Q: My affiliate sales haven’t been what they usually are. I keep them informed with relevant product/site updates, and I offer incentives each month, too. I’m always available and try to answer any question promptly and professionally. What can I do to entice affiliates to feature us on their pages and bring us more clicks?
A: Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is showing up.” It sounds like you have that covered, but how about the other 20%?
Most affiliate managers think it’s sufficient to rely solely on e-mail to communicate and they send the same canned messages to all affiliates.
If you’re part of that camp, there are two things you ought to start doing today: send direct mail to activate affiliates AND follow up with phone calls to make a case for premium placement of your affiliate links.
Also, open up the lines of communication more by starting a blog for the affiliate program. Then affiliates will have the option of subscribing to your RSS feed to receive updates.
Start up a resource site for your affiliate program, too. This site can be a home to your newsletter archive, resources, tools, tips, etc. to help your affiliates succeed.
When you do send e-mail to the affiliates, don’t take the one size fits all approach. Devise a communication plan for your different types of affiliates.
Your affiliates have different needs, so figure those out and message your affiliates appropriately.
Additionally, give your affiliates the tools they need to best promote you. Create a sales guide that gives a background on your company, target demographic, and other information relevant to people that are representing you.
Last of all, ask your affiliates what they want and need. And if at all possible, give it to them. They may ask for custom creative, exceptions to rules, placement fees, etc. Work with them – they are your partners.
Follow this advice and I think you’ll see that other 20%.