You’ve nailed down your affiliate marketing strategy, but how can you be sure it’ll lead to success? There is always an element of risk when launching a new sales channel such as affiliate marketing. But with enough research and some useful top tips, you’ll see results in no time. In this article, you’ll find expert advice to help you optimize every stage of your affiliate marketing campaigns. We’ll explore tips for recruitment, management, and compensation to help you get the most return on investment from your campaigns.
Tips for affiliate recruitment
Let’s explore ways you can make sure that your identification, outreach, and onboarding of your affiliate partners is the best it can be.
- Communicate effectively about your affiliate program.
If you want to have the top pick of applicants for your affiliate program then be sure to create an effective landing page. This will help attract affiliate marketers to apply to your program. On the landing page, you should highlight your value proposition to entice new applicants. It should be obvious what your brand can offer in terms of compensation. Share specific details about what you can offer your affiliate marketers including their commission rate, the opportunity to earn bonuses, or extra VIP perks such as event passes or early access to new products.
It’s also the place to share what makes your brand and your products unique. If your affiliate marketers aren’t already familiar with your brand, then you need to get them excited about promoting your products.
Once your page is ready to go, you must ensure it’s distributed properly. You should promote your affiliate program through email marketing, social media, and paid advertising to help generate a high volume of applicants.
- Evaluate your affiliates before accepting them.
Of course, you’re eager to recruit as many affiliates as possible. However, you should pay attention to some important details before you accept them to your program. Make sure they are a good fit for your brand. Are they creating content that’s relevant to your industry niche? Does their audience match your target customer demographic? You should also look at their audience size, for example how many followers do they have on social media? How many subscribers do they have to their newsletter? How many monthly visits do they get to their blog? These are important questions to ask yourself before accepting a new affiliate into your program.
- Make it easy for affiliates to try out your products.
The key to onboarding your affiliates is to make it easy for them to try out your products first-hand. This means having a smooth process for sending out free products to your affiliate network. If you’re working with a cohort of affiliates, it will be very time-consuming to manage this manually. Instead, using a software such as Upfluence allows you to invite affiliates to choose which products they’d like to receive from a predetermined list. They can then create orders in one click! Getting your products into your affiliates’ hands will help them create their most authentic and high-converting content.
- Turn your customers into affiliates!
Take your affiliate program to the next level by hiring your influential customers as affiliates. Your customers already know and love your products. This makes them your brand’s most authentic content creators! Customers with a significant reach on social media can help your brand to reach more like-minded people who are potential new customers.
Your customers are already recommending your products to their friends and family so it makes sense to tap into these organic referrals and invite them to join your affiliate program. What’s more, affiliates who are already part of your brand community are 7x times more likely to promote for no cost compared to those who are unfamiliar with your brand. Get more advice on how to turn your customers into affiliates.
Tips for affiliate management
Dive into these top tips for how to effectively nurture affiliate partnerships and ensure they generate more sales for your brand.
- Share a detailed brief.
Creating a brief will help empower your affiliates to make the best content possible to promote your brand. It’s an opportunity to share key messages about your brand, the added value of your products, and any dos and don’ts to ensure brand safety. While you’ll never have total control over the content produced by affiliates, a detailed brief can help you to set clear expectations.
- Provide your affiliates with marketing materials.
In addition to the brief, share your marketing materials with your affiliates. This can include website landing pages, product descriptions, newsletters, and relevant copy to help your affiliates create their own landing pages, blog articles, and emails. Sharing these materials will help them to align their content with your brand values and messages. Of course, your affiliates should use a different tone of voice and style than your corporate marketing materials, but it can help to inspire content ideas and make sure they are ‘on message’ when speaking about your products.
- Use an affiliate marketing software.
Affiliate programs have many components; from recruitment to onboarding, sharing briefs, distributing affiliate links, tracking sales, and making payments. Trying to manage each of these processes manually across your whole affiliate program will be almost impossible, not to mention hugely time-consuming. That’s why using a dedicated software such as Upfluence for affiliate marketing can help you contact affiliates in bulk, automate key parts of the process, and consolidate tracking and payments. Having software to take care of intensive management tasks, leaves you more time to strategize, scale and nurture long-term partnerships.
Tips for affiliate payouts
Understand how to incentivize affiliate partners while ensuring your program is generating a high ROI.
- Decide the right affiliate commission.
Choosing the right level of commission to pay your affiliates is hugely important for your campaign. You want to entice new affiliate partners with your compensation offer, yet you want to avoid overspending as this could hurt the profitability of your program.
When deciding which commission rate to offer, you need to take into account the most common commission rates for your industry. Average affiliate commission rates vary between 5% – 30%. This is a wide bracket which is why it’s important to do your research beforehand to make sure you’re offering competitive rates for your industry niche.
You also need to keep the profitability of your campaign top of mind. Your commission rate should take into account the price of your product, and the need to maintain a high ROI and low CAC.
One cost-effective compensation method is to offer a tiered commission structure. This means that the more sales generated by your affiliates, the higher the rate of commission they’ll be able to earn. This helps brands to manage their budget as they pay affiliates in accordance with their performance. It also works as an incentive for affiliates, so will increase the overall performance of your affiliate program. It’s a great way to grow your affiliate program sustainably and encourage affiliates to progress through the ranks.
- Include other incentives.
A good way to retain your best-performing affiliates is to offer additional incentives on top of the commission rate. This structure means brands can pay a lower recurring commission rate while offering additional performance-based incentives such as bonuses, promo codes, or free products. Offering opportunities to earn more through higher commission rates or cash bonuses will encourage affiliates to become long-term partners, therefore helping to drive steady growth for your business.
Take the next step in your affiliate marketing efforts with this guide to Building an eCommerce Affiliate Marketing Strategy.