Within affiliation marketing, there are usually three stakeholders; advertiser, network and publisher. I often hear stories about advertisers that have little to no time to invest in their relationship with the publisher while I feel this is one of the most underrated and important factors in this field of marketing. In this article, I explain why I believe a close relationship between all three stakeholders is key for success!
For all who don’t know affiliate marketing a very very quick piece of insight. The publisher is the one that has a website with content. The publisher forwards people to the website of the advertiser (a webshop), using the technology from the network to track behaviour. In most cases, publishers get rewarded a commission from the advertiser if the visitor sent by them performs a purchase or action (buying something, signing up for a newsletter, doing a quote or just a visit). The network gets a small cut as well for supplying the technology.
Often the network is the first line of contact for both parties; advertisers have a deal with the networks while the publishers sign up at the websites of the networks and then apply to be approved at the advertiser.
The triangle of communication
During my last talk at the affiliate blogger sessions, I explained the “triangle of communication“. The basis of this triangle is to show the need for close relationships between the three different stakeholders. I believe that sharing synergies, experiences and having regular contact will increase effectiveness on the daily operations and tactical decisions of all three partners which will have a positive impact on conversion and cooperation it will in the end; result in more money for less effort done and with less white noise between the parties.
So? Next steps?
To all advertisers; go after your publisher partners. Not only the top 10 but go after the top 100. Talk business, share developments at your company with them: New products? New branding campaigns? Other stuff that’s relevant for your partner? Share, share & share!
I once turned an almost dead partnership around by having twice per week calls with this partner where we talked about deals; promotions and cooperations in the broadest sense. It resulted in a growth of inbound traffic and increased conversions while the time and effort I had to put into my operational duties with this partner decreased immensely.
Should this apply to all publishers?
I am afraid its impossible for retailers and networks to know all of their publishers personally and to keep up the close relationship between them. This obviously also applies to the networks who have a dual function here. I’d go after the top 100 at least but if you have time; why not invest in the smaller players who often don’t require a lot of time from you to show a bit more of effort.
Investing in your publisher partners
In travel affiliation, I have met plenty of publishers that tell me they have very little to no contact with their advertiser partners. Often, questions have to be submitted by tickets. In an industry that’s changing faster than a blink of the eye when it comes to prices, market developments and other external factors I believe its essential that there is regular contact among these parties.
Time to put your most important partners and networks under the speed-dial of your phone and to have regular talks on whatever is important at that time. The result will be more traffic, more sales and less time investment required. promised!