I recently caught the replay of a web clinic presented by Marketing Experiments titled Affiliate Marketing: Tests and tactics that increased clicks and leads by 165%. The presentation is full of great tips for both retailers and affiliates and I encourage you to watch the whole thing, but there was one point that stood out as a really novel idea:
“Solicit advice from your affiliates, many are seasoned online marketers who can offer you valuable insight on what does and does not work.”
Improving your landing page is essential when you have an affiliate program. Not only does it impact your revenue and your affiliate program performance metrics, but it’s crucial to retain high quality affiliates. According to the 2009 MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Survey, 74% of respondents cited “finding high quality affiliates” as a significant challenge, and 50% “keeping high quality affiliates.”
High quality affiliates are motivated by the profitability of working with you. Even if you have a higher commission, with a stinking conversion rate the affiliate isn’t making maximal money. They are thinking earnings per visit.
Reaching out to your affiliates to work with them on conversion optimization is not just “a bit of free consulting” for yourself, it lets your affiliates know you are committed to increasing their performance as well as your own. Offer affiliates some flexibility in landing page design, product copy or headlines, soliciting their input and facilitating tests. The higher earnings per visit the affiliate can achieve with your program, the more likely the affiliate will promote your offers above others on their own sites and in their email and online advertising campaigns. And the less likely you’ll be tempted to continually up the ante on commissions to retain top affiliates.