If you are 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 you can provide your affiliates? Here are seven must-provide resources.
Kelly McCausey from SoloSmarts.com recently emailed me to ask:
What sort of resources do you believe affiliates are most interested in using these days?
Below I share seven critical things you must provide your affiliates.
Like Kelly, you can have your question answered right here. Click here to submit your question.
The Seven Musts for Every Affiliate Program
1. Affiliates Need General Direction
The first thing your affiliates need is guidance from you.
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 and your launch or program.
Spend a lot of time teaching them and share as much as possible about what works. Share lessons you’ve learned from launches or programs you’ve promoted. Share success stories and experiments.
When you share your experience with others, it’s a powerful call to action.
A good example of this is a post I did on affiliate bonus packages. I often share this with affiliates and every single time, at least a dozen people email me back thanking me and sharing their new bonus package with me. Often, these are high-level entrepreneurs who I assumed had it all figured out. But, like I wrote above, never assume that your affiliates know everything about successful promotions.
Here are some ideas to help you share more with your affiliates:
- Host training webinars – Preferably with a lot of Q&A. You can get an example that I did for one our 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). Jeff Goins, for example, did a great one for his affiliates about his experience with promoting PLF the year before. He shared a tip or two and it was super helpful.
- Share helpful blog posts. Like mine…seriously. But also share your affiliates’ blog posts with each other.
- Answer questions publicly (like this post). 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 Swipe Copy
I recently did a lengthy post on how to write swipe copy for your affiliates. In it, I share 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 the 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.
Don’t provide them with mediocre or bad swipe copy. Make it great.
RELATED POST: How to Write Swipe Copy for your Affiliates.
3. Affiliates Need Graphics
Yes, email is king and most people send 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 or social media images
You must provide your affiliates with the following:
- Product graphics, such as this one below:
- Product in use (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
You must provide banner ads in all shapes and sizes, for all different uses.
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
- Google+ – 497 X 373
- 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 got years ago was “what are the best days to email and who do I send them to?”
After getting that question dozens of times, I figured I should probably create some mailing plans for affiliates. So 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 13-17 emails.
B – Balanced. This is 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 5-10 emails.
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.
The key is getting them to commit to something, which is easy to do with these clear plans.
Here’s an example from Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year launch, which we are running right now:
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. And your launch is not their #1 priority. In fact, it probably falls somewhere between “get oil changed” and “update Netflix preferences.”
We now use this checklist in all of our launches. It makes it super easy for affiliates to know exactly what to do each day of the launch. Here’s a snippet of what it looks like:
This little checklist is powerful and has resulted in at least a 10% increase in sales since using it.
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 easily edit it to fit your own needs.
7. Affiliates Need to Feel a Part of the Process
People support the things they feel 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 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 a running a launch, this means that you can’t appear 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 out.
Here are some 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.
- 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.
- Ask for their help. Ask for their opinion on things like logos, messaging, etc. People love to feel a part of decisions like this.
- 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 from this post, 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.
If you provide your affiliates with the things I listed above, you will certainly run a successful program.
What tools or resources do you most appreciate as an affiliate?