Affiliate marketing is a competitive landscape and your partners are promoting numerous other products so employing strategies to keep them engaged, and your brand top of mind, is a must for continued success. I recently attended Affiliate Summit West and took part in some great sessions covering strategies to increase sales and, in particular, re-engage stagnant affiliate partners. One session in particular by Dush Ramachandran of The Net Momentum outlined some great ideas on how to increase sales. In his presentation, Dush covered a number of ideas including:
1. Run a Sales Contest Between your Partners
Why does this work?
- Doing so allows you to achieve sales within a fixed timeframe
- Works to establish sales order minimums to qualify for prizes
2. Connect to a Charity with an Offer to Donate a Portion of Sales
Why does this work?
- Customers and affiliates are attracted to offers that give back
- Especially powerful around the holidays
3. Offer a Guaranteed EPC
Why does this work?
- Useful for new/unproven products
- Limits risk for affiliates without capping upside
In addition to Dush’s ideas above, here are 7 additional proven ways to reactivate stagnant partners:
4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
It all starts here. One of the biggest pain points for affiliates is lack of communication from their merchants. From new product offerings to upcoming sales, communicating a calendar of events to affiliates is highly beneficial as it, more often than not, results in improved on-site placement as well as the possibility of reduced rates for premium placements when done far enough in advance.
Examples of types of information to be communicated on a regular basis:
- Promo calendar
- Best sellers
- New/Seasonal styles
- Customer data (demographic, geographic, etc.)
- Creative updates
5. Clickstream Attribution – Award Credit Along the Entire Path
One way to win your partners’ trust and loyalty is to pay commission on assisted conversions vs. solely last click. This is especially powerful for building relationships with high-quality content sites and bloggers who may not have the resources/budget to compete with the larger, higher-trafficked sites.
6. Performance-based Incentives
A very effective way to keep partners engaged, and your brand/product featured in prime real estate, is to offer a performance-based incentive. An example of this is to offer a commission increase based on a specific threshold such as sales revenue.
For example, if partners reach $10,000 in sales in a 30-day period then they receive a 5% commission bump for that period. This gives your partners a goal to reach each month and incentive to actively promote your products.
7. Transaction-based Incentives
Want to increase AOV and engage your partners at the same time? Of course! Adding a transaction-based bonus can help you do just that. If your brand offers a range of products at varying price points, and you’d like to push the higher, then tacking on a fixed-$ bonus for a desired order total (e.g. $20 bonus for orders over $400) could help you achieve both feats!
An additional transaction-based option is to offer a bonus for new-to-file customers. In the battle for acquisition and proving out incremental value, incentivizing new customer growth is a great way to engage affiliates and reinforce the channel’s acquisition value.
8. Product-based Incentives
We’ve all been there… “someone” in the organization ordered a million of the soon-to-be hottest product on planet earth and now, six months later, you’re stuck with the task of trying to clear out 999,982 of them. Good thing you have an affiliate program!
With a product-based incentive, you can increase the commission payout for a specific product or category (such as “Clearance”) to help move select items. Product-based incentives are also great for new products, seasonal products, etc.
9. Creative-based Incentives
Similar to product-based incentives, with creative-based incentives you can offer increased commission payouts for the use of specific creative. So, if you have sparkling new creative for a fresh new product, adding a creative-base incentive is a way to gain additional visibility and help drive awareness along with partner engagement.
10. Offer Marketing Tools & Support
Finally, one of the most frequent requests we receive from affiliates is for additional marketing support. Whether it be pre-made creative, blog content, video content or additional collateral materials that will improve customer experience on their site (e.g. if you sell apparel you could provide a sizing/fit chart), continually providing partners with fresh marketing materials will significantly help to keep them engaged and, more importantly, assist them in selling your product.