Reap What You Sow
Marketers can help affiliates become more passionate ambassadors for the brand by sending products as gifts or providing discounts on products. Recently, DoubleClick Performics launched a new affiliate program in the highly competitive gift category. The marketer sent gift baskets to high-potential affiliates, and it proved to be an effective way to set the program apart from the crowd. Product samples can help affiliates better understand a product or overcome skeptical affiliates that think claims overstate a product’s actual performance. iRobot, the maker of Roomba and other high-quality robotic vacuums, wanted high-potential affiliates to see for themselves just how well the product performed; so it shared product samples with this affiliate segment and saw sales climb as a result.
So How and How Often?
In the same survey mentioned earlier, most affiliates indicated a strong preference for e-mail communications. Seventy-eight percent of affiliates said they acquire promotions and communications through e-mail; even more, 83 percent, cite e-mail as the preferred delivery vehicle. Fifty percent said they receive this information directly from the affiliate network’s platform; another 23 percent use advertiser links, forms and/or blogs to stay up to date on promotions, merchandising, etc.
Relevancy should define frequency. Marketers and their program representatives should only send affiliate communications with good reason. No rule of thumb exists, but marketers should query affiliates on the fly to keep tabs.
Marketers should be excited to give affiliates what they need to succeed, just not so excited that they overlook critical decisions and steps to set the stage for optimal performance.
Kristin Hall is product marketing director of affiliate marketing at DoubleClick Performics (www.performics.com). Contact her at email@example.com.