Building Relationships Essential for Profitable Affiliate Marketing

building relationships

You already know that you need to build relationships with your customers. But what if I told you that building relationships with those you want referrals from such as affiliates was just as important. It’s important because the more your affiliates trust you, the more they’re going to want to promote your products and services. They know you’re going to deliver what you say and they’re going to be very proud to promote you. Building relationships is an essential element for a profitable affiliate program to grow.

First, just in case you don’t know let me tell you what affiliate marketing is. It’s kind of like being a sales person. An affiliate works for commission only. They are not an employee. They contract with you to promote your product(s) or service(s) in exchange for a percentage of the sale. Online this works by using some form of affiliate program software such as Amember.com or 1shoppingcart.com or a variety of WordPress plugins if you use WordPress. The software manages the affiliate program so that it’s mostly automatic. Each affiliate is given a special code within their link to your product or service that tells the system whether or not their customer purchased.  Some affiliate software like ClickBank.com, for example, handles all your affiliate payments for you, others you’ll need to deal with them yourself as well as the tax paperwork consequences. Please ask your tax professional for advice regarding this.

The software manages the affiliate program so that it’s mostly automatic. Each affiliate is given a special code within their link to your product or service that tells the system whether or not their customer purchased.  You can set it up so that your affiliates get lifetime “cookies” which means that as long as they referred the customer, no matter when they purchase, as long as they are still a member of your program and have the right payment settings, they’ll get the commission. Some affiliate software like ClickBank.com, for example, handles all your affiliate payments for you, others you’ll need to deal with them yourself as well as the tax paperwork consequences. Please ask your tax professional for advice regarding this.

Some affiliate software like ClickBank.com, for example, handles all your affiliate payments for you, including taxes and other paperwork. With self-managed programs through software like Aweber.com or JVzoo.com, you’ll need to deal with everything yourself including the tax paperwork consequences. Please ask your tax professional for advice regarding this.

The software manages the affiliate program so that it’s mostly automatic. Each affiliate is given a special code within their link to your product or service that tells the system whether or not their customer purchased.  Some affiliate software like ClickBank.com, for example, handles all your affiliate payments for you, others you’ll need to deal with them yourself as well as the tax paperwork consequences. Please ask your tax professional for advice regarding this.  But, in any case, an affiliate is a sales person who works only for commission.

Let’s look at a few ways you can build trust with your affiliates.

Be Honest & Transparent

When your affiliates have a question about your products or services always be honest and as transparent as possible. You don’t have to give away all your secrets but you do need to lead with integrity. Never misrepresent your products or services to anyone because eventually they will see the product anyway or they will hear complaints from their customers. Believe me, as an affiliate when I’ve made a mistake about a product I support and recommend, I hear from my customers.

Understand Your Target Audience

It’s important to differentiate your affiliate target audience and your audience for your products and services. Sometimes they will cross over, but in general, your affiliates recommend products to their audience that they believe will solve specific problems for them. The better you are at identifying each audience and delivering solutions to them the stronger your bond will be to them.

Provide Topnotch Marketing Materials and Ideas

If you want your target audience to understand what you’re selling, provide the right marketing materials to your affiliate marketers. In addition, host contests, give away prizes, provide step-by-step instructions for the marketing materials that you provide. Start a secret Facebook Group for your affiliates so that you can remind them about what they can support and when. Offer to host webinars for high performing affiliates and when possible if your business supports it (is big enough) host online and offline affiliate training and parties.

Pay a Fair Commission

Let’s be clear, if you’re selling services via an affiliate you’ll have to offer lower commissions, but if you’re offering digital products try to give at least 50 percent commission. Remember, without affiliates you’d have to spend quite a bit of money in marketing to get the word out about each of your products. Once you have a strong affiliate program going you will spend less money than you might realize, especially if you offer long term or lifetime cookies and amazing products, it’ll be more than worth it to pay out as much as you can to your affiliates.

Finally and most obviously, you should create outstanding products and services to that your final customers who use your products and services are happy, satisfied, and even wowed at how amazing you are. By doing this, you’ll make your affiliates into heroes to their audience and you’ll be their hero by following up, including them in decisions, and making it easy for them.

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