In the world of online marketing, anything is possible. And for businesses and brands of all sizes, the opportunities that lie within affiliate marketing are even more rewarding than ever before.
However, just throwing an affiliate program together and hoping for the best isn’t going to get the job done. Instead, brands and businesses of all sizes need to make sure they have a foundation in place for their affiliate program, an affiliate manager to keep all affiliates and ad campaigns up and running, and also some basic knowledge on what is working best in affiliate marketing today.
Dustin Howes is an affiliate marketing expert, who also serves as an affiliate manager and consultant for businesses and brands looking to launch an affiliate program of their own. With more than 10+ years of experience and success in the realms of affiliate and digital marketing, Dustin has mastered the art of affiliate management, while also helping hundreds of businesses and brands reach their goals through the use of an affiliate program of their own.
With all of this in mind, we wanted to take a moment to ask Dustin what the current landscape of affiliate marketing looks like, while also providing us with some useful tips on how to get the most out of our affiliate program and management efforts. Here’s what Dustin had to say.
Is affiliate marketing still as effective today as it was a few years ago?
Affiliate marketing is stronger than ever right now.
When the COVID pandemic hit, many companies closed their marketing budget and turned to invest their efforts in performance marketing channels. However, as a result of this pandemic, it has only let to more people using the internet and ordering online.
Now that the dust has settled, there has been a huge resurgence in affiliate marketing that will be here for years to come.
Why should every brand selling on the internet have an affiliate program?
Happy customers and evangelists are huge influencers for a brand to expand its reach.
When you add in a monetary incentive to promote the brand, two-game changers happen:
- More people will become influencers, and can further help grow your brand.
- People will try harder and promote your brand more often to their audience.
In both of these cases, building a program is relatively easy, but creating awareness of the program is where the true value lies.
What are most affiliate program managers doing wrong?
Most affiliate managers don’t realize the power of optimizing the on-boarding process of partners.
When affiliates join a program, they are interested in promoting it immediately.
By helping them to get their links and marketing assets immediately, it also helps set the tone of the relationship; affiliate managers build brand loyalty when they provide top-notch support.
What are the best ways to keep affiliates engaged when trying to grow a program?
One of the most common problems I hear when talking with other brands about their affiliate programs, is that their affiliates simply aren’t being active.
An excellent way to improve engagement with affiliates and to boost activity is to have a newsletter sent out once a month to all the partners. In each of these mailings, there should be highlights on any news from the program, including upcoming promotions, changes to the products, or new features.
Also be sure to reach out at least once a month with personal emails or calls to your top 20 sales active partners.
Dustin Howe’s Tips for Finding the Best Affiliate Programs
With more affiliate networks and individual partner programs live on the internet than ever before, it’s important for not only site owners, publishers and brands of all sizes to keep an eye on the landscape around them, but to also join several other programs as well.
This is especially true if you are using independent affiliate software to run your own program, and haven’t explored the options available within affiliate networks like Shareasale, CJ and Impact.
As recommend by Dustin, there are some affiliate networks that are better than others. And you can view his list of top affiliate networks here, or by watching the short video below.
And with so many different affiliate programs and platforms out there to choose from, it’s always a good idea to join multiple program simply to stay in the know about the latest promotions and payouts being rewarded by different companies. For affiliates and site owners that like to run a wide range of offers, this will also help in making sure you always have something new to run to your audience as well.
How to Find the Best Results with Your Own Affiliate Program
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the opportunities for growth that lie within affiliate marketing is vast and endless. However, this isn’t something that is simply going to happen on it’s own.
As with all things in online marketing and business, if you want it done correctly, you need to put in the time, work and effort to make it all happen. The same is definitely true with earning money through affiliate marketing, and also launching an affiliate program of your own.