I’m noticing a HUGE disconnect as it applies to the “affiliate marketing” industry when it comes to the management and recruiting of affiliates.
I’ve read an awful lot of complaints etc… from merchants about the quality of affiliates, some hurtful comments about “ethics” and paying commissions, and the like. All of these could be solved by a seemingly simple technique used in the offline world when it comes to recruiting and developing sales people.
Because that’s all that affiliate marketing is…commissioned sales (you do pre-sell). It’s just the online equivalent.
It’s not the full-version of offline sales, as you don’t actually “sell” the item being promoted in most cases, you let the merchant do that.
But still, the following could help merchants recruit/develop quality affiliates:
–Interview them. Either online or over the phone (novel concept, using the phone). You can set up an interview designed and implemented to qualify out those affiliates you wouldn’t want involved promoting your program anyhow.
–Train them. Another novel concept, actually providing quality (not cheap) training and development programs that your hired affiliates can use to learn how to presell your products. I’m not talking about skimping here either, don’t just throw up a bunch of cheap-ass videos and expect your affiliates to want to watch and “go make you proud.”
I am talking about monthly training webinars your affiliates MUST attend to remain affiliates for your product. You offer valuable data, training, masterminding, etc…etc… here, and really connect with your affiliates, instead of acting like the typical, lazy merchant (if you’re not offering much).
–Fire them. That’s right, if you don’t see performance from your affiliate, fire them. Have set parameters in place where it’s clear to the affiliate what is expected from the outset…and if they don’t meet those expectations, they can “hit the road” as they say.
Affiliates who sign up and don’t perform at all are doing you no good just sitting there. So, don’t let them sit there.
–Motivate them. On the flip side, actually put effort into motivating and retaining good affiliates. This is business, so have incentives in place for performers, along with real prizes in contests, cruises, masterminds etc…etc… all designed to keep your top affiliates wanting more.
In other words, for you lazy merchants out there, quit treating your affiliates like dirt. If you actually put the effort into cultivating the relationship with your affiliates…it will pay off.
I’m realizing this is turning into a deep subject, so more on this topic in later posts…I have to think about this a little deeper. 😉