How to Build a Better Affiliate Marketing Programme: Strategy Development and Implementation
A good affiliate programme will have targets and objectives for growth and efficiency. Putting in place clear goals, KPIs, and actionable plans will allow you to effectively measure and report on performance. Here are our eight rules for planning and executing a successful affiliate marketing strategy.
Set SMART ObjectivesAlign brand objectives to create goals unique to the affiliate channel. Using SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) will allow you to track and report on the success of your strategy. Remember: be specific. Instead of stating, ‘Increase revenue of sale-active affiliates’, refine your goals with numbers, i.e. ‘Improve affiliate revenue by +20% vs. H1 2018’
Monitor successImplement a regular review of your progress against the goals to keep your strategy on track. This can be managed in several different ways. For example, assign specific goals to teams or people. Don’t forget to work as a team to achieve the goals, which includes your affiliates, platform, and agency partners.
Plan and adaptPlan and manage your strategy through an organised calendar. This should outline the engagement you have with affiliates during key promotional periods. Ask yourself, are affiliates being sent the right materials to support current offers and product focuses? Is there a seasonal event that is particularly important? Is there a last -minute promotion that needs additional support? Being able to manage the changes certain events like these can bring will deliver success.
Effective growthA rule of thumb is that your affiliate programme should consistently grow in sales and revenue but at an effective rate, so to keep the ROI at an acceptable level. Some ways in which to achieve this include:
- Making your brand and business goals clear to all your affiliates, platform and agency partners so everyone is working towards the same goal
- Be open to invest into the channel by running activation and optimisation campaigns with affiliates, test and learn strategies and exploring new opportunities
- Consider scaling the programme globally once it is performing well in one market
- Think strategically about programme growth, don’t just think about quick wins but new innovative partnerships that will have positive long - term impacts