Whether you’re in the early stages of considering an affiliate program or you’ve made the decision to take the plunge, there’s likely one question at the top of your mind — how long will it take to see results? While some methods of marketing offer predictability, affiliate marketing is a bit different.

Many people who launch an affiliate program can expect to see it reach maturity in about a year. However, that’s not a hard and fast rule. Let’s take a closer look.

Launching Your Affiliate Program

The first step to running a successful affiliate marketing program is launching it. Companies like LeadDyno can help you get things up and running in just a matter of minutes. You’ll then need to figure out details like the rewards you’ll provide your affiliates and how often you’ll pay them.

While the actual process of setting up your affiliate program may only take a few minutes to a few hours, the entire process of determining how you’ll attract affiliates, reward them, and more can take around a month.

Outreach and Onboarding

Once your program is set up, it’s time to start reaching out and attracting affiliates. One of the best places to start is your existing customer base. Your customers are people who definitely know and like the products or services you offer, after all. If you have a social media presence, consider looking at those who engage with you the most.

When building a list of potential affiliates, consider their online presence. Do they have a strong following on social media? Do they have a website that attracts significant attention? These are all factors that play into how quickly you can expect to see results. In general, the initial process of outreach and onboarding your first affiliates can take one to two months. But the affiliate recruitment process should be an ongoing activity while running an affiliate program. 

Working with Affiliates to Promote Products or Services

An affiliate program isn’t something you can just set and forget. If you want to see results, you need to work with your affiliates and encourage them to promote your products or services. How quickly promotion happens depends heavily on their efforts. You can generally expect to start seeing results six months to one year after you launch your program.

Engaging with your affiliates and cultivating strong relationships is crucial for staying top-of-mind. Automation can be key — use it to send out emails, create newsletters, and follow up. The more you engage with your affiliates, the more likely they’ll be to promote what you have to offer.

Growing Your Program

After the first year, you should have a decent volume of sales coming through your affiliates. While you can consider your program mature at this point, you’re far from done. Now it’s time to focus on the growth of your affiliate program.  

Continue to reach out to potential affiliates, onboard them, and get them active. At the same time, continue to engage with your existing affiliates to keep their marketing efforts strong. Maintaining this cycle will help you continue to achieve measurable results from your affiliate program.

Get Your Affiliate Program Up and Running

While you might want results right away, the truth is that growing a successful affiliate marketing program takes time. With patience and effort, however, you’ll see your program grow and succeed.

Are you thinking about setting up an affiliate marketing program? LeadDyno is here to help. Our affiliate marketing tracking software makes it easy for your SaaS or e-commerce business to track and monitor its efforts. For more information and to sign up for a free 30-day trial, contact LeadDyno today.