There are lots of things to think about when setting up an affiliate program and a comprehensive tool set should be a key consideration. These tools are important to ensure that affiliates have everything they need to promote your brand effectively. There are plenty of different tools you can make available to affiliates and to keep them engaged with the brand. Here are some of the top tools:
A welcome pack is a very effective way to engage with affiliates which have recently joined your program. This pack would contain useful information for publishers to help get them started, including program contact information, deep linking information, promotional information, T&C’s and a “how to get started” guide.
Feeds are an effective way for affiliates to promote your product and services on their sites with up-to-date prices. There are different types of information that can be added into a feed such as colour, size, location, price, stock etc. It is extremely important that your feed is updated as regularly as possible and that you make checks to ensure that products and links are fully up-to-date, so affiliates show the correct stock/product information on their sites.
Having a feed can have a huge impact on sales. A publisher promoting one of our retail clients was previously scraping the site for product information. We created a bespoke feed for them and their revenue increased by 427% over a four-month period.
Newsletters are an invaluable form of communication between you and your affiliates. Newsletters allow your publishers be kept up-to-date with all the latest merchant promotions and program information.
Affiliates receive hundreds of newsletters a day so it’s key to make them as clear and concise as possible. It is important to make sure the content in your newsletters is relevant to the recipients and should include your contact details. Newsletters should include deeplinks where possible.
Keeping banners and creative as up to date as possible is important. If a banner is advertising a sale that is no longer live, affiliates will be promoting incorrect promotional information to their readers and this will reflect badly on both your brand and the affiliate’s site. It’s important to have a call to action within the banner to encourage users to click through.
Remember to audit the banner sizes that you provide to affiliates, checking which ones perform the best and using this data to determine the sizes made. There is no point creating banners that won’t be used or drive any engagement.
Co-branded Landing Pages
If you have the resource to create co-branded landing pages for your affiliates, this should have an immediate improvement on conversion. Co-branded landing pages help reassure the customer when they click through from the affiliate site to purchase.
Co-branded landing pages help an affiliate’s conversions rate. We created co-branded landing pages for one of our finance clients and after 6 months of testing the conversion rate had increased from 11% to 24%
The Tracking Platform
Affiliates can access specific tools or features within most tracking platforms/networks. It is important to pick a network or tracking solution that is easy for your publishers to navigate and that has features such as a deeplink generator, allowing affiliates to create their own.
Affiliate Window recently released the Chrome extension for publishers, MyAW. This can be downloaded and allows publishers to generate shortened links, ‘One-click’ share, to generate custom URLs and links to specific product pages. The extension shows the latest merchant offers and voucher codes that are available to publishers. The plugin offers a ‘one click’ deep link generator.
Deeplinks are a critical part of an affiliate promotion and a deeplink generator helps affiliates generate links quickly and correctly. Make sure you include deep links to any landing pages or products mentioned in communications to make it easier for the affiliate to promote you.
Product Level Tracking
Product level tracking allows your affiliates to see what types of products are being purchased via their site. This information allows publishers to make informed decisions about how they promote a retailer and optimise their activity. If you cannot supply your affiliates with product level tracking, it is important to share information on top selling products so they know which products are most likely to convert.
Affiliate hubs can be costly to set up but are a great one-stop-shop for all news and tools for your program. A hub connects affiliates easily with networks and the promotional tools they need. They can be fully branded. If you have multiple brands or sub brands they can be included within the same hub environment.