How Networks Can Motivate Affiliates – By Bobbi Leach

by FeedFront Staff on March 17, 2010

Like all sales professionals, affiliates are primarily motivated by financial incentives. Contests and commission hikes are good examples of strategies that work.

 Affiliates can also be inspired by anything that can help them make more money faster and more easily. With this in mind, here are seven strategies that will energize your affiliates to sell.

 1. Contests: Creating a Buzz

 Contests are one of the most effective ways to get affiliates to sell merchant’s products. The most effective contests use a strong hook and have clear, concise rules.

 Big-bang cash prizes work well as incentives. You can also try running contests that offer more meaningful prizes than cash alone. Anything that provides an added emotional dimension— like trips to exotic locations, exciting events, and cool gadgets and toys— is great for building affiliate ties. You can also try using competitive games and interactive, task-based challenges to enrich the contest experience.

 2. Higher Commissions: Making Your Product Competitive

 If another competitor is offering 60% commission on a given product, and you only pay out at 50%, you’ve got a problem. The best way to make sure your rates will get the attention of affiliates is to match or better your competition’s commission rates.  If increasing commission is not an option, you can ensure that your site converts higher than your competitor and tout that fact to your affiliates.

 3. Commission Scales: Pump It Up

 Commission scales are the financial incentives that a network has in place to spur its affiliates towards achieving greater sales numbers. Examples include bonuses and commission percentage increases, awarded to an affiliate when they reach specific preset milestones.

 For example, when an affiliate reaches X number of unit sales per month, they receive an X percent commission increase on that product.

 4. Payment Frequency: Flexibility Means Profitability

 Flexible payment options are popular with affiliates. For example, offering weekly payments to your top-performing affiliates puts a more readily available cash-flow in their hands, which they can then sink back into their marketing efforts on a more consistent basis.

 5. Compelling Data: Show Them The Money!

 Show your affiliates hard data upfront that quantifies why your product is worth their time and effort; data that proves a selected product will be lucrative for them to promote. High-conversion rates are the most compelling numbers to share, as well as traffic volumes and low refund rates. Providing your affiliates with this data is especially effective when pitching them to sell a product that is new to them.

 6. Creative Services: Making Affiliates More Effective

 Offering creative services like product landing page design, micro-sites and other complementary marketing collateral makes your affiliates more efficient and effective. It also makes affiliates feel good. This is a simple customer-service strategy that works by eliminating tasks usually handled directly by the affiliates, in turn giving them more time to sell.

 7. Account Support: 

 When you offer strong account support, your affiliates feel confident that they can meet any challenge. The best programs provide their affiliates with educational and problem-solving resources tailored to the demands of a product’s niche. Account support includes tutorials, training materials, articles, videos, Webinars, and more.


Bobbi Leach is Director of Business Development at RevenueWire (

Download the entire FeedFront issue 9 here –
FeedFront issue 9 articles can be found here as well: