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6 Tips for Revitalizing a Stagnant Affiliate Marketing Program

March 15, 2022

Affiliate marketing is more popular than it’s ever been before, and more than 80% of brands are using it, according to a recent study by Rakuten. If your business is part of that 80%, then you clearly understand that affiliate marketing is one of the preferred types of marketing for the modern era, and you’re probably looking to invest.

However, many brands’ affiliate marketing programs are underperforming, and that can cause your affiliate marketing program to feel like it’s not worth it. If this is your current experience, there are many ways to reawaken your affiliate marketing program. Here’s what you need to know.

Tips to Tell If Your Program Is Underperforming

First of all, you need to know whether your program is underperforming in the first place. What are some signs to look out for?

Probably the top indication that you need some affiliate revitalization is a lack of diversification. Look to see how much of your revenue is coming from either your top publishers or one specific type of publisher. If you’re seeing that ten of your publishers are creating 90% of your revenue, then that almost inevitably means that your program is underperforming, and if you can encourage your other publishers to pitch in, you’ll be able to enhance your program.

The other telltale sign is if you’re having a hard time recruiting new publishers. If it seems almost impossible to get new publishers in the door, then it could be that they don’t see the benefits of collaborating with your company, and that can mean your marketing program is stagnating.

Top Tips for Affiliate Marketing Program Revitalization

So, how can you bring your program back to life? Here are six top tips that can revitalize your affiliate marketing program.

1. Re-evaluate your commission structure

Your commission structure is how you pay out to the publishers who direct sales in your direction. If you’re not getting new publishers or your current publishers aren’t directing many sales your way, then it might be because the commission structure just isn’t aligned with your business goals.

Personalized, unique commissions for different publishers can be a great way to attract new publishers who feel like your program gives them what they need to excel.

2. Treat your publishers like part of your salesforce

Affiliates are essentially part of your salesforce; you may not have control over the content they produce or how frequently they produce it, but you are paying them to promote your business. You can use publishers to fill any void you have in your marketing strategy, all without having to do it yourself.

This means that you should give your publishers the tools they need to promote your brand, just like you would give in-house marketing teams the information and tools they need to deliver on a marketing strategy. The easier you make it for a publisher to promote your company, the more likely that they’ll do it.

3. Diversify the publisher types you’re working with

Multiple different publisher types and networks reach out to different types of customers, and that means more people with eyes potentially on your content. Whether it’s YouTube, blogs, social media sites, or even other retailers, you want to have multiple publisher types with multiple different customer bases, all of whom might be interested in your brand.

Many companies choose to use different affiliate management agencies to broaden their horizons as much as possible, and you might also want to come up with individual commission structures for each type of affiliate. Pinpoint the voids in your marketing strategy, then see what types of publishers will best fill those voids.

4. Do something good and boost your brand reputation

One way that you can revitalize your affiliate marketing program is just by showing publishers that they can be part of something good by working with you. For example, you can implement a way to support charities with each purchase. When you integrate charities into your purchasing structure, you get to do something good, and everyone who works with you gets to contribute to this.

Of course, contributing to charity is just generally a great thing to do, but many shoppers will also have a more positive image of a brand if that brand supports a great charity. Publishers may be more likely to sign up with your company, and customers may be more likely to purchase from you.

5. Understand the methods your publishers are using

Publishers drive traffic to your company in many different ways, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with the ways that partners do this. Whether it’s social media, blogging, SEO tactics, or email marketing campaigns, understanding how your partners work can help you understand how to engage with them.

Additionally, this helps you avoid running exactly the same methods of marketing that your publishers are using. Some successful affiliate programs put certain restrictions on their publishers’ methods, so there’s no crossover.

6. Create new and enticing incentives

Transaction-based and performance-based incentives are critical to keeping your publishers focused on performance. Whether it’s a commission increase once a publisher sends a certain number of sales to your website or an added commission when customers purchase a new product, this incentivizes your publishers to produce great numbers consistently.

Remember that you also need to make sure your publishers are staying up to date with these incentives. Be aware of the different outreach channels that work best.

The Bottom Line

To revitalize an underperforming affiliate marketing program, you need to understand what’s not working, then enhance it. That means looking at ways you can make publishers more interested in your brand, updating commission structure and incentives, and understanding how your publishers are doing right now. This approach requires data, and Refersion can provide you with that data.

Sign up with Refersion today to track and understand your publishers’ performance and keep an eye on underperforming publishers.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey