Affiliates need all the help they can get and it’s in no one’s better interest than yours as the product owner to help them out. More promotion from affiliates not only means more sales for you but more exposure for your product or service, as well. This gets more people talking about your product to their friends and coworkers which brings more traffic to your site and more links to your site to help you rank better, thus bringing in even more sales and affiliates to promote your product. In a word, the more affiliates you have then the more your product or service will “snowball”. It’s not just about helping your affiliates but it’s about getting better affiliates and managing your affiliates, as well. Let’s talk about how to manage affiliates from top to bottom right now.
How to Manage Your Affiliates
I’ve talked about how to get affiliates to begin with. There are a number of places to pick up affiliates but a few of the more notable ones are through the affiliate network you’re promoting your product or service on in terms of being in their marketplace, emailing affiliates for OTHER competing products or services in your niche about your offer, including a prominent on your website or sales page where people can sign up to promote your offer, or solo ads in email advertising.
I’ve also talked about how to screen affiliates. All affiliates are not created equal. You not only want productive affiliates working for you who will vigorously promote your product but you want honest and ethical affiliates, as well. As an example this means affiliates who won’t rack up a number of sales for you then disappear when any refunds need to be distributed. This also means affiliates who will adhere to your terms of service when it comes to how they promote your offer.
You need to keep them aware of changes you have made to your advertising policies. For instance, if you don’t want your affiliates using Adwords because it drives up the demand for those keywords and consequently the cost you pay to use them, in that case you need to tell your affiliates not to use it and that that is one of the prohibited forms of advertising.
As a publisher, many affiliate networks allow you to construct your own terms of service which your affiliates have to sign before they can promote your product. Then, if and when you find someone using a form of advertising like Adwords that you don’t want them using and specifically detailed as such in your terms of service, you can ban them from promoting your product.
Continuing the point about getting your affiliates anything they need to improve their conversions, there are a number of “tools” which you should ideally be able to offer your affiliates. This includes obvious tools like keywords or graphics which they can target or use on their sites, respectively, or less obvious tools like email or autoresponder copy which they can use on their list.
The point is that you have done the legwork for them and tested these various “tools” to ensure that they work well in creating conversions so when your affiliates use them, even your laziest affiliates will be able to generate conversions. This enables you to have a little more control over your affiliates and how they promote your products, assuming they use the tools which you offer them. Check out my full list of affiliate marketing tools to offer your affiliates for more ideas.
Around the clock support for your affiliates is essential. Not all of your affiliates will email or call you up with questions but there will be some who have questions or are maybe even just looking for help or advice on how to best promote your product.
Make note of your best affiliates both in terms of sales and effort (like those who go out of their way to contact you for instance) and make special efforts to reach out to and contact them and anyone else promoting your product with information on how to better promote your product or updates on new tools available to them or to the offer itself.
Offering incentives is a great way to incite a little mutually beneficial competition in your affiliates. Think about offering cash prizes or even physical gifts to whomever achieves the most sales in a particular span of time and advertise about that incentive to your list, on social networks, or even the email lists of others within your niche to convince their affiliates to jump on board and promote your offer.