Have you noticed your affiliate marketing program stagnating, lately? Maybe it’s time to do something about it? We’ve compiled a list of prompts for you to consider:
There is a lack of cross-channel transparency
It’s easy to gain a skewed idea of what your growth is and what it should be, from tracing your clicks back through the purchase funnel. This is a long and complicated process where things can often go wrong, for example links can go missing and referring URLs can be corrupted. It can be hard to get the level of transparency needed in cross-channel data to ensure that your data reflects the growth you are gaining.
If you are finding sales are stagnating, you might want to look at your cross-channel attribution. Ensure that you have an entirely transparent system without any blind spots.
Another point to consider is that a lack of transparency in your data can have affiliates “abusing” the last-click. Put in place checks to make sure that affiliates are not jumping on a clickstream right before the point of purchase in order to artificially grow their numbers.
You are not working closely with affiliates
We have often stressed the importance of nurturing affiliate relationships. Too many partnerships amount to a digital handshake and the two go their separate ways. Each assumes that the other knows what they are doing and that they have something else they need to focus on.
This is a detrimental approach that could cause negative effects across your marketing model. Your affiliates may not feel appreciated or won’t know how to best represent you. You might lose affiliates, you might see your sales stagnate, and you might even gain a negative reputation within the industry.
Consider looking at how your affiliate partners communicate with you. Have you made it clear that you are available to reach out to? Have you made your strategy clear and what you expect from your partners? Do you have affiliates that aren’t getting the returns you expected? Reach out to them to understand why that might be. It’s wise to do this before culling partners due to lesser results.
Your incremental growth is stagnating
You can conduct an experiment and shut down your program for a week. This will allow you to see if there is a drop in your top-line revenue. If there is no change, you might only be targeting current customers rather than prompting any growth by looking at new customers.
This is a problem since affiliate partners are designed to widen your audience and get your name in front of a larger audience. They should offer more value to your company, be it new customers, larger order value, or repeat purchases. You should be seeing your customers grow, rather than relying on the loyalty of a core audience.
Analyse how you and these affiliates are approaching how you work to gain new followers. If no obvious problems are found, then it could be time to move on from that partnership. Use it as an opportunity to restructure your marketing model.