Motivate and empower your affiliates
Once deciding to utilize affiliate marketing model, the very first step is to approach and recruit top affiliates to promote your brand. But even after having a list of professional members, it appears that only a small portion of your team can manage to generate true conversion to your brand, sound familiar?
But before blaming your team for their lack of proper skills and or strategy, have you ever considered it this way: When's the last time you get out of your way and actually communicate, motivate and empower your team to bring the best out of them?
If you are thinking about some tactics you use to encourage your own employees, be warned that working with your affiliate team will be more challenging. Affiliates are independent and professionals, they join your team by their own choice but they can totally stop working with you anytime, plus, they might come from different cultures, educational backgrounds and have different needs, interests.
Therefore today, let's dive in some useful practices to motivating your ambassador team:
Giving affiliate instant access to their promotion resources will be a key to let them start their work immediately, make sure everything is prepared the moment they get approved, plus, provide solid materials such as automatic-discount, special discount just for them or special custom link would be a great idea to maximize their potential.
Within our system, affiliates have their own affiliate link with ref code as default to promote, however, there are other options you can provide to create flexibility for them.
An affiliate link might be long and messy sometimes, most affiliates prefer to get their link shortened to make it more "clean" and readable. The shortened link will be made with Bit.ly automatically.
Your affiliate will have an option to shorten any link they get: Affiliate link, Product affiliate link, Network link, Affiliate link with source.
Another option for a clean, trustworthy affiliate link is using the customized link, with this option, you can provide your affiliates with a good-looking URL which doesn't contain the referral code.
Imagine they are sharing your product or service on video (like a Youtube promotional video), it's so easy to say “just go to yourdomain/alex" instead of reading out loud a long link with complicated code. Plus, upon seeing the link, customers can easily know who they are buying from, unlike the long hard-to-remember default link.
Offering a discount for customers seems to convert them more than if there is none available.
A lot of shoppers search for coupons to see if it's a chance they can save some money upon purchasing. Thus, assigning a coupon code for your affiliates can both bring benefits to the customers and help your members to convince the consumers to buy from them.
Moreover, a discount coupon can be easily shared and remembered, which is useful for social media promotion. Also, you can freely set a coupon rule, not limited by just percentage discount, it can be fixed amount discount, Free shipping, Buy X get Y,...
Advance: While affiliate link and coupon code are two separate promotion options, you can totally combine them together to equip your publishers with an Automatic discount on affiliate link. It's exactly as it sounds, enabling the feature, a coupon will be automatically applied when your customers make a purchase through the affiliate link, so no coupon code needs to be entered manually by your customers.
Creating a repository of marketing materials for affiliates can be a means of enhancing sustainable growth in your affiliate program. One of the materials could be Optimized banners, logo, top product image or information of your promotional campaign that the affiliate can use and share on their channels.
Surely these images can be found in your store, but it would be more convenient for your team to have them all prepared within their affiliate account, thus, they can share, download or embed the media assets instantly.
While sharing Media to your team, be noted that:
- Media should be simple and effective, it should highlight the product while conveying the key message of your product/campaign;
- Media should be aligned with your website branding and design. Consistency is key - maintain your brand's look and feel in Media gallery for greater impact on potential customers;
- Make it light: The smaller your creative banner file size is, the faster it will load on other channels;
- Your media can be in any size, but it is recommended that you should follow regular digital ad banner sizes for best practice which are: Square (250 x 250), Skyscraper (160 x 600), Leaderboard (728 x 90) and Inline Rectangle (300 x 250).
Although affiliates might promote multiple products in various niches, when it comes to your business, you should be the one who knows it the most.
A guideline that clearly defines how affiliates can advertise your brand and products on their website would be a great help, you can update the Affiliate Guide with some basic marketing insights which you collect from your buyers (make sure sharing them will cause no harm to your Marketing team):
- Buyer preference,
- Top selling products,
- Which products are popular in which niche,
- Preferred channels to approach potential consumers,...
- Seasonal Marketing campaign,...
- Business update
There are numerous ways that you can encourage affiliates to go above and beyond to help you sell more, but one of the most effective methods is to offer bonuses to affiliates that perform exceptionally well.
A cash reward bonus is when you reward an affiliate with an additional bonus beside their commission for their excellent performance. For example, you might offer your member a $100 bonus when they reach their first 100 successful conversions, or a 100$ for bringing 5000$ revenue to your business.
Adding a bonus can be done manually when you pay your affiliate, you can just add a referral with Fixed amount, then add a comment to inform your team that it is a bonus for their work.
On the other hand, you can motivate your team by moving them to a different program once they reach a proper level (such as referring 1000 orders successfully). As affiliates sell more, they earn more. It is a simple but very effective way to encourage affiliates to promote your products or services.
A clear tier system will encourage the affiliate to drive more conversion to your brand, a tier model could look like this:
- 0 – 1000 referrals = 20% commission
- 1000– 2000 referrals = 25% commission
- 2000– 5000 referrals = 30% commission
- 5000+ referrals = 35% commission
In our app, you can build your own auto-tier commission rule easily with three main types of conditions. Your affiliates will get automatically leveled up once their performances meet the level condition set, the conditions could be based on:
- Total referral order value (total value of sales your affiliate refers successfully, only sales with approved commission are counted)
- Total referral order number (total number of sales your affiliate refers successfully, only sales with approved commission are counted)
- Total earned commission value (total value of approved commission your affiliate gets)
To set the conditions, go to Programs tab on the left panel > Auto-tier commission:
Studies have shown that in sales positions, high performers are responsible for producing 67 percent more revenue than other average performers. That's why focusing on high-quality affiliates is so important to grow your affiliate campaign sustainably.
For those who have worked with you for a long time or shown their incrediblly outstanding performance, you can consider offering them Lifetime commission so that the affiliate will get commissions for all future purchases of a customer who buys from the affiliate once. This tactic can make the affiliates to be closer members of your business, thus, they can see that they benefit from not only bringing new customers but also keeping that buyer loyal. Interestingly, loyal affiliates bring loyal customers.
Moreover, many of the companies send their affiliates and partners company swag such as branded stickers, t-shirts, hats, and products as part of “rep packages.” These gifts show their effectiveness in several ways.
- They incentivize your ambassadors and make them feel appreciated like part of the family.
- They put affiliates in the position to wear and promote your brand in public or naturally on their website or social media channels. When you get influencers rocking your swag without getting paid, you know you’re doing something right!
Treat affiliate as a close part of your team
As you can tell, keeping your affiliate team happy really do a lot with sales rocket. The more incentivized and empowered your affiliates are, the more productive their performances show.
Once you manage to communicate and motivate the brand ambassadors, it's time to move forward to the next phase which includes tracking and growing your affiliate campaign. The next blog on this series will share some useful tips!