Like any relationship, affiliate partnerships are cyclical and there will be good times and bad. It’s important you have an agreed structure to reviewing performance so that both parties have visibility over what is working and what isn’t.
How to review performance:
- Agree milestones e.g. weekly report, monthly campaign review and quarterly strategic review.
- Agree communication paths e.g. monthly reviews by phone, quarterly by face-to-face meetings.
- Measure outcomes consistently against agreed KPIs – identify over and under achievement.
- Use analytics data to help provide context when there is over or under achievement.
- Share data with your affiliates to help them understand the impact of the traffic they are providing.
- Communicate key findings and actions in writing by email with clear owners and deadlines for each action.
You should also consider rewarding outstanding performance. It can pay to go beyond the standard reward structure of commission and bonus that is set within your affiliate network program.
For example, if an affiliate has broken all sales targets and consistently provided you with an excellent level of service, go the extra mile and give them something they won’t forget, like a cash bonus.
This isn’t about throwing money away; it’s about understanding the basic mechanics of human motivation. If people feel rewarded, they are more likely to work harder for you and continue to over-achieve.