Adding value to your affiliate program

Value is a two-way street; both parties need to perceive a tangible benefit for the partnership to be sustainable. If this doesn’t happen, it’s likely the relationship won't reach its full potential.

To understand what value means for your affiliate, ask them. For example, if your affiliate has a highly loyal customer base and wants to focus on service quality, not diluting the brand reputation by discounting like a voucher code site, you shouldn’t be trying to force discounts on them.

You need to create a value proposition for each of your ‘super’ affiliates. There may be some crossover where the same value proposition applies to more than one affiliate but you can only decide on this having assessed individual requirements.

And make sure you communicate the value you need to your affiliates. They too should understand what to provide to you to keep the program running.

A few tips for adding value:

  • Identify which affiliates are price-driven in their promotions – focus discounting and promotions on this group.
  • Identify which affiliates value high quality content for their audience – focus producing fresh content on this group.
  • If an affiliate is highly active in social media, join in their social circles and contribute to the conversation (but don’t try to sell and get people to your website – leave that to your affiliate).
  • Don’t wait for them to make suggestions – brainstorm internally for creative ideas to help the affiliate drive more sales.
  • Give them early access to information when it can help them drive traffic and sales, don’t assume they have the same information as you e.g. weather forecast for weekend heat wave, send them content for fans and air coolers.