When you first launch your affiliate program, “we built it – now they’re coming!” you might think. in relation to affiliates that have registered and promoted your products or services.
However, building affiliate relationships often requires a more proactive approach. After all – the best partnerships require effort and looks from both sides in the game.
In this post, I’ll talk about 5 areas you need to address to ensure your affiliates have everything they need to grow your business and even more: build a solid relationship that will benefit both parties in the long run.
Practice Strategy #1: Platform basics checklist.
It may seem advantageous to start inviting partners to join as soon as you launch your affiliate program, but before affiliates join your affiliate program, you need to make sure certain settings are complete in the Tapfiliate dashboard. What are these?
- We are completing your cookie settings. This means reading how many days are left in your cookie lifetime and how important the last cookie is.
- Set up your payment methods and payment threshold for affiliates.
- Upload your terms and conditions and make them publicly available on your program registration page.
- Uploading marketing assets for your affiliates to use to promote your brand.
- Adjust your e-mailing capabilities.
- Conducting an affiliate test record to ensure that all emails fire on potential affiliates when they sign up.
- Run a test (use Tapfiliate’s handy Integration Testing Tool) to make sure your integration is correctly linking events.
It is really important that you go through this process to make sure everything is set up correctly and that there are no gaps or points of confusion for the affiliates.
Engagement Strategy #2: Welcome and contact email.
By default Tapfiliate sends an email to every affiliate that joins your affiliate program with an affiliate link (after being approved for the program) and how to log in to the tapfiliate board.
It’s usually good to start a separate welcome email that may include other program-related items that aren’t covered in the default triggered tapfiliate emails.
Content you might want to add:
– reminder of the commission structure, when and how they will be paid,
– your top converting pages or products/services,
– the best ways to promote, (See 5 Things to Have in Your Welcome Email for more on this).
In addition to these – Affiliate engagement is primarily about building trust. Affiliates want to know that behind the affiliate program is someone managing it, and even more so willing to help them succeed.
That’s why there’s always a link email. The link email is a simple trigger email (basic text from the CEO or Partner Manager) asking:
- How do they plan to promote your product or service? Are there any additional materials, statistics, marketing collateral I can provide beyond those in the assets section of the program?
- Do you have a goal and how can I help you achieve it?
This lets the affiliate know that someone in the company truly cares about their affiliate’s success and that the affiliate program is well managed and active (subconsciously) willing to communicate.
Confused about how to achieve this in Tapfiliate? No problem – all you have to do is set up email triggers. Here is a nifty guide on how to do that.
Practice Strategy #3: Affiliate bonuses.
It’s okay to nudge affiliates a little bit or set a goal to help prioritize promoting your products or services over other offers.
In fact, the best time to do this is within 30 days of signing up with an affiliate (when they are and are motivated by an idea to promote your business).
Find out how bonuses work on Tapfiliate and set some up today.
Practice Strategy #4: A partnership webinar to get started.
Even with the most personalized technology, we often find that we lose some of the human touch when it comes to building partnerships online. What’s more, when members sign up and don’t have all the information (or leave it up to them to find it through the knowledge base article), they often feel like they don’t have a lifeline.
To combat this, I recommend arranging a “start promoting your company/products*” webinar that will tell you all about the affiliate program, how to set up as an affiliate, and most importantly – the best ways to promote. your brand for success as a partner. As your program gains some interest, you can review this webinar to include some use cases of other affiliates that can monetize your program.
To keep this going: You can start sending a triggered email (as discussed above) to all approved affiliates each month and invite them to a webinar at the end of the month.
Initial Engagement Strategy #5: Common User Feedback Survey
It’s always good to get feedback from all kinds of users in your affiliate program. Some of the most insightful information I’ve received from affiliates came from affiliates surveyed. who signed up and never got promoted.
There was something stopping them in their tracks (in or out of our control) from getting promoted, and it’s always good to find that out as it will give you hints on what to do next with your program.
Here are some ideas for questions you can ask your affiliates:
- How satisfied are you with the commission structure?
- Is there anything you don’t like about the affiliate program terms and conditions?
- Do you feel that you have all the materials and tools you need from us for promotion? If not – is there content or affiliate support you’d like to see?
With the affiliate user feedback survey, you get detailed, qualitative, data points that will help you guide the changes you want to make to your program now or in the future.
Affiliate engagement is one of the most overlooked aspects of running an affiliate program. It takes a willingness to be proactive and support your partners so they can see success at the end of the tunnel. Even applying a few of these strategies above will allow you to keep up with your competitor’s affiliate programs and make your partnership with affiliates much stronger.