Affiliate marketing is a great channel for acquiring new customers and growing your company’s revenue. With the pay for performance model, there is a lot of potential for the affiliate channel to be a high ROI generating channel for your business.
Are you getting the highest return on investment possible from your affiliate partnerships?
Review this article on calculating affiliate marketing ROI first, it will help you generate a solid baseline before you start making adjustments to improve.
Here are 9 helpful tips to improve affiliate marketing program ROI.
Review Commission Structure
Evaluate commission payouts to ensure you are using the technology your network provides as well as adjusting the rates based on how valuable the sale is.
Take a high level look at your program and identify which sales provide the most value to your company so you can offer a higher commission for those.
For example, you may want to pay out higher commission on specific products or categories since you have larger margins on them or you want to pay more for sales placed by new customers instead of returning. This is a great way to reduce costs and incentivize publishers to drive high-value sales.
Evaluate Current Network
The two main things to look for when determining if you have your affiliate program on the right network to maximize your ROI are the network’s commissioning capabilities and the fees you are being charged.
Check that the affiliate network has the technology to allow you to execute the commission structure that you outlined when reviewing the commission structure.
Also, consider asking your network if they will reduce their transaction fees or restructure their monthly minimums if they charge higher amounts than other networks. This can help lower the overall costs for your affiliate program and increase the ROI.
Bring in New Partners
One of the quickest ways to increase the revenue volume in your program is to bring in new affiliates to promote your brand.
There are many ways to identify new affiliate prospects such as using affiliate network resources, identifying affiliates promoting competitors, and finding affiliates who rank high for relevant keywords in SERPs.
Bringing in just a few new high producing publishers can drastically increase revenue and in turn improve the program ROI.
Provide Publishers with Resources
Make promoting your company as easy as possible for affiliates. The less work they have to do, the more likely they are to push your products to their audience.
Give them instructions for finding their affiliate links and banners in the network, regularly communicate product updates and promotions to them and provide them with content and marketing guidelines.
The sooner publishers understand your products and how to promote them, the sooner they will drive sales.
Run Affiliate Channel Promotions
Increasing conversion rate and average order value are a great way to improve the ROI of an affiliate program.
To encourage customers to complete their purchase or add more items to their order you can run promotions through affiliates such as “take $15 off $150” or short term site wide discounts and free shipping offers to provide a sense of urgency for customers to complete their purchase.
Set up these promotions for the affiliate program as a whole, certain affiliate categories, or run an exclusive offer with one affiliate.
Giving an affiliate a strong exclusive with a vanity code incentivizes them to provide additional exposure of the offer to their audience for no fee.
Read this case study to see how a well-known fashion retail chain was able to ensure a profitable ROI on black Friday by boosting sales by 72%.
Review Landing Page CRO
While it is the affiliate’s responsibility to drive traffic to your site, it is up to you to make sure your website is optimized to get the best possible conversion rate.
An ecommerce website should be simple to navigate and the checkout process should be smooth.
If you don’t have someone on your team knowledgeable in conversion rate optimization, consider hiring an expert to help as this is such a crucial component to the overall success of your affiliate program and company as a whole.
Monitor Program for Fraud
Some affiliates will engage in fraudulent behaviors to generate sales hoping merchants won’t notice and will pay them commissions they should not receive.
If you don’t know how all active affiliates in your program are driving revenue for your brand, you may be paying out commissions for fraudulent activities and driving up your costs.
Some forms of fraud we have seen in affiliate programs are bidding on trademark search terms, submitting fake leads, placing orders with invalid credit cards, forced clicks, and cookie stuffing.
Ensure your affiliate program has robust terms & conditions for affiliates to know what is not allowed and put a process in place to regularly monitor affiliates for fraudulent behavior.
Work with a Cart Abandonment Partner
If a customer visits your website and places something in their cart then leaves the site, they may never come back to complete their purchase.
Technology partners such as UpSellit will send out emails to these customers to encourage them to complete the checkout process and increase your company’s conversion rate.
Many of these partners work on a performance basis so if the order isn’t completed from the customer clicking through the cart abandonment email, they don’t earn commission.
Hire an Affiliate OPM
Putting each of these 9 strategies in place will improve affiliate marketing program ROI, however you need to have resources dedicated to managing the program.
Unless your company has the bandwidth along with affiliate marketing knowledge and experience, hiring an agency is the best option.
An Affiliate OPM will recruit the top performing affiliates in your niche, put together promotion recommendations, send brand updates to affiliates, run competitor analyses, monitor for fraud, and much more.
JEBCommerce wrote this affiliate marketing ROI guide to help set proper expectations and ensure max profitability for your affiliate program.