Affiliate marketing thrives on relationships, but what makes a good relationship? Good rapport, for one thing!

Your affiliates are on your team; they’re the people putting their own names and brands on the line to bring you more sales. But, it can be easy to forget that affiliates are people, too – and the truth is, getting personal with them is paramount if you want to truly empower them.

In this post, we discuss the importance of getting to know your affiliates, and how it can actually benefit your affiliate program.

Creating your dream team

One of the most important aspects of running an affiliate program is making sure that the affiliates you bring on board are the right match for your program. This not only makes your campaigns more effective; it also reduces the time and energy you need to spend dealing with affiliates who are the wrong match – not to mention the lost revenue!

Knowing who your affiliates really are and what they’re all about lets you more quickly and accurately identify those who aren’t fitting in quite right, and helps you develop a profile to look for when searching for quality affiliates. Want to identify your ideal affiliate? Get to know your top performers better, so you can use them as a reference for recruitment.

Affiliate performance and loyalty

Making mental notes about your affiliates, their brands, what they stand for, and the things they’re motivated by also gives you a lot to work with when rewarding and incentivizing them. Plus, it shows them that you are invested in their success and that you’re there to support them if they need it.

Ultimately, you’re creating a symbiotic relationship that makes everyone involved feel inspired to do a good job.

What about loyalty? Well, building a solid connection with your affiliates is a surefire way to make sure they feel valued. And let’s be honest: loyal affiliates who know that they’re appreciated (and that they’re actually making a difference) are simply more likely to work hard, perform better, and stay with you for the long-haul.

Your affiliates can be the best sources of information

In addition to being better and more committed team members, the affiliates you build rapport with are especially helpful when it comes to testing out new promotions, providing feedback, and giving you other useful insights. Want to find out the opinions of your affiliates, and the opinions of their audiences? You’ll have an easier time acquiring this information if you already have a good connection with them.

You might want to find out what communities your affiliates are a part of, so that you can fine-tune your marketing strategies and create appropriate creatives, for example. Affiliates who feel like there’s a comfortable line of communication with you can also be especially insightful when it comes to providing feedback, such as their favorite tips and strategies for high-converting social media posts (for example).

All of this knowledge can be applied to other affiliates, so that everyone is set up to succeed – and you see results!

On the topic of affiliate success…

Don’t forget that your affiliates are essentially your sales team; they’re the ambassadors of your brand, and they could very well be the first point of contact that their audiences have with your brand. This means that it’s critically important for them to be well-informed about your products – and as prepared as possible to promote them.

When you know your affiliates well, you’re better able to educate them – especially one-on-one. Plus, as a general rule, communication is simply more fluid and effective when you’re better acquainted with people.

Choosing the right promotions

Understanding your affiliates and their niches is one of the best ways you can be sure that you’re choosing the right products and campaigns for them. You should know what applies to them and what doesn’t before giving them promotions to run with.

Maybe there’s a certain type of product that would really delight an affiliate’s audience, but you might not be aware of it if you don’t know much about them. Complacency might save you time, but it won’t make you money!

Making the best affiliate creatives

Want to make more effective creatives for your affiliates? Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach (which can lead to missed opportunities, or even inappropriate creatives that don’t convert), take advantage of diversity; get to know your affiliates better and customize your creatives for relevance to seriously boost sales conversions.

When you know your team, it’s a lot easier to make creatives that jive with their brands, and generally perform better. In other words, get personal to help them help you!

Embrace the concept of leadership

Teamwork and relationships are everything when it comes to affiliate marketing, so the importance of getting to know your affiliates better cannot be understated. Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it may take time to get to know your affiliates in a truly meaningful way.

Embracing your leadership role means taking the initiative. As the captain of your ship, it’s your job to find out what you can do to better support your affiliates – and personalize their experience, too. It’s up to you to take advantage of all that your affiliates have to offer, and figure out how to utilize it to grow and strengthen your affiliate program!

What insights do you have to share when it comes to getting to know your affiliates? Did we miss something? Leave us a comment below!

Mandy Jones

About the author: Mandy Jones is a product marketing specialist at Sandhills Development, a music maker, and digital product creator. A Minnesota native, she's a frequent traveler and animal lover with a passion for creative work and digital business. When she’s not writing blog posts and doing other marketing stuff for Easy Digital Downloads and AffiliateWP, she can often be found hanging out with other people’s pets.


  1. Mandy, know that I’ve read all your post on this site. I’m just setting up an affiliate program for our own product, so I needed some instructions. 🙂

    I find it to be unique that you make music and write content marketing, these seem like totally opposed careers. Kudos for you, for working hard. And thanks for writing the informative articles. I noticed you guys have started on this strategy recently, while prior to this it was all about product updates. If that is all you, good work! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much for the support and kind words, Andu! For me, content marketing, affiliate marketing, digital products, and music are all connected, as I sell music-related products and work in eCommerce.

      Best of luck with your product and affiliate program! I’d love to hear how it’s going!

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