Affiliate marketing is a massive industry–it’s a win for publishers, you, and the audience you’re trying to reach. If you want your piece of that market and don’t know where to start OR are struggling to scale an existing program, you’re in the right place.
Tracking & Recruiting
- Creating a tailored strategy
- Great partnerships are rooted in trust. The best way to foster that is for us to learn about your business and you to learn about ours. Once we understand your goals, we’ll get to work putting together a high-level strategy that covers resources, estimated timelines, and a plan to get you where you want to be as fast as possible without losing sight of long-term sustainability.
- Defining KPIs and target audience
- Next, our focus is crystal-clear clarity in where we’re going and how to ensure we’re moving in the right direction. To do that, we’ll get to know your audience, align on the most important metrics for your business, and decide how to measure the success of your affiliate program.
- Designing the program
- From choosing which products to include to defining how much you can afford to pay your affiliates, we’ll start diving into the details of your affiliate program and making key decisions together. This may include looking at similar affiliate programs in your industry (and adjacent industries), hiring new team members to handle your program if needed, identifying potential opportunities you can capitalize on, and taking a closer look at your numbers.
- Setting up commission structures, payout terms, and tracking
- With those decisions taken care of, we’ll be able to figure out the best commission structures for you and your affiliates–together, we’ll crunch the numbers to ensure your rates are attractive without sacrificing your profit margins. We’ll follow a similar approach for each of your products, then determine when you’ll issue payments, including minimum payout requirements and a payout schedule that’s as simple as possible. We’ll also decide on the right cookie window and tracking methods to use.
- Choosing the right platform
- There are dozens of affiliate management tools out there, from fully managed to self-service flavors with built-in software and small platforms you can install directly on your website. Some have pre-built networks, some don’t, some are easy, and some require a lot of overhead to manage. It can feel overwhelming to make the right choice if you don’t already have one, but we’re happy to walk through all of your options and help you choose the best platform for your business.
- Setting up terms and conditions
- Once we know how and where the program will run, we’ll turn all of those decisions we’ve made together into an official document that outlines the terms of your affiliate agreement. We’ll also work with a lawyer to make sure every aspect of your contract is airtight, that it protects you, is comprehensive, and clearly explains everyone’s role.
- Defining rules and restrictions for affiliates
- To wrap up the strategy and planning phase, we’ll put the finishing touches on your agreement, including what your affiliates are allowed (or not allowed) to do, where they can share your links, what pages they can link to, which channels are acceptable, and any other requirements you may have to make sure your brand is always represented how you’d like. Once that’s taken care of, we can shift to execution.
- Identifying potential affiliates
- Based on what we know about your audience, we can take a closer look at what marketing channels they respond to, who they’re already listening to, and what they do before purchasing products like yours. By doing so, we’ll have all the information we need for a strategic approach to finding the right affiliates. You won’t have to guess, you won’t have to accept everyone and hope some of them produce results, nor will you have to spend months figuring out the details on your own.
- Reaching out to potential affiliates
- Cold pitches are hard to get right. Everyone who’s ever tried it has had emails end up in the spam folder or deleted within seconds after opening. Thankfully, we’ve perfected the art (and science) of outreach after years of doing it ourselves. We know how to get people to open, read, and take action on our words. So, we can distill what we’ve learned, build an outreach campaign for you, help you execute it, or execute it for you.
- Presenting benefits of joining the program
- Aside from outbound activities, we can also develop low-effort inbound approaches that work in parallel to your outreach campaigns. Not only will we figure out the best places to present your affiliate program, we’ll also determine the most impactful ways to talk about it and optimize it for conversions on a regular basis.
- Steps for onboarding affiliates
- Once applicants start filling your pipeline, we can help figure out what steps need to happen—and in what order—to equip them with everything they need for success. From there, we can set everything up so it runs smoothly from day one, including systematizing and automating recurring actions like approvals, signatures, onboarding material delivery, and initial communications to streamline the process as much as possible.
- Providing training and support
- Aside from initial onboarding and paperwork, it’s crucial to train new affiliates on how to use your platform, how to create their unique links, where to find assets they can use, how to pre-sell what you’re selling, what a good funnel looks like, helpful tips, best practices, and how to get in touch with you if they have further questions. Initial setup of these elements can be time consuming. So can ongoing affiliate support and regular updates to your training materials. We can handle process creation for your team to execute, full execution on your behalf, or a combination of the two.
- Maintaining regular communication
- Staying in touch with your affiliates on a regular basis is the best way to build long-term relationships. Not only does it give you a chance to keep them in the loop of updates to your program, but it also makes them feel valued and reminds them that you exist. A lot of affiliates deal with multiple partners, platforms, and networks. So, out of sight can literally mean you’re out of their mind for good. To mitigate this, we’ll decide on a regular communication cadence up front, including what types of content you should share and when to share them to ensure you’re actually building relationships and staying top of mind.
- Sending updates, newsletters, and promotional materials
- Sometimes, it’s easy to figure out what to say—product updates, new features, new marketing assets, and changes to your program are things you should always relay to your affiliates. But what do you when you don’t have anything like that to say? We’ll work with you to brainstorm newsletter ideas, fresh content, and more. We can also batch create all of these materials and schedule them months in advance so you can set it and forget it until it’s time to rinse and repeat.
- Monitoring affiliate performance
- It’s crucial to understand how your affiliates are performing as a whole and as individuals. This includes both data and actual monitoring. When done well, you can watch what they’re doing, take notes, ensure compliance, and use it to update your onboarding, training, and regular communication materials. Over time, we can systemize this and streamline your monitoring processes or take them over entirely. We can also start to think about ways to reward your best performers to encourage them to continue doing what they’re doing. For low or non-existent affiliates, we can determine a set course of action, like reaching out to them individually to see how we can help or removing them from the program. We’re happy to do this for you or help create processes and documentation so you can handle it in house.
- Ensuring compliance with program terms
- While regular monitoring can be an ongoing activity that happens at any time, we can help schedule and execute regular compliance checks to ensure your affiliates are holding up their end of the agreement. From creating a checklist of items to look for and allotting time on the calendar to communicating with affiliates who aren’t in compliance, we can handle it for you or offer assistance when you need it. We can also document procedures and put plans in place so there’s never a question of what to do or when.
- Resolving conflicts or issues
- Issues come up in every affiliate program—they’re unavoidable. Most of the time, affiliates don’t realize they’re not following the rules. But that’s not always the case. Vetting affiliates before they join is a great way to help mitigate these risks, but it’s always best to prepare for the unexpected. We can resolve issues on your behalf, jump in if you’re not sure what to do next, or create detailed workflows to help you and your team develop solutions to a wide range of problems.
- Identifying performance metrics
- In the strategy phase, we identified KPIs to measure your affiliate program’s success. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the only metrics you care about. From individual affiliate performance to the overall performance of your program, there’s a lot of data you can use in various ways. We can help you sort through the noise and figure out what you should track and what you can ignore.
- Relating metrics to business goals
- Understanding how to use the metrics you’re tracking adds a whole new level of complexity to the puzzle. Not only do you need to know what each metric actually means, you also need to know how they map to your high-level business goals and which metrics have the most impact on your progress towards each goal. We’re happy to map it out for you or work closely with your team to develop in-depth processes and documentation.
- Using reporting tools to track performance and generate reports
- We built our own reporting and analytics dashboards because nothing on the market met our needs. If you’re in a similar situation with the data you’re collecting, we can help you choose the right platform or build a custom solution that does everything you need and nothing you don’t.
- Analyzing data to improve the program
- Once you have reporting and analytics in place, we can help you make sense of the data and use it to make data-driven decisions about your affiliate program. From improving your marketing assets and training materials to recruiting more suitable affiliates, we can work together to move your program in the right direction (without having to guess).
- Collecting and implementing feedback
- Whether we put together your affiliate program or not, we’re always happy to help put feedback mechanisms in place to ensure continuous growth. From surveys to email campaigns and embedded forms, we have experience with all types of systems and can quickly build out a custom solution if needed. Once you have enough feedback, we can also help you make sense of it, regularly implement affiliate requests, and provide ongoing updates to keep everyone thriving. You can be as involved or hands-off as you’d like.
- Testing and optimizing the program
- With so many moving parts, there are countless areas we can test and optimize over time, including your deal structures, marketing assets, training materials, product selection, acceptance criteria, and more. We also have a full in-house content team that can help test and optimize your landing pages, website, branding, product descriptions, marketing assets, and entire sales funnel for final conversions. If something’s not working at all or not performing as well as it should, we’ll help you get to the bottom of it and implement optimizations as needed.
- Scaling the program as your business grows
- Whenever you’re ready, we can help you crank up the volume, whether that means helping you hire more team members, recruiting more affiliates, including more of your products, or something else entirely, our team can help ensure you have the structure, resources, and software you need to scale.