Affiliate Marketing: Talk Is Not CHEAP
When you accept an affiliate into your program, congratulate the affiliate on becoming your new business partner, and make sure your initial correspondence provides the affiliate with the insight needed to be successful from the outset. At this point, you want to summarize your commission/offer structure; give tips on how to get started; supply links to current promotions; provide details on top products and brands; and link to your “Create Links” section so the affiliate knows where to get your program’s trackable URLs.
If you decide not to accept an applicant to your affiliate program, be considerate, and include the reason for your refusal. Such up front communication keeps the door open; you never know which applicants will be the next big affiliate.
Finally, if you really want to stand out and activate new partners right away, consider implementing a new affiliate welcome call program. Place a phone call to affiliates within two weeks of their approval and encourage them to begin their promotions.
At the close of each month, merchants should evaluate the activity of affiliates who’ve joined their program and develop a formalized communication plan for improving performance. Define this plan, including time frames, messaging strategy and goals. Put a measurement process in place to evaluate the effectiveness of this plan on a monthly basis. Consider segmenting your affiliates by business model, site focus or performance, and then tailor your messaging strategy to each group accordingly.
For example, thank your order-active affiliates for joining the program, and offer a small token of appreciation for account activation—a product sample, exclusive discount code or electronic gift card. You also might view your program statistics to identify any large affiliates that would qualify for a private offer. Use this group to find out why they’ve had success with your program and what you can do to help them be even more profitable. And if your affiliates in the order-active group continue to show growth, they may be primed for a private offer and ongoing personal contact.