing or the other, then you can, that’s sort of what we would call productize service and you have a set price for that you’re not doing proposals. It’s not super custom. It’s like, here’s what I do. And you can sell that via a payment processor, like I use, like Thrive cart. So you set up a set product, and then you could have an affiliate program for that. But if you do custom proposals and stuff like that, it gets a little trickier, but essentially, it’s just you know, you just kind of do it manually, because you’re not getting as many sales as a with that level of customization and proposals and contracts and out for signature and first invoice and deposit. And, you know, like all that stuff that comes with more custom done for you work. It’s more manual to have an affiliate program. And I generally don’t call that an affiliate program, I call it more of like a referral program. And so if Aaron referred somebody while she wrote the copy, and she sent them to me for a complete Thrive cart setup, then I would give her a little kickback or something like that. And that’s yeah, totally manual.
Erin Ollila 09:26
Yeah. And I think that makes sense to like, kind of keep that in your mind before we even really started talking about the difference between the two, no referral is more of a manual based system and you could run it similarly, where you know, there’s a set amount of money that each referral gets for the types of services you have. But it’s really key and remembering that there’s a lot of manual work that goes into it and not ability not to track specific things. So the affiliate programs, as we’re talking about is really those that we like you mentioned could be built into a product or a productized service or something that someone could just Purchase, and let all of the tech run all of the good stuff for you.
Dama Jue 10:04
Yes. Big fan of that.
Erin Ollila 10:06
Yeah, me too. So is there a better time in business to add an affiliate program? Like, should you be selling your products for a set amount of time have a set amount of like people within your audience? Or is there kind of no hard and fast rule when it comes to when you should have an affiliate program?
Dama Jue 10:26
I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule. But I would say in general, most often, from what I’ve experienced, people start their affiliate program kind of later than they need to people think, Well, I’m not big, and you know, my brand isn’t big enough or recognizable enough, no one’s gonna want to promote my stuff. I’m not a household name, I’m not ABP or something like that, right. So I think people tend to wait a little long. If your software has the capability. As long as you’ve got a product out there, I generally don’t recommend if somebody is about to sell their first digital product, they’ve never sold a digital product before that they start with an affiliate program, I think you have enough going on figuring out getting your ducks in a row for getting your first product out there and launched that I don’t think you need to mess with affiliate but a couple months later, or a month or two later, great. You know, as long as you have customers, I think you’re good to go to start an affiliate program, especially if your students are the folks who bought from you are getting incredible results. Every time I get a new testimonial, I’ll ask people Hey, do you mind popping, you know your words into if somebody just DMS me or replies to an email saying, Hey, I love this, this is amazing. I always send them like, thank you so much. That’s kind do you mind filling out this form if it’s not a formal testimonial, and then if regardless, I invite them to be an affiliate, because if they’re having a great experience there have they’re seeing amazing ROI. And they love the way I taught something, then odds are good, their friends, their audience, their peers, their colleagues, they might also benefit from it. And so it’s never a bad time to have an affiliate program. I think the only time I maybe wouldn’t recommend it is when you’re brand new. And you’re just figuring out how your cart works and how you’re going to deliver your course and like what video software, you know, when you’re making all those brand new first time product creator decisions, it’s not a good time to start an affiliate program. But once you get all that stuff out the way then Giddy up, go go right ahead and just start that as long as you have people who like what you’re selling. That’s a great opportunity.
Erin Ollila 12:27
Yeah, I think that’s such good advice, you know, and I can even say for myself, I definitely waited way too long to start my affiliate program. And I know from peers who have either have one that they’ve recently created or want to create one, it’s the exact same thing. It’s one of those, they could have had this a year two years ago, but it seemed either too big or too much to take on for them. For me, it wasn’t that I felt like it was too much to take on. It was always one of those Oh, well, I’ll do that next. Right. Like when I have my next little break in between projects, client projects, or in between the next time at well, let’s say after I launched my next course, I’ll make sure that’s when I prioritize it. But it kept getting de prioritized on my list until eventually I was like, and I think this is maybe a key thing for people to consider too. Eventually, it’s like, you can sell all of your own things, but other people can help you too. Right? Is the beautiful thing all just
Dama Jue 13:19
wanted to add one thing sure your customers will start to ask, do you have an affiliate program? So if your customers are asking about your affiliate program, then that’s a good cue to take a pause on what you’re doing, and say, Okay, maybe I’m not going to do X, Y, and Z, right. The second, they’re asking for an affiliate program, this is an excellent time for me to block off an afternoon or a day or two this week, and just get it done and take it from the Sunday list to the done list.
Erin Ollila 13:48
A next question is do you think that when it comes to creating an affiliate program for the people who are nervous that it’s kind of a big undertaking? Is it something that you as a business owner can do on your own? Or is it something where you need to kind of have someone to help you run your affiliate program for you?
Dama Jue 14:04
Okay, so I think it’s an interesting question. I think with the right support tech and tools, you can absolutely do it yourself. If you are absolutely tech averse, and you had your VA set up all your digital products for you. And you mainly just kind of are totally hands off with tech, then this probably will be a little bit out of your depth. But if you set up your digital product in the first place, you follow tutorials or you watch the YouTubes or you follow the code or whatever it is you did if you did that, then adding an affiliate program isn’t going to be out of your skill level. As long as you have a good teacher and you have good materials in front of you. I think it’s totally doable. All my stuff is pretty much self taught. So I learned by doing and testing and trying I set up my first affiliate program for a client just kind of like, yeah, I can do that. You know, I will figure it out. I’m Tech handy and I think this was back in I don’t know 2020 Um, And it just yeah, it helps to have really specific tutorials to walk you through. But if you’ve got that you there’s nothing, there’s no real reason why you need to outsource it. And in terms of having an affiliate program manager, I will say in full disclosure, I used to be an affiliate program manager for someone, I managed her affiliate program, I created and managed her joint venture webinar program. And it’s, if it’s not your forte, or if it’s not your thing, and you really don’t want to do it, you can absolutely hire it out, it likely will be a four figure investment, it’ll probably be $1,000 $1,500 a month, depending on how much you need done. So that is something to bear in mind, I think it’s worth trying to do to do it on your own. And the way I teach affiliate programs is kind of more hands off, basically, like, I really think it should be as automated as possible as hands off as possible. And it’s definitely possible to do, I do not have an affiliate program manager, I have a tech VA, and a marketing assistant, neither of them touch my affiliate stuff. I manage it all by myself, because it’s not a lot of work. And I actually kind of did a little digging for an advanced bar conversation. Aaron, I wanted to do some research is like exactly how much time does this actually cost me. So I’ve spent probably about 10 to 15 hours, tops this year, in 2023. So we’re in June, maybe at the absolute most 15 hours, tops, supporting, motivating, prepping, taking care of my affiliates. So that’s including writing swipe for them, I’ve run two contests, so creating contests for them, replying to their emails, if they need support, whatever it is, tops, it’s been 15 hours. And the impact or the ROI in my business is incredible. So so far, as of June 2023, affiliates have referred $43,000 in sales to my business. So that means that of that I you know, I paid a commission on that. But that to me is very likely $43,000 that I wasn’t going to make at all. So the 10 to 15 hours that I spent taking care of those folks keeping them updated, writing them little content snippets that they can use to promote totally, totally worth it. And once you have your system set up, I think if you in general, I don’t think you really need to have an affiliate program manager unless you want to have really ambitious outreach.
Erin Ollila 17:32
Yeah, I find that amazing in many ways, because you know, as a writer myself, I know that that it takes effort to write things like swipe. But I think the key that I want to point out is the reason why I think you were able to do it so successfully in like meaning like quickly within those 10 to 15 hours is because you know your products well. And you also know your general audience well, so earlier in the conversation, when we talked about like when is a good time to add an affiliate program. And you mentioned Well, if this is your first offer, it might not be the best thing to do. Like with the first launch. Part of that is just because there are things you are doing as the the manager of your affiliate program like writing swipe copy for your affiliates to make it easier for them to share. So if it’s your very first time launching your very first course you don’t necessarily have that like overview of who your clients or your customers could be. And like what to actually say within these email swipes or social media swipes. So again, not that neither neither of those are saying don’t do it sooner, we’re actually encouraging you both to kind of well, encouraging you all to get out there and create your affiliate programs. But that’s a reason why it’s good to kind of know what you’re serving, who you’re serving, and what you’re offering them as you start your affiliate program. So that way, when you do these tasks, like dama, saying that she’s doing within, you know, for the first six months of the year, doing 1015 hours to get everything set up for her affiliates, you can go through them quickly, because you know, your products, well, you know, your offer as well. And you know what your affiliates actually need from you.
Dama Jue 19:08
Yeah, I mean, it helps the more products you have, honestly that it actually makes it a little easier, because you kind of have this buffet of things. But there is a real simplicity of saying I have one thing and that I really would love for you to share. It makes it actually less work for you as as the seller to provide the swipe that they need, especially when you realize you don’t need buckets and buckets of affiliate swipe, you can overwhelm your affiliates by giving them too much. So over the years, I’ve had my program, I guess three years now or two and a half years, and over the years I tend to do I actually give my affiliates less swipe, but strategic swipe. I just pay attention to what they’re using. I’m on their email lists. So if I see that somebody’s getting a lot of clicks I’m like I better get on their list and see what they’re you know, I want to see like But they’re saying, and plus, it’s collaborative. So I don’t want them to be in my world, and I’m not in there. So I love to see how my affiliates are promoting and where they’re sharing and how they’re sharing. Because then it helps me refine what what can I give them, that is going to make it easier for them. And it’s almost always, it’s never seven emails written out completely. It’s never that no one’s gonna send seven emails about your thing. But really strategic small bits of copy can go a really long way. Yeah, I
Erin Ollila 20:31
agree. And I definitely want to jump a little bit more into copy soon. Because I think that that’s the key to where I think sometimes things can go wrong, when like affiliates are sharing the same thing over and over and over again, and why it’s helpful to kind of build up not like a learning program, but like, a way to teach your affiliates how to use these things that you’re sharing with them. But before we do that, I want to just kind of cover a few more of the like, pre things that people should consider. I think one of the big things that held me back before doing my affiliate program was tech. So do you have any recommendations on like how people can approach knowing what tech to use for their programs, their affiliate program, or maybe how much time and tech really goes into building one. I guess that’s two questions, though. So sorry, that’s two in one.
Dama Jue 21:21
I love tech, I can talk tech all day. So I if I were to recommend a single piece of software that is going to serve your business in the best way possible, it’s definitely going to be Thrive cart, I love the software, I run my entire business on it. So I use Thrive cart to take payment also to have an affiliate program also to deliver my courses and templates and things like that. So it’s all interconnected for me. But that gives me some really nice opportunities, I’m already selling a thing I’ve already set up this product, all I have to do in Thrive cart, is check this box and you know, configure a few settings. And it doesn’t take me much extra time to do that. But if you don’t have Thrive cart, and it’s definitely something you have looked into and you don’t want then I would say go with the software that you have and just see if it has the capability so if you are a Kajabi or kartra person, they have higher tier plans that have software that have an affiliate capability so there’s different options out there for you. But my Far and Away recommendation because I’ve worked in all of them. My Far and Away recommendation is thrivecart because it can do so much and it currently does so much in my own business that I’ve been able to cancel a lot of stuff so I used to use WordPress WooCommerce LearnDash WP affiliate I cancelled all of those when I grabbed Thrive cart because I just take my payment on Thrive cart, the Affiliate Software was you know a one time up charge to enable it and I host all my courses here so I was able to cancel a bunch of stuff so I kind of do it all in Thrive cart. And I will say as a person who does a lot of affiliate marketing myself meaning I will recommend offers that I’ve bought and software that I bought that I love I can’t stand some of those like Kajabi and cartridges affiliate dashboards, they drive me nuts they’re so limited in the stats and details I get to see so I really prefer to have to be an affiliate for someone who has their stuff sold via via Thrive cart because I don’t want extra capabilities for me like I can deliver bonuses and see detailed track stats and I love numbers as a former accountant, big fan of all the numbers. So I think if you’re gonna get one thing, start with where you’re at look and see if it’s an option how much extra it’s going to cost you per month to enable it if it’s something like Kajabi kartra member vault podia teachable they all have okay Affiliate Software, but in my opinion the best one out there is Thrive cart and it’s a one time fee. So I love that and then the other side of the tech is how are you going to pay your people that’s a big concern. It’s like well, okay, Erin, send three people over one purchase a course now how do I pay her How do I do that? Most Affiliate Software will handle payment for you one way or the other. What I love about Thrive cart is it handles it automatically for me. So when Aaron signed up as an affiliate for me, it connected her paypal account and I can just kind of say Okay, great Aaron refer to sale. It’s just pleasant news to me like okay, cool. Aaron send someone over they bought something, you know, $33 or whatever are earmarked to go out to Erin in this many days and then it just goes and it’s just nice because it keeps my accounting really clean. Because I don’t miss those payments. I don’t have to do any extra work or pull lengthy reports. It just handles it all automatically. So it really, you just basically need to get it set up in the first place. Once you do the tech setup. It’s very hands off from when someone signs up joins my affiliate program to make their first grabs their affiliate link makes their first referral and gets paid, I kind of don’t do anything, which is amazing. I love automations in my business. And so as much as I can automate things, that’s how I really manage an affiliate program with, you know, maybe an hour or two tops a month out of my entire month for it is because of all those automations and systems that you set up the tech ones and it handles handles it all for you. Yeah. Which
Erin Ollila 25:25
I mean, here’s some social proof for you a complete plug to Damas pay your pals program was, that was huge for me, because I feel like once I learned a system or a workflow or an automation, I’m then able to kind of create new ones and see how I can use them in my business, but I can never conceptualize them on my own. So working through your program, another one that like you didn’t quite mention, but I think is important to talk about was how to integrate your or create, let’s say, a management like tool, would you use air table to kind of pull people from Thrive car and have everything like a report basically right in front of you to manage the project within a different tool and kind of see different things. And I remember when I set up my air table, following your instructions, I was like, this is incredible. I just kept wanting, I was like, How do I get more people to sign up to be an affiliate so I can just see it work, not even so much to like, add to my budget, my financial bottom line, I just kind of wanted to see how the air table functioned. And it changed over time. So if I didn’t explain that well enough, what I should probably say is people sign up for your affiliate program using a tool like Thrive cart or something else, I’m using Thrive cart as well as dama. So that’s where I’m kind of conceptualizing it. And then once they’re signed up, you want to also be able to kind of track it visually, in an easy way for you. So dama has a system that set up that when someone signs up, it automatically integrates them into an air table tracking base. So you can kind of see over time, like how much money have they earned for you? And you know, what, how are your actual products doing when it comes to being sold at through affiliate? So I guess there’s another question here. And it’s, is it hard to set up this type of a tracking tool? To kind of like overview what your affiliate program looks like?
Dama Jue 27:21
Yeah, I would say that the airtable thing is, I love airtable I run, it’s all about Thrive card and air table for me, gives me lots of good data. But I can’t always see the connections between the data. And what I love about air table is that I can see which lead magnet someone like I have this really bonkers robust system that is not covered and pay your pals but one element of it is I have sort of a little base that is a bonus inside pay your pals that that’s what Aaron’s talking about, I show you how to set up all your how to kind of create a record of all your products and where they’re at in terms of do I want to make this affiliate enabled or not. So once you’re set up, one thing that’s kind of annoying about Thrive cart is once I say okay, product A is affiliate enabled, it’s almost kind of hard to see at a glance what those settings are. So you have to click in and click this and click that. And it’s a lot of clicking it gets annoying. So what I love about the airtable Is it kind of lays it all out for you exactly, you can see exactly what commission it is when they’re going to be paid out whether a product is affiliate enabled or not. And then the other side of it is I track all my I just keep a record of all my affiliates, their affiliate ID and their you know, first and last name and stuff like that. And I can see very high level how many probe products they’ve referred to me, and how much that commission they’ve earned. And so what I like to do with that is I like to send my top, you know, five or so affiliates Thank you presents every January, just to stay top of mind and it’s just you know, thank you, it’s in the crowd, thank you for being a great partner, their audiences a good fit for mine, and they took the time to promote so not only am I thankful and sending them their affiliate commission, but also it’s a really cool, you can sort of fall off someone’s radar and so this is just one more thing I like to do. And it also kind of makes me want to reach out to them and say what can I do for you? What do you need? What are your people need? What can I create for them? Or how can I customize something for them? But this whole air table thing the back to the question of how hard is this to setup? It depends I love air table and I but I don’t think you have to be an air table pro in order to set it up. So included in that air table tracking system is a is a pretty detailed tutorial that I encourage you to watch, pause, do unpause what you know, and just kind of implement as you watch. It’s a 20 minute tutorial and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about people saying okay, that demystified air table a little bit for me and then actually made me excited about what air air table can do. So I think as long as you follow this tutorial, you should be okay. I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback about it.
Erin Ollila 30:04
Awesome. And I will say myself from being the non tech person, I, of course, follow the instructions in the video. But as someone who doesn’t do things, because they’re anxious about touching things incorrectly in tech and messing everything up, I found it incredibly easy, which I think is why I was so thrilled with it, because I did it. And I was like, Look at you go, Aaron, you’re like a tech person. Now that you have this cool thing set up. Also, if you want to add anything to your offer suite, give me some more air table integrations, dama, I will take them I will buy every single one of them because I like I mentioned, you know, I don’t, I can’t necessarily conceptualize it. But once I see it created, I can see different use cases and how it is so much easier to stay organized, and run things better in your business. Which kind of led me to ask me
Dama Jue 30:50
that a lot. Like, are you just gonna start teaching air table? And I’m like, No, but it’s airtable has its is sort of so engrained in my business that I’m always looking bundle formula is another program that I have in it, like air table is absolutely essential to it. I think I even have it on the sales page. If you want to try and do this in Google Sheets, maybe I’m not a good fit for you, like go away because Google Sheets is inferior, you need airtable For this, like, get on board because yeah, so I don’t have any intentions of teaching your tables straight away. But I really like folding it into my existing offers. Because my brain automatically is like, How can I automate this? How can I do X, Y, and Z? There’s just a lot of cool potential with it. So it will continue to be like the the backup singer to my Thrive cart world.
Erin Ollila 31:37
One thing you said, when you just answered finished answering my question was you were talking about like, kind of making it set up well, so it functions well, for your affiliates. And I think this is kind of the key to running your own affiliate program. It’s the affiliate experience. A long time ago, I wrote for Oracle about customer experience. And I think that doing that, and all the research that I did really helped me figure out how to take it into different areas of my business. So there’s the client experience, the customer experience, the referral experience, like all of these different things, if you focus on the experience that these groups have it, everything runs so much better for all parties. So when we think about like the affiliate experience, just the small things like staying organized, having swipe copy, that’s again, like we mentioned, not overwhelming, checking in via email giving them systems, when that’s handed to an affiliate, they are so much more likely to help promote things for you. Because you’ve made things integrated, you’ve made things easy, you’re not overcomplicating it for them. And I would venture to say I think that’s really the key of a successful affiliate program. But I guess a question for you, because I’ve really learned from you is, how do you go about doing that? How do you go about trying to figure out what is too much when it comes to things like swipe or how to prepare people better to be good affiliates for you,
Dama Jue 33:05
I have think about I do a lot of affiliate marketing. So even before I really had much of an email list, when I had like, 100 people on my email list, I was like, I’m gonna be I’m gonna get into affiliate marketing, like, you know, I’m gonna do this, this is an opportunity for me. So I’ve learned a lot over the years of being an affiliate. And I think there is a major missed opportunity with affiliate experience. I can’t tell you how often I joined someone’s affiliate program, and I’m like, What do I do? You know, I walk in the museum, and I’m like, Where’s the map? Where do I go? And somebody just telling me what to do. Like, if you would just tell me, I would do it. But no one’s telling me what to do. So I’m just like squirrel, you know, and I just move on and go do something else. So I think the onboarding process is something you honest to God set up once. It doesn’t take very long and I show how to do this and pay your pals because it doesn’t need to be an elaborate 12 email sequence or even a multi email sequence. Just tell them where they need to go and where they need to click and what they need to do. And that has been the biggest key. So for me being an affiliate, I pay attention to what I’m provided, I pay attention to, if I feel like I’m supported or not, or even just Can you are you interested in helping me make money then let’s make money together sort of thing. So what are you giving me essentially so I pay attention to that experience? And I’ve just always tried to remove the barriers like what is it that’s holding people back from promoting this offer, or holding people back from throwing this in a PS today or mentioning it? And if the idea of hitting compose and taking a break from your promotional schedule to write a dedicated email to me is too much. Well, what can I do to make it easier? Can I give them a PS? Can I give them three different marketing hooks? It’s never going to be seven long emails. Um, you’re just if you ever join my affiliate program I’m never going to do that. Unless we’re a bundle, which is different. But in general, it’s not gonna happen, you’re gonna get some pieces, some hooks, some ideas, maybe one email, some captions, very minimal, because it’s very easy to overwhelm people. So I think about my own affiliate experience, I just want the nitty gritty of what the offer is, who it’s for, and maybe a little marketing angle kind of thing like nothing, nothing too deep, nothing too elaborate. I almost never use affiliate graphics. But I provide them for people because I’m asked for them occasionally. So I think it’s just what’s the least I can provide without letting them feel abandoned, because I’ve been in affiliate programs where you sign up and you never hear from them ever. And that kind of sucks. That definitely is not incentivizing to promote. And then I have been in affiliate programs where they’re like, just grab whatever you want from the sales page. But that still feels a little Patri. plagiarizing, you know, it feels a little funny, stealing from their sales page, even though they’re telling you it’s okay. So I prefer to kind of do the minimum, like, here’s what the offer is who’s here. So it’s for, go ahead and swipe this paragraph. And I really try and incorporate as much as possible in that welcome email. So they if they never hear from me again, or if they unsubscribe or whatever, they at least have something that they can shout out whenever they feel like it or whenever they’re I’m at loss for what to say to my email is today, I’ll just grab this. Yeah, it’s really just making it as easy as possible for them, because they’re doing you a favor by promoting yourself. So it’s really, you have to approach it like these are guests. These are guests in my world. They’re kind people who want to share my thing. They’ve liked what they saw. So how can I make it as easy as possible for them? So that we both benefit?
Erin Ollila 36:47
Yeah, I think that’s huge. And I think like, from a copy perspective, there’s just so much to say here, you know, if you run your affiliate program, like one of the examples where you say, well just take whatever you want from the sales page, there’s two things that’s wrong that’s happening here. One, you’re putting all of the work and onus on the affiliate to do the the affiliate recommendations. And you’d think, Oh, that’s not a problem, because they’re signing up there to be an affiliate they want to. But I think we all know well enough that like, you have to make it easy for people to share you and your business. Because everyone whether it’s copy content, marketing, networking, they still have the what’s in it for me being their guiding. Thought, right. So what’s in it for them is that they want to have a perk for sharing something that they’re already excited about. But if they have that perk, they don’t want to put a ton of work and to try to figure out how to go about doing it. They’re only going to put in the effort if they have the system kind of set up. But number two is just the true idea of please like plagiarizing, like you mentioned. And while you’re getting permission from the the person who’s running the affiliate program, that’s great. But when we think of things like SEO, and how Google and what will soon be Bing now will prioritize content, they need to know who the content belongs to. So if you’re taking swiped directly from someone’s sales page, it’s making the search engines question well, who Who do I give this credit to? Is it this sales page? Or is it now this affiliate, let’s say blog post or something to that effect. So while that’s more of a problem on things like the internet versus like email marketing, it’s just something to consider like, you don’t want anyone to do extra work only to potentially struggle when it comes to search for your own site. But even when it comes to email, I think we all can tell when people like bundles as an example of what when you mentioned your program, when people don’t adjust swipe copy for something that multiple people are promoting within a certain period of time, how as a consumer or someone who’s getting the emails, how frustrating it is to see the same thing over and over again. So I think just like as a little plug here swiped on right, it can be very easy. What you want to do and dama, you did say this, but what you want to do is explain what is this that you’re promoting, like what’s the product? What are the main features or benefits, and that’s the suape. Then when it comes to things like the hook, you just kind of give some ideas like you could talk about it in this manner. For example, if it’s something where you’re like saving time as a business owner, if that’s one of the main benefits, give them a suggestion, like a journaling prompt, or something to consider when it comes to Hey, you could speak to your audience about XYZ. Or if you have a different type of a hook where you think like the audience would really be excited to learn something quickly, right? Like point that out and say this is the type of story you’d want to tell us who your audience because when it comes to story, we all have our own individual stories and facets of our life that we can share. But when you provide the full swipe, copy and just expect Your audience to copy and paste it then becomes generic. So if you can give a suggestion on how to personalize it, and the only true swipe, or the lack of bullet points about the product, or the any key things that need to go within in the copy, such as pricing or timeline to purchase, that’s how you can make swipe really sing for you. And that’s how the affiliates I think can do better themselves, because they’re able to put their own spin on the the marketing copy that you’re sharing with them. I think one thing that we didn’t talk about, and I swear, at the end of this episode, right now everyone’s like, are you going to say anything about how much to actually pay my affiliates? So do you have any suggestions when it comes to deciding what the actual affiliate Commission’s will be for the people who are promoting your products,
Dama Jue 40:49
and it really depends on on the offer, you definitely don’t want to have the same commission on something that is completely done for you. So when I was a funnel builder, and those were my long hours, you know, spent working with the clients, I did not offer a big commission, it was a smaller commission, because it was, you’re really trading time for work, right. And so if it’s a lower commission, if it’s more done for you, it’s a higher commission if it’s fully digital, fully passive. So for example, a template could be anywhere between 30 and 40%, even 50%. But a done for you offer much lower, and if it’s a hybrid, if it’s like a group program, where you’re spending hours and hours answering questions and supporting people and doing critiques. That’s also should be a recommend a lower commission.
Erin Ollila 41:41
All right, um, I feel like we could talk about this for a long time more now. But unfortunately, we’re gonna be talking forever if we do that. So one of my two final questions for you is based on all the conversation that we’ve had, if you know that people are listening right now, and they’re excited about this, what is a small homework assignment that you could give them to kind of get started with this all.
Dama Jue 42:03
If you’re thinking about creating an affiliate program, start to do affiliate marketing yourself, start joining other people’s affiliate programs, you’ll pay attention to that, to that onboarding experience, how that made you feel as an affiliate, what you want to do differently when you create yours. And so the shortest cut to this is, every time you’re on a website, or somebody who has cool stuff you like or you like their style, scroll to the footer more often than not, people will have an invitation to join their affiliate program, especially like software, SAS and stuff like that will have a link to join their affiliate program. Right in the footer. You’re welcome to join my affiliate program. If you were if your audience has made of course creators or product creators, coaches, I have a lot of products that might be able to help them and you’re welcome to kind of hang out in my world and jump in, don’t just creep jump in and share some stuff and let me pay you because I think that would be really fun.
Erin Ollila 42:56
If you do do the all of those things and decide this as an angle, I highly recommend Domino’s Pizza pals program. I always like to make things clear of like when I am an actual like purchaser myself or when I’m just promoting because it’s someone that I trust. And I will say in both instances, I’ve taken more than one of purchase more than one Adamas products. I think she’s a great person to learn from, I really do. I’m not just trying to butter you up. It’s the end of the conversation at this point. So if I’m just buttering you up, now, it’s a little late, but I really feel like I when I worked through pay your pals, it was really set a very clear foundation for me. So if you follow her advice, do your homework, do some affiliate marketing yourself and decide like, Okay, I’m going all in, just buy the program, work through it, whether you use my affiliate link or not, that’s completely fine. But do do the program. And I think you’ll have like a really nice foundation for yourself and feel more confident about having your own affiliate program.
Dama Jue 43:56
Awesome. Thanks, Aaron. I appreciate that.
Erin Ollila 43:58
All right, final question for you. dama. Before I let you go today, is there any type of copy or content that you’ve created for your business, or you will be sharing in the future for your business that has kind of really just either changed your business or made you really excited about sharing that copy with your audience,
Dama Jue 44:16
you’ll definitely find at the footer of my website, a link to join my affiliate program. I spent about an hour creating an affiliate landing page. I think it’s just really exciting to show people what I can do. One thing I don’t often see is I actually kind of spell out what you might stand to earn and give people real number examples. And like, yes, I would like an extra $138. Thank you, you know, so I include that on my affiliate landing page. And the big, big, big, big copy project I’m working on right now is I’m rebranding my website, and I have had to write a ton of copy for that. And one of my favorite things is a silly is the silliest thing, but it’s a gift that I designed for the homepage that It just makes me smile. Nice. Yeah, it just makes me smile. I can’t wait for folks to see it. And the caption is just I woke up to this. And it’s just a little for gleam of something fun to look for on my site.
Erin Ollila 45:13
Alright, that’s an Easter egg now. So by the time this episode is actually don’t know, but maybe by the time this episode has launched, llama will have a new site and everyone should go head on back to the homepage, find the gift and figure out what it actually is. So I like that I like that little hint in the future. All right, dama. M, thank you so much for this conversation. I think it’s been so helpful. And I do hope that if you’re listening and you’re interested that you’re taking away a lot of good value from this. So you can go out and create your own affiliate program and kind of just get started and excited about building it and growing it and attracting people to your audience that can help you attract more clients or customers to your audience. So thank you so much for your time, dharma.
Dama Jue 45:56
Thanks for having me. This is fun.
Erin Ollila 46:00
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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