Affiliate marketing is a great way for any marketer who is looking for new ways to diversify a digital marketing strategy. There’s plenty of material available on the internet to research the affiliate strategy that fits your budget and schedule. The type of affiliate partnership you choose, the compensation you offer your partners and the frequency with which you use your partners are largely subjective decisions that will vary greatly from campaign to campaign. We won’t cover the basics here (always feel free to get in touch with me if you want to discuss a marketing strategy that involves affiliate promotion). Instead, I want to share with you some largely unmentioned secrets to an effective affiliate marketing strategy. The application of these tactics can be tailored to your specific needs, but as you begin to build out or optimize your affiliate partnerships – ensure you add them to your checklist.
- Avoid “cold” emails: Chances are, your affiliate partners get innumerous emails every day from marketers who want to partner with them. Why should they choose your offer one from any other marketer? Before even sending an introductory email, interact with your affiliate through the social platforms they use. Familiarize yourself with their content and interact with it. Go beyond retweeting or favoriting content pieces; comment, reply – start a conversation. Not only will you become more comfortable with the communication styles of your prospective partner, you’ll introduce yourself as an important player in the industry as well. Remember – affiliates appreciate the promotion as much as you do. Then when your name appears in their inbox, you’ve already got the street cred.
- Remind them what’s in it for them: And we’re not just talking commission. Never forget that your affiliate partners are running their own business as well – they’re interested in preserving the integrity of their brand and building their business. Is promoting your product going to be content that their audience appreciates? Are converted customers going to be happy with their purchase – enough to cross-promote and bring in new audience members? Begin your conversation with your affiliate partners by explaining everything that your brand message will do for their own brand and their audience members. Only after they’re good and sold on the value of your product should you introduce your proposed commission structure. And even then, prepare to be generous.
- Give your affiliates cheat sheets. Remember that you’re using these folks for their relationships – not necessarily for their fantastic knowledge of your product. The more you do up front for them, the easier it is for them to get started promoting your product. Anything you’d particularly like promoted is worth sharing. You might consider pre-writing taglines or promotional pitches that your affiliate can leverage to ensure that they’re properly framing up your product. They’ll weave it into their own content, but you’ll rest easy knowing that your message or offering is crystal clear.
- Lastly, and perhaps most obviously – give it time. Don’t be afraid to sustain offers for the traffic comes in from the ripple effect of your affiliate’s promotions. It takes some time for all of an affiliate’s regular audience to read their content. Even then, readers may not take action until returning or re-returning to the promotion (after cross-referencing your brand against other recommendations, of course). Any promotion from a happy customer takes on its own lifecycle as well. In short – be patient. Also, consider giving your affiliate links that go deeper into your site than the homepage. Perhaps you offer multiple products, or you have a specific page you want your customers to read on their path to purchase. Linking them to these pages quickly presents your information while giving your customers freedom to explore other parts of your site if they wish.
Have questions about how to incorporate these practices into your current affiliate marketing strategy? Need help getting started altogether? I’m happy to help. Reach out to me here to get started.