Recently we’ve been discussing the importance of partnership and community when it comes to running a successful affiliate program – and one of the most fundamental components of this is personalization.

Empowering your affiliates is crucial if you want them to go above and beyond to help your program thrive, but personalization is about more than just incentive; it’s what makes your affiliates feel a valued. Whether you’re trying to improve conversions, boost affiliate loyalty, or get the most from your marketing efforts, personalization can make a big difference to you, your affiliates, and their audiences.

In this post we cover some of the top ways you can personalize your affiliates’ experience so everyone benefits!

1. Get to know them

How can you give your affiliates a more personal experience without knowing who they are and what they’re all about? Getting to know them better not only helps you decipher which affiliates are best for promoting certain products; it also strengthens your relationship with them – something that’s essential for the long-term success of your program!

As with any team of people, it’s important to know what you’ve got to work with, from your affiliates’ strengths and weaknesses to their future potential and areas of interest and expertise. Taking inventory can help you organize and streamline your efforts – like your communications, support, campaigns, and creatives – all while making the experience more personalized for your affiliates.

2. Segment your affiliates

Relevance is perhaps the biggest secret weapon of successful affiliate programs – and it can result in significant gains in revenue if properly used. Segmenting your affiliates is one effective way to increase the relevance of your marketing efforts, offers, information, and resources, as it keeps the “right stuff” going to the appropriate place. Since affiliates only want to see what is actually relevant them, honoring their niches, audiences, and areas of interest and expertise can produce better results for you – and cut down on wasted time and energy!

For example, you might decide to break up your affiliate mailing list into different segments based on niche (such as online education, self development, career development), method (such as bloggers and content sites, search engine marketers, YouTube product reviewers, Instagram influencers), target demographic, or performance. This way, you can easily issue segment-specific communications, special deals, and incentives that are more likely to gain traction than if they were indiscriminately distributed.

Maybe you want to offer your top performing affiliates a special commission rate, or you have specific creatives that work particularly well for YouTube product reviewers, or you have a great product that is relevant to a certain niche. Segmentation can make the affiliate experience much more personalized and relevant, which means your affiliates will be much more inspired to open your emails and participate in your program.

3. Personalize your communications

When it comes to affiliate emails, the competition can be fierce! Affiliates often have access to a variety of potentially lucrative options coming straight to their inboxes every day, so what’s going to make them want to click on yours? Well, personalization is a good start. Something as simple as a personalized subject line / greeting can be enough to catch an affiliate’s eye, but it shouldn’t necessarily stop there.

Have you already gotten to know your affiliates? Show them by referencing their own content, business, or niche; for example, “With your recent article on [topic], we thought you might be interested in promoting our latest product,” or “We’ve got an upcoming sale on our [product] that your [niche] audience will love”. Remember: your affiliates are busy, just like everyone else, so the more relevant you can make your communications, the more they will want to engage (and promote).

If you’ve segmented your affiliates, you can easily direct relevant communications to different groups. Affiliate newsletters are a prime example; you might decide to send a welcome newsletter to your new affiliates, or a contest announcement to your dormant affiliates to get them to start promoting again. There are a variety of possibilities for personalizing your newsletters and getting more action from your affiliates!

4. Customize creatives and marketing materials

If you want to get your affiliates off and running quickly, custom creatives can do the trick! Leaving all of the creative work to your affiliates can present a barrier to their engagement, but providing custom banners, graphics, and landing pages makes it easy for them to promote your products right away. This kind of personalization can give affiliates a sense of ownership in your program, as well as the motivating factor of knowing you’re behind them, supporting them with quality creatives that they can use as fresh content for their own audiences.

Have a series of products that are perfect for your lifestyle blogger affiliates? Try including pre-written content (embedded with affiliate links) that they can quickly add to their posts and pages. You might even give them suggestions for relevant keywords, phrases, and examples for how to market the products!

Make the connection

Personalizing the affiliate experience is about creating a connection between you and your affiliates so that they feel valued, included, supported, and empowered to do their best. Taking the time to get to know who your affiliates are, segmenting them into specialized groups, communicating with them in a personalized manner, and giving them custom creatives all help to create an affiliate program that is inviting and motivating for your affiliates – and that’s great news for sales!

What strategies have you used to create a more personal experience for your affiliates? Do you have anything to add? Leave us a comment below!

Mandy Jones

About the author: Mandy is a content writer, founder of Looplicious, and music artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her free time, she enjoys globetrotting, cuddly animals, memes, and mischief.

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