The 6 Most Common Mistakes When Starting an Affiliate Marketing Program (And How to Avoid Them)

man who just made a mistake

Affiliate marketing can be very profitable when done right. According to a Business Insider report, it accounts for about 15 percent of overall revenue in the digital media industry. However, there are some common mistakes business owners are prone to making when starting new programs, which can hamper long-term success.

By avoiding these stumbling blocks, you can maximize your income and build profitable relationships with your marketing partners or affiliates. Fortunately that isn't hard to do – in this case, a little foreknowledge goes a long way.

In this article, we’ll look at the top six mistakes commonly made when starting an affiliate marketing program, and talk about how to avoid them. Let’s get started!

1. Neglecting to Promote Your Affiliate Program

First on our list is neglecting to promote your affiliate marketing program. It’s nearly impossible to make your program a success if you haven’t generated any awareness about it.

Ideally, you'll want to begin advertising your program even before it’s launched. You can start by letting your existing audience know about it (for example, through an email blast), and by clarifying its benefits and how much they can earn.

In addition, it's a good idea to set up banners on your home page (or any other page with high visibility):

An affiliate program promotional banner.

Social media posts can also be an effective means for notifying both existing and new followers about your program. All of this content can lead interested parties to a dedicated page that explains all of the key details.

2. Forgetting to Vet Your Affiliate Partners

It’s tempting to indiscriminately accept anyone who applies to your affiliate program. This comes from a desire to grow it as quickly as possible. However, it’s smart to perform some due diligence and acquire basic background information for each applicant, since they'll be functioning as an advocate for your products or services.

Going into partnerships with people whose only goal is to make a quick buck can give your brand a bad reputation. Additionally, since these individuals may also be prone to spamming links and engaging in other less-than-stellar practices, your page rankings could be negatively affected.

Therefore, it's best to ensure that everyone you accept satisfies the following (at a minimum):

  • Has a quality content channel (blog, podcast, social profiles, etc.) that's regularly updated
  • Is a genuine business or has previous affiliate experience
  • Does not engage in spammy practices in their existing content
  • Is established within their niche and has the trust of their audience (as indicated by a highly-engaged following, a strong social media presence, etc.)

Overall, you'll want to focus on gathering a small but solid band of affiliates, rather than a sizable number who might do more harm than good.

3. Failing to Pay Enough Commission

The appeal of an affiliate marketing program is that anyone can earn money by promoting a brand’s products or services. While there’s certainly some work to be done, affiliates can bring in what's essentially passive income once the right structures are in place.

With that being said, the rewards will still need to be worthwhile in order to attract quality marketers. Since many businesses now have affiliate programs for promoting their offerings, it’s important to stand out or you risk losing to the competition. If your commission rates aren’t appealing enough, you may see few applicants.

An example of affiliate commission rates.

Admittedly, it may not be feasible to pay high rates for all of your products. However, it’s generally smart to have a list of high-commission items. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that payments are sent out as early as possible, and according to your affiliate agreement. Otherwise, your partners may lose their motivation for promoting your brand.

In the same vein, it’s important that you do not reduce commissions after sign-ups. This can cause your affiliates to stop promoting your products, or even leave your program entirely.

4. Not Tracking Affiliate Activities

Even your best efforts at vetting potential affiliates might be inadequate. You might find that you still have some marketing partners who overstep their bounds and engage in questionable or even unethical practices.

Therefore, you’ll want to set up a consistent schedule for reviewing affiliate traffic and sales for inconsistencies. Proactively monitoring your affiliates this way can ensure that they do not damage your reputation. It might even help you contain mishaps early on.

It's also very important to define the terms and conditions for your program before launching it:

An affiliate program's terms and conditions.

Then you'll just have to enforce them as needed, which can serve to deter further mischief.

5. Neglecting to Spell Out Acceptable and Unacceptable Marketing Strategies

We’ve established that some affiliates may engage in questionable marketing practices, regardless of your best efforts to vet them at the application stage. However, it’s also possible that you simply haven’t made your rules clear enough.

When starting your program, you'll want to create unambiguous standards about acceptable and unacceptable practices. For example, some companies forbid their affiliates from bidding on certain brand keywords in Google AdWords.

Consider including a list of allowed promotional activities in your affiliate terms, and forbidding everything else. This way, you can avoid the risk of your partners using techniques you’re unfamiliar with, and keep your reputation sparkling.

6. Failing to Treat Your Affiliates Like Business Partners

Affiliate partnerships are business relationships. Therefore, you’ll want to treat them as such. Although it’s your responsibility to lay down rules to ensure that affiliates do not damage your brand’s reputation, you'll also want to allow some flexibility and avoid treating them like employees.

To begin with, you should consider allowing flexible marketing techniques (within your established constraints, as discussed above). You'll also want to avoid creating too many rules, and generally being heavy-handed. The goal is to build and maintain solid working relationships with your affiliates.

Communication is a key factor in building such strong partnerships. Therefore, you’ll want to keep the lines of communication open, listening to affiliates' concerns and suggestions. This might require scheduling regular meetings, as well as sending newsletters and educational content.

Another advantage of communicating with your affiliates is that since they’re often in direct contact with your end users, you can gain more awareness about what products or services your audiences want and are willing to pay for. Therefore, it's best to be proactive about soliciting such feedback, as your affiliates may unintentionally gloss over it. 

Conclusion

Starting an affiliate marketing program can be an excellent way to increase your revenue. When done the right way, you can build long-term relationships with partners who will help create more awareness for your brand. You can also gain deeper insights into the needs of your target audiences.

Along the way, it's also vital to avoid these six common mistakes:

  1. Neglecting to promote your affiliate program.
  2. Forgetting to vet your affiliate partners.
  3. Failing to pay enough commissions.
  4. Not tracking affiliate activities.
  5. Neglecting to spell out acceptable and unacceptable marketing strategies.
  6. Failing to treat your affiliates like business partners.

Have you made any of these mistakes, and how have you fixed (or how do you plan to fix) them? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Vital Things To Add To Your Affiliate Registration Page

To build and expand your online business, you need to make it as easy as possible for individuals to sign up for your affiliate marketing program.

The most important part of the sign up process is the affiliate registration page. On this page, people will expect to learn all about and sign up for your program.

In this post, we’ll share with you a few vital pieces of information you want on your affiliate signup page to make your program as successful as possible.

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1.Affiliate Program Information

One of the most important components of the registration page is information about your affiliate program. Without this information, potential affiliates won’t have a clear understanding of what your affiliate program is all about and will be less likely to join.

First, be sure to include information about your business and what it promotes. List the different ways your affiliate program can be shared. For example, can a podcaster share on their show? Do you only offer affiliate links? Or do you also provide banners for websites? Also, include information on how affiliates will earn commissions.

2. Program Rules And Regulations

To maintain an organized affiliate program and to help potential affiliates understand what will be expected of them in the program, be sure to include a link to the rules and regulations of your program on the registration page.

Detailing what’s expected of your affiliates is a great way to passively filter applicants and ensure a higher rate of quality registrations for your program. It will also help to boost the credibility of your program.

3. Affiliate Eligibility

Speaking of rules and regulations, another important element on your affiliate registration page is a list of the requirements your potential affiliates must meet to join your program.

Eligibility requirements aren’t necessarily an element in every affiliate program, but if you’re trying to target a specific market, having such requirements can be beneficial.

Eligibility requirements might include having a minimum number of followers, being active on a particular social media platform, or being over age 18. However, be careful when setting up requirements so as to avoid engaging in discriminatory practices.

4. Testimonials

Want to encourage your website visitors to take the big leap and join your program? Give them a little taste of FOMO, or fear of missing out. Include testimonials on your affiliate registration page to give potential affiliates first-hand accounts of how great your program is and how much passive income they can earn by signing on the dotted line. 

You might also include product reviews and testimonials regarding what services your business offers to assure affiliates that your program is trustworthy and high quality.

Consider including a few quotes from affiliate partners or a video testimonial from a satisfied affiliate, or share statistics on how many affiliates successfully make money through your program. This is the prime time to show off how amazing your company is and how big a difference your program makes in people’s lives.

5. Example Promotions

Including example promotions on your registration page is a great way to encourage people to join your affiliate program, to provide a better understanding of what they can expect from the program, and to passively filter applicants.

Consider including things like social media photos, hashtags your affiliates use to promote the program, or even example blog promotions by some of your best affiliates. These samples will help potential partners understand the quality of work they’ll be expected to deliver as an effective part of the team.

6. Next Steps

Last, but definitely not least, be sure to include the next steps visitors should take to join your program. Will they need to email you? Obtain a referral link? Fill out a form? Undergo an interprocess? Detail what they’ll need to do to become a partner in your program and start promoting your small business.

Many companies ask potential affiliates to fill out a form or create an account to get started. Some require affiliates to undergo an approval process, while others allow new affiliates to start as soon as they sign up. There is no right or wrong way to go, and what you choose should depend on the needs and goals of your program.

Are you ready to take your online business to the next level with affiliate marketing? Get started with Affiliate Royale today!

In Conclusion

Your affiliate registration page is one of the most important pieces of content in your arsenal for promoting your affiliate program. Therefore, it’s very important that you carefully curate what you put on this page — in addition to making it easy to find and user-friendly. 

Because it’s the final piece of the puzzle in the conversion process, you want this page to have all the information potential affiliates need to make a decision. Keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a high-converting registration page for your affiliate program.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, be sure to check out some of our other blog posts, such as places you can promote your affiliate programhow to know if an affiliate program is right for your small business, or what to look for in an ideal affiliate.

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How To Use Your Affiliate Program To Do Good

There are many online entrepreneurs who not only want to create a thriving and successful online business but also want to make a positive impact in the world by advocating for worthy causes. 

If you happen to be one of those people, how can you go about growing your business while including philanthropy in your efforts? In today’s post, we’ll share with you a few ways you can use your business to make your charitable dream a reality without breaking the bank.

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How To Do Good as a Team

Have you ever heard the saying, “Charity starts at home?” This phrase also applies to your small business. Actively creating a culture of philanthropy within your company not only makes your business look good, it keeps your employees engaged, makes them feel empowered, and keeps them focused on the purpose of your business’ core values. Here are a few ways you can cultivate a culture of charity and giving back.

Encourage Employee Donations

One excellent way to encourage employees to do good is by making it easy for them to donate to their favorite local causes. Using payroll software like Gusto, you can give your employees the option to send financial donations to the causes they love each pay period automatically.

You might even take these efforts one step further by highlighting in your company blog some of the causes your employees support.

Organize a Group Collection Drive

If your team works in-person or operates in a location where you can identify local causes, one way to do good is to run a group collection drive for one of these causes.

This can be something as simple as a food drive, where your company collects canned goods for a local food pantry, a clothing drive for The Salvation Army, or even an old electronics and software collection effort for up-and-coming businesses.

Pursue Volunteer Projects Together

If your team is in-house or located close to one another, why not tackle a volunteer project as a group? Volunteer to work on a project with Habitat for Humanity, help out at a local soup kitchen, go out and donate toiletries to the homeless, or take on a group speaking engagement.

These types of charitable efforts will help bring your team closer together, show the public another side of your business, and help your community at the same time!

Ask For Employee Input

To really get your employees involved with a philanthropic effort, ask them if there are any causes or charities they are passionate about. For example, if one of your employees is a breast cancer survivor, why not have a group charitable effort around raising money for breast cancer research?

Or if one of your team members has a loved one who suffers from multiple sclerosis, participate as a team in the National MS Society’s Run MS program. Involving your employees in the process keeps them excited about the effort and shows them that you care about the team and what they think.

How to Do Good Corporately

Once you’ve mastered building a culture of charity inside the workplace, how can you do good as a business entity? Following a few awesome ways.

Partner With A Charitable Organization

One great way to work on doing good outside of your online business is to partner with a charity and use your platform to promote and help that organization gain resources.

You could start a promotional campaign where, for every sale your business makes, it will donate a certain amount to your partner charity. Or, you might promote them through your blog, sharing with your online following the importance of the organization’s work and why it is necessary for a healthy community.

Offer Free or Discounted Services

Another generous move for your small business is to offer services at an extremely discounted rate or totally free to a charitable organization. There may be a local nonprofit that needs help setting up a certain program on their website, building a Facebook page, or even figuring out how to operate their computer system.

Attend Charitable Events

Attending charity events as a representative of your company is a great way to network, help a worthy cause, and learn about other causes you may want to support in the future.

Events like these are fun (and fruitful!) alternatives to simply dropping off donations or giving money. Such events give you a chance to see who’s being impacted by your efforts and how you and your small business can help out even more.

Participate In Online Challenges

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took social media by storm a few years back? Challenges like these are happening all the time. If you hear about a challenge that’s gaining momentum for a cause you can get behind, join in!

Then, be sure to tag people in your network to help build awareness and support. Or, even better, start your own challenge and encourage your network to get involved to support a worthy cause.

Manage your affiliate promotions easily with Affiliate Royale!

In Conclusion

Using your company’s online and offline presence to support worthy causes doesn’t have to be a major and expensive hurdle. As you’ve seen, there are all kinds of ways you can implement philanthropy and use your business to promote the greater good. So get started today! 

Does your small business have a culture of charity? Tell us about it in the comments!

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How to Know if an Affiliate Program is Right for Your Business

Affiliate marketing has gradually gained significant momentum in the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. But, while tons of businesses are beginning to embrace this form of marketing, affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone.

Is affiliate marketing really the right thing for your online business? In this post, we’ll go over a few tell-tale signs you can look for to determine whether an affiliate program is the right move for you!

Easily manage and maintain your affiliates – use Affiliate Royale today!

Common Businesses That Use Affiliate Marketing

The first question to ask is whether your business falls within an industry where affiliate marketing is a standard practice. Following are a few of the most common businesses that achieve success with this type of marketing.

Ecommerce/Retail

Online shopping businesses are making a killing from affiliate marketing. Amazon is one of the originators of affiliate programs to promote products, but now most online stores have some sort of affiliate or referral program. For example, one large business, FashionNova, works with celebrities and influencers to promote their products to the masses.

Membership Websites

If you’re subscribed to a subscription-based business, such as a subscription box service, small business group, or educational subscription program, you know that these companies are continually seeking new clients, members, or customers. As a result, most of these programs offer affiliate programs to their current subscribers, allowing subscribers to receive rewards and perks when they refer customers.

Printing Companies

Companies that mass-produce products such as shirts, business cards, and product boxes target smaller printing companies and businesses to expand their affiliate programs. For example, Vistaprint offers the Vistaprint ProAdvantage program where smaller companies can offer printing for customers at a discounted rate. The more customers each business brings in, the more money both businesses make.

Software Companies/App Companies

If your business uses email marketing tools, social media management tools, or anything in between, chances are those companies have affiliate programs. These companies offer rewards or even discounts or free upgrades on their software for referrals.

Is An Affiliate Program Right For You? Other Questions to Ask Yourself

Still wondering if an affiliate program is right for your business? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to help determine whether an affiliate program could benefit you.

Can You Afford An Affiliate Program? Although an affiliate program can be a cheaper way to market your business, there are still costs involved. Whether it’s giving away free products and services, paying influencers, or offering affiliate commissions and perks to affiliates to provide referrals who convert, you have to make sure your small business can afford the associated costs.

If it’s not in your best interest to spend the money or sacrifice products or services, it may be a good idea to wait and reevaluate before starting an affiliate program.

Are Your Competitors Doing It? One of the best ways to judge whether or not an affiliate marketing program, or any marketing tactic for that matter, will work for you is to find out if your competition is doing it. If you notice that a competitor is operating a successful program, it’s definitely something you want to explore.

Will You Be Able To Handle It? Determining whether your budget will allow you to have an affiliate program is one thing, but deciding if you have the organizational skills and the staff to run the program are equally essential factors to consider. 

If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle a sudden influx of customers or if you don’t yet have systems in place, such as Affiliate Royale, to manage affiliates and customers, you may want to take a step back and work on some preparation before you launch your program.

Are You Confident In What You Offer? Before you can share what you have to offer with the public, you need to be confident in your product or service. If you don’t believe in your product or service, no one else will. It’s tough to sell something you don’t care about. Be sure that you are proud of what you do and confident in the value you can bring to customers.

Do You Believe It’s Worth It? At the end of the day, you know your business and what you have to offer a potential customer. If you feel that people are going to benefit from what you provide and that they will be likely to tell a friend or associate about it, then definitely go for it!

However, if you don’t believe that an affiliate program is right for you, or you aren’t willing to put in the work required to run a successful one, that’s okay. You always want to do what works best for you and your business.

Manage your affiliate program without hassle with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

In Conclusion

An affiliate program can be a significant asset to your business. However, it is a considerable task, and the work it requires isn’t for everyone. We hope that the questions and information we’ve provided above will help you figure out whether an affiliate program is a good move for you.

Ready to turn your online business idea into a thriving affiliate program? Be sure to read our blog posts on how to convert your customers into affiliates, ways micro-influencers can help your affiliate program, how to use swipe copy to help your affiliate succeed, and how to tell if your affiliate program is doing well.

Do you feel ready to start an affiliate program? What factors have gone into determining your readiness? Let us know in the comments!

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How To Utilize Split Testing In Your Affiliate Program

When it comes to affiliate promotions, you might assume you know how your customers will respond to your ads based on the basic research you’ve done for your business. However, to really understand your customers’ behavior, you’ll have to do a bit more digging. That’s why testing out different promotional methods is critical.

Split testing offers a unique opportunity to understand your customers’ behavior and how they respond to different advertising and promotional methods. Not only does this method allow you the opportunity to increase your viewership, but it teaches you how to better approach potential affiliate partners and customers, resulting in increased engagement and conversions.

In this post, we’ll explain what split testing is, how to implement the method in your affiliate marketing efforts, and just how effective it is for recruiting new members to your affiliate program.

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What Exactly is Split Testing?

Split testing is the process of testing different versions of a website, copy, ad, or piece of content to see which one works best for your audience.

For example, let’s say that you’re testing out different ways to collect feedback from your customers. One method may be to create a popup form asking for feedback on your website. Another method may be to simply add a call-to-action (CTA) button on your website linking to a survey form. 

As time goes on, you track both methods so you can see which one gets more clicks and/or engagement. Based on the results of your test, you know which method your audience is more responsive to, so you know how to approach your promotions in the future.

Why Is Split Testing So Important?

Although it may seem like enough to just research and take tips and methods from other online businesses, it’s important to understand that every business is different, and each one has its own specific audience. So, rather than just copying and pasting other methods, it’s wise to take the time to test out different methods and tweak them so that they work best for your brand.

How To Start Split Testing In Your Affiliate Marketing Program 

Ready to start implementing split testing into your affiliate marketing efforts, but aren’t sure how to get started? Here are a few things you can do to hit the ground running:

  • Find out how customers are interacting with your website. Before you start split testing, you need to know what to test, right? So take some time and analyze your website data to learn how your customers are currently engaging with your site and what pages or CTAs could use tweaking. Tools like MonsterInsights and Google Analytics are great resources to help you tease out this information.
  • Determine how long to perform the test. Based on your goals and the data you gathered, decide how long the split test should last. Depending on the type of activity you’re analyzing, you can experiment for anywhere from seven days to three months. If you’re looking to track engagement, you may be able to opt for a shorter time span. However, if conversions are what you’re looking for, extend your test for a month or longer.
  • Let the test run its course. As your split test is running, you may notice a few adjustments that can be made before the trial is over, however, do NOT change right away! To ensure you get accurate results and a fair split test, you don’t want to suddenly switch things up. Let the test run through completely, and take notes so you can make changes afterward.
  • Focus on one or just a few larger elements at a time. You never want to overwhelm yourself with too many test items at once. By focusing on one or just a few large elements at a time, you’ll save yourself time and frustration in the long run. Focus on things such as headline format, images, or colors one at a time, and build on each element from there. Then, once you have the foundation of your content created, you can start performing multivariate testing and analyzing multiple smaller elements at once.
  • Be open to future split testing. Once you’ve completed your first split test, you’re not finished! The great thing about marketing is that there’s always something new to learn from your customers, so never stop testing and experimenting for the success of your online business.

Split Testing Tools For WordPress Websites

Gone are the days of having to manually track links, clicks, and customer engagement on your website. Now, there are several tools built specifically to help WordPress users split test and accurately and effectively track progress.

Nelio AB Testing 

This is a freemium WordPress plugin that prides itself on being “the most powerful and versatile conversion optimization service for WordPress.” Using the tool, you can split test landing pages, website themes, contact forms, and more. If you’re not ready to pay for this plugin, there is a free version for lower traffic websites. 

Divi Leads 

If you’re at all familiar with website themes and page builders, you’ve probably heard of Divi. Divi is a powerful visual page builder that allows users to create custom WordPress websites using a drag and drop interface. What many people may not realize is that Divi includes Divi Leads, which allows you to create and showcase different versions of your web pages to customers for split testing. Divi Leads tracks the progress of both versions and shows you which one performed best. Then, you simply pick the higher-performing option to use on your website. 

Pretty Links

Pretty Links is mainly known as a link shortening tool, however, this WordPress plugin also offers a split testing option. It allows you to create shortened links for the website pages or content that you would like to test, then gives you access to the data using the Split Test Report option under the links in your Pretty Links section in WordPress.

Help your affiliate program reach new heights with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

The Takeaway

Your affiliate website’s content is a key component of your online business’ overall marketing strategy and success, which is why it’s so important to know what works best for your customers. 

Rather than depending solely on guesswork or taking tips and copying methods from other businesses, why not take some time to use split testing, and see what your audience really gravitates toward? Keep our tips in mind, and you’ll be able to successfully split test content for your business and bring in more affiliates and customers for your business!

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Is My Affiliate Program Performing Well? How To Tell

You have your affiliate program up and ready to go, your affiliates are working hard, and things are going great—or are they?

How can you know for sure that your affiliate program is really performing at its best? How do you determine whether or not you need to change your onboarding strategy or seek new affiliates?

In this post, we’ll help you figure out if your affiliate program is really as successful as you think by cluing you in on a few key things to look for and offering up a handful of tips on how to improve.

Managing your affiliate program is easy with Affiliate Royale. Try it out for yourself today!

Why Is Tracking Affiliate Program Performance Important?

Measuring performance is a vital part of your success as a business owner. Setting goals in your business is a great way to track your progress and highlight key places where your small business can grow and develop. 

After all, the last thing you want to do is waste valuable time, energy, and money on campaigns and other marketing efforts without any sort of strategic goal or benchmark to reference.

Accurate, Updated Website

Is your website accurate and up-to-date? There’s nothing worse than an affiliate program website that features outdated information. If visitors go to your website and notice that your information hasn’t been updated in a long time, or your site seems neglected in any way, potential affiliates will be turned off and not want to work with you.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Keywords for Optimizing Your Website’s Content

Affiliate Program Quality

An affiliate program is only as good as the entities supporting it. This is not to say that you’ve got to have a program full of top-tier affiliates, but are those affiliates you do have in your program performing to the best of their ability? 

Be sure to pay attention to your affiliates and monitor their behaviors. Do you notice a number of inactive affiliates? How much traffic is each affiliate generating? These are important questions to ask and analyze on a regular basis. 

Read More: 3 Ways That Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

Promotion Performance

To achieve success, affiliate programs require time to plan, schedule, and implement promotions together with affiliates. By tracking click-throughs to your website and measuring online sales, you’ll be able to determine how well your promotions are working.

You’ll also begin to understand what percentage of each promotion’s progress can be attributed to your affiliates. This information will give you important insight into the value each affiliate is bringing to the table. 

Read More: 10 Ways to Prepare Affiliates for Online Promotions

Affiliate Communication

Another excellent way to ensure your affiliate program is performing at its best is to pay special attention to how you’re communicating with the individuals in your program. How often do you reach out to your affiliates? Do you offer personalized communication? How is your support team performing? Do you give your affiliates an adequate amount of information to properly promote your online business?

Read More: 4 Strategies for Keeping Your Affiliates Happy

Continuing Education

There’s nothing more powerful than a company whose culture is based on a desire to constantly try and learn new things. Combine that with affiliate partners who seek to do the same, and you have a recipe for success. 

How often are your company and its affiliates taking time to learn about the latest news and trends in the field? Are you helping your affiliates continue to grow in their knowledge of your business and industry? Addressing these areas of education will go a long way toward strengthening your business over time.

Read More: Why Industry Knowledge Is Vital for Affiliate Programs

KPIs to Keep In Your Back Pocket

KPIs, or Key performance indicators, are measures of performance that can help you evaluate the success of a specific campaign or your business as a whole. Carefully tracking KPIs allows you to determine how healthy your company is and how your efforts are helping or hurting its progress.

Here are a few KPIs to keep in mind as you grow your affiliate program:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). Your CTR is the number of clicks on links or ads generated by affiliates on your website. This KPI helps you see which affiliates are actively working and how effective they actually are.
  • Conversion Rate. The conversion rate refers to the sales your business is achieving from affiliate-generated traffic. This metric helps you track the success of your promotions.
  • Cost Per Click/Lead. The cost per click is the average amount of money you spend each time your affiliate generates click-throughs to your site or each time affiliate traffic generates a lead.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This KPI helps you understand how valuable your long-term customer relationships are and how effective your affiliates are at generating these types of relationships. 
  • Churn Rate. Your business’ churn rate measures the number of customers who visit your online business’ website but don’t wind up becoming repeat customers or who cancel services or memberships. An easy way to calculate churn rate is by using this formula: Customers Lost in a Given Period / Original Number of Customers at the Start of the Period = Customer Churn Rate.

The Takeaway

Your affiliate program depends on the success of your affiliates. That is, for your business to do well, your affiliates need to do well. Two of the best ways you can help them succeed is by paying attention to key performance indicators and doing your part to make sure that they have what they need to be successful at their part.

Tracking your affiliates’ performance, keeping up your end of the bargain by staying in contact with them, offering plenty of resources, and giving your affiliates a great product to promote are all simple but powerful ways you can keep your business moving forward.

Create your own affiliate marketing program quickly and easily with Affiliate Royale – get started today!

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How to Convert Customers Into Loyal Affiliates

Bringing in new affiliates means opening up your business to an even larger pool of customers. Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or a seasoned professional, finding people to promote your business is hard work, but it can definitely pay off in the long run.

If your business has existing customers, you already have a group of people you can look to as potential affiliates. Think about it: your customers already have experience with your online business, and they know the value your small business brings to the table. Why wouldn’t they be the ideal people to help you promote it?!

In this post, we'll give you a few tips on how to convert your customers to loyal and productive advocates in your affiliate marketing program.

Get The Word Out

The first step toward bringing current customers into your affiliate program is to let them know you have an affiliate program in the first place. Here are a few tips on how to promote the program to your customers:

  1. Use Emails. Send emails out to your customers to let them know about the affiliate program and what they can get out of it if they join.
  2. Promote on Social Media. Use your social media profiles to let your customers and other loyal followers know that they can become affiliate partners with your online business.
  3. Incorporate Banners. Use banners on your website to emphasize your affiliate program, show people how to join, and show them the benefits of joining.
  4. Blog Posts. Write blog posts to announce your affiliate program. You can also use your blog to explain how the program works. Include CTAs within the posts to entice customers to join.

Offer Plenty of Details

Another great way to persuade customers to join your affiliate program is to be completely transparent, and give plenty of details to help them make their decision.

Include information such as commission rate, the purpose behind your program, types of content affiliates will be expected to use, and requirements for the program: Do customers need a certain amount of followers? Do they need to have a certain social media platform? Will there be an approval process for them to join?

Offer Stellar Customer Service

When you start an online business, you quickly learn that customer service is vital to the success of the business. For many customers, great customer service is the factor that helps them decide whether or not to work with your company.

Not only will great customer service get customers on board in the first place, it'll also be another example for your affiliates to use when they refer your company to other customers.

Offer Freebies and Surprise Deals

It’s no secret that all consumers love discounts and free stuff! Customers who have not yet decided to make a purchase with your business are more likely to do so when a coupon is involved. And customers are more likely to make another purchase when a discount is involved.

Not only does this increase your business’ revenue, but it's another excellent way to get people talking about you and how awesome your business is. And that means more potential affiliates.

Personalize Your Business

There’s nothing more attractive to customers than a business that knows who they are. Consumers are naturally attracted to brands that offer a personalized feel and show that they genuinely care about their customers.

Recognizing special events, such as customer birthdays and business anniversaries, and including customers' names in emails are all excellent ways to add a personal touch.

Actively Ask for Feedback

You can’t read minds, so make sure you have methods in place to get feedback from your customers. Asking for testimonials, offering surveys, and having suggestion boxes are great ways to see what your customers have to say about your business and keep the lines of communication open.

And if your customers see that you are asking for feedback and acting on that feedback, they're more likely to stick with your business and want to tell others about it. 

Analyze the Data

The importance of analytics can't be emphasized enough. Any time a customer makes a purchase with your online business, you should have a system in place to see how they found your business, what pages were viewed, which products or services were purchased, and more.

You can use this information to understand the best ways to target and recruit customers. You can also use it to convert them into affiliate partners and help you improve your customers’ experience with your business.

Segment Your Lists

As your email list grows, you'll quickly find that you need segmented lists to serve different purposes in your business. You can create lists for subscribers by subscription level or purchase amount, or you can base lists on how often they interact with your customer support team.

You can use these lists to customize your messaging and cater to your customers on a more personal level, based on their interactions with your small business.

Reach Out

Last but not least, reach out to your customers personally. Watch for interactions with online mentions of your business, and make sure to engage.

Let’s say you wrote a blog post about your affiliate program and created a Click-to-Tweet link for your readers to share on social media. Any time a customer tweets that message out, be sure to like their Tweet and thank them. You can even encourage them to join your affiliate program.

Not only will they be impressed that your company actually noticed their Tweet, but they’ll be more likely to look into your affiliate program and join your team.

Gathering affiliates for your program requires some elbow grease, but it isn't impossible, especially when you already have customers actively participating in your business. We hope you'll keep these tips in mind and build an affiliate program that will take your business to new heights!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

3 Ways That Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

When it comes to affiliate marketing, it's tempting to focus exclusively on recruiting content creators with large followings. However, these influencers can be expensive to hire, and the competition for their services is only growing.

That’s why you may want to consider turning to micro-influencers. These small-scale affiliates have significant enough followings to provide excellent marketing opportunities but are less likely to expect large commissions.

In this article, we'll introduce you to what a micro-influencer is. Then, we'll discuss some of the benefits of working with them and how you can recruit them. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Micro-Influencers

As you may already know, an influencer is someone who has a large following on social media and uses their influence to promote products for brands. They're one type of affiliate you might recruit for your program.

Micro-influencers have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers, compared with macro-influencers whose audiences tend to scale up into the millions:

A micro-influencer's social media page.

However, even a relatively small following can be leveraged to promote your brand. These accounts offer their own unique benefits over working with large-scale influencers.

In fact, the popularity of micro-influencers is on the rise. Even huge names such as Adobe have worked on campaigns with this type of affiliate. 

One of the advantages of working with micro-influencers is that they tend to have very niche audiences. Often, they have a specialized focus on subjects such as parenting, gaming, or fashion. As a result, they’ve established credibility amongst their followers as experts in their areas of specialty.

3 Ways Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

They may not have the numbers of other potential affiliates, but micro-influencers have their own unique qualities. Here are three ways that working with them can help give your brand a boost.

1. Working With Micro-Influencers Can Be Cost Effective

Working with influencers requires paying them commissions for promoting your products. While this is fair and usually an approachable strategy for many brands, it is still an expense you have to factor into your budget.

The costs of working with influencers can be determined by a number of factors, including follower counts or average views on video platforms such as YouTube. Often, the larger these figures are, the more you can expect to pay for an endorsement. 

That’s where micro-influencers come into play. Without serious expense on your part, they can maximize campaigns for your affiliate program. This could represent significant savings on your end and offer an excellent return on investment (ROI). 

2. You Can Tap Into Niche Audiences

We mentioned in passing that micro-influencers usually target niche audiences. This means they're able to act as a direct line to quality leads who are likely to be interested in your products.

While macro-influencers can put your name in front of a large number of people, chances are only a percentage of their followers will actually be interested in your products. Working with smaller scale partners whose audiences are already interested in your niche can sometimes result in more conversions.

By working with micro-influencers in your industry, you can leverage their existing credibility for your brand. However, this requires you to be intentional and attentive when seeking affiliates for your program. For instance, if your brand sells tools to manage stock options, a beauty blogger may not be the best fit.

3. Micro-Influencers May Encourage Higher Engagement Rates

Over the years, advertising has had to change drastically. Each generation is different, and neither Millennials nor members of Generation Z respond well to traditional broadcast marketing methods. Instead, they seem to crave authenticity.

Micro-influencers often provide this element. A strong indicator of a potential partner's success in this area is the level of engagement or interaction on their accounts. That means quality comments in addition to standard likes and shares.

It may seem counterintuitive, but larger accounts often don’t see the same meaningful engagement smaller ones do. Whether that’s because people feel they can relate more to creators with fewer followers, or because they appear more authentic, ultimately, micro-influencers can lead to more conversions than macro ones.

With that in mind, try not to be swayed by audience size alone when recruiting affiliates. After all, it’s easy to buy thousands of followers, but harder to elicit genuine responses. To ensure an influencer actually has sway over their viewers, consider checking their comments section to see if real people regularly reply to their content.

How to Recruit Micro-Influencers for Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Finding micro-influencers is quite similar to locating affiliates with larger followings. In particular, you could search hashtags on social media platforms such as on Twitter and Instagram, and use Google as well. These can be excellent starting points for finding prospective partners.

As an extra measure, you may also want to try utilizing an influencer research tool, such as Upfluence. It’s free and easy to use:

The homepage of the influencer research tool Upfluence.

To begin, click on the Get Started button. A popup will appear, and you’ll need to supply pertinent information that Upfluence will use to find relevant candidates:

The submission form used by Upfluence.

Most importantly, fill in your company type, industry, and the type of services you’re looking for. Once you finish setting up your account, you'll be able to search Upfluence's influencer database using advanced filters, including community size.

Of course, finding the right micro-influencers is only the first step. You’ll still need to offer attractive compensation to create viable partnerships.

You can set up commission tiers and rates through our Affiliate Royale plugin. Once you've installed and activated it, simply look for the Affiliate Royale menu in the left-hand menu of your dashboard.

Then go to Options > Commission Settings and create your commission rates. If you want multiple tiers, you can add them by clicking on the Add Levels button. Then, before you navigate away, click on Update Options to save your new rates:

The commission settings page of the Affiliate Royale plugin.

If you're hoping to work with macro and micro-influencers, this can be an easy way to set up different commission levels based on the number of followers your affiliates have.

Conclusion

Micro-influencers can benefit your affiliate marketing program in many ways. They represent a growing section of the internet that can invigorate your social media presence. Whether you want more clicks, an expanded audience, or greater engagement, working with these small-scale creators may be in your best interest.

In this article, we covered three ways micro-influencers can benefit your affiliate program:

  1. Working with micro-influencers can be cost-effective.
  2. You can tap into niche audiences.
  3. Micro-influencers may encourage higher engagement rates.

Do you have any questions about working with micro-influencers for your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

How to Use the 80/20 Rule to Enhance Your Affiliate Marketing Program

There's a lot that goes into a successful affiliate marketing program, including some of your budget. Therefore, it's important to make sure you're investing in partnerships that can actually bring in new leads and land conversions for your business.

That's why the 80/20 rule could be beneficial to your marketing strategy. It's a principle of thought that says 80 percent of sales come from 20 percent of your partners. By applying it to your program, you may be able to optimize it to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

In this article, we'll take a look at what the 80/20 rule is, and why it matters to affiliate marketing. Then, we'll offer tips on how you can apply it to improve your program. Let's get started!

An Introduction to the 80/20 Rule in Affiliate Marketing

Also called the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule can apply to many different areas, including affiliate marketing. In short, it states that 20 percent of your input results in 80 percent of your output. In other words, a small portion of your investment may, in fact, generate the bulk of your returns.

In affiliate marketing, this translates to 20 percent of your partnerships producing 80 percent of the sales for your program. With a discerning eye, you can determine who your top sellers are so you can reward them and encourage their efforts.

Similarly, by identifying the 80 percent who don’t perform as well, you can figure out how to work with them in a way that isn't a drain on your marketing budget. This might mean lower commission rates or fewer free samples of your products. 

Furthermore, by using the 80/20 rule, you can determine which of your partners consistently underperform, and reconsider whether doing business with them is worthwhile. In turn, this can free up resources to reinvest in those who are bringing in the bulk of your affiliate sales.

How to Use the 80/20 Rule to Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Program (3 Key Tips)

By applying the 80/20 rule, you have little to lose and much to gain. After all, it’s a widely acknowledged observation that has a strong application in any financial setting. Here are three ways you can incorporate it into your affiliate marketing strategy.

1. Use a Tracking System to Monitor Conversions and Find Your Top Affiliates

Before you can reward top-performing affiliates, you have to figure out who they are. According to the 80/20 rule, you should be able to do this by looking at conversion rate data and identifying the fifth of your affiliates who land the most sales.

With a plugin such as Affiliate Royale, you’ll be able to analyze valuable data to understand how the 80/20 rule applies to your program. By creating unique links for each partner, it's possible to see who your top earners are, and who isn't bringing in as much revenue: 

Graph displaying affiliate statistics in an Affiliate Royale report.

Once you've installed the plugin, simply navigate to your WordPress admin sidebar and click on Affiliate Royale > Reports to see the number of click-throughs, unique views, and sales for a given time period. You can also view a list of specific transactions and look to see which partners' names appear most frequently.

2. Reward Top-Performing Affiliates to Encourage Their Efforts

The success of your program can depend on the satisfaction of your affiliates. If they don't feel like their hard work is being adequately recognized, you could see a drop in their productivity.

Suitable rewards can not only help you to avoid that situation but could even motivate your affiliates to continually strive for more sales. Over time, it might also cultivate a greater sense of loyalty to your program.

With the 80/20 rule in effect, you can focus on acknowledging the top 20 percent of your affiliates. This will encourage your less successful partners to improve their sales rates, while also motivating high-performers to maintain their spots.

There are many ways to reward affiliates. One of the most common is to use tiered commissions. This involves giving partners a larger percentage of each sale once they reach a certain number of conversions per month.

For instance, affiliates who make five sales or less per month may only receive a ten percent commission. However, those who land 50 conversions may earn 40 percent of the resulting revenue.

One of the easiest ways to set up tiered commissions is with our plugin. To do so, go to the back end of your WordPress site and click on Affiliate Royale > Options > Commission:

Commission settings in the Affiliate Royale plugin.

Using this page gives you the option to create multiple commission levels with varying rates by clicking on the Add Level button and typing the corresponding percentage into the relevant field.

Another way to add a little fun to your rewards is to run an affiliate contest. The criteria are up to you, but a sales or recruitment target over a set period of time is an easy option. Prizes could include money, free products or services, or even a vacation.

3. Focus Your Promotional Resources on Your Program’s Best Affiliates

Just as commission levels help you focus your monetary rewards on your top sellers, the 80/20 rule can help you use your promotional resources more effectively, too. In particular, you may want to prioritize sharing free products or exclusive coupon codes with the affiliates who have generated the most revenue.

To get started, consider what promotional resources your program is currently using. Some common examples include:

  • Coupon codes: These are discounts affiliates can pass along to their audience.
  • Free products: You may send affiliates free samples or items for them to review.
  • Giveaways: This may be a single item or a bundle that affiliates promote to their audiences, usually as a prize for a contest or random drawing.

These resources can help expose potential customers to your products and encourage sales with exclusive offers. However, handing out items for free is a drain on your revenue, and giving coupons to every affiliate's followers could lead to over-discounting.

Research is important when providing these to affiliates. You might approach this as you would when deciding commission rates by scoping out your competition and considering your budget. This can guide who you share these resources with and which ones you use.

It's also prudent to be consistent with how free products and giveaways are used. Rewarding hard work can be beneficial, but it could be discouraging if your affiliates don't feel they're being supported equally.

Sharing your guidelines may help you avoid such issues arising. With appropriate standards in place, your affiliates will be able to see what they have to do to earn additional promotional resources.

Conclusion

For continued prosperity, your affiliate marketing program needs to invest the bulk of its efforts in the partners who are bringing in the most revenue. The 80/20 rule can be a valuable guide to help you get the results you want.

In this post, we shared three ways you can use the 80/20 rule to guide your affiliate program:

  1. Use a tracking system to monitor conversions and find your top affiliates.
  2. Reward top-performing affiliates to encourage their efforts.
  3. Focus your promotional resources on your program's best affiliates.

Do you have any questions about the 80/20 rule, and how you can use it in your affiliate marketing program? Let us know in the comments section below!

4 Ways to Make Signing Up for Your Affiliate Program Easier

A thriving affiliate program needs new recruits. After all, they are the ground troops that build up your sales. Yet, you may lose out on new additions if potential partners find your sign up process difficult to complete.

Thankfully, you can streamline sign ups to benefit both you and potential new affiliates. By doing so, you can recruit more advocates and ambassadors to spread the word about your brand.

In this article, we'll take a look at why it's important to make affiliate recruitment easier. Then, we'll offer tips on what you can do to smooth the process for future partners. Let's get started!

The Benefits of Streamlining Affiliate Recruitment

An affiliate program can drive traffic to your business, no matter its size, by offering commissions to associates who promote your products or services. However, before you can start driving sales, you have to increase another type of conversion.

At the end of the day, prospective partners are leads just like potential customers or clients. Convincing them to convert – which in this case means signing up for your affiliate program – requires your website to have strong user experience (UX).

Everyone who visits your site, including hopeful affiliates, wants to complete their goals quickly and simply. By making your sign up process easier, you decrease the chances a potential partner will give up and abandon your site halfway through.

4 Ways to Make Signing Up for Your Affiliate Program Easier

Creating a streamlined sign up process doesn't mean cutting corners. After all, there's still a lot of key information you need to collect in order to ensure you're onboarding quality affiliates. Here are four tips to simplify recruitment for your program.

1. Create a Sign Up Landing Page to Capture Leads

Landing pages are marketing-related content that help streamline conversions. Essentially, they contain only the basic information and steps needed for a lead to make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, or in this case, sign up for your affiliate program.

You can then optimize this page for search engines so it's easy for potential affiliates to find via Google:

The Affiliate Royale program sign up page in Google search results.

Instead of having to poke around your site looking for the link to your affiliate sign up form, they can go straight to your landing page.

Landing pages are meant to be fairly minimal and get to the point quickly. However, a convincing headline and a compelling call to action (CTA) that inspires leads can help encourage sign-ups.

It's also wise to consider building a visually appealing page that shows off your brand in the best light. Thankfully, you can use our Affiliate Royale plugin to create one.

To do so, install the plugin and navigate to Affiliate Royale > Options > Affiliate Pages on the back end of your WordPress site:

The Affiliate Pages section of the Affiliate Royale plugin.

Using the dropdown next to Signup Page, you can choose an existing one or have Affiliate Royale produce a generic, customizable one for you:

Selecting the Signup Page in Affiliate Royale.

Then, it’s just a matter of clicking Update Options to confirm your new Sign Up landing page. Visit it to edit the content and add any specifics you want to share with potential affiliates.

2. Make Your Submission Forms More Accessible and User Friendly

Accessibility can make signing up to your program painless for associates. You should aim to deliver solid UX, and make adjustments so those with vision, hearing, or motor challenges can become affiliates too.

However, these changes can benefit everyone. After all, an affiliate is more likely to finish signing up with an intuitive form. While improving your site's accessibility may sound challenging, it doesn’t necessarily require an overhaul. You might only need to make a few tweaks.

Your first step could be to make filling out your form easier. One way to do this is to organize your sign-up content vertically. You may think that limiting scrolling by placing questions side by side would be beneficial, but it can create challenges for those using keyboard navigation:

A vertical affiliate sign up form for DreamHost.

Lastly, a shorter form is obviously quicker to fill out than a long one. As you look over your sign up requirements, ask yourself if each piece of information is essential. If any pieces aren’t necessary, consider cutting them to spare your prospective affiliates.

3. Consider Implementing Social Login to Ease Registration

Another way to simplify signing up is to use a social login system. This enables users to quickly make an account using their existing Facebook, Google, or other credentials, rather than creating new ones:

An example of social login being used for registration.

In many cases, social sign up takes a single click of a button. The benefits of using it can be seen over time. You'll likely have fewer failed login attempts and increase the speed with which people can join your program.

Even better, social login usually correlates with a higher rate of conversion for your site. After all, some users may feel put upon if they need to memorize yet another username and password combination. This option removes that burden for affiliates. 

WordPress doesn’t include social login functionality out of the box. However, there are several plugins available for incorporating it, such as Social Login by Oneall:

The Social Login plugin.

It includes support for more than 40 platforms, including Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

4. Use Chatbots to Answer Questions During the Sign Up Process

In the age of the internet, it’s possible to have affiliates in different timezones. Therefore, it’s considerate to provide assistance at all hours to avoid frustrated associates. That’s where chatbots can be useful.

A chatbot is a program designed to provide pre-written answers to frequently asked questions. They can potentially reassure recruits who might abandon the sign up process due to confusion or uncertainty:

An example of a chatbot in use.

They can also relieve your workload when it comes to administrative tasks by collecting pertinent information from affiliates. Adding a chatbot to your WordPress site's Sign Up page is as easy as installing a plugin such as WP-Chatbot:

The WP-Chatbot plugin.

This tool uses Facebook Messenger to communicate with users. Considering Facebook is the most popular social media platform, any affiliates interested in your company will probably have an account.

Of course, there are other options available that don’t rely on social media, such as Chatbot with IBM Watson. You can configure either tool to answer leads' questions about commissions, how to use their affiliate links, and more.

Conclusion

Adding new affiliates to your program doesn't have to be a chore. By easing the recruitment process, you can attract new partners to help spread the word about your brand.

As you’ve seen, there are a number of ways you can streamline affiliate recruitment, including:

  1. Creating a Sign Up landing page to capture leads.
  2. Making your submission forms more accessible and user friendly.
  3. Implementing social login to ease registration.
  4. Using chatbots to answer questions during the sign up process.

Do you have any questions about how to make signing up for your affiliate program easier? Leave them in the comments section below!