Blog cover: Affiliates

How to Turn Your Customers into Great Partners

Whether you’re new to referral and affiliate marketing or have been using them to grow your business for years, finding people to promote your brand is always a priority.

The good news is that you don’t have to look far to find some great partners (or referral partners that are technically pretty much the same).

Who can promote your brand better than your customers?

Customers are reliable

Customers promote your brand in a way that traditional marketing cannot, providing a unique voice and support for your business.

In fact, 92% of global consumers trust word of mouth more than any other form of advertising.

There are no ads, cheats or catch phrases that will make new customers feel sold. Instead, it’s the person who shows why they choose to spend money on your business and why others should too.

Customers offer unparalleled insight

With more and more online options, the buying experience can be overwhelming. And in some cases unreliable. As a result, we research what others are saying about a brand and use that to guide us.

Customers can promote your brand using their own experience by sharing how they use your product/service, what they like, and their overall experience.

Their content may include how-to guides, in-depth reviews, and personal reviews.

These promotions can be quite powerful, with 85 percent of consumers finding user-generated content more effective than brand photos or videos.

Customers like to be rewarded

Happy customers are more likely to share their experiences with others, and this is especially true if they can be rewarded.

It’s a win-win. The opportunity to become a partner can also be exciting for customers. Then rewarding customers for recommendations is a great way to build brand loyalty.

There are several ways to reward referrals – this includes monetary compensation (such as a percentage of sales), discounts or upgrades to premium services.

Great examples of referral programs include Dropbox and Uber.

Would you like to start a referral program? Try all the features: 👉Get a free 14-day trial here

Start by providing excellent customer service

Happy customers make great partners. Customer service is vital to keeping customers happy, with 54% of people saying it influences their purchasing decisions.

In addition, 77% of respondents share their positive experience with a business on social media, online reviews, or simply by telling a friend.

If customers refer others to your product only as a result of excellent customer service, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in your affiliate program.

Connect with the “right” customers

Beyond the affiliate being a happy customer, you’ll want to find someone who will be active in promoting your product or service. Here are a few things to consider when looking for customers as affiliates…

Take time
Give your customers time to really get to know your business. Asking customers to sign up too early can be a critical mistake, not just for the affiliate program but for the overall business as well. Customers need to feel invested in the product or service before being asked to defend on behalf of businesses.

to reach
Then, deliberately engage with customers. One strategy for finding potential affiliates is to create a simple survey.

Ask your customers, “Would you recommend us to your friends, family or colleagues?” Ask something of the form.

Having direct survey questions can be especially helpful because not every satisfied customer will want to be a partner. These questions are a shorter way to find the right partners for your program.

there is variety
Don’t limit yourself to only connecting with customers who have blogs, websites, or large social media followings.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “bigger is better” idea, and an influencer with 100,000 followers is your most important key to unlocking a traffic utopia.

While we won’t hurt the reputation of major channels, these are undoubtedly useful for promotion, but other customers may have the opportunity to reach new audiences in a more personal and interactive way. The best digital word-of-mouth might be a daily customer who shares a positive review with a link on Facebook.

Make it easy to sign up for your affiliate program

You will want customers to switch to affiliates as soon as possible, so programs should be designed in a way that is easy and accessible to everyone, regardless of skill level or experience.

Think simple signups, comprehensive engagement, and easy-to-use tools. One strategy for accessibility is to have a dedicated affiliate page that details all aspects of your program and can come back to if needed.

Affiliate focus should be on sharing your product, not operational tasks or functions. Remove any barriers that might deter customers from your program; this may require too many steps, use unknown terminology, or may not be mobile friendly.

Bonus tip: Build plenty of easy-to-share marketing assets for your affiliates. This is one step less for them and you have more control over the marking and quality of the shared materials. Learn more about marketing assets here.

Communicate frequently with partners

Remember when we said that customer service is important? Well this also applies to affiliate programs.

Affiliate marketing can be a new (and misleading) concept to many people, and many questions or guidance may be needed.

Being available and accommodating is vital for an affiliate program; and all these customers are asking questions about how they can better help your business grow, so help them do just that.

Concrete ways to help customers become affiliates include personalized emails, newsletter updates, and even taking the time to make calls and chat about any questions or ideas you may have. As a golden rule of thumb, always aim to make your communications with affiliates as personal as possible.

Again, finding affiliates will be an ongoing task in managing your affiliate program. However, if you look for the right partners, the effort will pay off as you will see an increase in traffic and sales.

are you ready to start?

We’ve made it easy to start recruiting existing customers.

Using Tapfiliate’s Partner Recruitment feature, you can automatically invite new customers to promote your business. Using this tool, new customers (not yet affiliates) will be automatically sent a referral link that they can use instantly to spread the word about your business.

Read more about this feature here and use our support documentation to get started.

Have you ever used Tapfiliate? Try all the features: 👉Get a free 14-day trial here

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