I've been running affiliate programs for the last 8 years in the software as a service space (SaaS).
If your plan is to recruit affiliates and let your affiliate program run on autopilot, save your money. Neglect is the most common reason for an affiliate programs to fail.
Can an experienced affiliate drive website growth and sales? Without a doubt.
However, recruitment is just the first step, after an affiliate joins your program, you still must convince them to promote your website.
The affiliates who can really move the needle, the "Super Affiliates" will work with hundreds if not thousands of affiliate programs. These other affiliate programs are your competition.
Of the affiliates who do join your program, It's not uncommon to have over 90% never promote your product.
A major component of your affiliate manager's activity should focus on "Activating" affiliates to send affiliate traffic (and customers) to your website.
Your onboarding procedure for new affiliates should include:
* Interviews with affiliates before they are approved.
* An affiliate focused drip marketing email campaign.
* Activation bonuses / contest
I've found that an affiliate who makes one sale in their first month will sell 10x more than the average affiliate. An affiliate who makes 20 sales in their first month will sell 800x more. Your goal is to maximize the number of affiliates with sales in their first month.
Once you have identified which affiliates are driving traffic and sales it's time to look at optimizing that traffic. You'll probably have 10-20 Super Affiliates driving 70-80% of your total affiliate sales. Your affiliate manager should be speaking with these top affiliates on a regular basis, to solidify these relationships.
An investment in:
* Customized offers,
* Landing pages
For your top affiliates could result in a significant increase in traffic & sales.
If you have further questions I'd be happy to hop on a call with you.