6 Marketing Strategies to Supercharge Affiliate Engagement
Supercharge your affiliate engagement using these simple but proven strategies so you can drive more revenue and increase traffic from your affiliate partners.
Affiliate marketing spending is expected to reach 8.2 billion dollars in the United States in 2022, up from 5.4 billion in 2015, and this trend is showing no sign of stopping. Affiliate marketing has already overtaken email on revenue generation.
Image source: Statista
But the affiliate marketing machine doesn’t power itself. Brands need to work to keep sought-after affiliates engaged. Below are six affiliate marketing strategies to boost your engagement and set yourself up for success in the long term.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Set up an email newsletter
- Make yourself available
- Run promotions
- Support your affiliates
- - Provide guides and materials
- Set up a community
Set up an email newsletter
If you have a solid affiliate communication plan, you will avoid information getting lost in the shuffle, missed opportunities, and you could reduce your affiliate engagement.
Sending out a regular email newsletter to all your affiliates is a quick, convenient way to keep in touch with your affiliates. Additionally, every email is a chance to re-activate contacts who haven’t been active recently.
It could be as easy as creating an “affiliate” tag in your existing contact list. But it’s best practice to have a dedicated email for all communications with your affiliates. Keeping all communication in one place reassures your affiliates that at least one person in the company is dedicated to their success.
These emails could include company news, upcoming promotions and events, insights and advice to help affiliates grow their revenue, and reports on their success.
You could even tailor these reports to specific affiliates. One increasing trend in ecommerce personalization is hyper-personalization: Tailoring emails based on typical user behavior. Marketers enjoy a big jump in engagement with this kind of personalized content, and so could you.
Image source: Duolingo/ReallyGoodEmails
Think of Duolingo’s reminder emails customized to your activity or Grammarly’s annual summaries of how much you got done. With some integration of the data you’re tracking in the company, it’s easy to dynamically insert your affiliate’s performance stats in these email communications. Those stats are a great incentive for your active affiliates to open your email and engage right away.
Make yourself available
Video meetings and remote office hours are a great way to make yourself available to your affiliates. Even if it’s just ten minutes, a dedicated one-on-one call allows you to catch up on how things are progressing and share any information they need -making it one of the simplest yet most effective affiliate marketing strategies.
Your affiliates are almost certainly working with other clients. But how many of those would go the extra mile and build a strong relationship with affiliates? With just ten minutes now and then, you could drive more engagement across your affiliate program.
Dedicated one-on-ones with every one of your affiliates would fill up your schedule very fast. You might want to limit those one-on-ones to your top affiliates. At scale, you could make yourself open to all affiliates with dedicated office hours. This could be over calls through a computer based phone system that can quickly get them through to you.
You can have calls without it being one-on-one, too. A group call, recorded for anyone who can’t make it, provides most of the benefit of individual calls without taking up much of your time.
This could be a monthly call to catch up with your affiliates on the month’s performance. It could be a special event held a few times a year for new product launches and marketing pushes.
There’s so much you could do with this “webinar” format. A live Q&A session at the end of your presentation will allow you to answer common questions once and have all your affiliates hear the answer. You could have guest speakers on, like your most successful affiliates, to provide inspiring advice and guidance for your other affiliates. For many, this alone would be worth it.
Image source: Unsplash
The last thing you want is your affiliates to push the same message month in, month out. Your messages will get stale, and you won’t engage your affiliates because they’re just repeating themselves.
Unique, time-sensitive campaigns can create temporary boosts in an engagement where it’s lacking. Plus, your most successful affiliates will give their efforts a little boost too.
You could tie campaigns to new product launches or seasonal promotions. If you find your affiliate efforts need a boost, you can just run a short campaign to incentivize them. You could give a temporary increase in their commission fee, a higher commission rate on specific products, or a bonus for a certain number of sales.
Additionally, it would be best to run campaigns with specific affiliates to try and boost revenue and engagement. You’re likely not the only company they’re working with, so you want to stand out from the crowd by rewarding exceptional performance.
Offer additional rewards for premium placements on an affiliate’s website, performance on particular metrics like numbers of orders in a specific week or month, revenue goals reached, or the number of orders over a specific value.
With top affiliate marketing tracking software, you’ll be able to offer excellent incentives to your affiliates and keep them engaged with different campaigns.
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Support your affiliates
Whether over email or on a call, you need a dedicated channel where affiliates can reach out if they need help. This alone should cover most issues, but what if affiliates need more support than that?
This becomes more of a problem as your number of affiliates increases. As your affiliate program matures, you should have documents prepared and updated, such as best practices, successful case studies, audience personas, and related marketing messages.
Even if you have one person whose full-time job is handling affiliates, you want to automate this work as much as possible. With Tapfiliate, you can automate your workflows using triggered emails and webhooks using our Zapier integration.
Provide guides and materials
Once you find good affiliates, you’ll see better engagement if you do as much as possible to set them up for success early on. By including detailed guides in their onboarding process, you can ensure that affiliates have the best information to hand when they start marketing your company.
Make sure these guides are up-to-date; any reasonable marketing effort is all about learning and iterating. Take a quick look at your guide whenever you have notable success with one of your affiliates. Is there anything your successful affiliate did that you can add as an example, or anything they found didn’t work? Make sure to keep your guide as up-to-date as possible.
At scale, it’s common for affiliate programs to have a power-law distribution where f popular influencers or websites are driving many of the sales. Excellent guides and onboarding documents can help those who aren’t at the top already. Improving their performance will “raise the floor” on even your least engaged affiliates.
Ensure your affiliates have access to the same high-quality marketing assets you have. Keep these all in a shared folder that will act as the single source of truth, ensuring consistency across all your affiliate marketing strategies and campaigns.
Your affiliates often produce content on tight schedules, so it isn’t suitable for anyone if they have to ask you for the right assets. A wide array of high-quality assets such as banners, data feeds, coupon codes, and social media images will increase engagement as the barrier to working with you is low.
Image source: Unsplash
Set up a community
Finally, take after companies like Food52 and GoProposal, and harness the value of community. A closed community of your affiliates can supercharge engagement by giving them a network and a sense of belonging. Your affiliates will have peers to compete and collaborate with, and they’ll have easy access to advice from you and the other affiliates.
A community is an excellent addition to the affiliate marketing strategies mentioned above. Use your community to schedule video calls, solicit content for your email newsletter, or run promotions and giveaways. Host your affiliate community on whatever platform feels appropriate. Facebook, LinkedIn, Discord, and more are all viable.
The platform isn’t as important as the value proposition. You can increase affiliate engagement by offering special perks to your community. These could be early access to new products, gifts, or special discounts.
Do you find that your top affiliates benefit from specific tools or software? See if you can negotiate a special offer for other affiliates to access those tools at a discount or for free. There are countless ways to make your affiliates feel the benefit of working with you beyond the kickback they get from sales.
A community is one easy place to solicit feedback from your affiliates, too. If you’re struggling with engagement, your affiliates are likely to have had exposure to countless affiliate programs, whereas you’ve only got your program and nothing to compare it with.
Across your community, emails, and any calls you’re running, check in with your affiliates and see where things could improve. It might be that people aren’t engaging because they don’t have a solid grasp of your promotional calendar and what launches are coming up in the next few months.
People might not be engaging because your guides aren’t as comprehensive as other programs. It could be that they have to amend the limited assets they have to make them work in their content. Treat your affiliate program as a product and treat your affiliates like customers. Feedback is essential to any product development, and your affiliates will only engage with your program if it’s working well for them.
Build a strong affiliate program
If you want to supercharge your affiliate engagement, any of these affiliate marketing strategies can ensure your affiliates get engaged and stay engaged. You’ll be able to quickly re-activate affiliates who are no longer engaged and drive revenue to your program. In combination, these strategies are the pillars of a solid program that will keep affiliates engaged without you having to chase after them.