Affiliate MarketingWhether you already work in affiliate marketing or are new to the industry, there are a few things to avoid to keep your programme running successfully and to ensure you get the best productivity from your affiliates.

Red Star Digital has put together a few examples of common mistakes some organisations make with their affiliate programmes to help you avoid these pitfalls in the future;

1. Set Unrealistic Targets
Don’t expect each and every affiliate on your campaign to send you hundreds of sales per month. Each and every affiliate is different with a varying capacity to send sales. Setting overly high tiers for commissions and incentives will mean that the smaller, but equally as important affiliates will not find it easy to hit any targets. This can mean they will become dis-heartened and could give up on the campaign all together. Equally, remember affiliate programmes will take time to set up and to iron out any teething problems before it starts to function at a decent rate. As with most things in life, the more effort you put in, the greater the result you will get out.

2. Cull Affiliates
It is a common mistake in affiliate marketing to suddenly decide to remove all the affiliates from a programme who have never made a sale for you. These affiliates are still relevant to you and your campaign – they may start in the future to set up niche websites around your products or they may even need help from you promoting your products. For those affiliates that only deliver one to two sales per month, these are still valuable sales and should not be snubbed. Keeping the inactive affiliates on the campaign does no harm. – Top Tip – why not set yourself a monthly goal to get a certain number of inactive affiliates active?

3. Failing To Understand Your Affiliates
Affiliates are humans too. Often working a stressful full time job, looking after a family and running their affiliate business, they can be very busy people with many demands upon each and every minute of their day. Running anywhere between 1 and 1000 sites with thousands of merchants to promote, they can often be under immense pressure. If you understand the affiliate mindset and what they need, you will find yourself in a much happier and evidently more profitable relationship. Taking them for granted and placing unrealistic demands on their time with little or no reward will do little for your campaign performance. Try to make things easier for your affiliate by providing a deeplink or code expiration date. By providing them with what they need; they are more likely to promote you and your products.

4. Did Not Do The Maths
When setting up your programme or planning for a key promotion in the year, ensure you fully understand all your costs, from the affiliate commissions, to the incentive bonuses to your network costs. Factor in all the costs to your profit margin and make sure you can afford to run the promotion. If you are running offline promotions, be aware these are leaked into the digital world and although you can do your best to monitor it, these promotions will still be used online. Stopping a promotion half way through or withdrawing voucher codes because you did not do the maths properly, will only have a detrimental effect on your campaign.

5. Leakage
Leakage points can include site elements such as; ‘contact us’ or ‘call us now on…’ across your home page. Similarly, using banners to promote other merchants on your home page is also a big ‘no no’ for a successful affiliate program. If an affiliate spends time and money sending customers to your site for them to then call a free phone number or be taken to another site, this means the affiliate loses out and will eventually stop promoting you all together. By using simple technology, you can hide your contact us/call us now messages when your site recognises that the customer has come through an affiliate link.

If you want to find out more about affiliate marketing and it’s benefits to your overall marketing strategy, then why not get in touch with Red Star Digital today and find out more about their affiliate marketing consultation packages.