One of the biggest pitfalls of a lackluster affiliate program is leaving affiliates feeling completely unengaged and disconnected from your brand. If your affiliates don’t have much of a stake in your company, aside from the commission they earn, if they don’t feel involved or included, they won’t actively engage in promotions. It’s not as simple as just providing your affiliates with campaigns, content, and links to promote and leaving it up to them. After all, what value does an affiliate bring that an automated display advertising campaign doesn’t? Affiliates choose to participate in affiliate programs for a reason. You need to build on this initial motivation and not let it go to waste.
This is why it’s important to build a relationship with your affiliates. By fostering a connectedness with your company, it will ultimately give your affiliate program an edge over other programs your affiliates may be participating in. Connected affiliates made to feel like part of the team are more likely to be active in your program, yielding higher earnings for you, and more commissions for affiliates!
Never underestimate the power of keeping your affiliates in the loop of the goings-on in your business or even just your affiliate program. By giving affiliates periodic, quality updates via an affiliate newsletter, it will help them feel more connected to your brand and help build that relationship you will ultimately be leveraging through the affiliate marketing process. Keeping affiliates in-the-know keeps them engaged, keeps them interested, and keeps you and your business on their radar.
By keeping your affiliates well-informed and abreast of any pertinent updates by means of a newsletter, it also empowers them to represent your brand more accurately and authentically. It may expose your affiliates to aspects of your business or brand that they may not have known about, and that tidbit of pertinent information could be the key to effectively motivating your affiliate’s audience to engage in those sought-after conversions. Knowledge is power, after all, and consistent, informative communications gives your affiliates what they need to succeed.
Fresh, Frequent Promotions
Affiliates think there’s something about your brand or business that is relevant to their audience, and they believe that special something will ultimately result in the conversions they need to earn commissions. That being said, even the most interesting, most relevant campaign will lose its luster to your affiliate’s audience as time goes on. You simply must cycle out promotions and shake things up every once and a while. Brands’ marketing campaigns evolve and change over time to stay relevant and keep consumers interested, and affiliate marketing isn’t any different.
Just as breaking news stories fade and fizzle out of public consciousness in a matter of days or weeks, so too do your affiliates’ audiences lose interest. If your affiliates are posting fresh content to keep their audiences coming back for more, why aren’t you? One of your top priorities should be creating and implementing new promotions, as well as informing your affiliates of those promotions that they can then share with their audiences.
Keep in Touch
What better way to build a relationship with your affiliates than to let them meet and interact with a member of your team? Conference calls, phone calls, Zoom meetings, or even regular virtual office hours are all ways to make affiliates feel included and valued. It empowers affiliates to ask questions and get personalized (in some cases: live) feedback, and it can even include other affiliates, which is an excellent way in which affiliates can put their minds together and work collaboratively to discover effective marketing strategies. It’s a win-win-win situation!
Provide Affiliates with Resources
Sure, affiliates have access to graphics, affiliate links, and even your company’s website, but are they provided with other resources that truly empower them to be the best affiliates they can? Show your affiliates you care if they succeed. Not only should your affiliates have a vested interest in the success of your brand and its affiliate program, you should have a vested interest in the success of your affiliates that goes beyond conversion rates. Sure, it’s obvious that you care if your affiliates succeed, because their success is ultimately your success, but you need to really show your affiliates this. Again, empower your affiliates to be successful and be supportive of them.
Some helpful resources for affiliates could include informative articles about affiliate marketing, various tools to optimize their performance, and even success stories from other affiliates that delve into their winning strategies. Putting forth the effort to connect your affiliates with helpful information will go a long way towards building a relationship, as well as driving affiliate enthusiasm and motivation.
There’s nothing like a healthy dose of competition to drive motivation! Motivated affiliates go that extra mile, especially if they know there’s a little something extra in it for them. Some successful affiliate programs have implemented an affiliate leaderboard or offered a bonus to top affiliates. What’s particularly fascinating about this strategy is that it will motivate affiliates to peek in on their competition, analyzing their competitors’ strategies to find out what will work best for their audience to drive up conversions. Friendly competition is a fantastic way to cut to the chase and distill effective strategies down to their most vital parts.
Spicing up your affiliate program with incentives doesn’t necessarily have to create direct competition between affiliates, and many affiliate programs have employed a variety of innovative incentives to get their affiliates more involved. Whether it be a bonus for reaching a certain milestone, a limited-time increase in commission for a particular product, or even tiered commission percentages, these incentives motivate your affiliates to be more active and engaged!
Empower your Affiliates
Although iDevAffiliate is the developer of leading affiliate tracking software, we employ all of these strategies in our own affiliate program! At the end of the day, building a relationship with your affiliates and keeping them in the loop empowers them to actively engage in your affiliate program. With proper support, fresh promotions, a healthy dose of motivation, and the knowledge they need to succeed, your affiliates will go the extra mile in driving up conversions for mutual benefit.
For more information on how your business can benefit from the most feature-rich, easy-to-use affiliate tracking software, contact iDevAffiliate, the leader in affiliate tracking solutions for more than 20 years.
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Jim Webster is the founder and CEO of iDevAffiliate, Inc. As one of the original developers of iDevAffiliate, he has been involved in the affiliate/influencer industry since the late ’90s. Yes, just about 25 years now! He still maintains an active role in the development, support and management of the iDevAffiliate platform and continues to contribute to the industry via tradeshows, affiliate conferences, speaking engagements, etc.
As an editor and author for our blog, Jim hopes to educate and advise people with more in-depth information & guidance on creating, building and managing profitable affiliate tracking programs.
Jim and his wife Robyn reside in Southern California and enjoy mountain bike riding, snowboarding and relaxing on the beach.