Affiliate Applications – What to Look For!
As you see Affiliate applications roll in, you may be left wondering, “what should I be looking for?”
Combing through these applications and deciding which Affiliates are the best fit for your program might seem a bit overwhelming at times – especially considering that new programs may receive, on average, 80 new applications a month! To help ease this task, I’ve provided a few tips on things to look for when reviewing your Affiliate applications.
Best Practices – Affiliate Application Review
Rule #1, be sure to review your Affiliate applications on a regular basis. Affiliates will apply for your program when they have an interest or inspiration to promote your product. If their application status is not updated within a few days, that interest is likely going to dwindle by the time the program approval comes through. Also, a quick response will leave a good first impression with your applicants and let them know that you and the program will be responsive going forward.
Do they have a live/active site?
Does the site have working links?
Do they have a clean site void of any subject matter you may disprove of?
Do they fit the criteria of your program agreement?
Also For Consideration:
Current status – Limited vs. Full
Full status = Affiliate has generated at least $50 in commissions from the Merchant programs they are signed up with and have received at least one check from ShareASale. If an Affiliate is at Full status, you know that they have done at least some activity with the network.
Limited = Affiliate has not yet generated a minimum of $50 in commissions. Could be an indication that they are either just starting out or not very active. An application with a limited status might warrant a more comprehensive review.
Things to Remember:
The country listed is the Affiliate’s place of origin and not necessarily where the Affiliate is targeted with their marketing. Affiliates are registered from countries all around the world and many are building sites for the U.S. consumer. So for example, if an Affiliate is from France it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be sending you traffic from France. If you have restrictions on where your product or service can be shipped internationally, check the Affiliate’s site to see who the target audience is for their site.
Often, Affiliates build networks of sites and only list a handful of those sites in their account information. This is especially the case with Affiliates that build niche sites. They may have hundreds of websites, but the Merchant only sees one or two examples listed in the Affiliate’s details. If an Affiliate’s site seems totally unrelated to what your product is, then this is likely the case. They may have an idea for a new site they have in mind for marketing your product.
Don’t be shy about contacting the Affiliate and inquiring further if you have any questions about how your two sites might work together. It’s not unusual for Merchants to ask an Affiliate about how they intend to promote their product or service.
When you change an Affiliate’s status, there are auto-reply emails which you can populate that will be sent out when an Affiliate applies, is approved or declined. Be sure to check out your current reply emails in your Edit Settings page to ensure you have an effective message. Looking for some tips on how to create a strong reply email? Click HERE
Should you decide that you would like to change the status of your Affiliate down the road, you can do so from the Affiliate’s detail page. The only time you are unable to change an Affiliate’s status is if they are removed from the program.
You may decide that certain Affiliate criteria will prompt you to always take a specific action. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to check out our Custom Affiliate Approval Rules tool which allows merchants to set up specific parameters and actions to take. This can be a real time saver for program management.
In A Nutshell:
If you decide an Affiliate is not a good fit for your program. It is totally within your right to decline that application. In your account, there is space to include an automated email response to your declined applications. Just like the reply email for approved and pending Affiliates, you can supply an automated email for declines or you can email the Affiliate directly one by one if you want to provide further explanation about their specific application.
Follow these simple considerations and tips on what to look for in Affiliate applications and you should have a strong base of Affiliates in no time!