Affiliate marketing has become an incredibly popular and effective marketing channel. However, this channel (when not properly managed) is notorious for pursuing boom/bust growth tactics instead of taking a more holistic approach.
Let's first address what we mean when we say "boom" and "bust":
- A "boom" happens when a brand experiences a short period of high performance — often during the initial stages of partnering with a new affiliate in their program
- Unfortunately, many of these programs experience an inevitable "bust" a few weeks to a few months later, during which the performance boost from the boom plummets and never regains its initial momentum
Some digital marketing agencies mistakenly believe that the boom/bust cycle comes with the territory of affiliate marketing. With the rapid rise and subsequent fall of affiliate marketing programs becoming commonplace for some agencies, it's understandable that many brands are buying into the boom/bust misconception.
But what if we told you that you could avoid the boom/bust cycle while still reaping the benefits of affiliate marketing? By leveraging Acceleration Partners' well-established tactics, you can avoid the severity of performance dips and set the stage for long-term, sustainable results. Let's look at how to do it.
3 Ways to Create a Sustainable Affiliate Marketing Program
If you want to create a sustainable affiliate marketing program that's set up for long-term success, here are some best practices to follow:
1. Leverage Strategic Acquisition Practices
Strategic acquisition is the process of carefully choosing each affiliate to ensure that they align with your organizational values. As you are undoubtedly well aware, not every affiliate is the right fit for your business. While you certainly consider this when choosing an affiliate partner, strategic acquisition takes this concept to another level.
Using strategic acquisition to vet and select affiliates can help you guard against boom or bust growth in several ways.
Affiliates that match your brand values and beliefs are less likely to inadvertently cause friction among your target audience. They will be able to help you tap into new markets, expand your reach, and boost sales.
This methodology also works to reduce the risk of a bust by setting the stage for a lasting partnership. If you and your affiliates are on the same page from the start, the two of you will likely become long-term partners.
2. Tap Into the Expertise of Experienced Affiliate Managers
Do you have a team that can spend the entirety of their workday managing affiliate relationships? It's understandable that you may not, since the complexities of affiliate marketing can take up significant time, and your team already has to juggle several other marketing-related responsibilities in their workday.
It's unwise to launch and difficult to sustain an affiliate marketing program without using the expertise of an experienced affiliate program manager. You could hire a dedicated manager to oversee your program, but you should strongly consider outsourcing to a third-party affiliate marketing management agency.
3. Deploy the Right Affiliate Technologies
Affiliate partners will join your mission because they believe in your product and the values behind it, or they believe that the affiliate partnership provides them with a viable opportunity to generate an additional revenue stream.
If you hope to build and maintain strong affiliate partnerships, your organization must continue to release winning products and deliver on the promise of performance-based pay. In order to accomplish the latter, you must adopt affiliate technologies that will allow you to accurately track and attribute sales to your partners.
It is important to note that there are no universal solutions. As such, you should carefully select your affiliate technology based on factors unique to your business, such as the region and industry that you operate within.
Find a Reputable Affiliate Marketing Management Agency
Looking for a surefire way to avoid boom/bust growth trends? Want to establish a world-class affiliate marketing program or scale your existing one? Need a client-oriented partner who has established themselves as a trailblazer in the affiliate and partnership marketing sector?
The team at Acceleration Partners (AP) has worked with dozens of domestic and international brands. We have helped our clients scale their affiliate marketing programs, connect with new partners within their respective regions, and achieve long-term growth.
AP stands out from our competitors by providing clients with:
- Strategic partner acquisition and optimization capabilities
- A tailored, outcomes-driven approach
- Unmatched, in-region support
- Access to an abundance of affiliate marketing expertise and resources
We don't resort to boom/bust style tactics that produce bottle-rocket-like results. Instead, we take a systematic approach that yields measurable and sustainable increases in client-decided outcomes.