Motivate Your Affiliate Marketers
Affiliate marketing offers many advantages. It does not burden a business with an expensive, salaried sales force that may be inconsistent in producing results. It is a model built on partnership, in which the sales force has a greater degree of independence. You depend on your marketers being motivated entirely by financial incentives. They are not required to give you a certain number of hours a week. This means that your success depends on informing and motivating that sales force.
Commissions are the driving force. Make sure your structure for giving commissions is fair; that it rewards people sufficiently for success in sales, and also for recruiting new affiliates. Look at the percentage on sales offered in commissions of other, successful affiliate marketing companies. As the business owner, you are responsible for seeing that these commissions are paid out in a timely way. Failure to do so is a strong, demotivating factor. Listen to any complaints about unfairness from your affiliates. Use a good software program to figure commissions and a service that handles payment efficiently. You can hire others to perform these functions, but make sure they are doing them well.
Do not just treat your affiliates as providers of commissions to you. Show interest in them, help them with any difficulties, encourage them. You recruited them. You are their teacher in a sense. Spend time and effort in increasing their knowledge. Provide tools to help them do better. Your success depends on theirs.
Share with your affiliates all the tools in your business’ sales arsenal. Your logo, your established reputation, images that have proved effective in advertising–all these will help them sell for you. Get them engaged in promotion opportunities as well as direct sales. Your affiliate network can help you be aware of all that is going on on the Internet, as it applies to your business. They may be the first to be aware of a competitors new product line. They can write reviews and articles online that help your business. They can employ Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread the news about your business.
Be sure to supply your affiliates with the same tools used traditionally by sales people. If product samples can help bring in customers, provide these. Create a structure of incentives they can use to encourage customers. These can include discounts for large orders, special sale offers, and a contest that rewards top sellers with a bonus or prize.
A good sales person who is thinking about signing up as one of your affiliates is most likely to be swayed by rewards given over and above the regular commission. These extra rewards give incentive to the most experienced and successful sales people.
Don’t let your lines of communication with your affiliates slack off. Keep those lines abuzz with activity. Encourage feedback. Just as you give press releases to the media, give a constant stream of information to your affiliates. If your lines of communication “go dead,” their sales efforts are likely to slack off, too.
These are just a few tips to help you assess the quality of your relationship with your affiliate network. Put them to use and see your sales grow.