Affiliate Management

Board meeting presentationIt’s natural to think that the more affiliates a program has the more successful that program will be. This is true to an extent. However, having the right affiliates may be much more important.

The fact is 10% of your affiliates will drive 90% of your revenue. This makes is critical to identify that 10% as soon as possible to help make sure they have the right tools and are properly motivated to grow your program.

A merchant wants to make sure that their affiliates not only support them with links but also will enhance their brand and value proposition. A great affiliate will drive quality traffic to your web site. By quality we mean traffic that has been presold on the value of your products and the quality of your buying experience. The implied testimonial of a good affiliate will create trust and credibility for your brand and make that visitor much more likely to turn into a great long-term customer.

It goes without saying that great affiliates have good traffic themselves. But their brand and marketing niche must also be in sync with your brand and value proposition. This adds to the credibility of your product and once again means that visitor will be much more likely to click and buy.

Sometimes if a good affiliate really likes your program they will build a site around your product and provide great content that builds your brand and of course revenue. Why would they do that? Because they realize that your great program will make them money.

Affiliate Recruitment…

BitCom Consulting has been building relationships with top affiliates for years. We have over 1000 in our database. We know where they hang out and have in many cases already established channels of communication with them.

In addition we are always looking for new, great affiliates to partner with and in turn will let them know about the great merchant programs that we support. We have many tools we use to identify these new affiliates and gauge their traffic, reach, and potential for success. We can immediately gauge an affiliate’s monthly site traffic and determine how and where they are promoting their merchants. We can even get a glimpse into their PPC marketing campaigns.

Affiliate Training…

Great affiliates are not born. They’ve all worked hard to develop the online marketing savvy it takes to be successful.

Along the way they’ve had to learn not only graphic design, web site development, search engine optimization, pay per click, online marketing, content writing, and site conversion optimization, but also the basic business management skills required to run their own businesses. Many have spent years learning this new business that came with no blueprint for success. They’ve learned Affiliate Marketing by the seat of their pants.

New affiliates are coming up all the time. Someday these affiliates will be the super affiliates that make a nice living driving traffic to merchant sites. To get to that point they have much to learn.

At BitCom we feel that an important role we play is to help develop new affiliates. After all, a new affiliate that learns the ropes will become a great partner for all of our merchants. That’s why we provide and will continue to develop online resources to help affiliates learn affiliate marketing. Our Education section is a step in this direction.

We also provide one-on-one help to affiliates and are happy to answer questions about affiliate marketing and what it takes to be successful. We’ve been there ourselves and we understand how nice it is to have someone to help you get over those humps and bumps.

We also recommend ABestWeb affiliate marketing forum as a great place to learn and get help from some of the best affiliates in the business. Go here to sign up as a member.

Great affiliates are the backbone of any successful affiliate program. Developing and supporting new affiliates just makes good business sense.

Affiliate Communications

Developing lines of communication with your affiliate team is very important. If you can’t get your affiliates’ attention then you can’t tell them about the latest promotions, coupons, and seasonal changes that provide opportunities to grow your business — and theirs.

The most important way to keep your affiliates’ attention is to provide regular, relevant information that will help them be successful. This doesn’t mean a constant stream of pointless emails but regular updates on important changes in your program like coupons, special promotions, new keywords, and new products that could provide both sales and SEO boosts to them. Once they know you understand how important they are to your success they will pay attention to what you have to say.

As part of our program management we provide regular HTML newsletters through the network. These newsletters are merchant branded and provide easy to use links that are quick to install. This helps get a merchant’s message out quickly and efficiently.

We also provide regular one-on-one email communications to address any particular needs or issues that an affiliate may have. We answer emails from affiliates 24/7 whenever possible. We also provide regular Instant Messaging availability for issues that need immediate attention.

Affiliates are very busy. The best ones support hundreds of merchants. If you want to keep their attention you better have something to say.

In addition many great affiliates have other jobs so helping them to quickly update their sites is critical too. Being available at times that meet their schedules is very important. At BitCom this kind of service is a regular part of our program management. That’s just what it takes to help our partners be successful.

Affiliate Incentives…

Affiliates love a challenge. To truly motivate them and keep them supporting your program it helps to provide incentives.

The first and most important incentive is a fair commission on sales. If you are not competitive in your niche why would an affiliate bother to promote you. They’ve got plenty of other merchants they can work with.

Other incentives can be monetary in the form of increased performance based commissions or monthly bonuses. They can also be in the form of prizes or gift certificates. The incentive can be customized to meet a merchant’s needs.

Affiliates also love a good contest. It brings out their competitive fire. A short term performance based contest is a great way to get affiliates to add content and links and to get them to improve a merchant’s position and presentation. Even when a promotion breaks even it’s money well spent because you’ve grown the relationship with your top performers.

A contest is also a great way to stand out from your competition. Many affiliates will be supporting your competitors in your niche so providing motivation to keep your presentation strong just makes good business sense. That old saying is true — the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

At BitCom we’ve learned what it takes to motivate affiliates. We’ve been there ourselves and we know what motivated us. We also constantly monitor what other merchants are offering in terms of incentives and promotions. Joining competitor’s programs helps us do that. That’s why we understand the big picture when it comes to keeping affiliates happy.

Contact us if your are ready for BitCom to help you grow your affiliate business.