Managing your affiliate partners can be a tough job, especially if your company is still new. There are plenty of tactics you can use in order to start up your affiliate marketing campaign and come in contact with people and brands which can help you and your business grow.
Affiliate partners can really help your brand become more popular and gain a bigger following and customer base online. You can start this process even if your customer base is still small. In the words of Bo Bennet, “Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires”. In order to help you achieve just that, here are some of the best tactics to help you manage and engage your affiliate partners.
What exactly is an affiliate relationship?
First and foremost, it is important to briefly explain what affiliate relationships are, for those who are new to the term but still wish to make their small businesses more successful. Affiliate relationships are essentially partnerships between two entities where the one benefits from the other through either a monetary reward through sales or through more online exposure.
Apart from starting an affiliate partnership with a popular influencer, companies can also be affiliated with a few other different brands which can be smaller parts of a larger parent company. A great example to help get a better understanding of this last fact is the L’ORÉALCompany, which also includes other companies such as Giorgio Armani, IT Cosmetics and Lancôme under the section of L’ORÉAL LUXE companies.
The benefits of a successful affiliate partnership
A successful affiliate partnership can be numerous benefits and unique opportunities for your brand. First of all, you will be able to come in contact with a large number of new followers and potential customers very easily. This can help you gain a larger amount of traffic on your social media pages and website without you having to work hard on creating a targeted social media marketing campaign in order to attract more people who will be interested in what you have to offer.
Along with that, it can also help you get to expand your reach to an international audience and help you do sales in other parts of the world. Online influencers can come from all sorts of countries and backgrounds and they can easily help you come in contact with their local audiences from all over the world.
One additional great benefit of affiliate marketing is that it can help you increase your revenue, as the people and companies you work with will want to drive more sales your way as they will be able to also get a monetary reward out of this situation. This will benefit both parties involved and it will help strengthen your working relationship and make it more efficient and successful.
Build a strong affiliate relationship
The very first thing you should be doing when starting up a working relationship with a new partner is to make sure that you do everything you can to make them feel welcome. The best thing you can do in order to achieve that is to create a welcome letter.
Welcome letters can be automated and you can very easily make it so that you change certain things like the name of the company or recipient and certain details about your contract. This is the very first piece of communication between you and your new affiliate partner and it should make them feel like you truly are excited to start working with them.
The more effort you put into showing them how much you value your partnership, the more motivated they will be to go the extra mile and include your company a lot more frequently in their stories and posts.
Communicate with them regularly
After your first initial connection, it is up to you to make sure that you keep contact and keep building trust in your working relationship. There is no better way to achieve that other than staying in contact with them and communicating with them regularly.
Emails are probably the best form of communication when it comes to business relationships. You can personalize them as much as you want, send them as frequently or as rarely as you like and use them as a direct way to answer questions and solve any issues that might appear.
One thing you should be careful of though is to not over-communicate. Sending emails too frequently will most likely tire your partners and they could start avoiding reading your emails.As a result, you will be pushing them away more and more and they will start missing out on important emails you are sending out to them.
In order to avoid this from happening, you can start planning out the emails you will be sending out. Instead of randomly sending out emails, planning them will make your partners expect you to reach out to them on a certain time and day of each week and they will be much more likely to get back to you with a reply.
As a result, you will stay in contact and they will feel a lot more comfortable about reaching out to you in case they need anything, therefore strengthening your business relationship and enhancing communication.
Create a revenue share
When working with an affiliate partner, you will have to remember that they will be expecting a monetary commission as a payment for the promotion they offer you. Some smaller influencers might be happy with just receiving certain products and services, but partners with a larger following will expect a monetary payment in return.
Most affiliate programs you will start will need to offer the pairing partner a percentage of the total purchase made by a person they sent your way. There are many different ways for you to give them their share but most affiliate partners will want to use PayPal, so make sure you have created an account in advance.
Start a PR list for your partners
When you launch a new product or service, the very first people you want to try and review it are your affiliate partners. Depending on your past working experiences with them, you should easily be able to tell which ones will give you an honest review about it and really give you feedback which can be useful.
If you have a bigger scale company and you don’t always offer a monetary reward to your partners, you can create a small PR list where you will be able to send your newest products to some of your affiliate partners for free, even before they reach the market for everyone else.
The point of this tactic is to, first of all, get some initial feedback on your newest products but to also create hype online about your newest releases. Most people online these days enjoy doing unboxing videos either on their YouTube channels or on the stories of their social media platforms, as their followers enjoy seeing them open up and try new products.
Both of these situations can help bring more traffic to your website and more people who will be a lot more likely to make a purchase. Influencers and other successful businesses are trusted and loved by their online followers and this means that these potential customers will be a lot more likely to make a purchase on your website since their favorite people online enjoyed what you have to offer.
Provide them with special discounts and offers
Have you ever watched a YouTube video where a popular influencer is using a product and urges their followers to use a certain code in order to get a special discount off of the original price? In most cases, these codes are exactly how these influencers get their monetary commission from their affiliates when a purchase is made on their website.
In addition to giving them such codes they can share with their audience, another thing you can do is to offer your affiliate partners a special discount for orders on your website. Those that truly enjoy your products and services will most likely not just sit and wait for your next PR package, but they will want to get their hands on products their love as soon as they run out.
A big discount which will be exclusive just for them will help you possibly get an even better review from their side and your products will get much more exposure on social media, as they are probably going to open their packages online, once again.
The point of these discounts is not for you to get money off of the people you work with. The point is to find more ways to get exposure on their online platforms and get more of their followers to notice your brand without you having to put more effort into a well-planned social media marketing strategy.
Include them in giveaways
If you have your own Instagram account, you have probably come across one of the thousands of Giveaways that run every single day on the platform.If so, you might have also had the chance to see the number of people that like to participate in them.
Winning something for free will never stop being tempting for most people and giveaways will always be a great way to attract more people to your social media page and therefore your brand. In order to achieve a lot of traffic on these posts, you should probably try and partner up with one of your affiliate partners.
You can ask them to simply advertise the picture of the giveaway on their own social media pages and invite their followers to participate in order to win a free product or service from your website. You should also keep in mind that there are certain rules you need to follow in order to make this be successful for you. Some of these rules should be the following:
- Follow the social media pages of both participants
- Like the post
- Repost the picture on their social media pages
- Tag one or more friends who would enjoy the products
All of these rules will help you attract more people to the post you created and therefore to your brand. The main point of a giveaway is to get more people interested in trying out what you have to offer. When they start following your brand during a giveaway, those people participating are most likely going to want to see a preview of what they are potentially going to win.
This curiosity is more likely to drive them to your website and they are more likely to find products they would enjoy. When the giveaway is over, even if they haven’t won, they will still be following your social media page and there are more chances of them making a purchase in order to try something they saw and thought would be useful or enjoyable to them.
Ask for their feedback
Last but not least, another thing you need to keep into consideration is that the people you have established an affiliate partnership with can be the best source of feedback for you for a variety of purposes.
First of all, you can ask them for feedback and recommendations on your email marketing campaigns, as they should be receiving promotional emails on a regular basis as well. Whether they are getting a monetary commission from you or not, you should make it clear to them that their honest opinion matters to your improvement and the betterment of your working relationship and working conditions.
Along with that, you can also ask for their honest opinion on your products, even before they hit the market. Many influencers nowadays will try and give their honest opinions about a product to their online followers and won’t be dependent on the money they receive as they consider their honesty more important than anything else.
These people can really help you improve many of your products and allow you to show both your and their followers how much your brand is trying to please its customers and perfect anything you offer them with.
Working with people who help your brand grow
Just like with any other business relationship, it is important to remember that you don’t have to continue working with people who are not offering you everything you are looking for out of an affiliate partnership. The point of such an agreement is to provide each other with mutual benefits and to work in unison in order to achieve higher numbers of followers and publicity for both sides.
Having many different affiliates will help you increase your reach and come in contact with more clients as well as more people who might be able to help you learn something new. Such partnerships will always be beneficial for both parties and they can help even smaller scale brands build a reputation in a very small amount of time, so be wise about how you handle your relationships with your affiliate partners.
Which of these tactics are you going to be focusing on in your affiliate relationships?
Affiliate marketing is evolving into partner marketing, fostering two-way partnerships that bring mutual benefits and increase credibility.
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