You’ve signed up to an affiliate network and secured your first group of publishers, but sales don’t appear to be increasing. Why is this the case?
The problem is, publishers are used to yearly patterns: certain sales during the year that bring them a significant share of turnover. Enticing them to act on a regular, non-holiday day without extra motivation is difficult. Especially if your affiliate program is new and promises less profit than those of your competitors.
Can you shake publishers up? Of course. Here are 10 ways to help you bolster publisher activity on your affiliate program.
1. Allow new sources of traffic
When launching an affiliate program, advertisers tend to accept all traffic channels. Eventually, they cut down the list to the most efficient traffic sources — the ones that bring them the best sales.
Unfortunately, focus on sales leaves out publishers with not-so-selling channels. Hence, overall outreach falls down too.
There is a common saying that half of your advertisement money doesn’t work. True, it does not provide sales. However, impressions also count in digital marketing. If you want to keep more bloggers and content publishers busy, give them a chance.
2. Increase affiliate rates
Publishers love money. Who doesn’t? Higher rates can stimulate them to make more effort even in dead seasons. The same applies to new publishers: they would be excited to discover another advertiser who pays decently.
3. Join marathons and contests
In order to stir things up a bit, affiliate networks hold regular activities aimed to encourage sales.
Those are not just 11.11 and Christmas: sportive activities in June, Back to school late August and multiple region-based activities such as Ramadan Fest in Muslim countries, Independence Day in India, etc. Any large local holiday can trigger customer activity if properly promoted.
To push publishers further you would have to make it worth their time by offering rewards. Competition is a good motivation, although you have to keep in mind that bloggers might feel reluctant about the idea since cashback and coupon publishers tend to devour their traffic. If it is blogger engagement that you seek, leave cashback out of the contest.
4. Prepare promotional materials
Providing easy solutions is another way to entice publishers. If you have promotional content, such as banners, landings and videos, all of that can be used by publishers to advance your brand. Share it. Make sure you have enough, especially if you commit yourself to a marathon.
5. Discounts for customers
There is a chance that publishers hesitate to bring you, new customers, because they are waiting for prices to decline. It is no wonder that discounts offer more motivation for buyers and higher conversion rates for all ad spaces.
Let publishers know you are holding a sale in advance so they have enough time to prepare.
6. Unique promotional codes
If you are targeting bloggers, it is wise to give them unique promo codes. Firstly, it would provide you with more detailed tracking. Secondly, it suggests a higher personal interest. Since other publishers would not be able to profit from distributing someone else’s discount, bloggers are able to receive a fair income for the sales they brought.
7. Driving traffic to mobile
Depending on your business’ current objectives, you may be pursuing different kinds of publisher activity and, consequently, target actions. Is it sales? Impressions? Installations of your mobile app? There are tracking solutions that allow all of those actions to be properly recorded and attributed.
8. Mass emailing
It might happen that your loyal publishers fail to supply you a steady flow of traffic even if you follow all the tips. In that case, consider searching for new publishers. You can do it on your own or via an affiliate network — if the CPA platform allows extra promotions. As intermediaries, they possess a vast email outreach and can give you quick access to thousands of publishers who might be unaware of your existence.
9. Approve more orders
Declining over half of the generated sales is the fastest way to ruin publishers’ appetite. The higher your approval rate is, the more publishers would want to join you. Work with your reputation. This would do good for your affiliate program, and let publishers know you are not a mingy shaver (like the others).
10. Join another affiliate network
If everything else fails, launch a program in another affiliate network.
Some publishers are loyal to a certain platform — the one that provided them with the best service and high-yielding deals. Moreover, there are region-focused affiliate networks that have access to the best publishers in the region. In order to reach them, you would have to go there.
This does not necessarily mean giving up on the old networks: most advertisers hold multiple campaigns at the same time. Although, managing all of them effectively is another issue.
To sum it up, there is no magic wand to solve the problem. To achieve better results, you would have to adjust your policy. Remember that publishers are not just a bunch of passive lazybones, rather a demanding audience, hungry for your attention. Response and compromise can really work miracles, but to make this happen, you would have to take the first step.