AFFILIATE MGMT 101

Top 3 Struggles of Managing an Affiliate Program

It’s official, 2024 is the year of Affiliate Marketing

Ten years ago, our parents started using Facebook and we were like - why? And now everyone and their mother is becoming an affiliate for some brand - and we get it. Whether it’s collagen or apparel, folks are catching on that social media is synonymous with making money.

From someone who has professionally managed seven different affiliate programs across different industries, I can tell you first-hand that managing affiliate programs is no easy task. You have different affiliate tech, you have hundreds of affiliates that may need help at one time, and you have to make sure they are always making sales.

It took me almost a year to lockdown the essentials to keep an affiliate program running smoothly with consistent revenue and growth. Along the way, I came across many obstacles when launching and managing an affiliate program, but by far the top three struggles to be aware of are the following.

#1: Choosing an Affiliate Platform

I used to work for a big health and wellness brand with a huge community, and let me tell you, finding the right affiliate platform to suit the needs of your affiliates is crucial. 

Not all affiliates are tech savvy and the most successful ones want their personality to shine, so we gave them their very own affiliate storefronts where they could easily customize with their photos and videos plus choose their favorite products to share. 

They loved it. Not just were they more motivated to sell but they were proud of their own storefront. It was a win/win!  

#2: Finding the Right Affiliates

Finding the right affiliates and brand ambassadors can easily be the most difficult aspect of running a successful affiliate program. Sure you can launch your affiliate program, but now you have to find affiliates.

The best qualities for your affiliates are those that align with your brand's values and would be into your products. But guess what? You already have a good source that matches that criteria - your customers!

My number one tip for finding quality affiliates when launching an affiliate program is to always target your existing customers before onboarding influencers and creators. Your customers are the ones who already have an interest in your brand and purchased your product which means you can have them post a video with your product right off the bat.

I suggest going through your list of customers and see who has purchased more than 1 order and then export that list, and send out an email blast to them to join your affiliate program with a special commission rate.

Even better, you can create and automate a post-checkout email to go out to your customers right away to join your affiliate program! Now you just sit and watch the affiliates sign up.

#3: Keeping Affiliates Engaged and Motivated

The first thing you need to know is that it’s impossible to force someone to make sales. 

However, you can make sure you have all the tools you need to keep them motivated and wanting to sell your products. Like the saying goes: “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” And with the right affiliate tools, you can become a great squeaky wheel.

With the right tools you can send motivational messages, create contests to give away free products, encourage them with increased commissions, offer product promotions, and more. 

Some affiliate platforms even offer MLM tools and milestone tiers so your affiliates can continue earning higher commissions based on their level of effort.

My top suggestion on this topic would be to communicate with your affiliates AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK (MINIMUM). You have to build trust with your affiliates and nurture them to become great sales people. And the best way to do that is with consistent communication and frequent incentives.

Conclusion

As you can see, having the right technology can make all the difference from recruitment, to sales, to even motivation. I obviously don’t have to mention which affiliate platform you should use. 

However, I do want to insinuate and affirm that you should always, always, always communicate with your affiliates and always treat them with kindness and respect.

They work on a commission only basis most of the time, and because of that, we should appreciate every moment they help your brand out - even if they don’t bring as much sales as you expected. Until next time!

Looking for an Affiliate Platform to Help Grow Your Brand?

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You heard right! Your brand ambassadors can now have their own personalized storefront that lives natively on your website where they can suggest specific products, share UCG, share promo codes and more. Book a time below for a brief demo or click here to try it on Shopify Apps - for FREE.

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