Top 5 Affiliate Tips

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Affiliate marketing, can bring a host of benefits to your business when utilised properly: increasing awareness of your brand, driving targeted traffic directly to your site and of course, to increase your sales potential. From managing a range of merchant’s affiliate programmes, I have compiled my top 5 tips to ensure your affiliate marketing programme is working efficiently for you and maximising your levels of return:

1. Recruit the right affiliates

To run a successful affiliate marketing programme, it is obviously vital to ensure you have affiliates signed up to your programme. These affiliates need to be relevant to your offering, in order for them to direct targeted traffic to your site. Ensure potential affiliates are aware of your existence – how can they make money for you if they have not signed up to your programme? Depending on your brand requirements, another consideration is the mix of affiliate types on your programme – you may choose to have a mixture of content affiliates, cashback/voucher code affiliates, PPC affiliates and/or email affiliates depending on how they work for you. By spending time building up a network of quality affiliates, you will soon be reaping the rewards.

2. Make the most of your affiliates!

It is important to monitor how many of your affiliates are actively making you sales. Review your inactive affiliates – they have signed up in the first place so have been attracted to your offering – why aren’t they sending customers your way? Is the traffic they are sending your way appropriate? Encourage those affiliates you think have the potential to drive high sales. By resolving issues and offering advice, you have the chance to turn inactive affiliates into top performers. Incentives such as a £5 bonus payment for affiliates making their first sale for you can work well. Don’t neglect your active affiliates either! Regular contact with those are performing well for you, can lead to a better relationship and increased promotion of your site.

3. Make life simple

Affiliates are likely to have a range of merchants that they are dealing with and a limited amount of time. By being responsive to their needs, and cutting down the running around they have to do, the easier and more likely it is for them to want to work more closely with you. Being easy to get hold of, answering queries quickly and keeping your word means working with you should be simple and effective leading to a good relationship with affiliates. If you are easy to work with, it’s likely they will promote you ahead of less helpful competitors.

Ensuring information given to affiliates is up to date and relevant is vital. For example – if you provide creative for your affiliates, make sure they are always relevant for what you are currently offering. By having your default banners with a Christmas banners in summer makes you look inefficient.  Bear in mind that many of your affiliates have full time jobs and other commitments ahead of promoting your site, so be respectful of this.

4. Communication is key

It is vital to communicate effectively with affiliates in order to get the most out of your affiliate marketing. Remember communication is a two way street, and as well as letting affiliates know of information regarding your site, the feedback you receive from affiliates is extremely beneficial.

Affiliates may prefer different means of communication, and by getting to know their preferences, you are more likely to achieve a positive response. Making sure your communication is timely and accurate cuts down on numerous problems. For example letting affiliates know dates of an upcoming sale in good time means they can plan to promote it at the most effective time and effective way. Depending on the brand, I use a combination of emails, personal messages, posts on the A4U forum and bulletins on affiliate networks, dependant on the brand’s needs.

5. Monitor and evaluate performance

It is important to monitor your affiliate’s performance on a regular basis in order to spot trends. Doing this means you are responsive to issues, and can work to maximise an opportunity or resolve an issue quickly. Affiliates that have been decreasing or increasing sales can be identified and contacted with a personal, relevant message in order to maximise sales potential. By monitoring what is happening in the affiliate community and what your competitors are doing, it ensures you are up to date and offering an appealing affiliate programme