An effective affiliate program can be the lifeblood of your business. Not only do affiliates send you traffic and sales, but they provide incoming links and good public relations for you in the marketplace.
So how do you return the favor? By providing an excellent affiliate program for them. Here are five steps that will bring you closer to that goal.
- Clear signup process. Write a description of your affiliate program that talks about what you sell, to whom and what you expect from an affiliate. Then tell them the types of tools you provide for them in order to make the most sales possible.
Make it easy for them to sign up. And make it easy for them to sign into the affiliate area by providing a link to the affiliate area directly on the sign up page.
- Step-by-step training program. Most people who sign up for your program are new to affiliate marketing. They liked your product, so they signed up. Now it's up to you to teach them how to market your programs - as well as any other affiliate product.
Assume they know nothing and start with the basics in an autoresponder sequence. Tell them about each of your products - describing just one per week. Tell them about the tools you provide and how to use them with their marketing efforts. Show them how to read and interpret their statistics.
While industry statistics indicate less than 5% of affiliates actually do anything, you don't want that to be descriptive of your affiliates. Educate them!
- Ongoing communication. In addition to the autoresponder sequence of educational emails, consider a monthly affiliate update. In this you might offer tips from other affiliates - or testimonials from customers that they can use in their marketing messages.
Consider a monthly teleseminar with you. You'll find it makes for a closer relationship and you'll have direct input as to what they need. It will give you better ideas on what to create or provide for them, as well as your marketplace.
- Easy to use affiliate tools. Standard tools include banners, graphics, emails, and articles. Be sure you include their affiliate link on each of these so that it's a simple copy-and-paste operation. Better selling affiliates are busy, so respect their time and make your tools "no- brainers."
- Timely payments. Nothing will turn off an affiliate faster than not getting paid on time. The sooner you pay them after the sale, the more likely they are to send out another promotion on your behalf. It's motivating to see a check arrive or money deposited in your PayPal account.
And don't restrict payment to just payments for sales. Contests, awards and prizes are meaningful, too. So ask them what would make their affiliate work more fun - then give it to them!
When you start with these five steps, you'll be 95% further along than most affiliate programs. And you'll be attracting all of the best affiliates in no time!