How to Effectively Communicate with Your Affiliate Partners

Mark Jacobs
Mark Jacobs
November 15th, 2019
Estimated read time: 3 minutes, 12 seconds

Welcome to the third edition in the Affiliate Series. The purpose of these articles is to share best practices to help you get the most out of your affiliate program.

Catch up on the previous two articles, here:

In this piece, I am covering four tips to help you effectively communicate with your affiliate partners to drive more revenue for your business. The four topics I am sharing are:

  1. Understanding Your Audience
  2. Timing is (Almost) Everything
  3. Focusing on the Structure
  4. Making Your Message Actionable

Let’s dive in!

1. Understanding Your Audience

Understanding your audience is crucial to the success of your affiliate messaging strategy. If you can, segment your affiliate audience into identifiable groups and send targeted messaging to each group that focuses on their specific needs and methods of promotion. If you only have a small group of affiliates that is diverse in their promotional methods, try to keep the message clear and concise.

Try to think of your message to affiliates as “Marketing to Marketers” to help you find a voice and cadence that works best. Don’t be afraid to adjust your style and format based on feedback from your affiliates.

2. Timing is (Almost) Everything

In today’s competitive affiliate market, it is not uncommon for affiliates to work on multiple programs at the same time. Some affiliates limit their affiliate marketing to part-time. Given this, it is highly likely that they have other priorities vying for their time.

Ideally, you should provide at least one to two weeks of notice before a significant affiliate activity like a seasonal promotion or product release. The idea is to give an affiliate enough time to schedule posts, create an email, or whatever other promotional tasks they have at their disposal. However, more time may be necessary for personal product reviews, blog posts, or other content that will take additional time to prepare.

3. Focusing on the Structure

The structure of your messages helps make your communication not only efficient but also increases their effectiveness. Since many affiliates work with multiple programs, you can save them time with well-structured and clear messaging. A great skeleton for an affiliate message often looks something like this:

  1. Greeting
  2. A summary of the offer in paragraph form
  3. Bullet points of key information and highlights like start/end time, discount amount, etc.
  4. Personalized affiliate link to promote the offer
  5. Link to additional resources
  6. Incentives for them to promote the given offer, such as increased commission, new product, limited time offer, etc.
  7. Examples of how they can promote the offer

When your messaging is consistent and systematic, it makes it easier for your affiliates to read and understand. It also can drastically reduce the time it takes you to create effective messages.
It’s a win-win!

4. Making Your Message Actionable

It is important to be clear as to what you want your affiliates to do with the information you share with them. You can inspire your affiliates to try something new or remind them of a lesser-used promotional method when you provide specific promotion examples. Some examples include instructing affiliates to:

  1. Update their Instagram URL to an affiliate link—make sure you provide links!
  2. Add links in descriptions of their videos.
  3. Add a “things I use” section to their website.

Make sure to provide a good incentive for the action you are asking your affiliates to take. You can give a bonus for their first action or temporarily increase commissions for creating or updating a product review. These small actions are a great way to fill the gaps in your marketing mix to have a consistent and long-term presence online.

These tips should come in handy at any stage of your affiliate program. Visit the FastSpring website to learn more about FastSpring’s Affiliate network.

Mark Jacobs

Mark Jacobs

Mark has worked in the creative space for most of his professional life. From being an office manager and planning creative projects to coordinating digital marketing campaigns, managing resellers, channel sales and even being a photographer and videographer. Prior to FastSpring, he managed the Skylum affiliate program where he developed practices that are still in place today.

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