Starting to promote your brand new affiliate program can seem daunting, where do you start, who do you reach out to and on which platform or communication channels?
There are a wide variety of ways you can reach out to and discover potential affiliates to help promote your brand and we’re going to take you look at some of these ways to kick start your affiliate program.
Add an affiliate page to your website
This is possibly the most easiest way to start promoting your affiliate program, simply create a page on your website called /affiliates or /affiliate-program and list the key benefits of joining your affiliate program and an easy way to register.
It’s important to keep this information engaging and fun stating that you would love the affiliate to be a part of your company journey, the financial benefits they will receive for referring a successful sale or lead, for example 10% commission of any successful referral purchase.
Include a testimonial of a happy customer and have a clear call to action with a link to where they can register for your affiliate program.
Other useful information to have on this page is Cookie length (i.e. 90 days), links to useful articles such as our previous News Shout ‘What is Affiliate Marketing?‘ giving further insights into the benefits of being an affiliate, especially if they are a blogger relevant to your industry that are trying to monetise their blog.
Here’s a quick check list:
– Create an affiliate website page
– Explain why they should join
– Include a customer testimonial
– Add the financial benefits (including % for successful sale)
– Include Cookie length (however this is not essential)
– Further information or links to what is affiliate marketing
You’re then good to go, this is a great first step to start promoting your affiliate program.
Email your database
Once you’ve created your affiliate page it’s now time to let your database know about your affiliate program. You’ll be surprised how may happy customers you have that are willing to support you and start promoting your brand straight away.
The great thing about affiliate marketing is your affiliates do not have to own a blog or their own website, they can simply share your affiliate links on social media, email their friends or family or post in a wide range of online forums to help promote your business.
It’s a great idea to warm up your email database by offering a special limited time higher than usual commission for your affiliate plan to get them started.
You may want to take the time to segment your email database to ensure you remove any unhappy customers and maybe remove your most happy customers or advocates for now, so that you can personally email or contact them to invite them to your affiliate program individually, rather than blanket emailing your entire database. A more personalised approach usually works best when recruiting affiliates.
Discover and contact your advocates
Brand advocates can be some of the most enthusiastic and highest performing affiliates, as they already have a love for your brand and are happy to share and promote you to their contacts and audience.
There are many ways that you can find your happy customers, a great one to get started with is launching a NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey, where you can ask would your customers recommend your brand to a friend or colleague? This will uncover your promoter, detractors and passive customers. Not only will a NPS give us some valuable insight into how you can enhance your product or service, but you can reach out to your promoters to ask them to join your affiliate program.
Review sites are also an ideal source of potential affiliates, websites such as Trust Pilot, Fefo, G2, Capterra or the myriad of other reviews sites will uncover a wide range of advocates you can reach out to and invite to your affiliate program.
If you have a support team and they gather valuable feedback post support on platforms such as Zendesk, this can be a plentiful source of potential affiliates.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media as a source of advocates that can be recruited as affiliates, using Twitter lists to add any users that have give positive feedback can soon build up to be an army that will happily promote your brand.
It’s all about building long lasting relationships with your affiliates and most importantly giving value back to them and not just focusing on how they can benefit your brand. Create a mutual beneficial relationship where you share their posts, give them exclusive discounts of your products or service, help write content for them, build communities and in return you will see your affiliate program flourish.
Your Customers Email Lifecycle
For an eCommerce brand to have a solid customer lifecycle strategy is the backbone of customer retention, developing long lasting relationships, advocacy and a surefire way to build a dedicated army of affiliates.
From day one you should have a email welcome series, from the first purchase to set the tone and introduce your business to the ongoing journey to keep them engaged and to continue buying from you. Build trust through your email lifecycle and ensure you make your customers aware of your affiliate program in an un-intrusive way, this could be after they have reviewed your product or service, or after their second purchase, so choose the most opportune time to reach out.
Promoting your affiliate program offline is a great channel to gain new affiliates and advocates for your brand. Why not include a flyer, leaflet or even a link to your affiliate program on your customers receipt, included in the package when delivering your products.
The most opportune time to recruit a potential affiliate is after their purchase, not only will they want to help promote your brand to their friends, family and social media following. You can also ask them for a review and let them know that they can include their affiliate links within this to earn from any sale they refer.
We hope this helps get you started when planning your affiliate program strategy, we have lots more hints and tips coming soon and we’re always here to help if you have any questions.