Affiliate Marketing: Talk Is Not CHEAP
Click-active affiliates may need a little more motivation to start converting sales. One of the more results-oriented activation incentive campaigns is a first-order bonus. Provide these affiliates with a special offer, recommend best converting products and suggest best practices, such as multiple placements of offers or links. Before you present this incentive, however, establish a sales threshold for your bonus. Many merchants will set the limit at 1.5 times their average order value. And once an affiliate meets the first order threshold, you can add in many other carrots—a special gift, bounty, double commission on all orders above the threshold or admission to a private offer. Try innovative campaigns to increase your program activation rates, and continue to monitor the performance of this group. Some will move to order active status, while others may stay at the click-active stage.
Don’t forget to survey affiliates that remain inactive to find out why they are not generating orders. The affiliate could be working with another merchant, desire specific creative, feel your commission structure is not competitive or simply need more information about your products and the benefits of your program. Many affiliates sign up for merchant programs during their registration process, but your program might not fit their business model. Occasionally, merchants will remove inactive affiliates from their programs. Before you take this action, notify the affiliate of your intent. This gives it a final opportunity to put up a link and activate.
Ongoing Communications: Newsletters
According to a 2004 Affstat report, 56 percent of affiliates prefer to get monthly communications. As such, many merchants find success in communicating with affiliates through monthly newsletters.
Newsletters are a good medium to brief affiliates on weekly and monthly promotions. Use your newsletters to give affiliates advanced notice of your retail/marketing calendar and consumer promotions. Highlight new or best converting creative, top products, affiliate incentives, useful content, important policies and, most importantly, your contact information.