Strengthen your affiliate engagement using these simple yet proven strategies so you can generate more revenue and increase traffic from your affiliate partners.
Affiliate marketing spending in the United States is expected to grow from 5.4 billion in 2015 to $8.2 billion in 2022, and this trend shows no signs of stopping. Affiliate marketing has long surpassed email in revenue generation.
Image source: Statista
But the affiliate marketing machine is not self-powered. Brands need to work to engage sought-after affiliates. Below are six affiliate marketing strategies to increase your engagement and set yourself up for long-term success.
Here are the things we will cover:
Create an email newsletter
If you have a solid affiliate communication plan, you can prevent information from getting lost in confusion, missed opportunities, and reduce your affiliate engagement.
Sending a regular email newsletter to all your affiliates is a quick and easy way to stay in touch with your affiliates. Additionally, every email is a chance to reactivate recently inactive contacts.
It can be as easy as creating an “affiliate” tag on your existing contact list. However, it is a best practice to have a dedicated email for all your communications with your affiliates. Keeping all communication in one place reassures your affiliates that at least one person in the company is committed to success.
These emails can include company news, upcoming promotions and events, insights and advice to help affiliates increase their revenue, and reports on their success.
You can even tailor these reports to specific affiliates. A growing trend in e-commerce personalization is hyper-personalization: tailoring emails to typical user behavior. Marketers enjoy a huge jump in engagement with this type of personalized content, and you can too.
Image source: Duolingo/ReallyGoodEmails
Think Duolingo reminder emails tailored to your activity, or Grammarly’s annual summaries of how much work you do. With some integration of the data you track at the company, it’s easy to dynamically add your affiliate’s performance statistics to these email communications. These statistics are a great incentive for your active partners to open your email and engage immediately.
Make yourself fit
Video meetings and remote hours are a great way to present yourself to your affiliates. Even if it’s only ten minutes, a private one-on-one call allows you to keep track of how things are progressing and share the information they need – making it one of the simplest yet most effective affiliate marketing strategies.
Your affiliates are almost certainly working with other customers. But how many of them go the extra mile and build a strong relationship with affiliates? With just ten minutes every once in a while, you can get more engagement in your affiliate program.
A private one-on-one meeting with each of your affiliates will fill your schedule very quickly. You may want to limit these one-on-one calls to your top affiliates. On a large scale, you can make yourself available to all affiliates with special hours of operation. This can be calls made through a computer-based phone system that can get them to you quickly.
You can also make calls without one-to-one. A saved group call for anyone who can’t come gives you most of the benefits of individual calls without taking up too much of your time.
This could be a monthly call to let your affiliates know about their performance for the month. It could be a special event held several times a year for new product launches and marketing moves.
There is so much you can do with this “webinar” format. A live Q&A session at the end of your presentation allows you to answer frequently asked questions once and all your affiliates hear the answer. Like your most successful affiliates, you can have guest speakers to provide inspirational advice and guidance for other affiliates. For many, this alone will be worth it.
Image source: Unsplash
The last thing you want is for your affiliates to send the same message every month. Your messages will go stale and you won’t be engaging with your affiliates just because they’re repeating themselves.
Unique, time-sensitive campaigns can provide temporary boosts to a lacking engagement. In addition, your most successful partners will also slightly increase their efforts.
You can link campaigns to new product launches or seasonal promotions. If you feel your affiliate efforts should be supported, you can run a short campaign to encourage them. You can give a temporary increase in commission fees, a higher commission rate on certain products, or a bonus for a certain number of sales.
Additionally, it’s best to run campaigns with specific affiliates to increase revenue and engagement. You’re probably not the only company they work with, so you want to stand out from the crowd by rewarding outstanding performance.
Offer additional rewards for performance on certain metrics such as premium placements on an affiliate’s website, number of orders in a given week or month, revenue targets achieved, or orders over a certain value.
With the best affiliate marketing tracking software, you will be able to offer excellent incentives to your affiliates and keep them engaged with different campaigns.
Have you ever used Tapfiliate to monitor affiliate performance? Try all the features: 👉Get a free 14-day trial here
Support your affiliates
You need a dedicated channel that affiliates can reach when they need help, whether via email or call. This alone should cover most topics, but what if affiliates need more support than that?
This becomes more of an issue as your number of affiliates increases. As your affiliate program matures, you should have prepared and updated documentation such as best practices, successful case studies, audience personalities, and relevant marketing messages.
Even if you have a full-time job that deals with affiliates, you want to automate that job as much as possible. With Tapfiliate, you can automate your workflows using emails and webhooks triggered using our Zapier integration.
Provide guides and materials
When you find good partners, you will see better engagement if you do as much as possible to prepare them for success early on. By adding detailed guides to the onboarding processes, you can ensure that affiliates have the best information at hand when they start marketing your company.
Make sure these guides are up to date; any reasonable marketing effort is all about learning and iteration. When you’ve had remarkable success with one of your affiliates, take a quick look at your directory. Is there anything your successful affiliate has done that you can add as an example or did anything they find not work? Make sure you keep your guide as up-to-date as possible.
On a large scale, it is common for affiliate programs to have a power law distribution where most of the sales are driven by popular influencers or websites. Excellent guides and onboarding documents can help those who are not yet at the top. Improving their performance will “raise the foundations” for even your least engaged affiliates.
Make sure your affiliates have access to the same high-quality marketing assets you have. Keep them all in a shared folder that will act as the sole source of truth, ensuring consistency across all your affiliate marketing strategies and campaigns.
Your affiliates often produce content on tight schedules, so it’s not suitable for those who have to ask you for the right assets. A wide variety of high-quality assets such as banners, data feeds, coupon codes and social media images will increase engagement as the barrier to working with you is low.
Image source: Unsplash
Finally, go after companies like Food52 and GoProposal and leverage the value of the community. A closed community of your affiliates can strengthen engagement by giving them a sense of network and belonging. Your affiliates will have peers to compete and collaborate with, and they will have easy access to recommendations from you and other affiliates.
The community is a great addition to the affiliate marketing strategies mentioned above. Use your community to schedule video calls, request content for your email newsletter, or organize promotions and giveaways. Host your affiliate community on any platform you think is appropriate. Applies to Facebook, LinkedIn, Discord and more.
The platform is not as important as the value proposition. You can increase affiliate engagement by offering exclusive benefits to your community. These could be early access to new products, gifts or special offers.
Do you think your top affiliates are making use of certain tools or software? See if you can negotiate a special offer for other affiliates to access these tools at a discount or for free. Beyond the commission they get from sales, there are countless ways to make your affiliates feel the benefit of working with you.
A community is an easy place to get feedback from your affiliates, too. If you’re struggling with engagement, your affiliates most likely have been exposed to numerous affiliate programs, whereas you only have the program and nothing to compare it to.
In your community, email, and any searches you run, talk to your affiliates and see where things can be improved. It may be uninteresting as people don’t fully understand your promotional schedule and what launches are coming in the next few months.
People may not be as engaging as your guides are not as comprehensive as other programs. They may need to change the limited assets they have to make them work in their content. Treat your affiliate program like a product and treat your affiliates like customers. Feedback is crucial to any product development and your affiliates will only engage with your program if it works well for them.
Build a strong affiliate program
If you want to strengthen your affiliate engagement, any of these affiliate marketing strategies can get your affiliates engaged and engaged. You will now be able to quickly reactivate affiliates that are no longer engaged and generate revenue for your program. In combination, these strategies are pillars of a solid program that will keep affiliates engaged without having to chase after them.