If you’re getting an affiliate program up and running, you probably already know about the importance of nurturing your affiliates. Still, as your program expands, it can become challenging to stay on top of communications and keep your affiliates and influencers feeling appreciated. Maintaining that relationship is crucial if you want your brand representatives to stay motivated and productive. Even as your program ventures into new markets, it’s critical to maintain the solid foundation you worked hard to build.
Your primary bond with your affiliates revolves around sharing a sense of brand identity. Your affiliates represent your company because they believe in what it does, appreciate its aesthetics, regularly use your products, or all of the above. As you expand your reach, make sure not to lose touch with your oldest and most loyal affiliates and influencers. In the long run, losing touch will negatively affect your primary customer base, which is where your original sign-ups came from. As you seek to explore new markets and begin new advertising campaigns, your brand could lose its unique voice if you don’t stay connected to your roots.
Moving too far from your origins can alienate your brand reps and make them feel like they no longer belong to the community. If you become too busy to keep your affiliates updated, they may feel like you’re neglecting them for the sake of your new opportunities. That will quickly lead your most loyal and experienced affiliates astray, and make it that much harder for you to bring new signups to the same level.
How to stay on top of nurturing your affiliates
Include your affiliates in every aspect of your expansion. You can do this by asking them to refer anyone they know who might be interested in representing your brand, letting them know what moves you are making, and welcome any input or inside perspective about your new markets.
Make your affiliates and influencers feel like part of the process, and make sure they always know that you value their contributions. Automatically subscribe all of your affiliates to your email list, and include important updates in every newsletter. Post news and announcements in your private affiliate Facebook groups, forums or chat rooms. Ask your current affiliates what they would like to have seen, or what they would have done differently when they first signed up. Use those insights to adjust your sign-up process to better welcome incoming affiliates.
1. Scale your nurturing strategy
Nurturing the relationship between your brand and your affiliates will enable your representatives to convert potential customers more efficiently. That feeling of belonging and sense of community that you instill in your affiliates will shine through their marketing efforts and reach potential customers.
Affiliates are much more likely to feel involved if you frame the expansion as a group effort. The program has done so well that it's time to expand into other markets, and that's because of the excellent work of the affiliates you already have. Fostering this sort of community mindset will help new affiliates feel like part of the team much more quickly and keep everybody on the same page.
2. Consider white labeling
As your customer base grows you’ll need to make sure you practice brand safety. Protecting your brand’s identity is especially important once you begin to rapidly expand. This can cause challenges in making sure your customers and prospects fully experience your brand’s story and that you remain in total control of all messaging and branding.
White labeling your affiliate program extends your brand through the affiliate registration page and affiliate’s dashboard. This will help you continue to reinforce your brand throughout your whole affiliate strategy. Thus, extending your brand to your affiliates and helping them refer new customers.
3. Utilize your data and segmentation
You need to keep on top of your data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify top-producing influencers as well as any that have gone dark. By removing inactive influencers from your program, you can focus on the influencers who just need a little help, or take what you learn from successful influencers and apply it throughout the program. Any influencer that has recently fallen behind in performance may just need a little help or encouragement to pick back up again.
Having an affiliate platform that allows you to organize information by data set is crucial. Managing your affiliates by stats such as most individual sales, highest average order value, most return customers, and other custom parameters will give you an idea of what strategies are performing best in what areas.
Correctly interpreting this data is crucial to making efficient use of your resources when expanding into new markets. If specific tactics work better on former customers than on new ones, that's vital knowledge for enabling your affiliates to succeed.
4. Integrate your affiliate marketing with Octane AI
Refersion is partnered with Octane AI, enabling you to easily communicate with present affiliates and potential signups. Using a conversational ad allows you to engage with affiliates directly, as soon as they encounter your brand. Reach out via preset messages to direct interested viewers to your affiliate signup page.
Using Octane AI’s interactive Facebook ads and messages will bring a personal touch to your offer to become an affiliate. Even if an affiliate doesn't sign up right away, octane AI provides a connection through Facebook so that you can follow up later and encourage them to finish the sign-up process.
You can customize the ad’s responses, giving potential affiliates a better idea of what your program offers. This is an integral part of nurturing affiliates through the sign-up up, onboarding, and debut process. With Octane AI, answers are always available for your new or potential affiliates.
5. Nurture every affiliate with a well-thought-out plan
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to choose between scaling your program and nurturing your affiliates. It’s essential that you maintain both efforts simultaneously. Keep your affiliates up to speed on changes and progress, ask for their input along the way, and use outside resources where needed to relieve the burden. Refersion, an affiliate marketing platform, tracks your referrals, gives you the power to manage your affiliates, and helps you grow your program. We even offer white labeling and other tools so you can easily scale your enterprise brand.
This post was written by Nick Veneris at Refersion. Nick leads partner marketing. Working remotely outside of Tampa, his experience in the ecommerce industry resembles a marketing cocktail comprised of SAAS startups and his own entrepreneurial endeavors.