Affiliate programs for Forex brokerage: how to start and set up
If you have carefully read our step-by-step guide on opening your own brokerage business and have followed the entire algorithm of actions, now you probably already have your own brokerage firm (if not, then close this article, immediately tap the link and read the previous one). If you are still here then it is time for an upgrade of your startup – starting a good affiliate program.
Affiliates can make $5 000, $10 000, $50 000 and more per month. It depends on a target. If you want to expand your FX brokerage business, increase traffic to your website and find new customers, you surely need to run a kind of partnership program. First, let's have a general look at what types of programs exist.
The most common are:
1. Affiliate programs, where partners (affiliates) get reward for each client they attract.
2. Referral programs, where sales come in through referrals, often generated by current customers with the help of coupons or discounts as incentives to bring in new clients.
3. Reseller programs, where the reseller sells products as if they are his own. Client gets services from the reseller and doesn’t deal with the main company at all.
Today we will focus on the first type, namely introducing broker programs, since this is the easiest and the most effective way to attract new customers with minimal costs.
What is an Introducing Broker
An introducing broker (IB) is a person who acts as a middleman between a client and a brokerage firm. Introducing broker looks for new clients and has direct relationships with them, but delegates back office operations to the brokerage in exchange for commissions. IBs in Forex deals with the clients better than the brokerage firm since they are local, and customer service is their primary goal. They not only recruit new customers but help them with onboarding as well as keep them engaged in trading. This kind of partnership is a win-win and risk-free situation for both sides.
How to start an affiliate program
Hopefully, we have convinced you of the necessity and usefulness of introducing broker programs. Now let's take a closer look at how to launch such a program for your business.
1. Hire managers
First, you need to hire 1 or more (depends on the size of your firm) affiliate managers to run the program. Don’t underestimate the amount of work they should do as well as the amount of time this work requires. There are quite a lot of procedures you need to go through to make the program work and bring you real profit.
2. Check your competitors
Explore multiple partnership models that other brokers use, their working conditions and introducing broker fees. Make sure your commission is average on the market, fair but not overpriced. Good IBs interested in well paying programs, but assess your capabilities realistically.
3. Set up an affiliate management software
When it comes to managing an affiliate program, you have two paths: go with one of the ready made software solutions or build your own. At the very beginning we advise you to choose one of the ready-to-use solutions with basic functionality, since it will be much cheaper and easier. The software must help you scale, but not eat up all the revenue from the affiliates.
4. Recruit affiliates
Probably, the most difficult and time-consuming step. Many brokerage firms have the majority of their sales from only 10-20% of their affiliates. This means that in some ways, recruiting the right IBs is a numbers game. The main problem here is that you can choose partners very carefully, but there is still no guarantee that they will bring you profit. On the other hand, you have nothing to lose in case of a bad choice, since IBs are only paid for each client they attract. You are in a risk-free situation as we already said before.
We offer you 4 strategies to hire introducing brokers:
1. Approach your own customers
2. Reach out to influencers, experts, and educators
3. Find competitors’ affiliates
4. Paid advertising
5. Affiliate sign-up, onboarding and teaching
After you hire affiliates and agree on working conditions, you need to conduct training for them. No matter if you are hiring experienced IBs or newcomers, you still need to provide them with all the necessary instructions and information about the program and your company as a whole. Tell them about your main corporate values and goals.These people will speak on behalf of your company and should not damage your reputation in any way. Continue to keep in touch with your affiliates after the onboarding period. Good communication is a crucial point in building a successful business strategy, make sure to invest in it.
6. Define the commission structure
Сhoosing the commission structures to pay your IBs is a highly important issue. There are several of them:
1. A percentage of the sale (You pay a percentage of referral purchase amount as commission to the affiliates)
2. A flat fee (IB gets a flat fee for each purchase, regardless of its amount)
3. Recurring commissions (You pay your affiliates as long as their referral stays a customer)
4. Product credits (You pay your affiliates with product credits. Usually this model works only if your IBs are your own clients)
Take the choice of an introducing broker fees system seriously, to maximize your profit.
This choice should be based on the types of activities and results you want to get from your affiliates.
You can pay your affiliates automatically through the CRM system. For example, UpTrader CRM support all popular methods of payments, so it would not be a problem.
7. Create affiliate policies
1. Approved and forbidden traffic sources
2. Usage of the company’s materials and trademark
3. Usage of discount codes
4. Providing clients with accurate information on prices, affiliate tracking etc.
Consistently and carefully following all the steps, you can attract decent partners to your business, thereby expanding it and significantly increasing profits. You have already done a great job of starting your own brokerage firm. Now it's time for your partners to work for you.
Marketing is a set of processes of creating, promoting and delivering a product to customers, as well as managing relationships with them. The concept of marketing includes a very wide range of activities aimed at improving the organization's position in the market. Each company has its own methods, strategies and tools, ranging from competitive analysis to increasing the competitiveness of a product or service. Specific events and channels are determined by the company's marketers in accordance with the goals and objectives.
In this article, we will tell you why marketing support is vital for your brokerage business, whether it be attracting marketing agencies (if you have money for this) or in-house.
One of the key points in the success of your business is attracting new customers and retaining the loyalty of old ones. Due to the growing competition in the Forex trading market, promotion in this area becomes more and more challenging every year. A lot of new brokers appear with very favorable conditions to grab the trader's attention. When working in such a busy market as Forex, it is very important to find your niche and implement the available budget as efficiently as possible to highlight your company against the background of competitors. As a rule, an integrated approach is required to solve this problem.
In terms of broker ads and forex marketing as a whole, we have to speak mainly about internet marketing. So let's focus on it. There are several types of internet marketing.
1. Content marketing
In a content marketing campaign, you should not only constantly trying to sell your product, but provide your clients with useful and interesting content, be it articles, images or videos.
Your content should be audience-oriented. Focus on the pain points and needs of your leads. From “how do i get into forex trading” to “how to trade cryptocurrency”.
This way you can show your care about your customers and win them over. Useful and high-quality materials will prove your expertise in the field of trading. Consider starting a company blog on your website to post textual and graphical content as well as different types of analytics.
2. Contextual advertising and SEO optimization
After you created a blog and started filling it with high quality content, SEO comes to play. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a set of measures for external and internal website optimization. The main goal is to increase positions in the search engine results for effective, selling queries.
SEO plays a big role in website promotion, so it is important to include the most popular keywords in the text of the article and adhere to a clear structure and design. By creating a good link structure, you can not only increase organic traffic, but also attract users from third-party resources.
Contextual advertising or PPC (Pay per click) advertising is the display of your ad unit in search results for a specific user request with pay per click. These search results have a small "advertisement" mark most often displayed above the free results. For example, you can buy your company a place in the SERP for the search query “forex rank” and pay per every click on it.
In context targeting, advertising media are controlled on the basis of the website content using linguistic elements. These ads are selected and served by automated systems based on a context of a user's content preferences, which means that the users are highly likely to be interested in a product or service. The most popular advertising platform is Google Ads contextual advertising service.
3. Social media marketing
An interesting point. SMM (Social media marketing) is a way to promote websites and solve other business problems, based on the use of social networks. Statistically, modern people spend over two hours per day on social media, which makes it a great place to put an advertisement in.
Social media can't be ignored when developing a broker marketing strategy. Networks like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Telegram, and YouTube are perfect for promoting your company's website and products.
The main SMM tools are: blogging on social networks, communication in the comments, monitoring forums and communities, influence marketing (working with bloggers), hidden marketing, direct advertising and viral marketing and optimizing the media space. SMM tools allow you to reach a large number of new users and make them loyal to your brand.
4. Email Marketing
One more way to attract new leads and establish communication with your customers is Email marketing. If your CRM system has email marketing functionality, you can attract new customers with minimal effort. At UpTrader we offer you such a CRM system which makes your dialogue with a client as effective as inexpensive.
Start your communication with clients with simple notifications that we offer you in UpTrader's CRM. Registration, opening an account, replenishment and verification emails would be enough for beginning. Next, create your own email strategy and start putting it into practice.
Thus, we have told you about the main internet promotion channels that are perfect for advertising a brokerage firm. You can use those of them that seem the most effective to you, however, we remind you that the best solution would be an integrated approach, that is, using all the channels. In the next article, we will dwell on the rules of building an effective marketing strategy. Stay with us.
Have you ever faced the A-book/B-book forex risk models while choosing a broker for trading? Or maybe you've wondered which of these models to choose for your own brokerage business? What kind of concepts are these? Who is a forex market maker? And how much do forex brokers earn? Let's figure out!
From the trader's point of view, forex trading looks relatively simple: you just need to press the button to open an order and see a confirmation of the transaction on the screen. But how does it work? In order for a trader's deal to be executed, there must be a counterparty in the execution chain: if someone buys an asset, then someone must sell it.
There are two types of broker operating technologies - A-Book and B-Book models, which differ in the way client orders are brought to the market. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.
A-Book model is the business model of a broker where all trader's orders are forwarded directly to the forex liquidity provider, who then redirects them to the interbank market.
A-Book broker gets commissions for a fixed volume of transactions (usually for 1 lot) or a spread markup. The broker in this scheme is only an intermediary providing financial services. The final counterparty is the traders placing opposite orders in the market, or a liquidity provider. This is the main advantage of the A-Book model - no conflicts of interests. The broker receives its commission irrespective of whether traders earn or lose their money. While perspectively both traders and the broker are interested in the successful trading. The more transactions traders make, the more commission their broker receives.
However, Forex is rarely that simple. A-Book model has its drawbacks both for traders and brokers. The broker needs to sign agreements with a liquidity provider (or with several of them), obtain licenses, provide technical support to bring client orders to the external market. It all costs time and money. Accordingly, the A-Book broker is forced to increase the mark-up to the spread to justify its costs.
The B-Book model is a model, where the broker itself acts as a forex market maker, processing orders in house. In other words, traders' orders aren't displayed anywhere outside the broker's platform. There is no external liquidity pool. Obviously, a conflict of interest arises since the broker takes on not only the role of an intermediary, but also a counterparty. That's why the B-Book model is often wrongly associated with a fraud. In fact, Forex is unpredictable and the B-book model goes with both high profits and big losses.
The trader's earnings are equal to the broker’s losses. Therefore, dishonest brokers may be interested in setting non-market quotes in the terminal, spying on the set client stops and knocking them down with plugins in the server side of the platform to make the trader lose money. Unfortunately, there are many such “bucket shop” brokerage companies, but we won't dwell on this — we analyze forex brokers, not scammers.
If the broker behaves this way, it signs its own death warrant. Deceived clients won't remain silent and surely destroy the broker's reputation, which is actually a key for successful operating in Forex. It is long-term cooperation that rules the show.
To avoid the shortcomings of the A-Book and B-Book schemes, brokers came up with a hybrid model. This is one of the most frequent options among large brokers. Hybrid model means that the broker executes small transactions within its platform, while large transactions can be withdrawn to the liquidity provider and then to the interbank.
This model is an optimal solution for both brokers and traders, but a tricky one. The main headache for broker is to categorize traders properly. That’s where a special software comes into a play, tracking the amount of a trader’s deposit, the leverage used, the risk level of each transaction, the use or non-use of protective stops. All this data helps the broker to determine which of the 2 models (A-Book or B-Book) to use for executing an order.
Сomparison of A-Book and B-Book brokers' profitability
Perhaps after reading all the information above, you have a logical question: which broker earns more A-Book or B-Book one? Which model should I personally choose for my business to reduce my brokerage risks? There is no definite answer to this question. It all depends.
Statistically, the profit of an A-Book broker is less, but more stable. It is well known that 80-95% of traders lose their initial deposit within 6 months, which plays into the hands of the B-book broker. But don't forget about unforeseen circumstances that regularly occur and make B-book brokers suffer huge losses, often for many months in a row.
We conclude that none of the schemes can be a panacea for losses. You must decide which business model to choose for you, depending on your business plans and strategies. The same goes for traders who choose their broker. Everything is very individual.
Neither A-Book nor B-Book model guarantees a successful business or a profitable trade. These models are just tools for doing business, and your personal benefit depends only on how professional you can use these tools.
Forex trading provides you with unlimited opportunities for success and financial well-being, if you approach running your business responsibly, acquire patience and use business models that are suitable exact for your purposes.
Probably all of you are familiar with the abbreviation CRM in the context of the brokerage business or business in whole. What it is and how to choose and use CRM for FX brokerage management, let's find out right now.
What is CRM and how Forex CRM can improve your brokerage business
CRM (Customer relationship management) system is an application software for managing strategies of interaction with clients. In particular to improve business relationships and service, increase sales, optimize marketing by storing information about customers, establishing and improving business processes and then analyzing the results. Since a CRM system allows you to manage the whole cycle of customer relations, from one single point simply and effectively, it is obviously an important part of every business.
FX brokerage is an extremely competitive and demanding industry. It is essential to be special among numbers of other brokers to catch the clients. Forex CRM is one of the main things that helps brokers to differ themselves from each other. Most of them offer the same trading platforms and almost the same range of services, while speaking about a broker management system, there is a room for creativity. Forex broker CRM can significantly increase the financial success of your brokerage business.
Forex CRM system is an integral part of the FX brokerage management, since it develops strong relationships with your traders. Forex CRM software helps you to get more leads for your business, including the rules of lead management, MT4/MT5 CRM integration, scheduled reports etc.
A Forex CRM provider is a very responsible position because he must perfectly understand the mechanics of the market, functionality of trading platforms, the different partners involved, and the overall situation. Only such a Forex CRM developer can create a Forex CRM solution that would be useful as well as comfortable to use.
Important Forex CRM Features
Here are a few points to pay attention to when choosing the best FOREX CRM solution. This information will be useful for FX brokerage as well as for Forex CRM providers.
1. Multifunctionality and platform independence
CRM for Forex brokers should be, firstly, multifunctional and platform agnostic. The best forex CRM combines data managing, customer interactions and marketing activities. Providing an API will also be a big advantage, since it helps to connect your services and tools with CRM easier. If your Forex CRM system is platform agnostic, you have an opportunity to explore new markets and integrate some additional services without changing a CRM software.
2. Lead and sales management
Good sales are the core part of the good FX brokerage management. Forex broker CRM must simplify the work of the sales managers and marketing team of your company. All the customer’s buying history, habits, geographic location as well as the whole contact information should be available in one click. Tracking the channels where the leads came from is also an important Forex CRM feature. All this information makes it possible to create an individual customized approach to every customer, that, in turn, has a positive impact on sales.
3. Multi-level partnership management
Dealing with partners and IBs is a complicated and rather tricky process, when it comes to paying managing revenue share or partner commissions. It is difficult to calculate the correct amount if the affiliates are associated with the same set of clients. This process can also be simplified with the help of a CRM system. Ideally, all calculations are automated while all data is shown transparently for each client and fully available in the partner's section. CRM system is a tool to split rebates or payments to your partners correctly. In this case your multi-level partner network brings only benefits to you and your partners.
4. Customer segmentation tools
After converting leads to sales you surely need to keep your clients loyal to your brand. This is where CRM customer segmentation comes into play. This tool allows you to observe the whole picture of the clients activities as well as manage that data. It is possible to separate and segment customers according to their trading volume, habits, portfolios, profitability or other factors, that in turn helps with compliance management. Your marketing and sales team will thank you for such a reduction of their client retention efforts.
5. Unified communications tracking
With a suitable CRM system there is no need for managers to switch between
different applications. All necessary data is available in one place to save time and guarantee timely execution of all tasks, so as to raise productivity. Make sure that the data be it phone calls, chats, PPC or social media campaigns are effectively integrated into your CRM. Moreover, back end admins should also be aware of activities that require their immediate help.
Verification process is sometimes an uneasy one for clients due to Anti Money Laundering rules and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. Forex CRM software should use the regulation technologies to complete this process without extra troubles. Good CRM allows you to see all your clients and their trading activity, control deposits and withdrawals, monitor KYC procedures, and execute your marketing activities.
7. Reporting capabilities
Forex broker CRM should have the functionality to generate the reports on trading statistics, leads and revenue simply. These insightful reports are a powerful tool for increasing operational efficiency and creating better business strategies.
If you want to look more professional to customers you need to stick to your brand style throughout, including CRM. CRM should be customized according to your identity, for example your logo and color scheme. Company's branding that is familiar to clients makes them more loyal to you. Good customization functionality is also important for integrating into your CRM some specific tools like payment solutions, chat tools, email marketing providers, webinar tools etc.
UpTrader CRM solution
There are 8 features that you must pay attention to when choosing a CRM system for FX brokerage. Having worked in the financial services market for a long time, in UpTrader we do understand all the issues above. That's why we work fast and effectively to help your FX brokerage management develop strong relationships with your clients and employees. We will boost your business just in one day. That is how long it takes to integrate UpTrader CRM with your trading platform. Control your sales, improve your team's communication with traders and partners, keep track of withdrawal requests, and help clients with technical issues with UpTrader CRM.
To order a trading platform, website, or CRM, submit a request to [email protected].
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