Affiliate Program Evaluation: Getting Back to Profitability and Growth
The affiliate space is a dynamic, competitive, and fast-paced environment. However, the fundamentals within the affiliate industry remain the same; know your product, know the customer, and produce enticing offers throughout the year that engage and encourage conversions.
But what if your affiliate program is no longer thriving? Perhaps you’ve had other business objectives that have taken priority and you find that you’re no longer growing within the affiliate space. How can you ensure your program is profitable, competitive, and growing alongside the industry? Here’s how:
Stage 1 – Analysis of Your Current Program Using Existing Data
If you don’t analyse you don’t learn, and if you don’t learn you can’t grow. It’s imperative to identify, dissect, and actualize your data using knowledge of not only the affiliate space but the digital landscape in full. There are several steps to ensure you conduct a…
1. Program Overview (YTD, YoY, MoM)
2. Analysis of Your Publisher List
- Optimize growth partners.
- Re-engage with inactive click/sales affiliates.
- Removal of inactive affiliates (no response within 1 month).
- Strategic recruitment of new publishers based on the analysis.
3. Review and Analyse Promotional Activity
- Paid Placements
4. SWOT Analysis (Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats.)
5. Highlight Key Learnings and Create New Objectives
6. Identify a New Strategy to Assist with Achieving Your Objectives
Stage 2 – Identify Your Position
Know the affiliate channels position within the company’s overall business objectives. Ensure objectives are in line with company goals and internal marketing strategies; this ensures everyone is reaching for the same result. Sharing this information is key for success, ensuring all management teams are on the same page (client, agency, and network) to drive program growth and profitability.
Not only does your affiliate strategy have to be in line with your internal strategy, it needs to be in line with the industry too (e.g. being ITP2 compliant). Create a strategy with goals and objectives that apply pressure to competitors within the market, be a leader. Perform an analysis of your top competitors and understand their focal points and business objectives. Then you can propel and diversify your strategy based on industry knowledge and your positioning against competitors.
Stage 3 – Organisation to Ensure Execution
Once you have identified your strategy ensure you plan for regular analysis and reviewal of the program and its performance. Having a time scale in place helps to keep track of progression and allows for adjustments to be made in real-time to ensure profitability and growth.
Review > Identify > Learn > Adapt > Repeat.
All in all, it takes dedication and time to grow and develop an affiliate program into a profitable revenue stream. Once you identify how your customer is shopping and where they can find your promotional activity, you’re on the right track. It’s as simple as that.