Affiliate Survey Questions You Should Be Asking

Blog cover: Affiliates

2019 is almost a wrap!

And, it’s time to start thinking about your affiliate marketing strategy for the upcoming year. As you review the past year and set goals for the next, it’s important not to forget the key to making all of this work - your affiliates.

Your affiliates are a great resource for improving your affiliate program.

Find out what’s working, what’s missing and what they expect as an affiliate. Their feedback will not only help you improve your program for existing affiliates, it will also offer valuable insight for what you can do to attract new ones.

We’ve compiled a list of what you should be asking your affiliates, including sample questions and survey resources.

Where to Start with An Affiliate Survey

Before you begin writing your survey questions, there’s a couple things to keep in mind.

Survey Length
First, be sure to keep it short and to the point. Long surveys may deter your affiliates from even wanting to take the survey, or they could lose interest if the questions seem never-ending. Try to find the in-between of long enough for you to get proper feedback, but short enough to not inconvenience those taking it.

Aim for your survey to take less than 10 minutes, preferably at the 5 minute mark.

Survey Data Points
Taking into account survey length, also consider what you are looking to gain from affiliate feedback.

We suggest you create a survey with qualitative data points. This will give you more precise, in-depth feedback that can be directly implemented to improve your program.

Questions like “rate the commission structure 1-5” may be quicker and easier. But, this will only give a surface level marker for an affiliate’s satisfaction - instead of providing a comprehensive why or why not, strengths and weaknesses, and what can be improved.

It is possible to combine these methods. You can start a survey asking for a rating like “Rate the marketing materials helpful, somewhat helpful or not helpful”. Then, you can ask for further explanation like “Please explain your rating”.

Affiliate Survey 1

Generally speaking though, survey with less questions but more explicit feedback will be more beneficial than a survey filled with dozens of rating & score questions.

Survey Purpose
It’s also important to be sincere with your survey intentions. In other words, don’t waste anyone’s time.

The survey feedback should be used for improving your program, so be transparent why this feedback matters and how you will use it. If you have implemented specific changes from previous affiliate feedback, this is something to highlight. The message could be something like:

“Last year we heard you needed new marketing materials, and this year we worked hard to improve this by revamping our affiliate assets. As you can see, your feedback matters and we would love if you could take this quick survey to make our affiliate program even better.”

What to Ask in an Affiliate Survey

Five areas to focus on for your survey: Onboarding, commissions, marketing materials, communication & support, and performance.

How was onboarding?
Start with asking about the onboarding process. You’ll want to know how easy it was for affiliates to join your program, seeing if there were any gaps or confusion.

These questions will be particularly useful in addressing any parts of your onboarding that could be holding back a potential affiliates from joining or being active in your program.

Examples of onboarding questions:

  • Did you feel like the onboarding prepared you adequately?
  • What could there have been more of?
  • What could there have been less of?
  • What were your biggest challenges when first starting?

Are you satisfied with commissions?
It goes without saying that commissions are pretty important. It plays a major role in appealing to new affiliates and keeping existing affiliates motivated.

As we’ve mentioned before, there’s no perfect formula for affiliate commissions. But this feedback will help you adjust to a commission that better incentivizes. For example, you may find whether bonuses actually work or if there is another commission that would be more fitting for generated conversions.

Some questions to consider asking:

  • Are you satisfied with the commission rate?
  • What motivates you to promote more?
  • Were you interested by the bonuses/contest this year?
  • Does the current payout schedule meet your expectations?

Did you have all the marketing materials you needed to promote?
Where and how affiliates promote can change pretty fast, especially with social media trends changing regularly.

It’s important that you keep your affiliate program up to date with these changes. And, one of the best ways to do this is by asking your affiliate’s opinion on the materials you have, as well as the materials they need.

Affiliate Survey 2

Find which materials are the most useful by asking something like:

  • Did you have enough promotional materials?
  • Did the promotional materials fit with the channels you use?
  • Was it easy to use the promotional materials?
  • What promotional materials will help you?
  • What style of promotional materials do you like best?

Did our communication & support meet expectations?
The foundation of the affiliate-advertiser relationship is communication. Successful affiliate programs are able to find the sweet spot of supporting affiliates so that they are successful, while not overwhelming their inboxes and consuming too much of your time on messages that go unread.

By understanding what support your affiliates need more precisely, you will be able to improve virtually every component of your affiliate program - from onboarding to commissions to promotions.

Some questions that could help you find this out:

  • Did you receive the support you needed?
  • Did you have enough information about products/promotions?
  • Did you receive enough information about the program?
  • Would you like more, the same, or less communication?

What helped make your performance successful?
This is your time to see how things are going for your affiliates, gaining perspective to their overall efforts and performance.

These questions will be more general than the other topics. The aim is to find out how your affiliates can be the most effective in promoting your business.

You can ask the following:

  • What worked best for you this year?
  • What you’ll need for the coming year?
  • What was your biggest challenge?

Ways to Send an Affiliate Survey

There’s several places for you to create a survey online. You may already have a preferred platform, but here are some popular options:

Send your survey through your regular affiliate communication channels. This could be email, a newsletter, Facebook/Linkedin Groups.

If you are experiencing low survey turnout, consider using an incentive like a gift card winner to increase response rates. You can read more about how to do this here.

Affiliate Survey, Complete. What’s Next?

After your survey results come in, it’s time to analyze and implement.

Look at trends to see what is working and what is not, and see what is more important to your affiliates. For example, if you receive a lot of in-depth answers about commissions but not so many about communication, focus more on that area.

And be sure to not only focus on using the feedback to focus on areas of improvement, but instead also use feedback as inspiration to continue any good practices. For example, if you receive a lot of praise for your communication, focus on what made this successful and what can be done to ensure these standards are upheld and adjusted to any program changes.

Then finally, be sure to use these data points for improvement. As we mentioned before, you should be able to clearly show affiliates how their feedback as helped and the changes that have come from it.

For more on improving your affiliate program, be sure to check out more articles on the Tapfiliate blog.

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5 Key Tenants to a Successful Affiliate Program
5 Strategies to Successfully Onboard Affiliates
Communicating with Affiliates: A Step-by-Step Guide