Marketing Strategy

3 Affiliate Marketing Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

Partnering with affiliates? Make sure you stay on track.

Affiliate marketing can be an incredibly effective technique. While others promote your business and reach a larger audience than you could on your own, you also forge connections with others in your industry and see your sales skyrocket.

But as affiliate marketing grows, there are a few bumps in the road that have yet to be smoothed out. Here are three affiliate marketing mistakes you must avoid if you’re going to make it a worthwhile strategy.

Not Giving a Proper Incentive

Deciding the right cut to give your affiliates is a tricky line to walk. Too low and they likely won’t be motivated to share your product or service; too high and you’ll lose more money than the affiliate was worth. Different industries also have very different standards—product-based businesses tend to give smaller affiliate cuts than service-based ones. Try and think of which number will make your affiliate program worth it without bankrupting your company. It may be something you simply need to constantly monitor/adjust.

Neglecting to Encourage Friendly Competition

Friendly competition can go a long way when it comes to encouraging your affiliate marketers to promote your business. Creating a Facebook group, having a monthly leader board, or spotlighting specific affiliates in your newsletter can help cinch the deal, as can extra bonus incentives. You want your affiliate marketers to have good camaraderie and not be at each other’s throats, but competition is a natural part of business. Make sure your affiliates have a way to communicate with one another, like a Slack channel or community board, in order to urge dialogue.

Depending on Affiliates to Do All the Work

Affiliate marketing is often seen as a way for marketers to step aside and let other people do the work for them. But if you take that approach, you’re dooming your product or business. Yes, affiliates can be incredibly helpful. But running an effective affiliate marketing strategy takes a lot of time and energy. Furthermore, at the end of the day, nobody knows your audience like you do. That means your marketing efforts are still vital. If affiliates send people to your website but the sales copy doesn’t grab them or the images don’t attract them, they still won’t buy, no matter how great of a job your affiliates did. Depending on affiliates to carry a launch is a losing strategy. This is a partnership, not a hand-off.