Season 03 / Episode 011
5 Things To Do Right Now With Your Affiliate Program
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Whether you’ve just taken the reins of your affiliate channel or it’s been a while since you’ve given it the attention it deserves, and you’re looking to revamp your results, returning to the fundamentals is a fantastic strategy to kick-start or revitalize your affiliate program.
In this insightful solo episode, our host, Jamie Birch, guides you through the five essential actions you can take today to revamp your affiliate management:
- Affiliate Application Approvals: Streamline the process of approving new affiliate applications, ensuring you have a well-vetted and motivated group of partners.
- Craft Your Recruitment Language: Craft compelling and effective recruitment messaging to attract quality affiliates. For inspiration, check out this article: The Perfect Affiliate Recruitment Email.
- Run a Report and Know Your Producing Affiliates: Dive into your data and get acquainted with the affiliate publishers who are delivering results for your program.
- Connect with Your Producing Publishers on LinkedIn: Foster stronger relationships with your top-performing affiliates by connecting with them on LinkedIn, enhancing your partnership.
- Review Your Creative: Evaluate and update your creative materials to ensure they are fresh, appealing, and aligned with your brand’s messaging.
Jamie provides step-by-step guidance for each of these critical actions, helping you get your affiliate program on the right track and set the stage for a more successful and rewarding journey in affiliate management. Don’t miss out on this episode—it’s your key to revitalizing your affiliate program!
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[00:00:48] Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Profitable Performance Marketing Podcast. I am Jamie Birch, your host as always. I’m the founder of JEBCommerce, your award winning affiliate management agency. We’re actually celebrating in just a few days, 19 years in business.
[00:01:06] So let me just talk to you guys about some of our new packages before we get started. We have revamped, led by our new CEO, Jake Fuller four new service levels for JEBCommerce and our clients. So if you’re looking to get your affiliate program managed, definitely go to JEBCommerce.com/Elements and check that out.
[00:01:26] I do want to highlight our Bronze package. This is our introductory level package. Maybe you’ve not been able to get the budget to do a full managed program. That’s usually well over $5,000 a month retainer plus performance. You haven’t been able to do that, but you don’t have anyone watching the program or moving the ball down the field, and maybe it’s been stagnant.
[00:01:47] You just need some of the basic things done to make sure things are moving down the field. That’s what you want to do. You can actually sign up right on the site today. There are no long term contracts. It’s month-to-month billing, automated onboarding, program setup guidance, and we help you set the commission ranges for recruitment.
[00:02:05] At JEBCommerce.com/Elements, you can see what you get on set up, what you get every day, what you get weekly, and what you get monthly. So definitely check that out. If you know you need help, but you haven’t really been able to get the full budget you need an agency to do everything for you. So JEBCommerce.com/Elements.
[00:02:25] So this actually came from another conversation I had with one of our guests and there were a ton of advertisers who have programs, They are perfect for our bronze package and they just haven’t been able to find the budget for the bigger packages.
[00:02:41] So their programs just been there, or maybe they have an intern managing it, or it’s part of, the direct sales managers role or the website managers role and they just haven’t got to it or they don’t really know it. The one thing about the affiliate program and you’ll hear if you go back and listen to our guest interviews 99 percent of those guests haven’t been on a podcast before, so you’re hearing them only here.
[00:03:07] But almost all of them came up through and into the affiliate channel in really unique ways. So we don’t have a whole lot of exposure to people outside of this. So if you’re listening to this and someone just handed you the affiliate program or it is in your purview and you’ve had no time, I want to lay out five things you should be doing today.
[00:03:30] That will help improve your success rate with your affiliate program. And this goes for apparel retailers, fashion, fitness, outdoor and gear, travel. This is going to apply to you. So I came up with this by actually going through many of our recent prospects and looking at what they weren’t doing and what we needed to do right away.
[00:03:51] The first thing you want to do is you want to go through your affiliate applications. Now, I think out of about 10 prospective clients that come to us, nine haven’t approved an affiliate in years some cases and months in others. So what I want you to do right now. I want you to go and review all your affiliate applications. All the networks are different on how they do that, and what information is provided. Depending on the type of product you have, your first blush to get through all of them, just look for ones you don’t want to work with.
[00:04:25] One of the really cool things about affiliate marketing is there’s always a new business model. There’s always a new way to reach your audience. And sometimes you won’t know if that affiliates going to be profitable or not. So if I’ve got hundreds in a queue and I need to go through it, the first thing I’ll do is I’ll just look for ones I don’t want. Ones that maybe are adult in nature or aren’t geographically located where my customers are. That’s a good one. I want to get rid of those and then I may approve all of the other ones. So make sure you go through and approve all those applications. Again, I know this sounds very fundamental and easy to do, but it is a big thing for you to tackle.
[00:05:07] Okay. So go to your affiliate approval queue and get that down to zero today. Now, pause it and go take care of that before we move on to number two. All right, you’re back. Hopefully you got all those done. Now what I want you to do is I want you to write recruitment language. Now I’m going to go to our site.
[00:05:28] Actually, I’m going to go to Google and the perfect recruitment email and JEBCommerce. We have a very popular blog posts. If you go to Google and type in the “perfect recruitment email JEBCommerce,” that’s going to bring you to the perfect recruitment email. Now you’re then going to take that email, that messaging, and you’re going to each, again, each platform and network has their own marketplace where you can reach out to affiliates.
[00:05:58] So you’re going to then take that and every day go find five affiliates within that and send this to them. It should only take you about 30 minutes to go through five, but new blood is vital to your channel success. So you want to make sure every day you set a calendar appointment.
[00:06:15] You can go to JEBCommerce.com and search for the perfect affiliate recruitment email. You can go to google and search for the perfect affiliate recruitment email JEBCommerce.com. This will come up.
[00:06:25] I wasn’t prepared enough to get you a bitly link, a short code for this, but you want to think about the person you’re contacting. You want to be brief. You want to provide the affiliate with everything they need. Your join link, your commission payout, and your terms, what network you’re on and a link to your program page on that network and a link to your website. You want to be personal, so if you’re only sending five a day, you should be able to address the person that’s going to, you should be able to go to their website.
[00:06:54] You should be able to include, “I think we would be really well promoted here. We would be successful if you included us here.” You want to include your full contact info. This is, I don’t know why I still see this. This is relationship building. You probably heard me say this: this is a relationship game.
[00:07:11] And I’m not going to have an email or a relationship with the affiliate team. I’m not going to have a relationship with sales at. I want to have a relationship with Bill or Sarah or whoever they are. So, include your full contact name. Believe me, I’ve done this for 25 years. I’ve never been inundated with email from people wanting to talk to me about affiliate stuff and affiliates.
[00:07:36] So don’t worry about that. Just provide your full information. Clearly identify why you feel they should join, and follow up on your messages, but go check that out. So that’s the second step is write your affiliate recruitment message.
[00:07:52] So, what I want you to do now is to go to your calendar, put a half hour to write this messaging, remind yourself to Google the perfect recruitment email, JEBCommerce, so you can see what we’ve done, and then I want you to put a reminder four days a week, 15 minutes to find five new affiliates in your platform to go after.
[00:08:15] Now, if you’re having trouble finding how to find that recruitment marketplace, just Google: ” how do I recruit affiliates through Commission Junction” or whatever network you’re on. So, pause it now, go take care of those things.
[00:08:30] Are you enjoying the show so far? You know running an affiliate program can be very complicated. Running a highly successful affiliate program that grows year after year, well that can be even more difficult. At JEBCommerce we’ve been managing affiliate programs in almost every retail category you can imagine.
[00:08:51] With that experience comes a ton of successes and we want to share that with you so you can learn what to do to grow your affiliate program. So we have a section on our website entitled case studies. You can access this page by going to jebcommerce.com/CaseStudies. In this section of our website, you’ll find industry specific case studies, such as our new travel category case study, strategies and tactics we’ve used to grow incremental sales with our clients, an outline of many different tactics, strategies that we’ve executed and partnerships that we’ve cultivated and created.
[00:09:28] In order to grow our clients programs substantially year over year and much much more now I want you to have access to these 100% for free simply because you’re a listener of this podcast. You can access these by going to jebcommerce.com/casestudies. Now back to our show.
[00:09:47] All right welcome back. Now, here’s what I want you to do: I want you to go run a report. Have you done that? Have you looked at it? Probably, but not for this. So I want you to go run a sales and activity report.
[00:09:59] I want you to see for the last three months who has been producing clicks and sales for you. After you run that report, I want you to look at all the producing affiliates, get a little familiar with them, find out where are they promoting you, all that stuff. So, pause it, go run a report and get to know your affiliates and every single one that’s producing sales for you.
[00:10:23] And if there’s only four or five, then look at all of them that are producing more than 50 clicks in the last three months. Go take care of that now. I think this is our first podcast where you’re going to be working through it with me here and you got to pause. I like this.
[00:10:36] Let’s go to step four, the fourth thing you should do right now: I want you to reach out to every single affiliate that is producing sales for you. And again, if it’s only two, three, four, then all of them who are producing over 50 clicks for you. I want you to contact them through the network.
[00:10:52] If you have a contact info, send them an email and introduce yourself and then go over to LinkedIn, make sure your profile is updated, and I want you to connect with every single one of those, build your network. You can go pause and do that now, or you can just spend some time. So, contact all your producing affiliates, connect with them on LinkedIn.
[00:11:13] Now, the fifth and final thing I want you to do, and we’ll wrap this up, is I want you to review your creative. Text links, banners, whatever you have in there.
[00:11:22] One of the biggest things we see, and the biggest missed opportunity from clients who come to us is they updated their creative when they launched the program back in 2004, and they haven’t added any creative. Many of them have a logo as a banner and one or two text links. Or they had someone managing the program two years ago and they had a lot of text links, promotional banners, things like that, but no one’s looked at that since.
[00:11:51] So, think of you’re managing a sales team and the only materials and collateral they have are from 10 years ago. It’s not going to work really well for you. So go in and look at all the creative banners, text links, and if there’s other types of creative available, go look and see what you have.
[00:12:08] Make sure it’s up to date. I’ve found many that the only creative they had were Christmas creative and that flies for two and a half months a year, but not much else. So go through that. And here’s what I’m looking for. I want things that are current. In the banners, I want calls to action. If you have multiple categories, do you have banners for each category?
[00:12:30] If you have a clearance section, do you have banners for a clearance section? I want to make sure the creative, the elements in the banners, I want to make sure they reflect the brand. So did you change the logo, update fonts or anything? I also want to see if there’s anything that’s outdated that I need to expire.
[00:12:48] Those are the kinds of things I’m looking for. I’m also looking for, do we have a full banner set? And you can look at IAB traditional banner sizes, and that’ll give you all of those. You can also search the JEBCommerce blog. We talk a lot about creative there as well.
[00:13:03] Then in your text links, I want to make sure they have one for each category of product that I have. I want to make sure if there’s any on-site promotions going on, that is in a text link right away. I want to make sure all my top sellers are there and any new products have their own text links. If you only have four text links, you got some work to do here.
[00:13:25] So those are the five affiliate applications. Write, your affiliate recruitment language, run a report, get familiar with your affiliates, and contact all your performing affiliates, your producing affiliates, and then connect with them on LinkedIn. And then I want you to review your creative.
[00:13:41] So if you don’t know what to do, you were just handed this channel or it’s been a long time since you went to it, or you know what, it’s just not going well. It’s always a good time to get back to the fundamentals, whether you’re starting out or restarting out, get back to the fundamentals. These five things will help you do that.
[00:13:59] Now, if you have more questions, just email us at email@example.com and it can even be network specific. I’ll help walk you through it. Our team will do that as well.
[00:14:09] If you found this episode helpful please share it with someone you think would benefit from it, but also share it on Facebook, Twitter now X, and LinkedIn. It really goes a long way to get the word out about our episodes, about our content, if you give us a five star review, whether you listen to this podcast on Apple podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, or whatever podcast player that you use, leave us a five star review. It goes a long way.
[00:14:37] And again, if you’re looking for help with your affiliate program, you can go to JEBCommerce.com/Elements and you’ll see our product offering there.
[00:14:45] Now we are still looking for a podcast guests. We’re starting to line up season four, which will start probably in the fall of 2024. So we’d love for you to let us know who we should have on the podcast. And if you have a question that you want us to answer here on an episode like this, then just email both of those things over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:15:06] Thank you guys for listening. I hope this was helpful. Please drop us a note again at email@example.com. Let us know what you think of the podcast and I hope you have a wonderful day.