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How to Keep Affiliates Engaged to Maximize ROI

Tips & Guides — 20 May 2021

How to Keep Affiliates Engaged to Maximize ROI

How to Keep Affiliates Engaged to Maximize ROI

An affiliate program is a scheme that allows influencers within your industry to sign up, promote your products or service, and in return, receive free products or commission. Statistics show that affiliate marketing spending in the U.S. is expected to reach over $8 billion by 2022.

The only way you’re going to achieve a good ROI, though, is by ensuring that your affiliates are engaged. In this article, we will be exploring the best ways for you to develop meaningful affiliate relationships, improve affiliate engagement, and maximize your ROI.

Get off on the right foot

One of the best ways to ensure that your affiliate relationships begin on the right track is by creating a welcoming onboarding environment. Induction periods are crucial for two main reasons:

  • 1
    They allow affiliates to feel part of a positive working environment that promotes mutual success and benefit.
  • 2
    They allow you to showcase your company goals and values and ensure that they align with your new affiliate’s missions.

A well-produced affiliate program welcome package or newsletter is crucial for maximizing your ROI. Here are some details that you should include:

  • Information about your company and products or service they will be promoting.
  • Your company terms and conditions and other legal requirements.
  • The agreed remuneration and the details about when and how payments will be received.
  • Examples of your top affiliates and samples of the work they have been doing.
  • Testimonials from other affiliates, this can include anything from quotes to full induction videos.

 A great way to increase affiliate engagement during the onboarding process is through personalization. Affiliate marketing does, after all, ultimately rely on creating long-lasting relationships with real people. There is no better way to do this than by creating a tailored experience. Personalization is crucial for any marketing strategy. Research shows that 90% of American consumers prefer tailored marketing.

Personalization can include:

  • 1
    Personalizing their welcome package by using their name or sending them a specific message.
  • 2
    Putting them in touch with your marketing team to set up a meeting to discuss their ideas.
How to Keep Affiliates Engaged to Maximize ROI

Constantly check in

Communication is a vital part of affiliate engagement. Communication allows you to monitor your affiliate’s progress and encourage them further to promote your products or services. But, more importantly, a constant conversation also shows your affiliates that you’re invested in them as creators and their work matters to you.   

 Creating a communication plan that you can stick to will, over time, build trust and, in the long run, help to boost affiliate engagement. The reasons for communication can be providing aid, product information, or even praise. Essentially, constant contact allows affiliates to carry out their role with greater ease and improves results for your company.  

Email

Email is the most common and effective way of communicating with affiliates. You want to find a balance between providing enough information without bombarding affiliates with unnecessary spam. 

The best way to do this is, as we mentioned above, getting personal. Using email automation tools, you can automatically send tailored emails to different affiliates without much effort. These tools can help to personalize the email by including the affiliate’s name, progress, and statistics.

Video conferencing

In the same way that a sales representative will ask customers sales discovery questions to find out their goals and concerns, it’s important that your affiliate communication does the same thing. But, of course, this can be time consuming. An excellent form of communication that allows you to address multiple affiliates at once is video calling.

 This can mean organizing monthly or quarterly webinars that feature a Q&A, allowing your affiliates to address you directly. You can use anything from a virtual telephone service to YouTube Live. These events are far more intimate than emails and encourage your affiliates to promote your product, champion your company, and boost your revenue.

How to Keep Affiliates Engaged to Maximize ROI

Reward your affiliates

Affiliates are in many ways a blend of a loyal customer and an employee. Many companies offer loyal customers discounts, and long-serving employees pay rises. Rewarding your affiliates is crucial to incentivizing promotional growth.

 The type of commission or incentive scheme you decide to implement should be tailored to your company and the specific affiliate. For example, you can reward affiliates based on the amount of traffic produced, the number of leads generated, or, more commonly, per sale of a product.  

But, you can get as creative as you want with it. Here are a few different ways you can reward your affiliates:

  • Personal discount code. If they are a junior affiliate, they may be satisfied, at first, with receiving your products at a reduced price.
  • Public discount code. This scheme is often used on social media, where companies provide affiliates with a discount code that they advertise to their followers. Every time someone uses the code, the affiliate receives a commission.
  • Tier-based commissions. This concept involves creating certain levels that affiliates can unlock based on the amount of revenue they generate. These tiers can unlock increased commission percentages and even free products. This method encourages affiliates to boost their promotion to reach a higher tier and provides you with a greater ROI.
  • Affiliate competitions. Here, you can offer a lucrative prize draw to your affiliates based on their performance. It is crucial, in this scenario, to ensure that the criteria for entry are low enough for all your affiliates to participate. This will encourage greater junior affiliate engagement.
  • Recognition. This isn’t monetary-based, but everyone likes to feel appreciated, and your affiliates are no different. Sending your affiliates surprise gifts, plaques, and certificates for reaching certain milestones will help to improve affiliate relationships and increase retention.

Don’t forget to support

It is crucial for businesses to have an efficient support system. Companies acquire the assistance of customer contact center solutions such as Talkdesk or other Talkdesk competitors to ensure that their customer journey is as smooth as possible. They also have a well-trained HR department for employees. 

As we mentioned above, affiliates fall in between these two categories, so it is vital for you to also provide them with support.

Media assets

Excellent affiliate marketing is all about creating engaging content that followers can interact with, enjoy, and eventually convert. You can provide affiliates with content support such as persuasive product copy, stock images, video or music access rights, and your top affiliates, specially customized graphics.

These assets will allow your affiliates to easily integrate your branding with their specific social media page or blog. This will increase content professionalism, which will increase their followers’ trust in the partnerships, increasing your number of conversions and improving ROI.

General support

In addition to what we mentioned above, it is also essential to provide a general support system that makes the affiliate program easy to follow. This can include a contact number or a detailed FAQ page. Both of these should be clearly provided in the welcome package.

How to Keep Affiliates Engaged to Maximize ROI

Make your affiliates feel valued

The key to increasing affiliate engagement is making them feel like a valuable part of your team. A loyal and highly motivated affiliate can almost act as a business partner. It’s no wonder that affiliate marketing’s conversion rate has been increasing and return on ad spending (ROAS) has been shown to reach a ratio of 12:1.

Product releases

One of the most effective ways to improve affiliate relationships is by providing them with early access to specific launches and releases.

A great example of this was Activision sending their affiliates a special crate that included a teaser for their soon-to-be-released Call of Duty game. This not only made their influencers feel valued but, because they posted about the package on social media, it helped to increase the excitement and anticipation around the game. 

Testing and feedback

Your affiliates are, in essence, fans of your business that know your products inside and out. Asking for feedback on your products is a great way to show that you value their opinion.

You can also ask for feedback on the affiliate program itself. Providing them with a questionnaire and implementing a program change based on their answers shows that you put your affiliates’ concerns first.

To sum up

Affiliate programs can increase your conversion rate and brand awareness. They are an invaluable tool in modern day marketing. The main thing businesses want to ensure is that if they provide individuals with discounts, free products, and money, they are receiving a good ROI. 

The key to affiliate marketing is not only about monitoring metrics but also creating an environment that encourages engagement and builds rapport. The most successful affiliate marketers provide clear onboarding, frequent and concise communication, sufficient and creative incentives, a wide array of support, and most importantly, they make their affiliates feel like an integral part of the company. 

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Affise Academy

Affise is a partner marketing platform for brands, advertisers and agencies to scale via all possible performance marketing channels. Synergy of technology and our long standing experience lets you expand your partnerships, automate every step of the campaign lifecycle and make data-driven decisions.

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