Affiliate marketing has been rapidly spreading its wings in the Indian e-commerce sector. Several online businesses like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon.in, Jabong have started their own Affiliate Programs or have partnered with Affiliate Networks to drive traffic and boost sales. However, 90% of online businesses have failed to achieve affiliate traffic and sales as expected through affiliate marketing. So what is it that you can do to inspire affiliate loyalty and maximize affiliate sales?
You must remember that winning affiliate loyalty isn’t really easy. At present, there are over thousands of merchant affiliate programmes in existence and your affiliates are spoilt for choice. To build loyalty among your affiliates and to keep them motivated throughout, you have to do something exemplary that will make you stand out from the crowd and bring new affiliates on board.
To make this easier, here’s my secret list of what I think you should be doing to pump up your affiliates and make them promote and sell your products faster than ever! Some of these techniques may require considerable amount of time and effort. However, it’s a wise investment because once you succeed in creating loyal affiliates; they will not only stick with your affiliate program but also promote it enthusiastically and recommend it to other top affiliates.
Attractive commissions: The biggest factor which drives affiliate motivation and loyalty is MONEY! Offer them the best commission vis-à-vis competitors and affiliates will insistently start promoting your products. However, you must also be intuitive and cognizant of their business model. Start giving increased commissions during predictably low shopping periods to keep them motivated and will encourage them to promote your brand more during that timeframe, ideally offsetting the sales dip.
You could also keep a standard commission rate for all and provide an increased commission to affiliates performing exceptionally well! This will get them eager to perform better and drive maximum sales!
Give-aways, vouchers and exclusive coupons: Turn up the excitement for your affiliates by providing them with attractive vouchers, give-aways and exclusive coupons. This will encourage them to initiate engaging activities like fun contests, photo caption challenges, quizzes & trivias and reward winners with these give-aways and voucher coupons. This will help them build engagement and increase traffic on their platform and subsequently direct more traffic to your brand, with at least 30% first time/unique customers.
Innovative branding strategies: Your affiliates are the ones who will be writing about you hence, ensure that they know your products really well, especially the significant ones. Share a consolidated Marketing Kit of these products listing down their benefits, positioning ideas, and the commission rate for selling them. This approach will make affiliates (especially content bloggers) understand your products and review it appropriately.
For example, if you are a travel website, then you can carefully select a handful of tier I blogger affiliates and ask them their top five favorite destinations. Then you can pick one of these five destinations and sponsor their entire trip to this place! This initiative will not only help you win affiliate loyalty for life but will simultaneously amplify content marketing and brand visibility.
Advanced payouts: What if nobody buys this product? What if my audience doesn’t like what I’m promoting and does not click on my affiliate link? I don’t want to wait for long to receive my commission.
Every affiliate goes through these thoughts. A great way to drive away negativity and build motivation to sell more is by facilitating affiliates with advanced payouts. You can always collaborate with third-party frameworks like Escrow and create individual affiliate accounts to provide express payments every time an order is placed.
Storefronts: Yes, you love your website. How about letting your affiliates have a mini version of your store? One of the best ways to motivate your affiliates and effectively reach out to their audience is by promoting storefronts. Through a storefront they can earn by showcasing your products without having to worry about creating them/managing inventory/shipping/tracking sales. Sounds like a win-win situation for both right?
For example, if you are a fashion blogger, you can dedicate a corner of your website to a personally curated compilation of your favourite clothes, accessories and footwear from all your favourite brands! Believe me, your audience will love it and start shopping instantly!
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Let them know you care!!: Personally connect with them and turn your top affiliates into loyal friends. Always remember, having a bunch of affiliates will take you nowhere but a group of enthusiastic supporters will!
If you can’t make calls, reach out to them over live chats, through surveys, conduct quarterly get-togethers and networking sessions for them. In these meetings, talk about whSeveral online businesses like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon.in, Jabong have started their own Affiliate Programs or have partnered with Affiliate Networks to drive traffic and boost sales. at’s new with your company, update them with your new range of products, company vision and immediate and long-term marketing & sales objectives. This will help them gain insights and make them feel like an integral part of your brand.
Fashion brands for instance can host fashion shows to give affiliates a sneak peek of their new collection, Home decor brands can set up concept stores for affiliates to visit and personally experience the products that they will be selling.
Innovative Referral Programs: Another cool way to get your Affiliates charged up is through Innovative Referral Programs. This will save you the trouble of finding new affiliates and also keep your existing affiliates extremely happy.
Sample Affiliate Program:
We love having you as a part of our Affiliate Network;
But wait, here’s your chance to make more money with us!
Invite 10 more people and win 5% spike in your bounty!
Link Exchange: Lastly, build SEO and help your top affiliates attract more organic and editorial traffic by giving them back links. How do you do it? Promote them in your blogs, republish their articles on your website, and help them get more traffic through your page.
Motivating Affiliates is an on-going process and you have to constantly keep coming up with newer and innovative ideas to keep their spirits high and souls engaged! If you think that there’s anything that I’ve missed out on or if there’s anything that you’d like to add to my list feel free to comment below.