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5 Key Tenants to a Successful Affiliate Program

Taylor Barr (The Up Foundry) on April 3, 2018

5 Key Tenants to a Successful Affiliate Program

Why do some affiliate programs launch with great success while others die and peter out?

Working behind the scenes on a lot of affiliate programs I can tell you that it involves just a few areas of focus that separate good partner programs from great ones.

Let’s dive into the key components that make up a great affiliate program.

1) They have a 5-star onboarding process.

In my experience, 90% of affiliate programs think of their onboarding as an afterthought. What is onboarding? it’s the process of an affiliate partner signing up for your program and being supported as they get up to speed with promoting your product/service.

What makes great onboarding?

  • Simple and easy registration process.
  • Welcome email with helpful information and clearly showing the partner where to find their affiliate link.
  • A face and name; Having the picture, name, and email of the person managing the program is key if you want to build trust with your affiliate partners.
  • FAQ’s of the most common questions your partners might have.

2) They Possess Clear & On-going communication with ALL affiliate partners.

What separates an excellent affiliate program from a mediocre one is how many times they communicate to their affiliate partners - both individually and to their entire affiliate base.

Tip: Touch base with your top affiliate partners at least monthly via email or Skype™ and send email communications about new product features, promotions, etc. at least once a quarter to everyone else

3) They Value every type of Affiliate Partner.

So many programs target and focus on only their top partner producers. However, every affiliate partner has a different timeline, expectation, and budget for promoting your company.

Top-notch affiliate programs recognize this and work with their affiliate partners one-on-one to customize support and success for each.

4) They are Consistent with Payouts.

Affiliate Partners are often times putting up the time and budget to promote your product/service before they get paid commission. Therefore, when it comes time to pay them - you always pay on time and with open transparency on who they are getting paid

5) They Ask for Feedback (Good or Bad).

The best affiliate programs are not infallible to criticism or constructive feedback. Better yet, they ask for it on a regular basis. Feedback surveys should be issued at least once a year, asking questions on onboarding experience, promotional materials, and education to succeed, and other core areas of your affiliate program (like commission structure and payout schedule).

That’s it. Is your affiliate program instilling these principles? If not, 2018 is a great opportunity to make changes to make it a successful one.