Warning: Your follow up may be killing your affiliate relationships.

grimreaperIs the Grim Reaper at the door of your affiliate relationships?  I’m being a bit dramatic here, but is it?  One of the biggest killers of your relationships is lack of communication, and more specifically, lack of follow up or simply bad or untimely follow up.

The good news is that one of the best ways to build trust with affiliates, and in turn strengthen relationships with your affiliate partners is to deliver impeccable follow up that is timely, comprehensive and relevant.  It isn’t a complex process or procedure that takes years to perfect.  It’s simple, effective and dangit, will make affiliates like you (channeling my best Sally Fields.).

A few months back we had several affiliates, affiliate managers and industry luminaries tell us what the biggest frustration and problem they find with affiliate managers, almost the entire group we spoke to identified follow up and overall communication as the biggest frustration.  For this reason, we include not only an entire module on Building Strong Relationships in the My Affiliate Coach affiliate manager training program, but also include an entire session of this in our internal employee training here at JEBCommerce.  It is THAT important.

Check out this tweet from an affiliate I saw last month:


You can imagine the tweets when an affiliate is frustrated with an uncommunicative affiliate manager.  Some are simply not fit to print if you get my drift.  Communication and follow up build trust, trust builds relationships and relationships build every affiliate program.

So, what can you do if you find the Reaper on your relationship doorway?

  1. Get yourself a great CRM tool.  HighRise, from 37Signals offers a great way for you to not only keep track of your communications, but allows you to set follow up tasks so you are sure not to miss anything.  It also is very cost effective.
  2. Call your top producing affiliates to connect.  Ask them what you could be doing better and if there is anything they need that you have not provided.
  3. Get in the process of creating a daily task list and review each of your producing partners to determine if there are any items you need to address or provide them with.
  4. Make a point to be a great communicator with your partners.  This has to do more with you and your personal work flow than and commitment to the communication and follow up process than anything else.  You have to make this important to you.  Your program depends on it.

Overall, the good news is if you are having trouble, it’s easy to turn around today.  If you don’t think you are having trouble, the items above can help you be better.

What say you?


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