In one of our recent posts we supported the argument of merchants offering incentives to affiliates. Not only is it necessary to be rewarded for hard work, but it also helps to establish more trust and build relationships between affiliates and affiliate managers. If you’re an affiliate and believe you’re generating the kind of traffic and sales for a merchant that warrants a higher commission, or some other incentive, then it’s time to put a game plan together to help you achieve that goal of earning more.
Step 1: Make a Case
As an affiliate, the first thing to note is that affiliate managers want ROI. During a recession this matters significantly more than at any other time for a business. So, you can understand why affiliate managers are not offering raises or bonuses as liberally as before. Therefore, if you ask for an incentive, it’s up to you to demonstrate what kind of return the affiliate program can earn on their investment in you. It’s all in the presentation!
You may be asking what goes into that presentation. Well, affiliate managers look for specific details when they’re assessing if you’d be worthy of a higher payout, coupon or bonus. They look at things like your website’s Google Page Rank, keywords and phrases that lead visitors to your site, conversion rates, and of course, the bulk of sales you’ve generated over a specific period.
Affiliate managers also pay attention to cosmetics. A nice, simple website design can help convince an affiliate manager you’re worth partnering with on a campaign. If you want to run an email promotion, it helps your case greatly if you can provide a sample mailer as part of your presentation.
Step 2: Be Professional!
Once you’ve made a list of all the key benefits to partnering with your affiliate business, try gathering all this information in the form of a professional-looking PDF or PowerPoint presentation. This is your chance to show your affiliate manager how professional you are. (At the same time, you create a template for approaching other merchants.) Website screenshots or samples of creative mailers from previous campaigns also demonstrate experience and how you intend to promote. Affiliate managers need something in writing that explains where their offer will be placed, what kind of creative is needed, and if you’re looking to publish original content to accompany the offer.
Step 3: Get your Timing Right
Timing is everything, and this is especially true for negotiating vanity coupons or bonuses. In our experience of managing affiliates, requests for coupons can sometimes come in at the most inopportune time (for example, asking for back-to-school offers in August rather than in June). Do some research and pick the most ideal month or season to promote your merchant’s offer. Ask an affiliate manager how much lead time is required to request vanity codes or seasonal promotions. The earlier you start conversing, the better, and the more likely the merchant is to accept your offer.
Step 4: Build your Relationship
One final thing: always give feedback to your affiliate manager. Feedback allows an affiliate manager to determine what changes need to be applied. It can help them determine what worked and what didn’t, as well as help make a merchant more inclined to work closely with you on other campaigns. Again, you build trust, and potentially increase your payout even more.
Do you have experience negotiating a higher payout? Are you looking for more tips on how to ask for an incentive? Leave us your comments and tell about your personal experience regarding this topic. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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