Affiliate marketing is a powerful route to market that if set up, managed and analysed correctly can provide an uncapped source of high quality leads, sales or clicks depending upon your requirements at a minimum cost.
To help you manage your programme efficiently and in a constructive manner, Red Star Digital have put together a few handy tips to help you run a successful programme and ensure you don’t make any huge mistakes;
1. Monitor Conversions
First set your conversion parameters, is it clicks to sales, clicks to order value or something else? Once that is in place you need to closely monitor conversions across all your marketing channels and ensure your affiliate channel falls in line. If your conversion suddenly drops or jumps through the roof, you need to find out why, and either fix the issue or replicate it with other affiliates. You also need to ensure you take into account that different affiliate types will deliver varied conversion levels; incentivised traffic and traffic coming from voucher code sites will often have higher conversion rates, so bare this in mind when working out your averages. Benchmark against competitor conversions (where the data is possible) and make sure you communicate the conversion levels to affiliates if they are above the average or sit level with others. Good conversions = more sales = more money = happy affiliates.
2. Pro-active Recruitment
Use the tools available to you such as various search engines to find key affiliates to partner with. Spending a few hours a week researching sites you want your products placed on will not only give you the opportunity for increased sales, but it will also educate you in the different types of affiliate site out there and how they operate. Using handy tools like Whois.net can often help you gather contact details for the site owners.
– Important – When you are recruiting, remember that affiliates often read hundreds to thousands of emails a day, so make yours stand out. Offer them unique content, voucher codes, increased commissions, banners or whatever else you feel will entice them into not only joining your programme, but pushing it to deliver sales.
3. Regular Communication
Providing fresh and regular communications to your affiliates will not only inspire them to promote you, it will also give you the opportunity to advise them which products to promote and why, what new products you have, any offers you have and much more. Take some time to work on the format in which you send your affiliates tthis information, and consider what they may need. Some affiliates like a deeplink built in, some prefer a list, some like images, some like fresh banners. Find a way of communicating that best fits you and your affiliates and make tweaks where necessary. Find out how your key affiliates like to be communicated with, msn, email, phone or another means and how often. – Top Tip – Don’t flood them with 10 emails a day, they’ll soon get annoyed!
4. Provide The Affiliates With The Correct Resources
Different affiliates need different resources to help them drive sales for you, from feeds, banners, email creative, voucher codes and unique content to seasonal incentives and promotions. When planning a promotion or setting up your affiliate campaign, try to cover all the varying types of affiliate to make sure they have what they need to start and continue promoting you. Remember – when creating banners and email creative, remove any ‘leakage’ points like phone numbers and URL’s.
5. Build Relationships
Building relationships is key within affiliate marketing, from getting to know the network or agency staff to getting to know your affiliates. Many of the most famous deals in affiliate marketing were done, sitting face to face around a pub table whilst having a drink and a chat. By attending events and get-togethers frequently you will be able to meet your key affiliates and potential affiliates face to face, offering them and you chance to give and receive feedback thus enabling you to work together more closely to deliver the results you both need.