3 Ways to Motivate Your Program’s Inactive Affiliates

Even if you do your best to attract high-quality affiliates to your program, not all of them will remain active over time. This can lead to a decrease in your profits, and is harmful to the health of your program. After all, having a lot of inactive affiliates often indicates a deeper problem in the way your program is set up.

Fortunately, it’s possible to motivate these affiliates to get back on track. With a variety of affiliate-supporting techniques, you can increase involvement and encourage even the oldest of inactive affiliates to give your program another try. At the same time, you'll also be improving your program’s overall effectiveness.

In this post, we’ll discuss the various reasons affiliates might become inactive. We’ll then share three ways to motivate them back into action. Let’s get started!

Why Affiliates May Become Inactive (And How This Is Harmful to Your Program)

Inactive affiliates are those who are no longer actively participating in your program (or who never were in the first place). This is a common problem, even in the most popular and otherwise thriving affiliate programs.

There are a few reasons affiliates may become inactive, or were never active after signing up. For example, your affiliates may be:

  • Simply too busy
  • Overwhelmed, and unsure how to promote your product or service
  • Feeling unsupported by you or the program
  • Working with another program that offers better incentives

No matter the reason for their inactivity, these affiliates can be harmful to your program. For example, you may be wasting time managing their accounts, even if they aren’t creating value. Instead of cutting them loose, however, it's worth trying to bring them back into the fold.

3 Ways to Motivate Your Program’s Inactive Affiliates

Encouraging your inactive affiliates to give you another chance requires a careful approach – and one that motivates them. We're now going to look at three techniques that should help.

1. Send Frequent Affiliate Newsletters to Encourage Communication

An affiliate program welcome email

Affiliate newsletters are a gentle way to communicate with (and motivate) your active and inactive affiliates.

An affiliate newsletter enables you to communicate with your affiliates via email on a regular basis. This is helpful in motivating your affiliates, as it shows that you’re willing to offer support. Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Create a schedule and stick to it. The frequency at which you send the newsletter is up to you. However, monthly is a popular option.
  • Highlight outstanding affiliates in each newsletter. The key here is to highlight the affiliates you believe will motivate even the most reluctant members. They don't have to be the top sellers (although they can be), but rather those who have made the most improvement in their month-to-month activity.

Of course, you’ll need to create a newsletter before you can get started on your campaign. You can do this with various email marketing platforms, including MailChimp and Aweber.

2. Offer Incentives to Promote Affiliate Performance

A Leadpages affiliate incentive

While you don't have to offer such an elaborate incentive as Leadpages does, rewards can motivate inactive affiliates.

Simply put, incentives are monetary bonuses that you offer to your affiliates. There are various kinds of incentives, including performance-based (for selling a certain amount) and recruitment-based (for bringing new affiliates to the program). The benefits of this for your affiliates are obvious, as incentives provide an additional monetary reason to focus on your program. They also give you an edge over competitor programs your affiliates may be working with.

There are plenty of ways to offer incentives, of course. You can:

  • Offer a time-sensitive incentive. For example, you can create a promotion such as: “Make your first sale within 30 days and receive a 5% bonus”. This is a great way to boost sales in a short period of time.
  • Advertise incentives extensively. You should share incentives with your affiliates in every way possible, including in affiliate newsletters and on your affiliate dashboard.

You may also want to re-examine your current commission rate. If it’s not competitive enough, this could be another reason your affiliates are becoming inactive.

3. Provide the Tools Affiliates Need to Make Their Job Easier

An example of an affiliate resources hub

An affiliate resource hub provides documentation and support to your affiliates.

The more effectively your affiliates perform, the better it is for your business. By providing certain key tools, such as banner creators and link shorteners, you can make their job easier and improve their performance. For affiliates who are too scared or busy to ask for help, a resource hub offering a variety of tools can also give them just what they need to get started.

Providing this type of centralized resource shows that you care about your affiliates’ success, and that you’ll offer the support they need. Don't forget to:

  • Link to your resource hub on your affiliate dashboard. This makes the tools easily accessible to all affiliates.
  • Include an FAQ pageThis can answer some of the key questions your inactive affiliates have. It also ensures that you aren’t answering the same questions over and over.

To further understand what your affiliates need, consider reaching out for direct feedback through a survey. This gives you more information on the exact tools they're looking for.


While having inactive affiliates can make you worry about the effectiveness of your program, this is actually a common problem. However, it can still be harmful to your program's health, and negatively impact your profits. Fortunately, it isn't that difficult to motivate affiliates to stay active.

If you want to encourage your inactive affiliates to return to your program, you can:

  1. Send frequent affiliate newsletters to encourage communication.
  2. Offer incentives to promote affiliate performance.
  3. Provide the tools affiliates need to make their job easier.

Do you have any questions about inactive affiliates, or how Affiliate Royale can help you get their attention? Let us know in the comments section below!