With today being Valentine’s Day, we must remember to show our affiliates some love!
Any successful affiliate program must include include proper relationship management. As a merchant, or affiliate management agency, one of your goals is to have as many publishers promoting your products as possible. For that to happen, you must have an on-going relationship with those publishers. The “Welcome to Our Program” approval email is not enough.
Here are a few ways to show some love to your affiliates.
Get To Know Them
Almost every publisher is going to have a Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram, so click on over from their website to their social media profiles. Spend a few minutes getting to know them to find out what they post about. You may seem pictures of them always wearing a baseball cap with the same team, or they are tweeting about their favorite Netflix show. Make note of this in your affiliate relationship management tool. At the most basic level, I recommend having a spreadsheet with all affiliates that includes a notes section.
On your next email to follow up with them to either get them to place links to an upcoming sale or promotion, simply mention that you saw they were a huge fan of that big Netflix show that just announced a new season and how exciting that is. Small things like this will go a long way in building the lasting relationship needed for a successful affiliate program.
Giveaways are always a great way to incentivize affiliates, as well as to just simply show your appreciation for them promoting your affiliate program. One simple way to do a giveaway is to send out an affiliate newsletter outlining the giveaway rules. For example, any affiliate who has an active link placed on their site in the month of February will be eligible for the free gift card.
This accomplishes two goals. First, it helps to incentivize inactive affiliates to log in, grab an html code and place a link on their site. Just for doing that, they know they are eligible to win something. Secondly, this lets all affiliates show that you are appreciative of the work and effort it takes as an affiliate to promote a merchant’s program successfully.
Both of these are crucial to any long standing affiliate relationship.
The idea of using competitions to show some love to your affiliates is very similar to the giveaway concept I just mentioned, however, this will require sales to be driven, as opposed to just a link placed. Here’s an example. Send out an affiliate newsletter that states the rules of the affiliate competition, which are, whichever affiliate has the highest sales dollar amount in the the month of February will win an Apple Watch. Now, your prize can be something of much less value, but a high value item will also drive the most competition.
The goal with this competition is not just show your affiliate some love and appreciation, but with a prize of such a higher value, you are going to motivate more content publishers to write reviews, place more links and share more on social media. In most cases, those reviews on a website or Facebook posts are going to live on, even after the competition is over. Most affiliates will not go back and take down a blog post that contains links, so now your short-term competition has lead to evergreen content.
Frequent and Prompt Communication
It is absolutely important, for any healthy relationship, to have clear communication. Not only clear, but frequent and prompt communication. Affiliates will tend to live on one side of the communication spectrum, they either love to hear from affiliate managers with new promotions, tips, deals, etc or they absolutely hate seeing an email from an affiliate manager. Until you are asked to stop communicating with them, side with the “we love communication” end.
When an affiliate reaches out with an email about a specific banner size or promotion idea, do not push them off and not answer right away. They may have been in the middle of a brainstorming process for their content calendar and by your lack of communication and response they may have already filled in that spot with a different promotion.
For this same reason, it is important to have frequent communication and stay in the front of the mind of content publishers. They are either looking to fill their content schedule or may even be in a creator’s block and your email with a new promotion can help boost them out of it.
As an affiliate, it is a great feeling to see a quick response from an affiliate manager. Once again, doing the simple things go a long way in building that all important affiliate relationship.
A Simple “Hello, How can I help?”
One question that can help take an affiliate relationship to the next level is simply, “hello, how can I help?” A short, concise, simple question like that shows an affiliate that you care. Why might they need help? Well, they may not be getting a lot of clicks on their links because they are not prominently placed on their site, or they are not focusing on the correct demographics. Whatever the issues may be, simply asking them how you can help and providing them with a few tips or ideas to help them succeed not only shows your appreciation to them, but it will also ensure that your links and promotions are the ones being shared on their site and not a competitors during a big holiday sale.
Showing love to your affiliates is really simple and is a basic concept of affiliate relationship management. Show them love and they will show you love and support back in the form of promoting your products.
I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to share this article on social media!