What are Affiliates Looking for in an Offer?
It’s a logical question to ask, and one that may be slightly more complex than you first think…
Let’s set out a few ground rules first. These conclusions are based around an affiliates mindset. Of course they would always have a second thought on what the customer is thinking and even the advertiser’s expectations (you would hope the latter is true) but this is to try and understand the inner-workings of an affiliate to hopefully provide them with the perfect pool of offers, 24-7.
Perhaps the most logical place to start our journey. Price shouldn’t simply be an exercise in getting the highest CPL/CPA possible. An affiliate will always be split testing one offer against the potential earnings of another, even if they are not media buying. Take a theoretical site owner for example; they own a comparison site focusing on home improvement companies. As their account manager you notice they are running the Everest Windows affiliate offer at the top of their home page. A light bulb moment happens and you realise you have a similar Anglian offer you can offer them for £20 more per lead. Unfortunately that’s not always going to cut it. You would have to be confident the offer converts as well as its alternative. Any exposure you give Anglian on their home page may be taken away from the high performing Everest Scrappage offer. The key metric to think about here is their ‘earnings per impression’ or ‘earnings per click’. Regardless of the lead price, how much would this campaign make for an affiliate for every view of the ad and ever click they send to the landing page.
This is another very important element to the success of a campaign. I have had many a friendly bet in our office suggesting a campaign would perform very well or crash and burn due to the look and feel of a landing page. An offer can have all the promise in the world but if the customer at any stage of the online journey feels unsure, confused, misled, they will inevitably disappear from the brand never to return. An affiliate will always have their opinion and will likely test many landing pages to build on their own knowledge. And trust me, both your opinion and that of your affiliates will be proven wrong every so often. If you ever want to get your head around some key tips for an effective landing page layout I always refer to this article (among others of course). There will never be one perfect format but these are three good points to start with.
Communication with the advertiser:
Lets put the landing page to the side for a minute. In my personal experience one of the key reasons an offer succeeds with an affiliate isn’t always the offer alone. The speed and willingness an advertiser has to work with their affiliates has a huge impact on its likelihood of success. I have talked about the need to split test and experiment above, and this also applies to the advertisers. They have the ability to change their own landing pages, pass on permission to tweak email creatives to improve delivery for mailers, or quickly approve splash pages for Facebook ads. They can have a huge influence over the potential revenue generated by all. And let’s not forget their ability to increase commissions for any individual affiliate delivering a strong ROI. I have seen first-hand how an advertisers willingness to help their affiliates really helps drive consistent volume. Loyalty always pays in business; the affiliate industry is no different.