11 Ways to Improve Your Partner and Affiliate Performance

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Sometimes the right path to better performance is all about “quick wins” — small, incremental gains that can add up to serious revenue over time. We’re halfway through the year. The time to take action is now.

The following 11 ideas aren’t pie-in-the-sky concepts. Each is something that you can make significant headway on—today. Some you can start and finish in the morning. Others will take more than one day to complete, but you can make real progress toward the ultimate goal in short order. Have a look.

1. Replace third-party-pixel-tracking now

Still using third-party cookies for tracking? Good grief, Charlie Brown. Most marketers know that third-party-pixel-based-tracking faces major challenges. Remove your head from the sand. Most major third-party measurement tools and networks have options for replacing third-party pixels.

Take action: Reach out to your solution provider and get a meeting on the calendar now. Come on, Charlie Brown. I promise Lucy won’t move that football on you this time.

2. Grow your buying funnel with more content partners

Partnership can be great for growing both the top and the bottom of your funnel. One of the best ways of growing your consideration set is to work with more content partners, who play an essential role in driving awareness about your category and brand.

Take action: Identify a few content sites with substantial traffic that you don’t yet work with, and reach out.

3. Do a partner audit

What partners are missing from your program? If there are at-scale partners out there that you haven’t recruited, it’s time to get on that.

Take action: Talk to your agency, network, or tech provider to discuss how you can learn about which partners are driving the most substantial sales in your category or have the most sway with your target audience.

4. Benchmark your competitors’ offers

If it’s been some time since you compared your offers to those of your competitors, today is the day to change that. If competitors are sweetening their offers, you may need to respond in kind to maintain or grow sales. If they’ve diluted their offers, there may be an opportunity to increase your margins.

Take action: Get some competitive intel. If nothing else, do a Google search for your competitor’s offers. Alternatively, ask your agency to look into it for you. Then compare those to what you are taking to market.

5. Schedule conversations with your top five partners

One of the best ways to drive growth in a partner or affiliate program is to work directly with your largest partners. You can collaborate on new tools and platforms they may offer, gain new market insights, or learn about and address any issues that are holding your sales back. In most cases, large partners are delighted to work directly with important advertisers.

Take action: Get those five calls or meetings booked now.

6. Identify 10 influencers that could help you drive sales

Influencers are a hot topic in marketing, and the marketing investment in influencer programs is growing faster than many other areas of partnership. Why not see if some influencers can make a meaningful contribution to your sales? You may find that influencer marketing can kickstart growth for even the most mature programs.

Take action: Do a little web research of content publishers and influencers that speak about your topic. Get in touch with a few large players and start the ball rolling.

7. Do a fraud check

While fraud is not as prevalent in partner marketing as in other digital categories that are measured by softer metrics like impressions or completed views, partner marketing fraud is on the rise.

Take action: Speak with your network or solutions provider about how and where to look in your program data for signs of fraud.

8. Approve (or reject) all of your pending partners

Approving new partners isn’t the sexiest task, but it can mean the difference between a great result and a poor one. Partners sign up to programs raring to go and excited by the prospect of working with you. If you take weeks or months to review and approve them, you may find that their enthusiasm has vanished.

Take action: Review and approve pending partners RIGHT NOW!

9. Approve late invoices

Networks and solutions providers wait for you to approve conversions and authorize payment before they compensate your partners. There is no better way to please a partner than to pay them what you owe, on time. And no better way to annoy a partner than to make constant late payments. You may think a delay of a few days isn’t significant, but it is.

Take action: Review and approve pending invoices RIGHT NOW!

10. Recognize a team member

Partnerships drive massive revenue and profit. However, sometimes the most influential people in that success get very little recognition for their incredible contributions to the company’s business. Why not take a few minutes to ensure that these individual(s) get the attention they deserve?

Take action: Identify an unsung partner hero and sing their praises to management or in a team email.

11. Make a play for more budget

Partnerships deliver outstanding return on ad spend. A recent IAB study put the average return on ad spend for an affiliate at a colossal 16:1. Shifting more investment to partnerships may be a fantastic way to improve the overall performance of the company. Why not get the ball rolling today?

Take action: Start by determining what you’d do with more budget, and then forecast potential sales. Then put together a couple of slides and a spreadsheet to show them what you could do.

Are there other fast-acting tips to improve partner and affiliate performance that have worked for you? Please share them with us in the comments.

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