There’s no shortage of click-bait articles promising you that affiliate marketing is a great way to make money while you sleep, but if that were true, there wouldn’t be so many empty cans of Red Bull scattered around our office.
It is true that affiliate marketing is a great way to make money, but building a successful and profitable relationship with your affiliates means doing more than signing up for a network and waiting for the cash to roll in. It takes careful management, relationship building and an understanding of the needs of both sides to generate sales.
These are the most important steps you need to take to get the most out of your affiliate partnerships.
Other than the product you’re selling, the most valuable asset you have is the customer and sales data you’re collecting. It should tell you everything from your top traffic sources to your highest performing offers and important demographic information about your customer base.
This info will be just as valuable to your affiliates as it is to you and the more information that you’re able to share with them, the easier it will be for them to craft offers and content that will appeal to their audience.
Additionally, once you’ve started partner marketing, take a close look at your highest-performing affiliates and try to share their strategies and best practices across your network.
Make Sure the Price is Right
Creating a strong affiliate commission structure is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a smooth relationship with your affiliates.
Of course, paying commissions is at the heart of all affiliate marketing, but if you want to do more to motivate your affiliates you can also include bonus commissions for high-performing affiliates or other incentives such as unique coupon codes or free products if certain sales benchmarks are met.
If you’re not sure how much to pay your affiliates, consider using Purply’s commission recommendations reports, which is a constantly updating list of what marketers are paying their affiliates.
Know Your Affiliates
We frequently use the term “affiliate” as if it means just one thing, but the reality is that an affiliate can belong to any one of a dozen different categories, including coupon sites, social media influencers and newsletters, each one of which provides different benefits for your brand.
Knowing which category type works best for each situation is crucial for reaching your sales goals.
For example, if you’re launching a new product and brand awareness is your highest priority, then you’re going to want to work with content partners and mass media publishers with large audiences, however, if you’re seeking to create external validation for your product, then you’ll want to work with review sites and bloggers who can spread the word about how good your product is.
Keeping your affiliates happy and motivated is one of the most important parts of managing a successful affiliate marketing campaign.