5 Tips for an Effective Affiliate Onboarding Process

Affiliate marketing represents an enormous opportunity for brands. In fact, it's responsible for 16 percent of all e-commerce sales in the United States and Canada. If you're working with affiliates and not seeing the results you expect, it may be time to refine your onboarding process.

By making sure new affiliates have what they need to succeed, you’re also improving your own odds of attracting new customers and boosting your revenue. It can also help keep your partners motivated and happy so that they continue to make an effort to promote your brand.

In this article, we’ll discuss why your affiliate onboarding process is so important and offer five tips for making it as effective as possible. Let’s dig in!

Why Affiliate Onboarding Is Important

Onboarding is about more than just providing training for new affiliates (although that's part of it). Instead, it should be a process that aims to make your new partner feel as welcome and comfortable as possible while acclimating them to their role.

Your onboarding process should set out clear expectations for each new affiliate, and provide them with all the tools they need to be successful. That way they know exactly what they're signing up for and how to get started.

An effective onboarding process equips your affiliates for success and sets them up to be as effective as possible. This benefits both you and them. The better they are at making sales, the more money you'll both earn.

A comfortable onboarding also helps build goodwill and a strong relationship. Again, happy affiliates sell more products. Additionally, a positive experience encourages them to stick around and promote your program to others.

Finally, an informative and thorough onboarding process minimizes confusion and potential conflicts. This means less time spent dealing with repetitive questions or issues, freeing you up to focus on building your business.

5 Tips for an Effective Affiliate Onboarding Process

Creating a truly effective onboarding process isn't difficult, but it does require some thoughtful consideration of the needs of your affiliates. These five tips should get you on the right track.

1. Use Simple Language

One of the most important things you can do in your onboarding process (and any communication with affiliates) is stick to plain language. Avoid using industry jargon or “legalese”. Keep messaging clear and concise.

Remember, not all of your affiliates may be familiar with industry-specific terms. Plain language can prevent confusion. It also helps ensure that everyone is on the same page about your program, products, and expectations.

2. Walk Your Affiliates Through Their First Sales

Helping new affiliates successfully complete their first sales can build confidence for when they're out on their own. It also helps foster excitement about your program. This is especially important for new affiliate programs that are still trying to recruit partners.

Walking newcomers through their first sales also enables you to catch and address any issues with their sales techniques, ensuring better results in the future. While it may take some additional time to get this hands-on, the early momentum can pay dividends down the road.

Initially you can do this yourself, but as the number of affiliates in your program grows, you can also set up a mentorship system so experienced partners can help new members get started. This both frees up time for you and fosters a sense of community among your team.

3. Answer Questions Before They're Asked

If you've been running your affiliate program for a while, you may have noticed that you receive certain questions over and over again. You can save yourself a lot of time (and frustration) by anticipating these inquiries and providing the answers upfront.

You can also take it a step further and spend some time imagining what questions you would have if you were joining your program. Chances are your new recruits are wondering the same things, so go ahead and provide the answers.

Some common questions that might come up include:

  • Who to contact with questions or problems
  • How to find creative materials to use in marketing
  • When and how affiliates can expect payments to be processed
  • How frequently affiliates can expect to hear from you
  • What expectations you have for members of your program

The best way to handle these common queries is to create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and add it to your Affiliate Dashboard using Affiliate Royale. To do so, create your FAQ page, then navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options > Dashboard and click on Add page in the Custom Nav Pages section.

4. Check In Frequently

It's important to proactively check in with your new affiliates both during the onboarding process and after. Doing so serves several purposes:

  • Regular check-ins show new team members that you care about them and their performance.
  • It humanizes your company and helps build stronger relationships with your partners.
  • Frequent check-ins can detect and resolve issues before they have a chance to snowball into larger problems.

To get the most out of your check-ins, decide on a schedule and let your new affiliates know when they'll hear from you and what to expect. This gives them an opportunity to prepare questions and helps make these conversations more productive.

5. Ask for Feedback

Finally, once onboarding is complete, ask your graduates how it went. This enables you to gather feedback on what worked and what didn't, so you can continue to fine-tune your process in the future.

You can gather feedback using direct emails for a more personal approach, or you can use a tool such as SurveyMonkey to build a feedback form. Either way, finding out what your actual affiliates liked and didn't like about your onboarding process is a fantastic way to improve it.

Conclusion

If your affiliate marketing performance has you down, don’t fret. By improving your onboarding process, you can set your affiliates up for success, increasing your own revenue in the process. This aspect is often overlooked, but it’s essential to an effective program.

Just follow these five simple tips to jump-start your affiliate onboarding:

  1. Use simple language and clear communication to get everyone on the same page.
  2. Walk your affiliates through their first sales to build momentum.
  3. Answer questions before they’re asked.
  4. Check in frequently during the onboarding process to build stronger relationships.
  5. Ask for feedback from affiliates to further improve your onboarding process.

Do you have any questions about affiliate marketing or onboarding? Let us know in the comments section below!

3 Features Your Affiliate Management Plugin Needs

Creating and running an effective affiliate program takes a lot of effort. It requires countless hours of maintenance and management, and this is especially difficult without the help of a designated tool. However, choosing which one to use can be difficult.

By choosing the right tool – a WordPress plugin that contains all the features you need – you can ensure you’re running your program as efficiently as possible. In turn, this will benefit your business' conversion rates and bottom line.

In this post, we’ll highlight three features you should look for in an affiliate management plugin. We’ll then outline how Affiliate Royale checks all of those boxes, and how you can start using it immediately. Let’s get started!

3 Features Your Affiliate Management Plugin Needs

With so many plugins available, it can be difficult to find the right one. To help you narrow your search, let’s look at three features your affiliate management plugin needs.

1. Multiple Payment Integration Options

Affiliate Royale's Payment Integration Options

Popular payment integrations include PayPal and Shopp. However, there are many more to choose from.

In a nutshell, the more payment options you accept, the greater the choice for your customers. By offering multiple options, you make it easier for as many users as possible to make payments with ease. PayPal is usually the go-to option, although e-commerce solutions such as Shopp and Cart66 also have payment options integrated. Choosing an affiliate management plugin that offers multiple payment integration options, therefore, is key.

Of course, it’s also important to choose a plugin that makes the integration process easy. For example, any plugin you consider should provide a list of supported and recommended payment integrations. You may be able to use others not listed, but supported ones are typically easier to add to your website.

Even with many options, it’s important to know which ones are best for your audience. This ensures you integrate the most relevant payment methods onto your website, which is beneficial for your business's profits.

2. A Full-Featured Affiliate Dashboard

The Affiliate Royale Affiliate Dashboard

As the main program gateway for your affiliates, the Affiliate Dashboard is a crucial program management tool.

An affiliate dashboard is your main point of contact with your affiliates, so it should contain everything you both need to communicate with each other. This includes contact information, and even links to useful program information (such as links and banners, which we’ll discuss below).

You should also choose a plugin that enables you to customize the dashboard – adding your own links to the Navigation menu and setting a personalized welcome message, for example. This ensures you’re able to provide exactly what your affiliates need, and you aren’t ‘locked in’ to a particular set up. After all, you may find that your communication style (and, therefore, dashboard needs) change as your program grows.

3. A Links and Banners Creation Tool

The Affiliate Royale Links and Banner creation tool

With the right tool, you can create unique links and banner advertisements for each affiliate.

A links and banner creation tool simply enables you to create affiliate-specific links and ads. You'll be able to personalize the link and advertisement for each affiliate automatically, so they get credit for sales.

When used correctly, this feature enables you to streamline the way you usually create links and banners. You can create them with just a few clicks, and your affiliates don't have to perform the process themselves, leaving them more time to bring in new custom and income.

In addition, you'll also want to consider how you'll share these links and banners with your affiliates. For example, you could do so on the Affiliate Dashboard or within an affiliate newsletter. You'll want to consider plugins that make the sharing process simple. This will increase the number of affiliates who actually use them on their own websites.

Why Affiliate Royale Is the Ideal Choice for Your Program

The Affiliate Royale plugin.

The features we've listed here will ensure that your program runs smoothly, and have full control over managing your affiliates. There are various dedicated affiliate management plugins available, but you won't find the above essential features in all of them. One plugin that contains all of these features and more is Affiliate Royale.

Once you've purchased a plan, then downloaded and installed the plugin on your website, you'll have access to a wealth of features to help you manage your affiliates and site. For example, you can implement all of the above key elements – multiple payment integration options, a customizable Affiliate Dashboard, and a Links and Banner creation tool – to enable you to run your program more efficiently and communicate better with your affiliates. In turn, this will potentially boost your traffic, conversions, and income.

Conclusion

Choosing the best tool for affiliate management will make it easier to run your program successfully. It will enable you to focus on other aspects of your business – including content creation and affiliate recruitment – and in some cases offer some self-sufficiency to your affiliate ranks.

In this post, we’ve outlined three features you should look for in an affiliate management tool. Let's recap them quickly:

  1. Multiple payment integration options.
  2. A full-featured Affiliate Dashboard.
  3. A Links and Banners creation tool.

Do you have any questions about affiliate management features, or Affiliate Royale? Let us know in the comments section below!