Affiliate marketing is one of the best channels for acquiring new customers and generating revenue. So how do you make sure that your affiliates have what they need to succeed? Integrating email into your affiliate program is an effective way to help both you and your affiliates hit your goals. The three types of emails that provide your affiliates the right kind of information and tools are:
- Welcome emails that teach new affiliates how to succeed with your program
- Emails that give information about upcoming promotions
- Newsletter emails that keep all affiliates updated with the latest information
Affiliate marketers should also review this advice to initiate and build stronger relationships with their advertisers. Reach out to your affiliate managers to help your program stand out from the competition and ask them for advice on how to truly succeed with their program.
Welcoming Affiliates to Your Program
When an affiliate first joins your program, do they receive an email welcoming them to your program with explanatory information? It’s important for both you and your new affiliates that they learn your platform quickly. You don’t want to lose out on revenue opportunities simply because your new affiliate doesn’t understand how your platform works. Create an auto-responder that doesn’t overwhelm newcomers with every piece of information, but gives them the right amount of information to get up and running. Your new affiliates should receive this email within a minute of signing up. Content should include appreciation for the sign up, instructions for how to log in, direct contact information, tips to get started, and a walk-through of your platform.
Your welcome campaign doesn’t end there, but the amount of emails, time in between emails, and triggers used for sends in your welcome series can vary. Test all these variables to find out what works best for your specific affiliates. Your next email send should continue educating the new affiliate about your program. Teach them all about your products. Include which products perform the best, how the products work, a list of your top 10 most popular products, video tutorials, and even a free version of your product they can test out.
Emails should also include consumer-facing messages that your affiliates can use their site. Your next email send for your welcome campaign should give affiliates what they need to really start bringing in new customers. Provide links, banners, videos, and marketing assets mentioned in the previous email to put on their site. Even if they’re already familiar with how to get links and how your platform works due to your initial email, this send ought to be more personal that gives them a refreshing step by step review.
Now it’s time to segment your affiliates based on their performance. After these initial emails, the subsequent sends should be more relevant and pull in dynamic content. Utilize affiliate data, such as clicks, cookies, orders, and revenue for segmenting. Here are some examples:
- Continue sending educational emails referencing best practices and tips about your platform to affiliates who haven’t generated any clicks or cookies.
- As soon as an affiliate starts generating a certain threshold of revenue through your platform, drop them out of the campaign, for example, $500 in revenue per month.
- If an affiliate has generated cookies, but no orders yet, this send can contain a message with guidance on conversions.
Create as many segments as you feel are necessary for your program and will generate the most ROI. Use MVTs to figure out what types of sends work best, how many segments to create, and how many sends are necessary before an affiliate takes the action you want.
Whenever your company has a promotion, inform your affiliates immediately. Send them an email with all the information they need about this promotion, such as links and all creative assets. Provide data on what has been working best for your company, such as geographical and demographic information on who responds best to this promotion, along with statistics on how it’s been performing.
Promotions can also be affiliate facing. If you see, for example, your affiliate revenue has dropped month over month, create some incentives to motivate them. Get creative. An engaging promotional campaign would be a competition among affiliates. These campaigns should include at least three sends. The initial send should provide information about the promotion, competition rules, and time frame.
Once the promotion starts, send periodic updates to motivate affiliates and let them know their standings. You can even use data to segment this send based on performance. For example, affiliates who haven’t generated orders yet can receive more nurturing copy, whereas affiliates in the lead can receive an email encouraging them to win. This segmentation will require link tracking specific to this promotion so that you can pull in the right parameters.
Lastly, send a Final Takeaways type of email letting them know how the promotion went overall. Some other ideas for promotional sends are a limited-time offer for a higher commission rate if affiliates sell more or different products, or a cash reward for referring other affiliates to your program.
The final affiliate email campaign you implement should be a monthly newsletter. This should not require any segmentation, as it’ll help create a sense of community by keeping everyone equally informed. The content can be as creative as you’d like. Inform them on any news about your company, commonly asked questions by affiliates, new vendors to promote, and which products to focus on and why. Consider capitalizing on seasonal topics, such as how to prepare for and optimize traffic during holiday seasons.
Email campaigns are important to tie into any marketing efforts, whether you’re sending B2B emails to your affiliates, or affiliates are sending B2C emails to their purchasers. The more data collected on your subscribers, the more relevant these emails will be. Rather than wasting time and money by blindly sending emails without segmentation, relevancy will in turn produce a better subscriber experience, improved engagement, trust in your company, and an increase in your overall ROI.
Jenny Rooth is an Online Marketing Coordinator at cleverbridge.