Referral Partners: Carrots for Contact

Being in the newsletter biz, we get to take a peek under the hood of a vast array of endeavors. Our days turn into an amazing mélange of MMA masters, insurance pros, orthodontic experts, and so much more. With all that variety, there is a common vein running through each and every enterprise—the need for visibility. One of the most cost effective ways to make sure all eyes are on you is to harness affiliate marketing. We’ve touched upon the power of affiliate marketing a few times in our blog, and we’re back for more because an affiliate program is useless unless you have a solid pool of affiliates working to spread the word. The challenge then becomes making this a reality. Our answer—know your team incentivize your plan!

Not all affiliates are created equal! You need the best and most relevant resources to make your affiliate marketing program a success. With any and all available affiliates on your side, expect to see a mere 20% of the crowd bringing in nearly 80% of your affiliate-based traffic. While more business is more business, a 20% return is, quite frankly, a waste. Instead, pinpoint affiliates who operate with the same target audience you do. With a tighter focus on your market, your reach is not only more pertinent, it’s also far more productive. The more relevant their endeavors, the more productive they are. Attracting and retaining the right affiliates is the key to success.

Most likely, you are one of several businesses your affiliates promote, therefore, keeping yourself relevant to their endeavors is an essential piece of the puzzle. First and foremost, affiliates should feel engaged with your efforts. Educationally invest into their operations, giving them the proper resources to successfully convey your message (that includes current content and images). Once they know you inside out, they’re better prepared to promote your reach since you’re no longer just a source of revenue, you’re someone they know and trust. In this, communication is incredibly important, which is where we come in!

An open channel to your affiliates makes all the difference. This doesn’t mean you should check up on them every day, instead, consistent, captivating, and creative contact will win the day. Use as many media outlets as possible. Newsletters (especially the way we write them) are incredibly intimate. More than just a personal cover, newsletters come into people’s lives in a far more concrete way than an email blast. Additionally, they give you the opportunity to offer all important incentives to your best affiliates. Service discounts for referral success, promotion contests, coupons, and bonus payouts can all be advertised in your monthly newsletter so your affiliates not only know how you’re willing to reward excellence, but they also understand how their competition is doing.

There is no need for incentives to be outlandishly lavish, but they should be enough to motivate peak performance. Keep things fresh and switch up the program every once in a while! Maybe quarter three’s winning affiliate had the most banner clicks, but quarter four’s star was a social media master. Variation in contests and rewards plays to the different strengths of your affiliates, allowing you to get the best mileage from their efforts. Facilitate a competitive environment, and remember to publicize the results of each incentive offer to capitalize on your affiliate’s efforts. Above all, keep them in the loop while defining yourself as an important part of their world, and we can help you do that!


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