This month we’ve been talking about affiliate promotions. It’s a suiting subject at the beginning of the year as many of our programs, and our MyAffiliateCoach affiliate mentoring students, begin to plan out how they will achieve their fiscal goals for the year. Deciding on the right type of promotion and its execution is vital. Previously we’ve discussed the proper affiliate promotion alignment, common mistakes in affiliate promotions, and even discussed promotions in our quarterly plans for affiliate marketing post. Today, we’d like to discuss the concept of individualized promotions for specific affiliates in your program. Many times affiliate managers will release promotions that are valid and available for the entire affiliate program.
While this is simple to manage and can be effective, often times a goal that is available for all, may not be right for many individuals, and may be either to high to reach for your smaller partners, and way too low to be interesting to your larger partners. Today we are going to talk about tailoring your promotions to a specific set of affiliates, individually.
I don’t want to make this sound like it is more difficult or “high-falutin” then it really is, many of the concepts we teach, employ and discuss are fundamental to not only running good programs but developing good relationships, but custom promotions are important nonetheless.
So, what am I talking about? Here is an example of an affiliate promotion I saw from a merchant last week:
“Every affiliate that generates $1000 in sales receives a $100 bonus” – Gift and Flower Merchant
This promotion was offered to their entire pool of affiliates. While I don’t disagree with the promotion, let’s think of their top 10 affiliates who may be generating more than $10,000 in sales each month anyway. Not much of an incentive is it? For the majority of our managed programs, we provide monthly or quarterly custom incentives for several groups, two of them being our top partners already performing well and partners we feel could do much much better.
A custom affiliate promotion for an affiliate in the first group could be the following:
“Generate $15,000 and receive an additional $500 bonus, for every additional $5,000 in sales you generate, receive an additional $500 bonus”. This would be sent to an affiliate that is generating a decent amount of revenue, but for many different reasons, we feel that their current volume, say averaging $10,000, is not the most they can do.
One thing I added there was not only an additional bonus, but continued bonuses for certain tiers. This provides them with an immediate incentive, plus incentives to keep generating more. Sometimes you can’t set the bar too low, you need to provide for an easily achievable goal and then continued rewards if they can really turn up the juice.
On a given month we may have 20 or more custom promotions for any of our clients like these. We have found them to be very effective, and for one of our programs in particular, has led to a 100% increase, month over month, for their program. For several years we have also surveyed our affiliates, many have stated that these custom promotions are much better for them as we set the bar according to their history and their potential. It takes a bit more work but in the end, provides a more personal touch that affiliate partners appreciate, and can be a great tool to reach and exceed your revenue goals.
I wanted to get an affiliate perspective, so I reached out to a close friend of mine, Mike Allen from Shopping-Bargains.com:
“Many affiliate promotions have performance goals that are out of our range given our demographics and so we promptly ignore them. Other promotions are too insignificant to be worth our time or the revenue risk associated with shuffling our affiliate real estate. However, custom promotions often hit the spot because they are just right — they generally follow a frank conversation about our past performance and are based on potential gains actually experienced within similar verticals. In short, custom promotions offer attainable targets and rewards that justify specific actions on our part. They offer something that is meaningful, and, more often than not, we hit the target.” – Mike Allen, Shopping-Bargains.com