An affiliate is a person who earns money promoting your products and/or services to their audience for a percentage of the sales. To recruit these people you need to offer incentives and support, and that is often best done based around an affiliate program. Some of the most effective programs have the following features:
- Attractive income
This does not just mean paying out a high percentage of commissions. An affiliate will also be interested in other metrics, especially earnings per click (EPC). If you can reliably present this information to your potential affiliates it is more likely you will recruit them if the figures are favourable.
Speed of commission payout is another important factor. An affiliate would rather be paid weekly than monthly, and monthly rather than quarterly.
- Easy to sign up to
The signup process should be straightforward and easy. The program should generate an affiliate code that they can use simply by copying and pasting.
- Good quality marketing materials
Your affiliates should have access to good quality graphics, banners, infographics, sample blog posts, email sequences, and other marketing materials. These should be easy to use and easy to personalise so that your affiliates are more likely to use them.
- Good communication
Set up an email list just for your affiliates. Keep them informed of your latest offers, products or services you are planning to introduce, and anything else they would find of interest or help them as an affiliate. If you decide to run an affiliate contest when you launch a product have all the latest details available for them on a dedicated webpage.
- Provide incentives
Launch contests are a common way to incentivise affiliates. You can award prizes based on their position in a league table of affiliate sales or for reaching a certain level of sales. Often the prizes take the form of money or physical products, but they can take other forms. For example you could work with affiliates who reach a certain number of sales to plan an exclusive webinar or other event where you will speak directly to their audience, promote your product, and help them get more commissions.
- Offer training
Some of your affiliates may need training to help them learn how to market your products. This is especially true if you don’t have the online presence or offer to attract the interest of bigger, more experienced affiliates. Nurture your affiliates and they are more likely to stay with you longer and generate more sales for you.
Good affiliates will also be influenced by other factors outside your affiliate program. Your reputation, the quality of your products and/or services, and your customer follow-up will help them decide if they are willing to help you promote your business.