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Best practices for affiliate marketing program

You are about to deploy an affiliate program? Let’s explore the best practices for affiliate programs that you may want to refer to.

1. Use an affiliate program management software

You might think it’s common practice with today’s online business because no seller today would do affiliate marketing simply with manpower. But no, not every merchant can start an affiliate program management platform.

They often use a customer relation system or compatible system to support the affiliate program. This method is more difficult and resource-intensive than using affiliate marketing software. This is because such customer management systems are designed very attractively to meet the needs of the customers. It also meets advanced affiliate marketing functions.

So you might want to start to automate your affiliate program with BixGrow. It automates almost every step in your affiliate marketing process.

Looking for affiliate software?

2. Focus on recruiting quality affiliate

Focus on recruiting affiliates that fit your brand and target audience. Instead of quantity, an affiliate program with a small number of carefully screened affiliates often performs better. For example, Ahref reports that 03% of their affiliates bring in more than 90% of their referral sales. 

The best affiliate recruitment practice is to partner with niche influencers.  These influencers already have loyal followers who trust what they say and trust their product reviews, so conversion rates can be significantly higher than an affiliate. average result.

You don’t need big-name celebrities to make an impact. Many people really enjoy following people who share interesting content online on a daily basis. So, the right influencers can help you in many different ways. When creating an affiliate commission plan, make sure it is fair and attractive to these influencers.


3. Optimizing your store for the affiliate program 

Optimizing your online store for an affiliate program, although not an affiliate program per se, is one of the best practices to increase conversion rate. It requires a combination of marketing and technical strategies to ensure that affiliates can promote your products effectively.

Below are a few suggestions

  • Intuitive Design: Make sure your website has a clear layout and intuitive user experience.  
  • Mobil-first design: Ensure your store is fully optimized for mobile devices, as over half of internet traffic now comes from mobile. 
  • Fast load times: Simply it decreases the bounce rate and increases potential sales
  • Affiliate program reference: An affiliate program reference on the homepage may turn your customers into potential affiliates. 

This seems to be a common practice, but many store owners forget they have an affiliate program, or place it in a place that never anybody will check out.

4. Periodically optimize the program

It is a must to review and optimize your affiliate program based on data and feedback. You cannot simply follow a predesign program structure – there are always chances to be better. At this point, you can try new technologies or new strategies. 

A recommended strategy is the A/B testing affiliate program – which means you can deploy various affiliate programs at once. Though that might lead to some minor inconveniences in affiliate program promotion, innovations are expected. 

What are the signs of optimization: 

  • Declining affiliate performance
  • Increasing turnover rate
  • Inconsistent or inaccurate tracking

Please note that review & optimization should be done periodically, as continuous changes in the affiliate program would lead to confusion for both affiliates & managers.  

Crate multiple affiliate programs?

5. Incentivize high performers

Implement tiered commission structures or bonus programs to reward high-performing affiliates. This encourages affiliates to increase their efforts.

Rewarding your top affiliates is a common practice for several reasons. Firstly, it motivates them to keep doing great work – yes, high performers thrive on recognition and rewards. Secondly, when you take care of your top affiliates, they’re more likely to stay loyal, reducing the risk of them switching to a competitor’s program. Finally, incentives create a sense of friendly competition among affiliates, encouraging everyone to aim higher.

To be more specific, CJ Affiliate’s studies indicate that tiered commission structures can lead to a 20-30% increase in affiliate performance.


6. Boost sales with coupons and special discounts

Coupons and special discounts are powerful tools for boosting sales in your affiliate program. 

According to a study by Statista, 88% of consumers have used a coupon to make a purchase, indicating that discounts can drive significant customer engagement. That is why coupons and discounts are worth considering when doing affiliate marketing. 

Affiliates can promote these deals to bring in more customers who love a good bargain. A report by CouponFollow found that 94% of online shoppers look for a coupon or discount before making a purchase, suggesting that offering exclusive discounts through affiliates can effectively boost sales. Giving your affiliates these deals helps them stand out in a crowded market and strengthens their relationships with their audience.

However, balancing the costs of affiliate commissions with customer discounts and coupons requires careful planning. It may take a bit of research to set up an earning model that harmonizes with customer incentives. 

7. Use various payment methods

Another best practice for running a successful affiliate program is to offer a variety of payment methods.  

  • Bank transfers are a practical choice, especially for affiliates who operate domestically, allowing for seamless connections with local banking systems. 
  • Popular e-wallets like PayPal are essential for online businesses because affiliates can be located anywhere in the world, and these platforms are middlemen for transferring funds internationally.
  • New online currency, such as crypto, should also be highly recommended. 

By providing multiple payment options, you cater to a broader range of preferences and reduce friction in the payment process.  

Pay all affiliates with one click with BixGrow

8. Combine with a referral program/ loyalty program

Combining an affiliate program with a referral program and a loyalty program is a smart way to build a strong customer community. Here’s how it works:

  • Affiliate Program: Affiliates send new customers to your business. They usually earn a commission for each new customer they bring.
  • Referral Program: When your customers tell their friends about you, and those friends become customers, you reward them. This creates a chain reaction, where more and more people hear about your business.
  • Loyalty Program: You give special perks or discounts to customers who keep coming back. This makes them more likely to stay with you instead of trying a competitor.

When combine all these programs together, you create a cycle that helps grow your customer base. Affiliates bring in new customers, those customers refer more people, and the loyalty program keeps them coming back. It builds a community where both affiliates and regular customers work together to support your business. Ultimately, this approach can lead to more sales, stronger customer relationships, and steady growth.

Our app supports merchants to build referral programs, by the way.

9. Deploy B2B cross-promotion

B2B cross-promotion is a smart strategy to expand your affiliate program’s reach. 

The easiest & effective way is to talk with other merchants who have their own affiliate programs. Ideally, these other businesses sell products or services that complement yours.

Here’s the idea: if your product is a good match with theirs, then your affiliates might also be interested in promoting their products, and vice versa. This kind of partnership creates new opportunities for both businesses.

For example, let’s say you sell fitness equipment, and you partner with a company that sells sports apparel. Your affiliates could promote the sports apparel company’s products, while their affiliates could promote your fitness equipment. This strategy works because affiliates are often expressed in certain niches, not certain product lines. 

By connecting with complementary businesses, you can offer your affiliates more ways to earn money, making your program more appealing. It can also lead to greater exposure and a broader network of affiliates, helping everyone involved to grow and succeed.

10. Make it an enjoyable game for everyone

Even the best affiliate program won’t succeed if your affiliates aren’t having a good time. 

Let’s their hustle more enjoyable. And, remember that not every affiliate will make a lot of cash, so you need to find ways to keep them engaged and support them, rather than just letting them drift away in frustration. 

In addition to offering incentives, you can make the process more enjoyable by hosting meetups and running contests. Giving out free merchandise can be another good idea, serving not only as a branding tool but also as a reward for hitting certain milestones. These approaches help keep affiliates interested and motivated, which can lead to increased productivity and a stronger sense of community within your program.

I have been working in marketing for four years, passionate about creative writing and copy writing. Love to be alone at watersides, sip coffee, play games or read anything that is thought provoking.


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