This post is a follow up to Increase Program Revenue With Diversification and Education. If you do not have an affiliate resource center, please start with Part 1.
If an affiliate resource center is created but nobody knows about can it make an impact? Nope.
You spent all this time creating this amazing resource center. However, there is one BIG problem. No one visits or even knows about. Affiliates are asking the same questions and getting stuck. I know! I feel your pain. The next step is getting affiliates onboard with using the resource center. Warning, it is addictive for them. I can’t launch an affiliate campaign without requests for a campaign asset page. However, given the positive results, I am completely content and darn right pleased with this outcome. So how do I get affiliates to use this resource? Below are my best forms of communication.
We share with our affiliates the power of Facebook Groups so why not harness that power for our programs. Each of my brands’ have their own Facebook. Some agencies have one Facebook Group for all the brands. While I see the benefits of discussing multiple merchants, I prefer individual Facebook Groups to enhance brand loyalty and engagement. However, this is a personal choice. Both types of Facebook Groups are incredibly effective. And of course, having one Faceboook Group has the advantage of cross promotion as well as time saving benefits.
I am mildly obsessed with my Facebook Groups. Honestly, these groups are my happy place in affiliate management. I love engaging with affiliates and watching them support their peers. It feels and is a deeper relationship. This healthy obsession leads to me talking and recommending my Facebook Group consistently. Links to my Facebook Group are included in EVERY email I send out to affiliates. Yes, you read that right…every single email. It doesn’t matter if it is a one on one email, Welcome email or a newsletter, the link and encouragement to join is there. Why? Facebook Groups are my most effective way to communicate with affiliates no matter what their size. I have the full range of affiliates in my groups from top performers to “just launched my website” affiliates. My posts include:Affiliate Marketing Tips – you guessed it, these posts will link the resource center
- First announcement of new product launches with links to the campaign asset page.
- First announcement of upcoming promotions with links to the campaign asset page.
- Highlight of commonly asked questions with links to answers typically in the Technical Support section.
- Affiliate examples, with affiliate permission of course.
- Affiliate Recognition for those affiliates who are most active and helpful within the group. I love it when my affiliate answers a question before I can even get online. Affiliate to affiliate support has been an amazing, and surprising, benefit of my Facebook Groups. I also welcome new members which Facebook Groups make incredibly easy. On the right hand side of your Facebook Group page, you will see a New Members count with a link to Welcome them.
- Industry and brand updates with an explanation of how it is relevant to their affiliate campaigns.
- Opportunities for affiliates to influence promotions and additions to the resource center.
- Contest announcements both public and Facebook Group only.
- Facebook Live events are a great way for your affiliates to know you on a more personal level. Schedule your Facebook Lives to be focused on specific topics but allow affiliates to engage with questions and comments.
Event Triggered Emails
All the large networks (and the majority of the smaller ones) have some form of event triggered emails available. Another option for event triggered emails is through the third-party affiliate CRM tool, MediaRails.
An event triggered email is an email that is sent out based on a specific event that takes place in an affiliate account. The most commonly used event triggered email is the Welcome email that is sent out once an affiliate is approved into your program. I recommend going beyond the Welcome email to engage and educate your affiliates at a deeper level. These emails are also a great way to remind affiliates of their resource center by calling out specific pages and posts that are relevant to their stage within the affiliate program. These emails should be short, conversational and informative. Below are a couple of the event triggered emails I have set up for my programs that go beyond the Welcome email.
- 7 Days Post Approval – This email is a great time to focus on the Technical Support section as well as an introduction to the Facebook Group. This email also highlights the Compliance section.
- No Clicks Within 30 Days – Opportunity to set up a call along with links to Technical Support and campaign asset pages
- Clicks But No Sales – This email focuses on the How to Create a Converting Blog Post as well as Marketing Tips
These three emails are a great start but just the tip of the iceberg. Event trigger emails can be used for contest promotions and tailored for specific niches. The opportunities for engagement and growth are endless.
Your newsletter is a great place to reference campaign asset pages as well as remind affiliates of the resources they have available 24/7. The affiliate resource center and Facebook Group are highlighted in my newsletter template. A reference to join my Facebook Group is literally the first sentence an affiliate sees.
I send 1-2 newsletters out a month along with targeted newsletters that are specific to niches and affiliate status. Each newsletter yields new and engaged affiliates into my group.
One on One Emails
Writing the same responses over and over is not fun or productive. Use links to your Resource Center to answer commonly asked questions such as “how do I get my link” or reporting questions. Chances are the affiliate asking the question will be pleasantly surprised by the resources available.
If you made it to this part of the post, I want to thank you for sticking with me. I threw a lot of details at you and hope you found them useful. Please keep in touch in the comments below with how you are doing and other tips you use to engage and educate your affiliates. And of course, if you want to brainstorm further, shoot me an email at srobbins [at] robbinsinteractive.com. I am a total geek when it comes to this stuff and love to connect with other managers.