Does your affiliate program have 50% or more of its total revenue being driven from just two to three publisher partners? Answering “yes” to this question confirms an overreliance on those revenue-generators to power your affiliate success and creates unnecessary risk for your program—think: changes to your promotional strategy that impact discount-oriented partners, competitive commission rates from like-brands or shifts in the status of your partner relationship, just to name a few.
To be an effective marketer, you must be present where your customer is—regardless of your promotional strategy—whether that means it’s the first time they’re seeing your message or they’re all ready to make the purchase. Embracing a diversified affiliate program enables this omnipresence but to convert your target audience, you need to vary the partner types you work with to appear across their entire path to purchase. A critical component to uncovering the right partner types that will help you extend your audience reach involves recruiting and onboarding new publisher partners that are right for your program.
However, before starting your recruitment and onboarding efforts, it’s important to establish an effective strategy to execute based on your company goals and objectives. Considerations should center around the overall goal for your affiliate program. Is this goal to obtain new customers? Increase brand awareness? Or, is the goal to drive top-line revenue? Target partner types that align to your specific goals and establish a timeline for onboarding them to effectively diversify not only your partner types but also your revenue drivers.
When setting your recruitment goals, keep them realistic and manageable. For example, if you have content partner representation in your program already, adding three new content partners per month for three months is a good starting point. If you don’t currently have content partners in your program, your goal should be more aggressive by targeting five to six content partners per month. But be sure you also consider the audience size or reach of the publisher you are targeting. The larger the reach, the bigger the potential. It is not to say that a potential partner with a smaller audience size isn’t valuable—they are—but reach will ultimately dictate the incrementality gained from each new partner.
After identifying your program diversification goals, seek partnerships that drive to those KPIs. Discover, Pepperjam’s recruitment module, lets you automate the discovery and activation of right-fit partnerships, a cumbersome task in legacy affiliate networks. The module lets you easily find, recruit and activate partners not only from within the platform, but from beyond Ascend™ for limitless recruitment capabilities that don’t inhibit opportunity. The module uses data-driven partner recommendations as well as extensive filtering functionality that drills into social footprint, demographic, average monthly site visits and more—transparency that helps you to easily find and convert your target audience at scale.
The next factor to consider is who you should target. Remember, the objective is to grow affiliate revenue while reducing your dependence on 2-3 publisher partners. For our purposes here, let’s assume that the goals are to drive new-to-file (NTF) customers, increase brand awareness and drive top-line revenue. So, if your organization is a women’s clothing brand, for example, start your search in Discover by using keywords such as ‘women’s clothing’, ‘women’s shoes’, etc. Remember, you can easily toggle between partners that are already joined to Ascend™ or the Explore Prospects feature which enables you to choose from limitless partnerships available across the broader digital ecosystem. After you identify partners you want to work with, simply click ‘recruit’.
Partners you’ve recruited then populate into Discover’s dashboard, an exclusive view depicting affiliate recruitment phases and path to sign-up insights. The dashboard lets you easily measure recruitment workflow effectiveness, prompt pending partner approval and view results for active partnerships—actionable workflow insights that reduce the time to publisher partners becoming revenue-active.
Ensuring you have a rich, diversified mix of publisher partners relieves overreliance on just a few and minimizes unnecessary risk for your program. To learn more about how you can effectively reach wider audiences with right-fit publisher partners, visit us here.