Keeping Your Affiliates Active and Loyal

With so many affiliate programs available these days, people may jump from program to program with little thought. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep affiliates interested an active in your program.

Have you noticed lately that some of your affiliates seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth, or that people who have registered with you are not always posting your banner or setting up their affiliate website at all? You’re not alone. With so many affiliate programs available these days, people can, and often do, jump from program to program with little thought, and this is bad news for affiliate directors.

Maintaining an active affiliate base is the key to the success of your program. If people are continually jumping ship, you’re not going to make any money. If you’ve got a good product with reasonably high demand and an attractive, easy to navigate website, you should be able to keep a happy and stable group of affiliates, right? So what’s the problem?

Well, assuming that your program is potentially successful; that is, your product is in demand and that you have a professional looking, user-friendly website, I can pretty much guarantee that the problem lies in communication. If your affiliates are trickling away, it is most likely because they feel ignored or just uninformed. Here are a few communication basics you can use to keep them feeling involved.

First. Have a good “thank you” page. Don’t just use a canned prefab form. When your affiliates sign up, give them some pertinent information, like what they can expect from you and a little more about how your specific program works. Maybe even give a few sales statistics from your most successful affiliates. This will make them feel really involved right from the start.

Second. “Send a sincere “thank you” email. Don’t just send a cursory “thank you” with your new affiliate’s linking code. Once again, offer some more information about the program. Tell them a little more about the product, or mention a technique or two for placing classified ads for their site. Always close any communication with your affiliates by letting them know that they can always contact you with questions or concerns.

Third. Keep on top of sales alerts. Try to set up a regular schedule for informing affiliates of their sales. Frequent alerts, say once or twice a week, will keep people much more interested than a monthly mass mailing.

Fourth. Keep in touch. Start an affiliate newsletter, or send out emails with updates about your program, sales statistics from your top affiliates, and marketing tips. This will keep people excited about the potential of the program.

These tactics may seem a little time consuming, but believe me they’re worth it. And besides, just think of the recruiting hours you’ll save if everyone sticks with it. Now obviously, there are going to be affiliates who leave your program no matter what you do, that’s just the nature of the business, but, provided you have a good product, if you follow these steps and stay in communication with your people, you’ll find that your program is a lot more successful.

Keller Flynn is an expert in building smooth and profitable affiliate programs. 

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