Affiliate marketing is an increasingly popular advertising model in which a business pays others to advertise their products and services to generate more sales. It lets you promote your product on other websites rather than only on your own. When your customers buy something from these websites, the affiliate receives a small percentage from the sale. It’s a very cost-effective strategy, and you have to pay only when your product sells, so it also provides excellent opportunities for startup businesses with small marketing budgets.
Currently, 81% of brands use affiliate marketing to grab customers’ attention and engage them, promote products, and increase sales.
Affiliate marketing will help your business tap into new audiences and increase leads and conversions. However, like any other marketing channel, it needs a well-thought strategy to drive the best results.
If you are about to get started with affiliate marketing, you may wonder how to set up the strategy and promote your products successfully. Here’re the 5 Dos and DONTs of affiliate marketing we think will help you in the process.
Do Choose the Right Affiliates
Affiliate marketing may work wonders for your business, but only when done right. The essential step in setting up a successful campaign is choosing the right affiliates.
Although it’s essential, only the relevance to your products isn’t the only factor in choosing the affiliates. For instance, if you are a cosmetics company, you can partner up with skincare blogs or choose a coupon site that offers beauty product coupons but if they have only 20 visitors per day, you may not see a boost in sales with such a limited audience. You should work with sites with an engaged audience that trusts them and might be interested in your brand or products.
Don’t Partner with Affiliates Not Related to Your Niche
When you partner up with other sites to promote your products, it is essential to consider their niche audience. If all products you sell are anti-aging, you won’t increase sales by promoting them to younger adults. Ensure that the products you sell are valuable to affiliates’ audiences.
Do Find Affiliates With Strong Online Presence
Affiliates who want to build a successful business are into this for the long term and put great effort into building their online presence. Some are in the industry for making a few quick sales, and then they disappear until the next time comes when they partner up with a business to promote their products. When choosing the sites to work with, ensure they post regularly and have built their online presence; people know, trust and follow them; otherwise, you may not see the expected outcomes.
Don’t Leave Your Affiliates Uninformed About Your Products
Keeping your partners informed and updated on all your offers is crucial for helping them succeed. Amongst common frustrations affiliates may face include a lack of access to product information and materials, feeling neglected or undervalued, and having little room for growth. Ensure, they can have enough resources to work with, and you make all necessary information available to them, for a successful partnership.
Do Promote Coupons and Discounts Through Affiliate Marketing Programs
Everybody loves deals, and over 90% of all consumers have used coupons in some way. Coupons and discounts are crucial for a successful affiliate marketing strategy and can skyrocket your sales.
Many shoppers start their search by looking for discounts and coupons on deals sites, and here you can attract many customers.
Don’t Disconnect from Your Affiliates
When your affiliates are putting a great effort into promoting your product and services, not keeping in touch with them may make anyone feel undervalued or neglected.
You need to show your affiliates you care, and communicating with them, will help them succeed and make them feel valued. When you keep in touch with affiliates, they can also ask questions or address concerns if there are any. Regular communication can also help you improve your affiliate program. When different affiliates have similar questions or concerns, it may indicate you need to make your guidelines clearer.
Do Look for Your Affiliates Amongst Your Customers
Turning customers into affiliates is an underrated method of promoting products and creating a successful affiliate marketing strategy.
A happy customer is more likely to suggest your product to others, and who won’t be glad to do this while earning extra dollars?
Most probably, all your customers use Facebook or other social media channels. Some of them might even have a blog dedicated to their hobbies and lifestyle choices that might be relevant to your product. And if you’re lucky, some might even be online influencers; you might find excellent opportunities for your affiliate marketing strategy amongst your customers.
To engage customers in your affiliate program, let them know you have one by dedicating a special page to it or including a message in every order confirmation or delivery email you sent to your customers. When your happy customers learn about your affiliate program, most probably, they’ll be willing to cooperate.
Don’t Make Things Confusing
For some people, affiliate marketing is their business and the primary source of income, so unsurprisingly, confusing commission structures can instantly make them frustrated. A lack of communication or transparency can make things go wrong, and your affiliates may soon get off the board. Make things clear and straightforward; if you offer 20% commission for each sale they drive, make that clear on your affiliate program page, and through messages, you send to them.
Do Automate Payments
No one enjoys having to ask for a payment or chasing someone to receive their commission payments.
Paying quickly and on time will keep your affiliates happy and motivated. The best way to avoid payment delays or inconveniences is to use a reliable payment and transaction tracking system or a plugin which will automate and manage commission payouts.
Don’t Leave Content Creation All Up to Your Affiliates
Being an affiliate marketer is hard, and sometimes it can get challenging to come up with content ideas daily. One of the ways to motivate your partners to post more regularly is by providing them with content. Although it can cost you time, it will help your affiliates better understand your brand’s needs and boost your exposure and sales. More importantly, your content may serve as an example for future posts and help affiliates develop more ideas of their own.
Affiliate marketing is unquestionably a powerful channel to drive more sales and increase brand exposure, and its spending in the US is expected to grow by over 10% in the next couple of years. We hope the DOs and DONTs above will help you create a successful affiliate marketing campaign and drive results to help your business grow.