Affiliate Harmony: Using Affiliate Marketing to Drive Sales for the Right Products
November 15, 2022
This is a guest post from Refersion, an 8fig partner.
Affiliate marketing can be a critically important part of growth. A well-functioning affiliate marketing program helps grow your company naturally, using word of mouth and referrals from trusted people to create an environment where people are genuinely interested in buying your product.
However, there is a catch: if you want to grow your business in 2023, you need to know how to work in harmony with your affiliates. You and your affiliates need to be working toward the same goal. Here’s how you can drive sales for the right products with affiliate marketing.
The Three Most Important Pillars of Affiliate Marketing
When you’re thinking about how to make affiliate marketing work, there are three major components that you should consider.
The first pillar is communication. Your affiliates want you to talk to them on a regular basis; they want to feel like you really consider them part of your advertising campaign. You should be seeing your affiliates as part of your marketing team, not like freelancers or complete outsiders; if you never talked to your marketing team, then your marketing efforts would fail. Why wouldn’t you assume the same for your affiliates?
Delivering on your promises
One of the most important components of effective affiliate marketing is that your affiliates really trust you. When you think about customer service, you’re probably mostly thinking about your relationship with the people who are purchasing from you, but your affiliates need to have that same quality relationship for them to feel comfortable recommending your brand to other people.
Presenting a cohesive brand image
Remember, you’re thinking of your affiliates as part of your brand, not as outsiders to the brand. That means your affiliates need to be just as good at presenting a brand image as you are. Whether a potential customer first approaches your brand through an affiliate or through your official website, you need to be confident that they’ll have the same brand experience.
Communicating Your Current Goals to Your Affiliates
The first important component of affiliate marketing to understand is that you need to be talking to your affiliates as much as you’re talking to any department within your company.
It’s common for companies to refuse to give in-depth information about sales goals to affiliates, often because management is worried about “breaking immersion” and letting people see a bit too much behind the curtain. The truth is both you and your affiliates are part of sales. Your affiliates already know that you’re a company trying to sell a product. Why wouldn’t you be honest about the product you’re currently most interested in selling?
Far from destroying some sense of “immersion,” being honest about your current sales goals helps your affiliates push just as hard as you do. This improves your likelihood that you’ll actually reach your goals because everyone is working together to achieve them.
Here are a few unique ways you can reach out to your affiliates and create a more effective sales funnel for a specific product.
Incentives for specific products
With this method, you incentivize the sale of a specific product. You may give an extra percentage on this product, like 20% rather than your usual 15%, or provide a flat-rate commission, like $5, for every product an affiliate sells.
Product guides and extra information
Sometimes, you just need to give out some extra information about a specific product that your affiliates might want to use. Send out guides for upcoming holiday uses, comparisons between your product and a competitor’s, or special tips to get the most out of your product.
People love feeling like they’re getting exclusive insider information. This includes both your affiliates and the people who might be looking at your affiliates’ content. Send out some unique insider information about your product; this can incentivize affiliates to rush out and create content, which will likely create new eyes on your product.
Blog post and video ideas
It’s common for affiliates to have a hard time coming up with ideas for content, especially content based around a specific time. Send out a few blog posts and video ideas that your affiliates can easily use for the product you’re currently pushing. Aim for 10-15 ideas in every email blast, which should be enough to cover multiple niches.
Freebies and special products
As part of your marketing budget for this product, it’s a good idea to decide on a specific number of items that you can send out to your affiliates for free. Focus on top-performing affiliates from the last 1-2 months. Not only does this incentivize becoming a top performer, but it also maximizes your ROI for the product.
Constantly Assess and Adjust Your Outreach
It is always important to be assessing the efficacy of your outreach programs. Which options are working best? What’s actually leading people to make more purchases? What increases the click-through rate but not the purchase rate? What turns people into return customers?
The absolute best way to do this is with a wealth of data. Refersion is the best tool for tracking and keeping this data. Whether you’re looking to track information about an affiliate, information about different types of customers, or information about a certain product, Refersion is the tool that will fuel your 2023 growth. You can even use Refersion to benefit your Amazon affiliate marketing program.
While these tools are helpful for anyone, they’re especially beneficial for companies that are navigating affiliate marketing for the first time. This can help you avoid strategies that just aren’t working.
Affiliate Harmony: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Affiliate harmony is one of the most important aspects of affiliate marketing. The more you build affiliate relationships and communicate your goals to those affiliates, the more they’ll be able to help you with your upcoming sales goals. That repartee is a critical component of successful growth in the new year and beyond, and it’s sure to benefit your company far into the future.
Ruthie Carey is the Content Marketing Manager at Refersion, the end-to-end affiliate marketing platform that helps eCommerce brands manage and track their affiliate, influencer, and ambassador marketing programs. With a seasoned background in the eCommerce and technology space, Ruthie’s relevant industry knowledge and adoption of emerging trends form the foundation that makes her content shine.