7 Simple Ways To Increase Affiliate Sales

Marina de la Torre

Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 18 seconds

Summertime means one thing to many people: vacation. It’s no wonder that advertisers can expect their affiliate marketing sales to drop by as much as 30% from June to mid-August. This does not always indicate that the affiliates have lost interest in their programs.

Still, despite the seasonality, any merchant running an affiliate program will sooner or later start to think about techniques for making the program more attractive to affiliates.

So take a step back and analyze your affiliates’ performance over the first half of the year in order to understand what can be optimized through such a campaign. Keep in mind that deciding what you want to accomplish and setting objectives are the first steps to take before launching into rewarding affiliates for certain actions.

You don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to one goal, and it’s unlikely that a one-size-fits-all type of incentive is going to get you the expected results across all affiliate segments – top performing, long tail, dormant or new affiliates. Here are some suggested goals to consider:

  • Driving incremental sales
  • Engagement and keeping affiliates loyal
  • re-activation of the dormant accounts
  • recruitment of new affiliates
  • new reviews written by publishers

Help your affiliates drive more traffic and improve conversions with these Marketing Support incentives:

1. Use Discounts To Incentivize Affiliates

Make sure you let the affiliates know that you can provide them with program-wide and/or exclusive discount coupons. Coupons improve conversions not only among traditional discount websites but also in the case of content publishers for whom they represent unique opportunities that they can distribute to their audiences, building loyalty among their users.

Suggested for: Driving incremental Sales, Re-activation of dormant accounts

2. Consider Providing Access To Tools And Services

Offering tools that affiliates can use in order to promote their websites and businesses will be a big boost to traffic and conversions. The most commonly used are AdWords, Bing / Yahoo & Facebook vouchers, but also consider access to hosting, email marketing or SEO services.

Suggested for: Driving incremental Sales, Recruitment of new affiliatesEngagement and keeping affiliates loyal

3. Provide Content

Probably one of the most neglected resources and incentives for affiliates is the support they can be offered with regard to the content creation. This can include: the reviewer’s guide / technical specs of the product, the sales pitch, hi-res images and newsletter templates in an editable format.

Suggested for: Driving incremental sales, Engagement and keeping affiliates loyal, Re-activation of dormant accounts

4. Special Trademark Usage Terms

Consider allowing some of the skilled affiliates to use your trademark in sponsored ads promoting certain products or only in certain countries.

Suggested for: Engagement of top performers, Driving incremental Sales

Financial Incentives: Help Them Earn More Money

5. Increase Commission

A short-term incentive such as increased commission can work very well, especially in the case of highly competitive programs where all advertisers have the same standard commission rates

Suggested for: Recruitment of new affiliates, Re-activation of dormant accounts

6. Performance Bonus or Action-Based Bonus

Implementing a bonus scheme for affiliates that hit a certain volume of sales or perform a certain action in a given timeframe is not hard to do, and it is something you can run on an ongoing basis. As a short-term action, you can certainly tweak this incentive in order to achieve results with re-activation—a fixed fee bonus on the condition that the affiliate generates its first sale or for a new affiliate signing up into the program.

At the same time, top performers will certainly appreciate higher commission rates once they hit their next sales thresholds.

Suggested for: Driving incremental sales, Engagement and keeping affiliates loyal, Re-activation of dormant accounts

7. Hold a Contest

One of the most creative incentives through which you can motivate your affiliates is a contest. However, it can also be the one that involves more resources and attention, such as budgeting for prizes and time for monitoring and engaging affiliates in the contest. In order to run a productive contest for affiliates, you should design a mechanism that will appeal not only to the top performers but that will also motivate the smaller or newer affiliates and vice versa.

Set realistic targets based on the organic increase you are expecting to see. For example, from the perspective of an affiliate who is already generating $100,000 in monthly volume, it might not be very enticing to be required to hit a 50% incremental increase versus the previous quarter. However, that same 50% increase might make more sense for a $1000 monthly affiliate (e.g. having to generate $1500).

On the other hand, long tail affiliates might move very well in their category from $1000 to the $2000 threshold, but could still have a hard time playing in the super affiliates league.

Suggested for: Driving incremental sales, Engagement and keeping affiliates loyal, Re-activation of dormant accounts

Consequently, the most important takeaway is that you should make sure that every affiliate in the program will be motivated to achieve the targets you have set.  Also, don’t neglect, at the end of the day, to make sure that you measure the results you wanted to achieve—incremental sales increases, first-sale affiliates or simply any other action in which you are interested.

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