Affiliate marketing is a promising marketing model to help grow your business fast and stably. However, for a newbie in this field, it is not a piece of cake to instantly boost your sales from the very first step. Diving into this marketing method means you need to invest both your time and resources to give out the best campaign for your business.
During the setup period, which may take 1-2 months or even 3-6 months, you might not experience significant growth in affiliate numbers or even in sales, but don’t freak out because good things take time!
Although the success of an affiliate campaign mainly depend on the quality of your affiliates and their promotional activities, there are some tips you can try to optimize your affiliate campaign and drive more sales as a merchant:
1. Clarify your goals
It sounds obvious but it is really essential to state clearly your goals when running an affiliate program. It helps you to build a detailed plan with proper action, any move of your campaign needs to stick and serve that goal you set.
Especially, remember to quantify your objective: state the detailed figures for your goals, set short-term and long-term figures in each period in order to meet your target overall.
You can divide your goal into small metrics such as Revenue, Cost and profitability, traffic and productivity,… There are some questions you can ask yourself to set realistic goals with a clear time frame:
How much money do you want to make with affiliate marketing? If you have a clear idea of the monetary goal you can decide how much time, cost and effort you are ready to invest in.
How much work do you want to invest in this portion of the business? Knowing this helps you decide how much time and resources you should spend on, how often will you check your metrics and update your content or do a thorough review overall your strategy.
Will affiliate marketing be a core stream of income for your business? Do you see revenues brought from affiliates would be a large portion of your business income? You can set a medium goal at first to see is it is the right thing for your shop, then expand it in further periods.
Have you optimized the products and you’re promoting? Your product quality is the key to any marketing strategy. Make sure you sell the best products you can sell.
Keep in mind that your goal should be pointed, actionable andhave a time limit.
2. Offer an appropriate commission structure
After setting goals for your campaign, you can have a reasonable foundation to offer commission rate to your affiliates.
When setting the commission rules, make sure it is compatible with your market (not too low or too high compared to your competitors). Set a number that can make you stand out but may not spend all your money on affiliate marketing. Consider your profit margin, marketing cost and product original price to calculate proper commission amount, just be sure not to be too greedy or too generous.
In general, affiliate payout for specific industry would depend on
- Size and popularity of business
- Typical industry profit margin
- Type of sales
Beside setting program commission, you can also set special commission rules for specific products that might be useful for promoting products with higher/lower price or higher/lower profit margins. Merchant can make use of this feature by offering a higher commission rate for the product you want to drive more sales.
3. Be transparent about your affiliate program details
On the affiliate registration form, you should state clearly your program commission rule on the Benefit section and additional term. Affiliate would prefer a program with clearly stated details than ambiguous information. Some merchants also have strict rules about where you can and can’t use links and how you cite them, that’s okay then but just make sure to let the affiliate know about your rules.
Besides, you can add more fields on the registration to get more information of your affiliate, along with making a careful research about affiliate before approving them because it is affiliate quality that matters, not quantity.
4. Avoid spam sign up
As mentioned before, it is the affiliate quality that matters, not quantity, so you should apply some tips to avoid spam sign-up that may waste your time:
- Enable Captcha (human verification) to prevent fake affiliate accounts that are not created by human,
- Add more required fields on the Affiliate registration form to get more affiliate information, add field like Instagram account or Zip code,… to force affiliate provide information, it may eliminate untrustworthy account.
- Disable Auto-active affiliate: if you regularly get spam sign-up, you should deactivate Auto-active affiliate feature and spend time to research and approve affiliate manually, it may spend lots of your time at first but would be useful to manage your program later.
Besides, our system also prevents spam registration by automatically remove accounts with more than 5 capital letter on the sign-up name (which looks like fidufHaHUhYhZsNN) because we consider them as spam.
5. Treat affiliates as your peers
Affiliates are your partner, you clearly are not their boss. You are offering them a win-win relationship so you need to treat them with respect. Make sure when working with them, your team would be as helpful and available to support as possible.
Being straightforward with your ambassador will help create a comfortable atmosphere for you to work together as a team.
6. Review your shop with best quality product and precise description
Affiliate program success lies in the quality of your selling products. Before giving them to any promoter, make sure you optimize product quality and provide a precise description of product function, how your affiliate boosts your items will depend mainly on the product itself.
You should also collect customer testimonials to provide affiliates, realistic reviews from real customers would be a handy tool for partner. Besides, ambassadors themselves will try the product if possible to help with their promoting process, so there no use in praising your products to the skies.
7. Assist your affiliates while they are promoting your product:
The most important thing to do is to assist your partners on their work, you can’t expect to sit still and sales come up rapidly (it may if you are a big brand and affiliate actively contact you for partnership). Here are a few things you can try on your campaign:
- Make sure affiliate can reach you easily: Provide support email or other contact information so your affiliate can reach you easily.
- Provide high-quality product media kit: You can upload banners, product images and other media assets on Creatives with high quality to help your affiliate do their work better.
- Give advice to affiliates about the promotion method they should use because you know your products better. You can send Bulk email to affiliates or state your guide on Affiliate guide to help them with some tips or with the most suitable method.
- Share success story of existing affiliate in your shop for inspiration: Some of your affiliates may not be an expert yet, sharing them a motivating story could help to boost their attitude as well as provide them with a valuable lesson to apply.
- Send feedback on their performance: although your affiliate can see their performance on their account, you – the merchant should be the one who gives a regular report on their performance, you should notify them when their productivity comes high or low so you both can figure out a way to improve their performance. In case your affiliates do their job outstandingly, you can offer them a bonus to incentivize them for better results.
Above are some tips to optimize your affiliate marketing strategy on the initial period. Although the success of the job does depend on the affiliate’s marketing skills, there are things you can do as a merchant to assist affiliate to achieve the positive results.
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