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Affiliate Rarticipation Rates

12 Best Practices to Increase Affiliate Program Participation Rates

💬 Learn some strategies for increasing rates of engaging affiliates for your eCommerce brand to scale distribution and revenue.
by Dan Siepen
Created On:
21/4/2024

💬 Affiliates as a channel source for eCommerce brands can really help unlock growth for brands - and they come with a range of benefits for brand building (affiliation, network effects, audience quality, etc).  

Whilst many eCommerce marketers/founders know this and the importance of recruiting them, you have to ensure to keep them ‘activated’ to find ways of motivating them to deliver to their audience.

So, how can you do this cost-effectively and get some ‘quick wins’? Below are some ways/ideas and experiments to test.

Top strategies I recommend that can activate/engage affiliates for brands I’ve seen work well

💬 Here are some strategies and tactical areas for increasing engagement I’ve personally seen work (with many being fairly easy to implement).

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One of the best ways to sell to affiliates (with the good ones getting reached out to all the time) is creating a compelling landing page that helps sell them on why they should promote your brand through their content/networks.

In order to help with ideas, I created a guide on how to best optimise your affiliate landing page experience with examples.

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Be upfront in terms of commission structure and how much affiliates can earn (at least this is what is best seeing from my experience).

What you can do is hint at extra perks, discounts, and other awards based on performances - something I mention a little bit more about below in another checklist point.

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Managing affiliates through a custom platform/workflow setup (for example, using sheets) is a nightmare to track, plus just not a great UX for either party (brand and individual).

The beautiful thing about 3rd-party solutions (which there are many options for) is that they can manage many things, including relationship management, tracking links, analytics/performance, as well as payments (which is critical to have for scaling this initiative).

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It's important to provide constant education to affiliates when it comes to promoting products and your brand.

Naturally, most would already have access to "best practices for promotion" type content (basic stuff), so focus more on brand stories, case study content, and other brand/product-related content they can use in their marketing.

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Keep content fresh within a dedicated portal where affiliates/influencers can pick from it anytime for various channels.

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You need to make sure to treat affiliates just like your customers, and attend to any queries they have promptly.

For many affiliates (like influencers) have some sort of influence with their audience, plus, other brands may be reaching out to them - so it's key to do your best to make them feel they're getting the answers they need to keep loyal.

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On top of the baseline commission structure you set in place, think of other ways to spur motivation - not just the ones who are doing well, but those who may be a bit lower on the performance side.

Consider tiered levels where commission rates are higher for those who maintain certain thresholds (for example - 'gold' status for those who sell a min QTY).

Another good example here is providing higher commission rates during busy periods (like Black Friday and Christmas) is a good idea to help them prioritise your brand over others when it comes to promotion.

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In relation to the above, surprise affiliates with cool perks like bonus commission structures for certain periods, discounts to products, gift cards (for top performers), and even small gifts.

Retention is the aim of the game (and what you should keep in mind) - it's all about keeping the best performers delivering.

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Networks like ShareASale and Clickbank are great, but the affiliate game in the world of eCommerce has changed - you need a mix of media formats and people of influence across blogs, as well as social channels.

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In conjunction, audiences for essentially all eCommerce brands love consuming video content - both short and long form.

Recruit influencers via both TikTok and YouTube. Lots of good tools exist to help find them, or even just collate them whilst searching through.

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Yep, it's important to remember that whilst affiliates/influencers will go with brands that offer great commissions, they do care about the brands/products they will promote, and they care about how others have performed.

If you work with other awesome personnel, then make sure to highlight them. This can help get high-quality people across the line to work with your brand.

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Of course, like all great marketers should, we need to track the performance of how affiliates go, particularly for revenue and ROI. I like to use the native analytics the affiliate platforms have, and also use GA and Shopify to confirm certain metrics.

For those not performing as well, then it's about nurturing and education further to help them grow. Then for those who are, then ensure to reward them for retention.

👋 G'day everyone, Dan Siepen here from down under 🇦🇺🦘🐨. I'm an experienced growth marketer w/ 8+ years exp. across SaaS, B2B, DTC & eComm. Get to know more about me (check my homepage too) & if you want to connect, just reach out. 👇
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