This post was provided by a guest contributor to TUNE.
A couple years ago, I was an affiliate of a skincare company when I received an unexpected call from my affiliate manager. He told me they had a bug in their tracking that was over-reporting the sales we generated by 15%. We were pulling in $10,000 a day in commissions from them, so let’s just say that he had my attention.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “It’s our error and we know you use our reporting to optimize your campaigns. We’ll fix it and pay you all the over-reported commissions.”
We thanked them for comping us the ghost conversions and went on to generate over $1,000,000 more in real commissions as their affiliate. This skincare company ran a fantastic affiliate program and in the anecdote above, they employed the golden rule of affiliate management: “Keep your super affiliates happy.”
You may be wondering how we connected with this skincare affiliate program in the first place. Well, we use a tool called oDigger (which we built and own) to find new affiliate programs to work with. oDigger is an affiliate offer search engine and a simple search for “skincare” returns all the skincare related affiliate offers along with a link to sign up to each affiliate program.
Every day, thousands of affiliates use oDigger to search for new affiliate programs to work with. oDigger is the largest affiliate program directory in the industry and affiliate programs powered by TUNE are super easy to list on oDigger.
If your affiliate program is listed on oDigger, chances are a super affiliate has already stumbled across your page. So how do you hook a super affiliate and get them to reach out?
10 Elements Super Affiliates Look For in an Affiliate Program:
1. Clear, crisp landing pages and creative.
The quality of your landing pages is paramount, and a super affiliate can instantly tell a winner from loser. Make sure to continually optimize your landing pages for conversions. Super affiliates will notice and come knocking.
2. A great reputation.
There are many affiliate network review sites (oDigger included) so there is no excuse for not taking control of your brand image. Get your affiliates to leave you good reviews. Even a couple will pay off.
3. Consistent, on-time payments.
If you are late with even one payment, you may lose us. Sorry, your competitors pay us (as affiliates) on time. You should too.
4. A clear competitive advantage.
Every affiliate network says they have great support, highest payouts, reporting, etc. To get a super affiliate’s attention you need to be clear about what your competitive advantage is. Do you do one niche better than anyone else? Do you have exclusives? Are your landing pages converting really well? Communicate a different competitive advantage from the rest and it will pay dividends.
5. A strong rewards program.
We worked with one network for years because they issued prepaid gift cards based on commissions generated. We loved getting those little envelopes in the mail.
6. Brand bidding.
If you don’t let a super affiliate bid on your brand we will never work with you.
7. Quick communication.
Super affiliates will constantly bombard you with requests (changes to landing pages, banners etc). If we have to wait to get approval from the advertiser then we’ll lose interest (and money).
Super affiliates thrive on knowledge so share everything with us. If you need us to sign an NDA, no problem. We’ll both make more money if we put our heads together.
9. Niche domination.
If an affiliate program specializes in a niche (gaming, diet, payday, etc) and brings exclusive expertise to the table, I’ll notice.
10. Direct line to advertiser.
Super affiliates prefer to work directly with an advertiser because it means clean communication, fast turnaround times on updates and no middleman taking a piece of the commission.
If you want to turn your affiliate program from a ghost town to a thriving bustling commission center, use the guidelines above and always remember to abide by the golden rule of affiliate management: keep your super affiliates happy!
Want one more golden rule story? Several years ago we were working with an affiliate network called MarketLeverage and an advertiser stiffed them on a big invoice. We had been promoting the advertiser and MarketLeverage owed us $xx,xxx. MarketLeverage paid us our commissions even though they themselves didn’t get paid. We continued working with them and went on to become their number two affiliate in terms of gross conversions.
Leading affiliate networks and brands partner the way they want to with the TUNE Partner Marketing Platform, the industry’s most flexible SaaS solution for managing marketing partnerships across mobile and web. Start your 30-day free trial today.
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Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.