Images from Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining Affiliates
These are the images from the book, "Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining Affiliates". Details on the book at…
There was a bit of an evolution here, besides, as the back of this postcard included my AIM at the time (note – this was before the ninja thing was all played out) and my home phone number to reach me outside of office hours.
In Part 2 on recruiting affiliates, I mentioned using direct mail as a method to recruit affiliates, but it also can be used as a retention method. Here is a postcard I sent to existing affiliates in late December 2003.
And then there was the sales guide, which was my vision of a new employee guide for each affiliate program. My thought was that affiliates are partners and they should be given the tools they need to have the best chance at succeeding with the affiliate program.
One day I petitioned my boss to let me create a site with the look and feel of the main company site, except that mine would consist of a handful of pages focused on the affiliate program. The domain would be the company name and the word “affiliates.” They went for it, and I created the site with a page for the affiliate program application, newsletter archive, affiliate agreement, a blog for updates and news, a contact form, FAQ, and a sales guide for the affiliates.
In 2003, I started managing additional affiliate programs on the side for the next few years. My first client was a cookie company called Chip ‘N Dough, and I followed the postcard formula I used at ClubMom featuring value propositions of the affiliate program.
It might seem like taking a step backward to use direct mail to recruit new affiliates, but that mindset will keep you from one of the most impactful methods I’ve used to bring on quality affiliates and stay in touch with them. I started using postcards back in 2000 to recruit affiliates for the ClubMom.com affiliate program. The vendor I used back then would take a screen capture of a site and make that the front of the postcard.
While it can be a bit much to keep track of so many different social networks, HootSuite is a great tool for monitoring social media for mentions of your company and industry and for participating in the conversations. I have a second monitor set up just to keep an eye on the various social networks and stay on top of what’s being said.
A benefit of being in a network is that many of them offer enhanced placements to get more exposure for your affiliate program. We run the Affiliate Summit affiliate program on ShareASale, and they offer a number of options to feature our affiliate program.
Affiliates that want to promote your company often will look for your company name and the words “affiliate program” in search engines. Be sure to make this search as easy as possible for them by having the page on your company site titled “Company Name Affiliate Program.” Dell does a good job with this and they repeat those keywords a number of times to optimize their page for the search engines.
In the 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, affiliates were asked “How do you typically find out about new affiliate programs? Select all that apply.” Affiliate information on the merchant website was the most frequent response, followed by the affiliate manager reaching out to them directly, affiliate or CPA network sites, and searches on Google, Yahoo, etc. Here are the complete results from that question:
In the 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, affiliates were asked “When selecting a merchant to promote, what are the top three factors that sway your decision?” Commission was most important, followed by product or service relevancy, affiliate network or tracking platform, brand awareness, and merchant reputation. Here are the complete results from that question:
In the 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, affiliates were asked “What is your preferred method for finding out information from an affiliate manager?” Here is how affiliate preferences for communications broke out.