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Approach In Affiliate Marketing

One of the most important digital acquisition strategies for an organization is its affiliate marketing. It’s very important to have a full proof plan to strengthen your affiliate program and objectives so that in return you can achieve your ultimate business goal.

A successful affiliate program strategy with an agency or in-house stands on three main pillars that ensure your program is in good shape.

These three main pillars are:

  1. Know your USP
  2. Analyze the market
  3. Knowledge about your customers

Keeping this the background, I would like to share the 5 C’s of a successful affiliate marketing campaign that delivers fruitful output.

These 5 C’s are:

1 Communication:

Make sure you have approachable communication skills to interact with your affiliates.

Steps to be taken:

  • Expand workforce: You should always consider your affiliate partners as your extended workforce of your association. They should help you to reach your goal that you have set and in the process, they should be treated like an internal individual of your staff.
  • Keep away from prediction: Always be sure that you communicate all that changes regarding your affiliate program to your affiliate base and network. Don’t predict that they know all the decisions of your organization, which will have a negative effect on your partners and damage your organization’s reputation.
  • Have a clear editorial calendar: A simple overview of all the key future promotion plan should be open to your affiliate partners. This will help your partners to plan in advance what steps need to be taken in the future.
  • Organize an interaction session: Organize an open session in your office with all your partners. Invite them to visit your office, introduce them to your staff, product, future programs and plans that you have planned. The main objective is to make them feel that they are also a part of your organization.
  • Don’t let the buzz die: Make sure that your affiliate program never gets boring, monotonous or backdated. Always try to keep up the interest level of the network. A continuous communication, events and editorial calendar will help them to maintain the energy level among your affiliates.

2 Competitor research:

Before you start your affiliate program, it's very important to study your fellow competitors. You should have a complete research and knowledge about the market you are working in.

Steps to be taken:

  • Mark the difference: Always try to find out what your competitors are doing differently from yours. Try to figure out what your fellow competitors are not offering and take advantage of that to boot your affiliate program.
  • Monitor your market: It's very important to know and understand how the affiliate programs of your fellow competitors perceived in the industry. On regular basis watch your competitor's keywords through free tools like Google Alerts and Google Keyword Planner. Keep an eye on their social media activities, review websites and affiliate forums to find out how your competitor programs are doing.
  • Search for options/possibilities: Go through your program and identify more options or opportunities; then figure out a strategy to achieve it. This will be very helpful if you are operating in a very competitive market like debt settlement, and want to stay on top while recruiting affiliates for your program.

3 Commercials:

Make your program highly competitive with a level of incentives/commission for your affiliates to join and invest in your program and stay loyal.

Steps to be taken:

  • Tiered Commission Structure: As your program develops you will find that some of the key partners are providing you with the majority of sales. To keep these fruitful partners in your program, try to provide them with a tiered commission structure, which will provide them with incentives at a different tier of commission level and boost their performance.
  • Bonus: Keep a bonus benchmark for your program in different tires of your commission level to help and motivate your partners. If you have your own brand, then you can do this by increasing the margin of your commission level.
  • Override fee: Always keep in mind the override fee that you need to pay to some of the affiliate networks. So, be prepared to pay this fee when you chalk out your margin and commission structure.

4 Campaign Analysis:

Before you start your affiliate program, it's very important to study your fellow competitors. You should have a complete research and knowledge about the market you are working in.

Steps to be taken:

  • Click-through Rate (CTR): It is the total number of ad clicks divided by a total number of the ad impression.
  • Conversion: It is the total number of visitors divided by your number of sales.
  • Active affiliate partner: Those who are actively taking forward your campaign, e.g. visitors, sales, lead etc.
  • Inactive affiliate partner: Affiliate base that left the program or no longer promoting your campaign.
  • Potential affiliate partner: Partners who are no longer providing you with satisfactory performance in comparison to their past leads or sales.

5 Creatives:

Study your affiliates and their needs, to promote your campaign and accordingly create a group of banners.

Steps to be taken:

  • Understanding your affiliate base: According to a study, 55% of affiliates prefer text as the most fruitful linking method followed by a banner with 36% and data feeds holding the third place with 25% as the most popular medium of promotion.
  • Size of the banner: Make sure you provide a visually effective banner that can draw the attention of the visitors. The banner can be generic or target base, but make sure to change according to your seasonal campaigns.
  • Keep it fresh: Always keep your banners up to date and fresh. Never promote a banner with a product or service that you no longer provide.
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