1. Running your program on auto-pilot
Affiliate programs require management and optimization. It’s possible to allow affiliates to sign up for your program and access affiliate links, but that isn’t enough. Simply setting up your affiliate software and expecting the program to grow on its own is unrealistic. Affiliate management takes time and effort. If you don’t put in the required time, it will show in the success of your program.
2. Reducing commissions
Reducing commissions after an affiliate signed up might cause some affiliates to become demotivated. It might cause affiliates to stop promoting your product or service, and in some cases, they may leave your program. Commission rates are a predominant factor in why an affiliate chooses to join your program vs. your competitors. Many affiliates invest more than just time. They invest money, and reductions in commissions is an overall negative experience. Before launching your program, plan out your affiliate commission plan and potential incentives or bonuses to avoid needing to reduce commissions over time.
3. Late notice for promotions
Affiliates need time to plan and implement your promotions. It takes time for affiliates to set up banners, write content for their blog or newsletters, and get social media posts ready. Provide advanced notice of upcoming promotions in a monthly newsletter.
4. Late payments to affiliates
Not paying affiliates according to your affiliate agreement reduces your affiliate’s confidence. Affiliates invest time and money to promote your services and expect payment based on the agreed terms. Set a day on the calendar to pay all affiliates who reached the minimum payout amount.
5. Making changes that impact affiliate’s links
Affiliates don’t want to update all of their affiliate links. Over time affiliates add their links to blog posts, social media, articles, newsletters, and many other places. Having to swap out links is a pain. Launch your program with a trusted and respected affiliate service (such as LeadDyno). Doing so reduces the chances of requiring affiliates to swap out all of their affiliate links in the future.
6. Not treating affiliates as business partners
Building strong relationships with affiliates will help you achieve your affiliate program goals quicker. It is more than both parties following the terms and conditions of the affiliate program. Learn from your top affiliates and figure out how you can help them be successful. Work towards a common goal of increased revenues for both your business and the affiliate.
7. Slow application approvals
When an affiliate applies to your program, the odds are they are excited to start promoting your products or services. Application reviews that take days or weeks will reduce the chance that the affiliate remains enthusiastic about promoting your product or service. Often, affiliates will join programs because they have an immediate need for a specific type of product to include in a newsletter or promotion. Don’t delay in affiliate application reviews and onboarding. Let affiliates know if they are the right fit for your program as soon as possible.
8. Not responding to affiliate queries
Affiliates will have questions about your program before or after joining your program. They might be time-sensitive based on promotions. Not getting replies from an affiliate manager is demotivating.
9. Not monitoring or policing your program
Fraud is not uncommon and results in a direct reduction in revenue and can jeopardize your brand’s reputation. Start your affiliate program with well-defined affiliate terms and conditions and make sure to enforce the rules. Don’t get scammed by bad affiliates. The easiest way to monitor your affiliate program is to monitor your brand online and review your affiliate traffic and sales for any inconsistencies.
10. Limited communication with affiliates
Affiliates need continued engagement. Setup a promotion calendar, send affiliate newsletters, set up automated drip sequences to inform and educate your affiliates. Communicate with affiliates as a group or individually at least once a month, preferably every other week or more, depending on your promotion schedule.