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3 Tips for Building Long-lasting Affiliate Relationships

June 14, 2024

Some may say that creating successful affiliate relationships is all about collaborating with the right affiliates and incentivizing them with meaningful offerings, be it monetary or non-monetary. But, ultimately affiliate relationships are all about the people.

Interacting with your affiliates can’t be simplified down to a simple transaction — it’s a lot more nuanced. Especially when building positive affiliate relationships is so crucial for a brand’s performance marketing success.

Like all healthy relationships, affiliate relationships are built on things like honesty, respect, and trust. With this in mind, brands should aim to treat their affiliate programs like a people business, rather than a goods or services business.

According to a survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, 67% of respondents who budget for influencer marketing plan to increase their influencer marketing budget over the next 12 months. As more competitors enter the market, maintaining strong relationships with your affiliates is a surefire way to keep your brand at the front of the performance marketing pack.

Just in time for the biggest relationship-focused holiday, we will highlight some tips that can help brands develop and maintain mutually beneficial affiliate relationships that can even be applied to your Valentine this year.

Tip #1: Communicate Well and Build Rapport

Having an open line of communication that’s also collaborative helps build good rapport with affiliates, in turn helping brands cultivate loyalty with affiliates, influencers, and brand ambassadors. Focusing on establishing affiliate loyalty takes time and effort, but it pays off long-term as it enables brands to grow with their existing affiliates instead of wasting time constantly searching for new ones.

Good communication isn’t just about being responsive and attentive or answering their questions on time. It should ultimately lead to good rapport, which means more than just getting down to brass tacks with affiliates. People buy from people, as the saying goes, and the same goes for affiliate relationships. Brands looking to grow meaningful relationships with their affiliates should take the time, for starters, to actually get to know them. But, what does getting to know an affiliate necessarily mean?

Some ways brands can get to know their affiliates are:

  • Researching and learning more about their brand or persona
  • Performing due diligence on their social media to find out things like interests, followers, and who they’re following.

Brands that invest the time to genuinely get to know the affiliates they partner with have a strong base of affiliates that are personally invested in the brand and can give meaningful feedback. Mutual and honest feedback is key to fostering a successful affiliate relationship.

Tip #2: Be Transparent

In keeping with good communication, transparency from the get-go is key. Being transparent with your affiliates from the very beginning not only establishes trust but also helps with eliminating any confusion and unclarity an affiliate might have. Being direct about your expectations, commissions, and goals eases things for both parties and is a building block for a long-lasting and fruitful affiliate relationship.

Tip #3: Be Consistent

As mentioned above, being consistently attentive and responsive in your communication with affiliates is a key aspect of developing and maintaining positive affiliate relationships. But, consistency in the way a brand interacts with affiliates shouldn’t just stop there. Being consistent in things like commission payments is another building block to developing affiliate trust.

Recognizing the importance of this, Refersion-developed Unified Payments as a relationship-building solution for brands and affiliates.

Through Unified Payments, brands can sleep easy knowing that the affiliates they partner with receive automatic and direct monthly payments, as well as access to necessary tax documentation that simplifies their tax preparation.

With Unified Payments, the affiliate program workflow for brands is streamlined as it provides consistent payments from multiple payment options. This also helps brands stand out to premium publishers/VIP affiliates who require direct ACH and won’t accept PayPal as a payment method.

Brands can’t risk breaking down the trust they have established with their affiliates by not utilizing such tech solutions when they can. Not only does implementing tech tools like Unified Payments allow for brands to focus on more meaningful things than payments, but it simplifies their scaling efforts, allowing them to work with more affiliates than they could have before.

Invest in Your Affiliates

We hope that you’ve gotten a newfound appreciation for relationships and how crucial they are in all relationships, not just with affiliates. Investing in building good rapport with affiliates, as well as the tech tools that make it possible, is paramount for a brand’s success.

If your brand is ready to get started with a relationship-building affiliate tech solution, Refersion is here to help.

Get Started with Refersion

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey