How to Get Ahead Before Onboarding Starts

Shandi Michno

How to Get Ahead Before Onboarding Starts at TUNE
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Are you thinking about launching a partner marketing program on TUNE? Great! That means you are already in productive conversations about the start of your program. But have you thought about what to do before a kickoff call and onboarding takes place?  

Helping brands successfully launch programs on TUNE, we sometimes hear things like I wish I had known that before I started, or I didn’t think to ask about that before launching. The “that” in these statements can vary from which team members are needed, to how much time it will take based on the brand’s offering and objectives. In any case, having a proactive approach to launch can be valuable – which is why it’s the next topic in our onboarding blog series. In this post, I am going to share what I have seen work well and what has helped many programs take onboarding to the next level.  

TUNE Onboarding Series 

A Quick Introduction
Is Customized Onboarding Right for You?
What to Expect During the First 30 Days
How Onboarding and Customer Success Teams Work Together
Supporting Long-Term Success After Launch

Now that we have covered several checkpoints during the onboarding process, let us step back 30+ days and talk about what you can be doing to support a successful onboarding before it starts.

Get Ahead with a Head Start 

The time before a program launch is a busy one for most teams. If I could share an “easy button” to hit, that would be ideal. (As a mom of two little kids, I could use that button several times a week.) Unfortunately, even though we all want it, it has yet to be invented.  

While it is not a push of a button, having a clear direction on the steps below will give you an early advantage and make this initial stage a little easier by having the right information. This includes the following:  

  • Have a clear strategy and goals  
  • Assign the right team  
  • Plan for technical resources  
  • Research tools  

Let’s look at each of these factors in more detail. 

Have a Clear Strategy and Goals 

Before launching your program, it is important to know what an indicator of your brand’s success will look like. This includes having a good idea of your offering and what the priority goal is (growth, number of partners, conversions, etc.). Writing down an outline of your vision can help ensure confident, purposeful direction at launch, saving you from spending precious time trying to decide these things after the contract has been signed.  

That said, you have access to a very experienced team at TUNE that is happy to help you further discuss these items and finalize any setup details during the onboarding process.  

Assign the Right Team 

Who is going to own this program for the brand? While team resources may be limited or smaller (some have internal resources or an agency to support), the most important thing is having the right team to drive a new program launch. Unlike some other channels, affiliate needs time and attention in the initial stages to become the profitable channel that many see it become. This means a dedicated team or lead to drive new partnerships, run negotiations, discuss ongoing program optimization, gather feedback from partners, know the data, and much more.  

Planning for this investment of program resources upfront is often a huge indicator of how quickly a program can start to see growth and partner activation. Now, this does not mean that a good team is the only thing needed for success, but it is a sizable portion of what we see when we look at strong programs.  

Plan for Technical Resources 

This can vary from having an internal dev team or third-party tech lead. The biggest advantage here is having a technical resource with time to support the initial launch requirements. While this can be difficult because pipelines and project deadlines are miles long these days, pushing for this resource upfront is an advantage. It can help you launch faster and with more accuracy. Of course, your results will vary depending on the brand and the complexity of the campaign.   

Research Tools 

While TUNE is a robust platform with a lot of features to help you succeed in the long term, we also look to other experts to enhance your growth. For example, we work with a tool called Publisher Discovery to support your recruitment strategy. Knowing what your specific goals are in advance (growth, number of partners, conversions, etc.) will help you determine which tools or areas of focus are going to be the biggest priority as you get ready to launch. Recruitment tends to be a common one, so being ready to invest in the right tools to start can help get the right partners in the door earlier in the launch timeline. Waiting to do this later can often leave money on the table. It is never too early to start conversations with potential partners.  

On Your Mark, Get Set …

I hope this provides some insight or things to ask before launching your program with TUNE. If you have any questions or want to learn more about how to best succeed, reach out to [email protected].   

Read the rest of the TUNE Onboarding Series 

A Quick Introduction
Is Customized Onboarding Right for You?
What to Expect During the First 30 Days
How Onboarding and Customer Success Teams Work Together
Supporting Long-Term Success After Launch

Shandi Michno

Shandi is the Senior Product Onboarding Manager at TUNE, with a background in digital marketing and leadership. Shandi received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Florida Atlantic University where she first found her passion for marketing. After living in Florida and outside of New York City, she came back home to the beautiful State of Montana with her husband and kids. You can find her hitting the Peloton, exploring the outdoors, or enjoying family movie night with a slice of pizza.

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