Affiliate managers are always on the lookout for ways to optimise workflows and streamline operations. Unfortunately, this can lead some to pursue “quick fix” strategies that can alienate or worse, lose partnerships and prevent them from growing to their full potential. If you’re looking for easy, one-size-fits-all solutions for your affiliate program problems, your program is never going to reach its full potential.
Let’s take a look at why a quick fix strategy for affiliate marketing programs can be a mistake and discuss how to avoid them.
Onboarding the Wrong Partners
The success of your affiliate program is largely defined by your partners and affiliates that you bring into it. The process of identifying and onboarding affiliates should never be rushed or taken lightly, it must be conducted with the utmost care and consideration to ensure you get the best results. Successful affiliate programs are not successful due to the number of partners they have onboard, in fact often times culling happens in bigger programs as when the floodgates are opened, the time wasters get in!
If you’re looking to bring in partners as quickly as possible to get your program up and running, you run the risk of onboarding affiliates who will not help take your business to the next level, they may not be dedicated to your cause longer term or even have traffic sources that match the niches you’re looking for. They may have ineffective social strategies, poor lead generation traffic or even have high levels of disengaged followers or potentially more serious issues under the surface.
This is why onboarding and due diligence is so important when prospecting for new partners. You must thoroughly vet any and all publishers that apply for your program to ensure they offer what you are looking for and, crucially, align with the values of your brand.
Expecting Instant Results
There’s a common misconception that affiliate marketing offers a way to turn a profit quickly. This channel is not similar to paid media. You’re essentially working with humans running businesses, facing daily challenges and struggling with the same pressures you do. While a well-managed and fully functioning affiliate program can certainly be an active income stream for businesses, never assume that starting an affiliate program can see you get instant results. It takes time to build momentum, it takes time to foster good relationships with partners too!
Creating a successful affiliate program takes time, effort and dedication. Rather than pursuing the approach to achieve an instant spike in sales, you should instead view it as an opportunity to generate incremental results that increase over time.
Ineffective Marketing Materials
Part of your role as an affiliate program manager is to produce and distribute marketing materials among your affiliates. This can include things like images, banners, content, videos, landing pages and even guides or infographics. Your partners will use this material on their platforms to drive traffic, conversions and sales.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that once your partners have been onboarded and your products are being promoted, your job is done. This couldn’t be further from the truth; you also need to provide effective tools for your partners to use in their campaigns.
Visual content is absolutely critical; it significantly drives sales and conversions. It’s vital that you do not rush the production of your visual marketing material. Take the time to craft all images carefully, ensuring they deliver their message clearly and effectively. If you are working with a graphic designer, liaise with them to make sure all materials match your brand guidelines so that customers are given a seamless experience wherever you brand is mentioned.
Quick fix strategies for affiliate marketing programs should always be fully considered before implementing them. The knock on effect to your partners can impact your revenue. Whether you are onboarding partners without due diligence, expecting overnight results from your program, or rushing out poor-quality marketing material, pursuing quick fix strategies for affiliate marketing programs can damage your business in the long term. The key is to take your time and think through every decision carefully. While progress may be slow at first, your business will be better placed for future success.
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