If you are bringing on affiliates or running an affiliate program, it is your responsibility to make sure your partners have everything they need. And I mean everything. But what are the most important things to provide to affiliates for a successful promotion? Here are the seven must-provide resources.
1. Affiliates Need General Direction
The first thing your affiliates need is guidance from you. They’ll need a target to aim at.
They need to know what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and why to do it.
Don’t underestimate your own affiliate marketing expertise.
And don’t overestimate their expertise, particularly when it comes to your product, your launch, or your program. Just because they are experts, doesn’t mean they can’t be taught.
Spend as much time as possible teaching them. Share as much as possible about what works in your niche.
Share the lessons you’ve learned from launches or programs you’ve promoted. Share success stories and experiments.
Sharing your experiences with others is a powerful call to action.
Here are some ideas of what to share with your affiliates:
- Host training webinars – Preferably with a lot of Q&A. You can get an example of what I did for one client’s affiliates here.
- Shoot quick videos with a single lesson. Like this one.
- Share takeaways from your own recent affiliate experiences (or what you’ve seen others do). One of our former clients, Jeff Goins, did a great one for his affiliates a few years ago when he shared a valuable lesson that benefited him when he was promoting Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula course.
- Share helpful blog posts. Like mine…seriously. But also share your affiliates’ blog posts with each other.
- Answer questions publicly. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that online business is a lot of like 7th-grade algebra…If one person asks a question, there are ten more people wondering the same thing.
2. Affiliates Need AMAZING Swipe Copy
I’ve previously written in detail about how to write swipe copy for your affiliates. In that post, you’ll learn five mistakes to avoid and five MUSTS for creating killer swipe copy. You should go read that…I’ll wait.
If I could sum up that post in thirty words or less it would be this:
Swipe copy is super-important, so making it great should be a priority. That means taking a lot of time to write it or preferably hiring an expert to do so.
Follow my advice above and do not provide them with mediocre or bad swipe copy.
Make it great and they will go all-in for your promotion.
3. Affiliates Need The Right Graphics
Yes, email is king and more people are moving to text-only emails, but you still need to provide killer graphics for things like:
- Blog posts
- Emails for those who use images
- Affiliates who want to create their own banner ads
- Facebook images
- Tweetable quotes
Here’s how we do it:
You must also provide your affiliates with the following:
- Product graphics, such as these:
- Product being used (Course on a computer screen, person exercising, for example)
- Screenshots of videos (if applicable)
Make sure you have a dedicated page with all of those graphics in your affiliate portal.
If you are looking to build your own affiliate portal, we can help. We’ve built more than a dozen high-quality affiliate portals for clients in various industries. Click here to learn more.
4. Affiliates Need Banner Ads That Convert
I know you’re thinking…”Banner ads, really?”
Yes, you must provide banner ads in all shapes and sizes, for all different uses. Banner ads still work in affiliate marketing.
Here’s an example from Ray Edwards’ launch that we ran a few years ago:
Don’t expect to make more than 5-10% of your sales from these ads, but they are an easy way to get some extra sales.
Here are the sizes you must have:
- Blog sidebar – 300 X 250
- Blog leaderboard – 728 X 90
- Twitter – 1024 X 512
- Facebook – 1200 X 630
- Pinterest – 238 X 357-838 (the width must be 238 but the height can be anywhere in that range)
- Instagram – 1080 X 1080
5. Affiliates Need Sample Mailing Plans
One of the most common questions I get when running affiliate promotions is, “What are the best days to email and who do I send to?”
After getting that question dozens of times, I figured I should probably create some mailing plans for affiliates.
So that’s when we created our ABC mailing plans.
A – All-In or Aggressive. This is the plan for people who are in it to win it. Typically 15-20 emails.
B – Balanced. This is our Goldilocks plan. The plan between All-In and Conservative. Usually between 10 and 13 emails.
C – Conservative. This is the plan for those who just want to dip their toes in the water. They aren’t 100% committed to a full promotion…yet. This is usually 5-9 emails.
Here’s just one example of an affiliate mailing from Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year launch we ran.
Here’s how we put them together for affiliates and make it easy for them:
Here’s the great thing about these plans…
If you get someone to commit to the Conservative plan, they almost always bump up to the Balanced plan.
And those who commit to the Balanced plan almost always bump up to the All-In plan (especially when you announce prizes).
The key is getting them to commit to something, which is easy to do with these clear plans.
6. Affiliates Need a Promo Checklist
This is by far the simplest way to get more out of your affiliate partners.
Yes, a simple checklist really works. But why?
The simple answer is that affiliates are people…people who own businesses of their own.
In other words, they are busy. Crazy busy.
Your launch is not their #1 priority. In fact, it probably falls somewhere between “get the oil changed” and “update Netflix preferences.”
That’s why we created our Affiliate Promo Checklist. I wrote an entire post about it that shows why it works and shares the results we’ve had from using it.
We use this checklist in all of our launches.
It is incredibly easy for affiliates to know exactly what to do each day of the launch. And the easier it is, the more likely they are to take action.
Here’s a snippet of what a promo checklist can look like:
This little checklist is powerful and has resulted in at least a 10% increase in sales since using it. And ten percent is awesome for both you and your affiliates.
You might be asking, “Do I have to create a new plan each time we run a promo?”
The answer is NO you do not!
We always use the same format (why reinvent the wheel, right) and you can get the template here free.
It’s an editable Word doc so you can jump in right away and edit it to fit your needs.
7. Affiliates Need to Feel a Part of the Process
People support the things they feel like they’re a part of.
This is true in every aspect of life. In a job, you support the initiatives you played a role in planning. With a charity, you support the cause you had a say in choosing.
This is why it’s so important to make your affiliates feel like they are a part of the process…because they are!
From a practical standpoint, this means keeping them updated often.
If you are running a launch, this means that you can’t show up out of nowhere a week before the launch and expect your partners to be excited. You need to include them along the way, for weeks or even months ahead of your launch.
Here are several ideas to help your affiliates feel more included:
- Give them behind the scenes access. This can be as simple as sending them a quick video from the set as your record pre-launch content or the course.
- Share testimonials. When you get a particularly awesome testimonial, share it in the partner group.
We do this often for our affiliates. It’s a great way to make them feel like what they are doing is having an impact. Here’s an example and some of the testimonials we shared:
- Start a Facebook Group just for affiliates. This allows you to update them more frequently without clogging their inbox. It also allows them to connect with each other (which comes in handy when there are sales competitions).
- Ask for their help. Ask for their opinion on things like logos, messaging, etc. People love to feel a part of decisions like this. It dramatically increases buy-in and involvement.
- Explain your thinking. If you make a decision…any decision…that affects them, let them know your thinking. Don’t just announce the change, explain the change.
As you can tell, tangible resources such as swipe copy, graphics, and checklists are important, but the most important resources of all are a feeling of inclusion and to guide your affiliate partners.
When you provide your affiliates with these seven must-haves, there’s no doubt that you’ll run a successful program.