Affiliate Marketing: Talk Is Not CHEAP
Running a productive affiliate program hinges on effective communication with your affiliates. Merchants need to listen to feedback from these online partners and be proactive in maintaining contact with them. Affiliates are your online sales force, and as such they often are the experts when it comes to reaching new customers online. They can help you learn what works. But a smart communication strategy starts the dialogue before the affiliate even applies to be part of your program.
To attract top affiliate partners, provide prospective affiliates with as much organized information as possible. In your recruitment communications, clearly delineate the following:
1. Your company and product benefits.
2. Details on your commission structure.
3. What products/services earn or don’t earn commission.
4. Ways affiliates earn commissions (sale, lead, click).
5. Number of return days.
6. Any payment thresholds and the average number of orders it takes to meet this threshold.
7. Who sends the commission payments.
8. A link to your program terms and conditions; highlight any important policies.
9. Your affiliate program benefits, including strengths such as a competitive commission structure, compelling consumer offers, high average order value or conversion rate.
10. Easy to find contact information for your program.
Once affiliates apply to your program, you want to immediately thank them for their interest, remind them of the program details, include a time frame for acceptance into your program, provide a link to your legal terms and share your activation requirements. Giving the prospective affiliate an overview of your company, product and strengths is another opportunity to reinforce the applicant’s decision to partner with you and not your competitor. Many times affiliates will apply to several merchant programs during registration; this is your time to stand out from the crowd by actively courting possible affiliates via organized, persuasive communications.