Getting the Most from Your Network
Improved ROI, new lead generation and remarketing opportunities are just a few reasons why so many advertisers offer partner programs. The sole purpose of a partner program is to churn an additional profit. Setting up a partner program is the easy part; managing it for profitability is more difficult. Money-making programs are expertly managed on all levels, from courting and keeping A-List partners to knowing what makes the competition tick. Here are four easy tips for squeezing every ounce of profit from your program.
Study Your Competition. Understand their brands, keyword lists, marketing strategies and target audience. Research your competitors’ reputation among both customers and partners. Dig up everything you can about competing partner programs in terms of commissions paid, incentives offered, the number of partners enrolled, and the application process. Find what your competition is missing and aim to fill that breach by asking, “How can my program differentiate itself from the competition?”
Get Creative and Fun. Offer the best creativity around, and then step out of the way and let your partners do their thing. People love choices, so make sure your partners have plenty when it comes to social signals, social marketing platforms, keyword lists, banner ads and target markets. Think flexible, fresh and relevant. Motivate your partners by hosting fun competitions and creating a tiered incentive program. Remember that as you build your network, you are also building your reputation as a quality partner network.
Stay Connected. Partners are not employees; they are business partners. As such, they deserve to have access to any information that will help them sell your products and services. At the minimum, the partner section of your website should describe your program clearly and provide information on commission levels, incentives, the partner review process, performance measures and company contacts. Beyond that, your weekly partner newsletter should contain relevant information about industry changes, upcoming promotions, sales contests, and new products and services. Lastly, let your partners know you appreciate their efforts by responding quickly, appropriately and personally to applications, questions, ideas and complaints.
Be Selective. Focus on the quality of your partners, not the quantity. After all, they are representing your brand. Think about the qualities you want to see in your partners and review each application by those characteristics. Approve only those who meet or exceed those standards. Going forward, actively monitor your partners’ performance, and don’t be afraid to cut partners who slack off or can’t seem to pull it together. Your program is only as strong as your partners.