In affiliate marketing, relationships are more than just business as usual. It’s not an exaggeration to say a great relationship can make a program, while a bad one can break it. Having good relationships with your publishing partners is key to productive cooperation, increased sales, and digital marketing growth. Yet, as your program scales, you get connected with hundreds or even thousands of affiliates from all over the world, most of whom you may never see in person. Maintaining relationships in this kind of environment can quickly become challenging.
How, then, should you tackle partner manager tasks in the best way to build healthy relationships while reaching revenue goals? Here are a few of our top tips!
1. Set Your Priorities
First things first: You need to prioritize the partners who show the best results. Export statistics from the past 3-6 months and select your top 10 performing partners. Try to address their requests before others, as their request for new creative or a product clarification can help you scale your program faster.
2. Take Care of Newbies
Another candidate for a high level of care should be new partners. Invest in onboarding, set up tracking, and explain your product, payout model, and the advantages of your program. You might spend more time with them in the beginning, but later, these partners will be more independent and require less maintenance.
3. Clean Up Regularly
A few months is enough time to understand if a partner’s traffic works in synergy with your product. There is no point in managing 10,000 partners if 8,000 of them bring in no results for your business. Volume doesn’t always mean quality. Part ways with underperforming affiliates to give yourself more time for those who are worth it.
4. Remember That We Are All Humans
While your partnership with an affiliate is a professional relationship, it is also nice to get to know each other a bit better. Think about it. You might be spending more time communicating with your partners than with some of your colleagues! Weather, traveling, hobbies, friends and family — check on how your affiliate buddy is doing outside of work. Video calling is another good way to put a face to a name. Finally, if the situation allows, schedule personal meetings at conferences to establish even stronger bonds.
5. Share Proven Tips for Promoting Your Product
Yes, it’s the partners’ job to advertise and sell your product, but some of them may not have enough experience or marketing skills to use their content in the best way. If you see that some of your affiliates are successfully using certain formats to promote your product and it works, share examples! For instance, maybe you notice detailed articles that incorporate your service description and features have the best click-through rate, or influencers who create their own community on your platform are showing much better ROI. When you see trends like these, make sure others are aware of what sells your product best.
No matter whether you’re an industry newbie or a tried-and-true veteran, download our Ultimate Guide to Partner Marketing for even more tips and advice on staying connected and building healthy relationships with your partners. (And you may want to check out our e-book or on-demand webinar about the top 10 mistakes to avoid in an affiliate program, too.)
Do you have more ideas on how to stay connected and improve partner relationships? We would love to hear what you think and start a discussion, so share your ideas in the comments below!
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Iana is the Head of Customer Success, EMEA at TUNE. After getting her master’s in International Marketing in Sweden, she moved to Germany and dove into the ad tech world, gaining experience in mobile advertising, social media, and SaaS for marketers. You can find her meeting friends in a nice neighborhood of Berlin with a glass of wine and smile.