Keeping employees motivated isn’t always easy. But how about affiliates? They’re your partners in an affiliate network, rather than your employees, yet, they still work for you. So what should you do, and what should you not do, when cooperating with such unique “employees” as affiliates? And how can you keep them motivated so that they are eager to improve their performance? When it comes to effective and efficient affiliate cooperation, the best thing to do is to be on the same page as your affiliates.
The share of affiliate marketing in business revenues is constantly growing. Affiliates generate more than 20% of the annual revenues of various businesses, and this trend is expected to grow. So what should you do as a merchant to keep affiliates working at the highest level while avoiding burnout? We’ve curated a list of tips and tricks that’ll help keep your affiliates motivated.
The atmosphere is key
First of all, remember that you work with people that want to be treated well and want to work in a friendly atmosphere. Our tip? Talk to your affiliates — show an interest in what they do. Ask what tasks they feel they’re excelling in, and which tasks cause them the most problems. You should make sure that your affiliates feel confident about both their work, but are also able to discuss any issues with you.
Affiliates should know that they can turn to you with any matter, idea, or problem. You must make it clear that you are open to suggestions and that you value their feedback. The team atmosphere is one of the most important factors affecting the quality of work provided by your affiliates. CareerBuilder carried out research during which more than 50% of respondents admitted that they are less productive in a cold work environment, so it’s definitely worth it to create a friendly, warm atmosphere.
On the other hand, team spirit is also crucial. If your affiliates work together, they need to enjoy the cooperation. You, as a merchant, should also provide some opportunities to strengthen their ties. This could be with monthly dinners out of the office, for example, or going to basketball games together. It all depends on your and your team’s preferences. It’s also important to take care of problems as soon as they arise. Otherwise, an unsolved issue might affect the quality of your affiliate’s work and motivation.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it will help a little with motivating affiliates. Let’s be honest, the financial aspect is important. First of all, payments should be adequate for the amount of work and experience. Commissions should be varied, or if you have decided on different payout methods they should all be adjusted based on the above-listed factors. You don’t want to make your affiliates feel unappreciated, so keep this in mind.
Secondly, the conditions of your cooperation should be clear – how much and for what. This is a very important issue because the topic of finances can lead to many disputes, which can be a source of dissatisfaction for many workers. Why should they work hard if their effort isn’t reflected on their balance sheets? Did you know that the average employee spends about 13 hours at work worrying about money? Our advice? It’s best to squash these concerns.
Practice makes perfect
Your affiliates are most likely aiming to be perfect at their jobs, so provide them with some possibilities to improve their knowledge. Personalized workshops or training will pay off for both sides. Gaining additional qualifications and developing skills are some of the best opportunities you can provide your affiliates with.
Moreover, having the right tools and software can make your affiliate’s jobs easier. Having affiliates create promotional visuals using outdated software or a laggy program, for example, will definitely harm their motivation. What’s more, it can also affect the quality of their work.
Post Affiliate Pro, an affiliate management software, will help your agents work more efficiently. It offers a Promotional Materials feature, with which affiliates can easily find the right graphics or videos for their content, or create new content according to their needs.
Give your affiliates some time for feedback and ask them about the software and tools you provided them with. Discuss the tools, the quality of their work, but also which training or workshops they want to participate in in the future.
Keep everything clear. Set understandable goals and communicate them to everyone in your affiliate network. Is your goal to increase traffic to your website? Inform your affiliates about that. Do you expect more subscriptions to the newsletter? Then make sure your affiliates are aware of that goal too. Different goals require different strategies, and if your goals change, you can’t forget to update your affiliates.
Moreover, your incentive program should also be clearly defined. How do you reward outstanding results? Will the reward for increasing sales be the same as for getting referrals? Mull over your bonus reward system and make sure that every affiliate understands it. If you run multiple affiliate programs, you should consider a separate incentive scheme for each.
Support is a value
Affiliates will not work efficiently unless they are sure that support is within their reach whenever they need it. They must be aware that they can contact you with any problem and that you will do your best to solve it, regardless of whether these are technical or personal problems in the team. You should make it clear to everyone that you are there for them, and that you will do everything in your power to eliminate any inconveniences.
It is also quite important to offer affiliates support if something bad happens in their private lives. If an affiliate reports to you that they won’t meet a deadline because of some unexpected circumstances, don’t ask for details but instead give your support and suggest a few days off of work. Allow your affiliates the necessary time to deal with problems, so that when they are ready they will return to work filled with motivation.
This is a trendy term these days but ensuring that your affiliates maintain a good work-life balance really is crucial. An overworked person won’t be effective enough nor motivated enough to carry out assigned tasks, so set realistic deadlines.
Regardless of the industry, every employee should have paid time off for themselves, their family, and friends, and enjoy their hobbies. This way, they will be ready to do their best at work every day in addition to being relaxed enough to face new challenges. It sounds like a win-win situation!
Growth and variety
To keep your affiliates constantly motivated, give them the chance to show their full potential. Don’t give them the same tasks time and time again, but assign different customers, various (higher) levels of difficulty, or even other industries. People like challenges and challenges happen to be one of the best motivators.
According to Korn Ferry’s survey, 33% of employees quit their jobs because of boredom and a lack of challenges. After all, everyone wants to show what they can do and present the full range of their abilities. You may see your affiliates truly spread their wings if given the chance.
The same thing applies to a variety of tasks. Nobody likes to do copy paste work. Most of your affiliates are likely to be creative souls who need development and diversity to let their imaginations run wild. Our tip? Change up your affiliates’ tasks every once in a while. Simple as that.
Motivating affiliates is key if you want their work to be done well and thoroughly. You can’t just demand and expect, you should rather provide possibilities for growth. What’s more, you should also provide doses of motivational stimuli and spread them out over time to maintain high levels of motivation for as long as possible. We hope the above tips will help you keep your affiliates happy most of the time, and contribute to the growth of your business thanks to affiliate marketing. Fingers crossed for your company’s bright future!
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