June 01, 2015

5 Tips to Build a Strong Affiliate Program Brand

How to Build an Affiliate Program Brand

Online retailers work hard on a primary store brand, but they also need to be mindful of their affiliate program’s brand. Offering compelling terms and consistently showcasing good management practices moves the affiliate program needle quicker, so it’s no surprise that supported programs with good reputations are the best publisher recruiting tools.

There are steps a merchant can take to establish affiliate program authority in any given vertical. By planning and investing time cultivating a strong program brand, merchants can mitigate risks and lower costs. Below are five important components for building a strong affiliate program brand.

Program Manager Visibility

Perhaps the most important component of building and maintaining a strong affiliate marketing program is having a knowledgeable, personable, and easy to access day-to-day program manager. Extra points for a manager who’s a thought leader, or one engaged in meet-ups, tradeshow panels, forums, etc. The more visible the program manager the better. Having an effective program manager matters, so choose wisely and understand their worth.

Launch/Re-Launch Hype

Affiliate programs launching (or re-launching) can get great online publicity. Creating hype often starts with a merchant press release and blog post. Follow-up with a social media blitz linking back to the authoritative source (generally the blog) and encourage others to share. To spice things up offer a launch promotion like “First 5 affiliates to send $1,000 in sales gets a $100 cash bonus”.

Dialed First Impression

Create a solid first impression for new publishers coming on board. Pay close attention to network acceptance email templates and craft the welcome with a branded, sincere, informative note that’s not too long. If possible embed a discount code in the email and mention launch promos or incentives. Reach out with a personalized 1:1 intro to any key publishers who sign-up, in addition to the packaged welcome email.

Maintained Ad List

There is nothing worse for an affiliate program’s brand than having stagnant, outdated, or expired banners and text ads available for publishers. If it’s summer time and there are winter banners, that’s a key indicator to serious publishers that support for the program is lacking. Stay on top of ad creative, be sure to sync all promos with networks, and send out notification emails to maximize publisher exposure to the offers.

Useful Communication

Effective, to-the-point publisher communication is key. Publishers get many emails daily from many merchants so program-wide messages should be useful and include promotions, special offers or codes that generate strong sales. Consistent and potent outreach that impacts revenue for publishers sets a standard, and ultimately helps an affiliate program shine.

Build a strong affiliate program brand, become more visible and attract top publishers. Program managers can utilize the five tips in this article, and other simple measures, to help their programs stand out. Everyone wants access to the same top players. By supporting publishers and doing performance marketing better, a more healthy program develops which translates to a stronger ROI over time.

If you’re interested in learning how Schaaf-PartnerCentric builds respected affiliate programs for online merchants, please request a consultation.

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