Keep in mind, not all
affiliates are going to produce a high volume of traffic, and
importantly, visitors who want to purchase a merchant's products or
services. The occasional gem makes the time taken well worth your
effort. Talk with successful affiliates, find out what they are doing to
effectively promote your software, and use that information to assist
those affiliates who are not as successful.
Assist affiliates in
understanding your product; no one knows your products like you do. For
affiliates to drive traffic that will convert to sales, they need to
understand the benefits of the product they are marketing. Once an
affiliate knows the product, they will be better able to act as an
extended sales force. In order for the affiliate to make the effort, you
simply must support them!
Many 3rd party
affiliate-tracking programs notify both the affiliate and merchant of a
sale. This can often be automated and will create positive communication
between merchants and affiliates. Making an affiliate's role easier will
help them increase earnings and further promote a merchants site.
Provide affiliates with
great looking graphics and sample text. Graphics that work best are
those that highlight your web site, yet fit the look of an affiliate's
Newsletters are another
great way to get information to affiliates. Include tips and specific
for affiliates, along with general marketing advice that helps with site
promotion. If you are looking for software to manage newsletters, I
highly recommend Group Mail -.
An affiliate generates
a sale for a product and the merchant promptly decreases the commission.
This sends a very negative message to the affiliate, in many cases
they've taken a lot of time to place links, promote products and because
they've driven effective traffic their commission is decreased. If its
necessary to decrease a commission for whatever reason, be sure to
include a personal note detailing the reason and letting the affiliate
know that you still support their efforts.
An affiliate sale
occurs, you go to their website and don't find any links you decide they
must be cheating you! This conclusion is simply a based on poor
communication and reporting. Many, many affiliates have multiple sites,
very few affiliate tracking programs allow affiliates to list multiple
sites, and in many cases the number of sites listed do not accurately
reflect the number of sites owned and managed by the affiliate.
Additionally many affiliates manage opt-in newsletters that may result
in sales, but links are not visible on a website. An example of a
popular ezine often promoting affiliates is Lockergnome!
Links, Links, Links
Keep your links valid!
If you update a section of the site or remove an offer provide a
redirect or retain the link saying that such and such offer has expired
and a new one has replaced it. It seems a waste to discard targeted
traffic because a special has expired. Be sure to communicate with your
affiliates, and if a link will only be good for a specified length of
time tell them up front. When an offer expires notify affiliates a week
prior to the expiration with a reminder. This will give them ample time
to make any needed updates.
Affiliates love added
bonuses for reaching goals or specified levels of sales. Many of the 3rd
party affiliate vendors run contests and provide large incentives for
their top performing ones. Reward and praise successful affiliates.
Affiliates tend to be
experts in other areas, which relate to a merchants business; therefore,
by communicating useful information, and helping affiliates increase
their earnings, they will give added exposure and increase your sales.
Communicating with affiliates will ultimately benefit visitors of both
sites. A little effort in the beginning can mean big rewards in the long