Affiliate relationships have the potential to significantly increase your revenue streams. But when your affiliates are passive, you both lose. Fortunately, good communication and a little creativity allow you to jump-start your affiliates and keep them motivated to keep productivity high.
Create a Tiered or Bonus-Added Commission Structure
In a straight commission arrangement, each new sale adds a small, predictable amount to the affiliate’s check. The motivation to push for that extra $20 commission on the next sale may be limited. However, if there’s a reward for reaching certain thresholds, the affiliate has an incentive to maintain a consistent push. Consider creating different thresholds for different affiliate tiers, so that each has an incentive to stretch further than the norm but can still see a bonus or extra commission within reach.
Create Competition Among Affiliates
Rewarding the best performing affiliates can have the same impact as a bonus or tiered commission structure, but be sure to define “best performing” in a way that makes every affiliate a contender. If you award a prize based on the most sales or the highest number of leads in a given period, smaller affiliates will know they aren’t in the running and won’t be motivated to participate. Instead, set a goal such as “greatest percentage increase versus the prior period.”
Affiliates who are more familiar with and conversant about your products and services will do a better job of selling them. In addition to incentivizing leads and/or sales, give your affiliates a reason to learn more about your offerings. One way to do this is to create a competition in which affiliates can win prizes for exploring your website and answering questions about your business and the products or services you’re selling.
Provide the Right Tools
Motivating affiliates also means removing obstacles. To ensure the greatest participation possible, make sure that your affiliates have clear instructions, easy access to all of the information they need, and the right platform to allow them to smoothly conduct business with you.
It’s easy to complain about lackluster affiliates, but it’s up to you to make the most of your affiliate program. Be proactive in giving affiliates a reason to push a little harder each month and make it as easy as possible for them to focus on sales and pass those prospects or customers along to you.
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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.