Are you having little success leveraging the power of Affiliate Marketing?
Or maybe you have seen great results with Affiliate Marketing at some points of the year but you are at a loss as to how to optimize your affiliate partner relationships during different sales periods of the year?
Below is a summary of the hard and fast rules to abide by when strategizing how to support your affiliate partners.
- Communication, communication, communication!
- A willingness to listen and learn.
- Provide resources to ensure partners are able to accurately promote your brands’ products and services.
- Offer monetary incentives to qualified partners.
- Restrategize according to the different times of the year.
It is your responsibility to communicate things like performance expectations, changes to your marketing calendar, internal issues that are likely to affect conversion rates, and so on.
To effectively communicate with your affiliate partners consider:
- Building a communication schedule. We suggest bi-weekly meetings.
- Utilize a templated document of items to address to refer to while in these meetings. This will ensure these conversations are efficient.
Listen and Learn
Affiliates are stellar resources for valuable feedback. You would be remiss to not ask for honest feedback on products, services, and program offerings. And when you receive negative feedback, don’t dismiss these critiques. Instead, be willing to learn from these new insights and determine how you may be able to accommodate affiliates’ concerns or pivot your strategy to meet everyone’s needs.
Affiliates partners will require creative assets and marketing materials to best promote your brands’ products and services. They may also need access to things like inventory numbers. Certainly, if you are working with an Affiliate Marketing agency they will need access to your direct-to-consumer site analytics, site developers, contact information for the other marketing agencies you may be working with.
The work of affiliates is WORK. If you are expecting affiliates to promote your brand without compensating them with a competitive commission rate, free products for consideration, and bonuses for a job well done or paid placements, prepare for disappointment.
Now, let’s discuss how you can support your affiliate partners during the different seasons of the year.
Most brands have a busy and slow season. Typically the busy season is during Q1 and Q4 and the slow season is during Q2 and Q3. Your brand may experience this seasonal shift in sales during different quarters however the principles listed below can be applied regardless.
How to Support Affiliate Partners During the Slow Sales Season
- Know your customer lifetime value. When you understand the lifetime value of a customer you can better understand the long-term impact of running a sale or promoting during this period.
- Fewer things than a discount will motivate your target audience to convert. Don’t be afraid to run sales and promotions! By understanding the lifetime value of your customer you can determine how to optimize a promotion without hindering the lifetime value of new customers.
- While the statement, ‘content is king’ is still relevant, be open to working with loyalty/coupon partners. Buyers’ behavior has been changing over the years. Gone are the days where only your cooky Aunt Karen utilizes coupons. Loyalty/coupon partners report the demographics of their users to run the full gambit between age, gender, level of education, and household incomes.
- Don’t panic!
How to Support Affiliate Partners During the Peak Sale Season
- Before entering the busy season you should be prepared to allocate more marketing budget to your affiliate program. This is because the majority of affiliates (especially large publications) will require payment in addition to their usual commission rate during this season.
- It’s such a busy time for both affiliate and merchant. With this in mind, be sure to give your partners the earliest possible updates on upcoming holiday promos.
- Provide suggestions to partners on pairing products/promotions. For instance “XYZ product would be great in an XYZ gift guide…”
- If you’ve worked with a partner in the past, revisiting previous data and results to better optimize for the upcoming sales season.
Do you need hands-on help with your brands’ affiliate program? Contact us today.