So, you’ve set up your affiliate marketing program, found the best publishers on the market to work with, and have reaped the rewards of more traffic and customer loyalty. Now all that’s left to do is provide your publishers with new promotions and let them do the work, right?
Your affiliate marketing program requires routine maintenance and a watchful eye to function effectively. Although we’ve already published our introductory guide to maintaining your affiliate marketing program, the specific focus of this blog is on publisher policing.
Join us for a ride along as we share our top 3 tips for cracking down on affiliate crime:
Why Do You Need to Police Your Publishers?
While there are plenty of reputable affiliate publishers online today, there are also plenty of publishers willing to bend the rules to attract visitors to their own site, even if it damages their affiliate partner's reputation.
One issue we see among clients managing their own affiliate marketing programs is the publishing of unauthorized coupons or deals. Some affiliate sites allow users to post their own deals, meaning that promo code you send via email for special customers now appears online for anyone to find. Another common occurrence is the posting of fake or outdated promo codes, which can reflect badly on your brand when a shopper finds it and tries to use in on your ecommerce website.
So what can you do to clean up the mean streets of affiliate marketing?
3 Tips for Better Publisher Policing
1. Know Your Affiliate Program
This might seem like a given, but there are a lot of details in an affiliate marketing program that can slip through the cracks if you’re not paying attention.
Here at Informatics, we focus on maintaining full documentation of your company’s current and past affiliate offers, including:
- Start and end dates
- Website links
- Product-specific SKUs
- Unique coupon codes
Having detailed records will help you stay on top of your program and help prevent any confusion with your publisher when discussing particular codes or deals.
It’s also important to know how your chosen affiliate marketing platform works, and what you can expect. An affiliate platform we regularly use here at Informatics is CJ.com. Through CJ you can manage your affiliate links, review publishers, and more. CJ also serves as a great resource when trying to contact publishers. The platform also allows you to search for publishers already in your network and find new ones available for recruiting.
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2. Communicate With Your Publishers
When it comes to building great relationships with your affiliate partners, we know good communication is everything.
Sending out weekly updates on your current promotions can help keep you and your publishers on the same page. Include details such as promotion titles, website links, and start and end dates to ensure consistency between publisher’s various websites. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have any questions, or raise any issues that you spotted in the previous week.
3. Review Your Top Affiliate Partners Regularly
Consider keeping a list of your top publishers and reviewing their listed offers for your business weekly to root out any false deals that could potentially lead customers elsewhere. This is also a great way to identify your top sources of affiliate revenue, and spot any inconsistencies in their reporting to you.
It’s not easy cleaning up an affiliate marketing program that hasn’t been well maintained, but you can do it with the right communications and documentation. Of course, if you’d rather leave that work to us, we’re happy to do the heavy lifting and let you focus on the affiliate dollars rolling in. Reach out and let us know how we can help get your program back on track.