Another way to offer this is to offer affiliates-only teleseminars. These can be useful for both getting free information to the affiliates and for creating a team atmosphere that generates loyalty. Teleseminars also personalize the vendor’s company in a way that emails can not. Teleseminars offer a face to virtual face meeting that may be the affiliate’s first look at a human being in charge of the product. If time is of the essence in your business, outsourcing this set up may be worth looking into. If you do not otherwise have a way of setting up a teleseminar or don’t have the time, there are several websites that provide this service and make it quick and easy to set up.
Sending out reports as bonuses may also be appreciated by affiliates. These bonus reports should be full of information that will be useful to the vendor. This may include reports that are related to the product, such as updated or revised information. They can also be reports that pertain to affiliate tools that will help the affiliate to make more frequent sales. Anything that you don’t have to send out, but will be helpful to the affiliate, is a bonus. To come up with new bonuses, take some time to think about what kind of information you would want if you were affiliate.
One of the simplest, but perhaps most time consuming, ways to keep affiliates happy is to respond to their questions, comments and complaints. Have affiliate emails answered as quickly as possible, with personable and encouraging responses. Sometimes an affiliate will have a complaint, but try to take it as constructive criticism and it may just help to make your business stronger. If several affiliates are having similar complaints, you might consider making some changes. An affiliate just wants to make money, and what makes them money makes you money, so pay attention to their needs.
When complaints come in, remember that you and the affiliate are working toward a common goal. Answering countless affiliate emails does take time away from other aspects of the business, but looking for affiliates to replace the ones you loose through complacency will doubtless take more time than the correspondence. You have a lot invested in your affiliate network, so make sure that you aren’t losing members by neglecting something as simple as emails. It is also helpful to be available by phone for those affiliates who prefer to do business that way. An 800 number will make that contact easy for those affiliates. Be available to affiliates and they will come to you for help when they have a problem instead of leaving the network for greener pastures.
Affiliates will appreciate the guidance, support and tools that you have to offer, but in the end, let the affiliate find his own way to promote the product. Micromanaging can result in a diminished enthusiasm that can result in decreased sales. If affiliates are left to their own creativity in promotion, they may come up with ways to make sales that will surprise you. Let them be their own boss, while you offer the tools to make that happen.
Being available for support is also a selling point for getting more affiliates to join your network. Many affiliate programs now advertise their availability to network members as a reason to join. And, to affiliates who are just beginning, that may be one of the best selling points available to you.
Part of the communication between you and the affiliates is to let them know when something goes wrong. If your site is down or the affiliate software has a glitch, let the affiliates know up front. The affiliates will be much more forgiving if the affiliate manager lets them know right away and apologizes for the inconvenience. Discovering glitches on their own and being left to wonder whether their sales are being tracked will do anything but build loyalty. Letting the affiliates know up front means they know you are aware of the problem and will be rectifying it.
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Jim Musselwhite is an internet marketer with a wide array of diverse, authoritative information sites including Affiliate Management Formula and Your Affiliate Team and Local Search Authority