Less than a month ago we launched a brand new affiliate program on ShareASale affiliate network. In under three weeks the program cracked the network’s prestigious Top 100 PowerRank, becoming one of the top-performing affiliate programs on ShareASale.
On obvious reasons, I cannot share all of the techniques that lead to such a stellar rise, but there are
three four things that I would like to highlight for all other merchants on ShareASale — the seriously powerful features that every affiliate program on this network has at their disposal, yet very few take due advantage of them. As a result, thousands of merchants miss out on readily available opportunities to optimize their affiliate programs. Here they are (in no particular order):
Holiday Center Placements
This is by far one of the most cost-efficient ways to recruit affiliates on ShareASale. At the time of this post $100 or less (depending on the number of holidays you select) will buy you a 1-year-long placement in the holiday category of choice. Not only is it an impressively long-term placement, but it’s also an extremely effective one – yielding click-to-application conversion rates of 50% or higher.
However, it is still one of the most underused affiliate onboarding functionalities available on ShareASale. Take the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, example. How many affiliate programs have their ads in the respective category? One:
One would suppose that costumes-oriented advertisers should be all over this extremely targeted opportunity (as well as those merchants that sell Celtic jewelry, thematic T-shirts, party invitations, gift cards, and so on).
To find this feature, you want to log into your merchant account and then navigate to Program Boost > Interface Placement > Holiday Center.
While relational (or intangible) motivators can move the needle, let’s be realistic: affiliates are in this business to make money. So, transactional (or tangible) motivators must be a part of your engagement mix! Besides the basic payout, your affiliate program must also embed performance-based incentives.
Enter ShareASale’s “Bonus Campaigns.”
As the network itself puts it, “you can define a variety of rules” which will “give out a bonus based on performance.” Here are some of the performance metrics which may condition bonus triggering:
You may find this feature under Tools > Bonus Campaigns.
If you don’t have much margin for anything else, don’t underestimate the power of a generous first-sale bonus (and you may always exclude self-referred sales from the qualification requirements).
You can also use these bonus campaigns as a way to help push you toward achieving your own personal goals for your program. Some people set revenue goals while others set sales volume goals. You can create bonuses around whatever you’re trying to achieve and thus further utilize your affiliate base to help you achieve your own objectives.
Thirdly, don’t overlook a fairly new tool which was made available to all affiliate programs on the network in late 2016 — an internal tool which gives ShareASale merchants access to affiliates based on categories in which they actively operate.
You may find it under Tools > Recruitment Tool or by going directly to recruiting.shareasale.com (you’ll be prompted to lot into your merchant account, unless you’ve already done so).
We discussed this tool at length earlier this year in this how-to post.
ShareASale-exclusive merchants are entitled to sending out 30 monthly affiliate invitations, while those with (additional) affiliate programs elsewhere can send out 20 invites a month. The beautiful part is that, at this time, there is no added cost involved in using the tool and the affiliates you recruit get $25 added to their account simply by accepting your invitation.
Along with searching for affiliates by category, you can also search for affiliates within the network by entering their URL or their ShareASale ID into the search bar. This is very helpful when you’re targeting specific sites that you want to recruit. Instead of trying to reach out cold you can connect with them directly through the affiliate network.
You can use the recruitment tool to set up various incentives as well. An example incentive would be double commission for the first 30 days aboard your program. In this example, any affiliate you recruit through the recruitment tool and accept into your program earns twice their normal commission for their first 30 days aboard the program. Not only are they incentivized to join by earning their $25 mentioned before, but now they’re incentivized to activate as well since they can earn twice as much money during their first 30 days.
The recruitment tool is an excellent feature that helps tremendously with getting affiliates onboard your program and sustaining communication with them once they have joined. Along with multiple joining incentives, you can also play around with message templates as the tool allows you to do that as well. Lastly, it makes it easy to follow up as you can place your affiliates into specific baskets, which make for easy categorization and organization.
To go along with bonus campaigns, you are going to want to become familiar with commission rules. While bonus campaigns are program wide, commission rules can be tailored to specific affiliates and affiliate groups by utilizing ShareASale’s tagging method.
First off, to tag affiliates on ShareASale you simply go to Affiliates > Affiliate List and then select the tag icon to the right of the graph icon under any affiliate. This will switch the view for all your affiliates into tag view. You can then click “+ Add Tag” on any affiliate you choose to tag them. A prompt will come up that will let you create new tags or select a tag from your existing list.
Next, you’re going to want to go to the Commission Rules section to set up a rule. You may find this feature under Tools > Commission Rules. You can add either predefined rules or custom rules. Regardless, you’re going to want to add a condition that states “Tag Must Be:” so that your rule only applies to the affiliate(s) with the specific tag. If you don’t so this, your commission rule will be applied to everyone in your program.
Using commission rules can be another way to set up bonus since you can segment by tag and are not required to give the bonuses to every partner in your program.
So, there you have it: four powerful tools to help you onboard and motivate your ShareASale affiliates.
Should you need a hand with a ShareASale-based affiliate program, we are always at your disposal. AM Navigator has been building up affiliate programs on this network since 2004.
[This article was updated on 09/11/2018]