2019 is almost a shawl! And it’s time to start thinking about your affiliate marketing strategy for next year.
As you review the past year and set goals for the next year, it’s important not to forget the key to making it all happen – your affiliates.
Your affiliates are a great resource to develop your affiliate program.
Find out what works, what’s missing, and what they expect as a partner. Their feedback will not only help you improve your program for existing affiliates, but also provide valuable insight into what you can do to attract new ones.
We’ve compiled a list of things to ask your affiliates, including sample questions and survey resources.
Where to start an affiliate survey
There are a few things to keep in mind before you start writing your survey questions.
First, make sure you keep it short and concise.
Long surveys can dissuade your affiliates from even wanting to take the survey, or they can lose interest if the questions are never ending. Try to find a break that is long enough for you to get appropriate feedback, but short enough not to disturb the people who receive it.
Aim for your survey to take less than 10 minutes, preferably the 5 minute mark.
Survey Data Points
Consider also what you want to gain from affiliate feedback, taking into account the survey length.
We recommend that you create a survey with qualitative data points. This will provide you with more precise, in-depth feedback that can be applied directly to improving your program.
questions like “Rate commission structure from 1-5” It can be quick and easy. But rather than an overarching reason or reason, strengths and weaknesses and what could be improved, it will only give a surface level indication of an affiliate’s satisfaction.
It is possible to combine these methods. You can start a survey asking for a rating like “Rate marketing materials as helpful, somewhat helpful, or not helpful”. Then you can ask for further clarification as below. “Please explain your score”.
Generally speaking, a survey with fewer questions but more explicit feedback will be more beneficial than a survey filled with dozens of rating and rating questions.
It’s also important to be sincere in your survey intentions – in other words, don’t waste anyone’s time.
Survey feedback should be used to improve your program, so be transparent about why this feedback is important and how you will use it.
If you’ve implemented certain changes from previous affiliate feedback, this is something to highlight. The message could be something like:
“Last year we heard that you needed new marketing materials and this year we have worked hard to improve it by revamping our affiliate assets. As you can see, your feedback is important and we would love for you to take this short survey to make our affiliate program even better.”
Questions to ask in an affiliate survey
Here are five areas to focus on for your survey:
- First Join
- Marketing materials
- Contact and support
How was the engagement?
You will want to know how easy it is for affiliates to join your program to see if there are any loopholes or confusion.
These questions will be particularly helpful in addressing any part of your onboarding process that could prevent a potential affiliate from joining or being active in your program.
Examples of practice questions:
- Did you feel that starting work prepared you adequately?
- What else could it be?
- What could be less?
- What were the biggest challenges you faced when you first started?
Are you satisfied with the commissions?
It goes without saying that commissions are quite important. It plays an important role in appealing to new members and motivating existing affiliates.
As we mentioned earlier, there is no perfect formula for affiliate commissions. But this feedback will help you adapt to a better promoting commission.
For example, you can find out if the bonuses really work or if there is another commission that is more suitable for the conversions generated.
Some questions to consider asking:
- Are you satisfied with the commission rate?
- What motivates you to promote more?
- Interested in this year’s bonuses/contest?
- Does the current payment plan meet your expectations?
Did you have all the marketing materials you needed to promote?
Where and how affiliates promote can change quite quickly, especially with the regular change of social media trends.
It is important to keep your affiliate program updated with these changes. And one of the best ways to do that is to ask your affiliate’s opinion on the materials you have and the materials they need.
Find out which materials are most helpful by asking something like:
- Did you have enough promotional material?
- Are promotional materials suitable for the channels you use?
- Was it easy to use promotional materials?
- What promotional materials will help you?
- What kind of promotional materials do you like the most?
Did our communication and support meet expectations?
The foundation of the affiliate-advertiser relationship is communication. Successful affiliate programs can find the best point in supporting affiliates to be successful, all while not suffocating their inboxes and spending too much time on unread messages.
Here are some questions that can help you find out:
- Did you get the support you needed?
- Did you have enough information about the products/promotions?
- Did you get enough information about the program?
- Want more, the same or less communication?
What helped your performance be successful?
This is your time to see how things are going for your affiliates and gain perspective on their overall efforts and performance.
These questions will be more general than other topics. The goal is to find out how your affiliates can be most effective in promoting your business.
You can ask the following:
- What worked best for you this year?
- What will you need for the next year?
- What was your biggest challenge?
Ways to submit an affiliate survey
There are several places where you can create an online survey. It may already be your platform of choice, but here are some popular options:
Submit your survey through your regular affiliate communication channels. This could be email, newsletter, Facebook/Linkedin Groups.
If you are experiencing low survey participation, consider using an incentive such as a gift card winner to increase response rates. You can read more about how to do this here.
Affiliate survey, completed. What’s next?
Once your survey results are in, it’s time to analyze and apply.
Look at trends to see what’s working and what’s not, and see what’s more important to your affiliates. For example, if you’re getting a lot of in-depth answers about commissions but not so many about communications, focus more on that area.
And make sure you focus not only on using the feedback to focus on areas for improvement, but also on using the feedback as inspiration to continue any good practice.
For example, if you receive a lot of praise for your communication, focus on what made it successful and what can be done to ensure these standards are maintained and adapted to any program changes.
Finally, be sure to use these data points for improvement. As we mentioned earlier, you should be able to clearly show affiliates how their feedback has helped and the changes that result from it.
For more information on improving your affiliate program, be sure to check out more articles on the Tapfiliate blog.