May 8, 2023

How you can optimize your current affiliate program with incentives

At Advertise Purple we’ve worked with thousands of clients to build their affiliate program from the ground up. On every first call we walk them through the stages of developing a full affiliate portfolio. We like to think of it as a two step process – recruitment and optimization. Recruitment is where we focus on onboarding as many affiliates into a clients program as possible, which pulling from a collective network of over 248k affiliates usually guarantees a strong base for their program to build up from. Then comes optimization, which if you don’t already have an affiliate program might be jargon you haven’t heard before. When we talk about optimization, we’re referring to leveraging incentives for your current affiliates to secure additional promotions or highly coveted spots. A classic optimization example is getting your clothing brand listed on a holiday gift guide for a review site. But there are tons of ways your brand can optimize with your affiliates. Here are our top tips for ongoing and one off promotions your company can implement to get the most out of your current program.

Offer a competitive commission

The most obvious and effective incentive to encourage affiliates to work with you is by paying them above average commissions. Now this isn’t to say if your competition is paying them 5% to offer them 20% no contingencies off the bat. However, setting your commission rate slightly higher than industry standards will help you beat out competitors who lowball or offer precisely the average. This is especially true for smaller companies looking to build out their portfolio. Many affiliates will choose the higher commission partnership when given multiple promotion options, particularly if they are choosing from companies that don’t have massive brand recognition.

Create portfolio-wide contests to drive performance for all affiliates

A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. In fact, it actually can help motivate everyone to amp up their performance. Setting specific targets for affiliates to earn certain prizes, or having direct competition awarding the overall top-performers can boost everyone’s acquisitions. Giving affiliates the chance to earn extra rewards – whether it’s product, commission, cash-prize, or a prize specific to your company – setting up a performance based competition can drive performance across your whole affiliate network as affiliates vie to be the one to bring in the most business.

Make sure your affiliates feel recognized

Similar to using contests to enhance performance for a period of time, you can also reward top performers on a monthly, quarterly, even yearly basis to keep performance high throughout the year. There are countless ways to say thank you to your affiliates. You could give them an exclusive promo code, a giveaway for their followers, or temporarily increase their commission to name a few. However you decide works best for the size of your business and program and what you can reasonably offer to the affiliates bringing in the most revenue for your company.

While it is necessary to optimize with your most valuable affiliates, you can’t just put reward structures in place and leave them to optimize automatically. It’s a good general practice to track your KPIs each month and adjust your incentives accordingly. You need to keep track of affiliate performance whether it’s manually or with an agency/management platform to make sure your commissions and promotions are consistently awarded to those who are driving conversions and not mistakenly doled out to affiliates with historically high performance who have tapered off or overlooking ones who’ve been rising in the rankings.

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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