When you launch an Affiliate Program, you will no doubt see a large volume of applications from Affiliates eager to promote your brand… but how do you make decisions on how to approve or decline individual applications? What are your end goals?
Today’s post will focus on the individual segments that make up Affiliate Marketing. While not an exhaustive list, hopefully this post will give you ideas on how to build up your Affiliate base, and what each individual segment cares about the most!
Building Block A: Content Affiliates
What is a Content Affiliate? Well, today most commonly that is a blogger. Someone who is constantly putting out new and relevant content on a variety of subjects, hopefully something relevant to your brand so that you’ll be an interesting match for them. Content Affiliates don’t necessarily have to be bloggers… but the basic idea is that they create their audience by providing interesting things to read or look at.
How to Attract a Content Affiliate?
- Protect their traffic. Bloggers arguably put the most effort into a single promotion event – due to the fact that it often involves crafting, researching, and writing an article to promote your product or your company. While everyone online loves a good coupon, it is important to make sure that even if one of your customers – referred by a blogger – also uses an internet coupon site … their commission will still be protected. This can easily be achieved by using Clickstream Commission Rules on ShareASale. You can create a commission structure whereas a commission is either shared, duplicated, or otherwise modified when two Affiliates in your program are involved. A very detailed post on this is located here: http://blog.shareasale.com/2013/03/07/clickstream-commission-rules/
2. Provide quality images and datafeeds. In order to best promote your brand, Affiliates need high quality images and especially important is accurate information in your datafeed. Don’t just fill out the bare minimum for your datafeed… use all of the available fields. ShareASale provides you with over 40 columns of available data points – including several that you define as custom to yourself. Build out a quality category structure, and watch the Affiliates reward your efforts with quality content sites built towards your brand.
Building Block B: Coupon Affiliates
Coupon Affiliates will likely be the first that you see applying in your program, as the volume of consumers seeking out the best deal continues to rise. Important points to remember when building out your Coupon Affiliate Base:
1. Get your coupons and deals into the ShareASale Deals Database. This is step 1, and the number one place that Affiliates on the Network look for available coupons. http://www.shareasale.com/m-dealsdatabase.cfm Affiliates are then able to download them via RSS, API, and a variety of other methods.
2. Carefully consider how many, and who specifically you are going to accept into this segment of your Affiliate base. A Coupon Affiliate, perhaps more than any other, needs to be reachable, responsive, and able to prove value beyond just a listing of a coupon on a page.
3. Take a look above at the reference to Clickstream Commission Rules as it will help you commission appropriately.
4. Coupon Affiliates catch a lot of slack in the industry, but they can bring tremendous value as well. Use Personalized and Clickstream Commission Rules to help reward them for the behaviour that you want. Want them to bring new customers? Great – use rules to reward them for new customers while lowering commissions on your existing customer base.
5. Finally, when dealing with what we refer to as the “Coupon Application Tidal Wave” – every new Merchant to the ShareASale Network should read this post: http://blog.shareasale.com/2013/03/05/the-coupon-application-tidal-wave/
Building Block C: Storefront and Social Affiliates
For the purposes of this post, these are Affiliates who may not even know they are Affiliates – and certainly don’t have the expertise in Affiliate Marketing to really become (or want to become) either of the above groups A or B.
I’m taking about individuals, sometimes groups such as a Little League Baseball Team, or a local PTA, or even your condo or homeowners association. They are all looking to raise funds for their cause, charity, fundraising drive, or whatever other campaign they have going at the time.
How to reach this powerful long-tail group? Setup a ShareASale Storefront and this allows those individuals to setup fundraising sites in a matter of minutes – with no technical expertise required. Take a look at the below PDF for more details and contact your ShareASale Team to help get this powerful feature setup in your account.
Building Block D: Strategic Partners
I lumped everyone in this last group, as the nature of our posts this month revolve around building blocks. In reality, each of these individuals offer unique challenges – but all will require levels of attention in order to succeed.
These could include shopping portals, PPC SEO specialists, mobile publishers, Pay Per Call Publisher, and a lot more that I haven’t even mentioned.
Tools you’ll want to provide include: