In case you weren’t able to make it to my today’s Affiliate Summit East 2011 “Key Affiliate Program Components You’re Probably Missing” presentation — or if you weren’t taking notes — here’s a synopsis:
- Don’t manage affiliates — You’re there to manage the program. With affiliates you want to be a transformational leader.
- Go leak-free — Phone numbers, live chats, external links, ads, or anything else for which affiliates won’t be compensated, must go away.
- Have dedicated landing pages — When running a promo, land promo-specific traffic on a promo-specific landing page.
- Commit to ongoing testing & optimization — Because not only affiliates are supposed to be sending you the right traffic; you, as a merchant, should be improving conversion too.
- Ensure you have comprehensive program agreement
- Police & enforce compliance — The agreement itself won’t safeguard you. You want to constantly monitor affiliate compliance with it.
- Spend time on creating an approval email that stands out
- Create sense of urgency — Through all your management (starting from your recruitment initiatives and the above-quoted approval email) create it.
- Don’t set hard-to-reach goals — You want to be motivating, not demotivating.
- Commission drops are always ugly — Do your math right, at the outset; so that you don’t have to drop commission rate at a later date.
- Engage in competitive intelligence — It must be a part of your ongoing work. Monitor your competitors (both their affiliate- and customer-geared initiatives), and learn from them.
- Be proactive in your management — Don’t wait for affiliate to come to you, but act in anticipation of future needs, changes, problems.
- Maintain a healthy two-way communication channel
- Create and develop a dedicated affiliate mini-site
- Learn to play without the ball — Take your eyes off the ball/performance, the “magnet of the game”, to take time to learn and grow. This will put you one more step ahead your competition.
To all those who attended my presentation earlier this afternoon in New York City — thank you. I hope you’ve had a blast. I certainly did.