Affiliate Marketing: Talk Is Not CHEAP
Resource Centers. Consider providing your affiliates with a central area of information—an affiliate resource center. This can be done either through your network’s interface (in the area where affiliates pick up links for your program) or on your Web site. Your affiliate resource center should highlight all of the important aspects of your program, including: program benefits and a clear explanation of your commission structure; an explanation of the link types you offer; top products and creative; important policies; your marketing calendar; helpful merchandising content; and contact information.
Keep your resource center up to date by highlighting timely affiliate or consumer promotions and important seasons for your business.
In the area where affiliates pick up your links, organize and categorize your creative to make it easy for affiliates to find what they are looking for. Consider categorizing your links to highlight best converting products, specific product categories, seasonal promotions, homepage links, etc.
Events. Take advantage of industry and affiliate network events to meet face to face with new or prospective partners. Consider hosting a dinner or focus group for your top partners surrounding a major event affiliates might attend. In-person opportunities are a great way to build stronger relationships and gain valuable feedback for improving your program.
Online affiliate forums. Some affiliate managers find online affiliate forums a good resource to get ideas and learn more about the affiliate marketing community. You can use these forums to host your own forums and find out if there are any issues with other programs, including your competition’s. Online forums are yet another outlet for announcing upcoming general promotions or sharing your retail/marketing calendar.
Communication Is Key
Finally, be responsive to affiliate inquiries. Make it easy for them to contact you by e-mail and phone. Respond to their questions and requests in a timely manner. This will build loyal relationships and help you improve your program offering.