Affiliate giveaways: 3 ideas for mobilizing your affiliates

Acquiring affiliates is just one piece of the puzzle – inspiring them is where you really start to see results!

What good is a team that doesn’t want to play? If you want your affiliate program efforts to be worthwhile, you want to find ways to light a proverbial fire under your affiliates (please, no real fires!)

Whether physical or digital, giveaways are exciting for many people, and affiliates are no different.

At the very least, giveaways keep affiliates paying attention to what’s going on with your brand; at most, they can be instrumental in creating a thriving affiliate program that has engaged affiliates who perform their best!

We’ve talked about affiliate empowerment and how to get dormant affiliates promoting again, so now let’s take a look at 3 giveaway ideas that you can use to mobilize your affiliates and take your affiliate program from zero to 60.

Free products

Often, affiliates are industry professionals, specialists, or influencers who have some kind of knowledge or experience in or around your niche. It’s not unusual for them to actually use your products, so giving away free products can be an effective motivator.

Hey, everyone loves free stuff, right?

Consider giving away products that normally don’t go on sale, or products that you know are particularly in-demand or relevant to certain affiliates. Remember: These giveaways can expand the reach of your affiliate promotions.

You might decide to give away 10 copies of a high-end digital product. Interested affiliates who manage to score a copy are likely to be enthusiastic about the product, since it’s particularly valuable – and they’re also able to promote something they might not otherwise have purchased or had access to in the first place.

In the end, affiliates are more engaged with marketing your business, your products get more exposure, and you make more sales!

Exclusive offers

In order for your affiliates to stand out in a crowded market, they need a competitive edge – and they know it! One way you can help them achieve this is by giving them exclusive deals that the competition just doesn’t have.

Exclusivity is a powerful tool. Things that are rare and typically out-of-reach are generally perceived as higher value, and you can use this concept to your advantage when it comes to inspiring your affiliates to get active.

Just think about how much money it costs to acquire exclusive goods, services, and experiences; from VIP tickets to limited edition products, people simply love what they can’t normally have.

Consider giving away things like:

  • Early access to new products 
  • Access to premium products 
  • Access to partner products and discounts
  • Exclusive discount codes
  • Exclusive product bundles
  • Memberships
  • Access to higher membership tiers
  • Other special offers

Cash and prizes

Last, but not least, cash and prizes are time-tested incentives for the vast majority of people – and because they have such wide appeal, they can be inspiring for all different kinds of affiliates.

From big-ticket items to events and experiences, the good news is that there are many options for these kinds of incentives.

Here are a few examples:

  • Cash
  • Vacation packages
  • Event tickets
  • Gift certificates
  • Electronics like laptops, tablets, phones, gaming systems, and other gadgets
  • Subscription boxes 
  • Gift baskets

You can even custom-tailor your giveaway contests and prize drawings to different subsets of your affiliate team.

But, isn’t a giveaway just giving away free stuff? How does the incentive work?

Technically, the basic concept of a giveaway is not competitive per se (as is the case with contests and competitions). However, that’s not to say you can’t introduce a competitive element in order for affiliates to be eligible.

For example, if you need to convert more sales for a specific product that a certain subset of your affiliate team typically promotes, you might decide to do a giveaway that appeals to them – but require their participation in a promotion in order to be entered into the sweepstakes.

You could also say that each sale they convert is equivalent to one entry – and therein lies the competitive element that gets them more engaged. This works particularly well with big-ticket prizes!

Make it count

It goes without saying that the giveaway you choose will depend on your budget; if you’re a small digital store owner, you might not be able to give away big vacation packages, for example. But, there’s usually something you can afford to give away, even if it’s just early access to new products, or free products (especially if you make digital products).

Whatever you choose, you’ll want to decide on some parameters, like how often you can afford to do giveaways, where they will make the biggest impact, and what kind of giveaways appeal most to your affiliates.

It might take a little experimentation, but the most important thing is to make your giveaways count. Don’t give away stuff all of the time without being sure that:

1) you’re using a method that actually produces results (and usually that means sales conversions), and

2) you aren’t creating an expectation of constant giveaways that actually mobilizes your affiliates less because they’re so used to it.

Pay attention to trending topics and products, too. You can make a bigger impact by tapping into the excitement around highly sought-after prizes that are rising in popularity or getting a lot of buzz in your community (or in general).

The right combination of niche appeal, timing, and exclusivity can create next-level excitement for your affiliates – and breathe life into your affiliate program!

What kind of affiliate giveaways have been the most effective for your own affiliate program? Let us know in the comments below!

Mandy Jones

About the author: Mandy Jones is a content writer at Sandhills Development and founder of Looplicious. Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she's a world traveler and animal lover with a passion for creativity and maker culture. When she’s not writing blog posts for Easy Digital Downloads, Restrict Content Pro, and AffiliateWP, she can be found hanging out with other people’s dogs, or writing, recording, and performing music.

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