Spring Cleaning Your Affiliate Program

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring, which means spring cleaning is just around the corner.

You probably associate a good spring cleaning with scrubbing tiles and bleaching everything, but it’s also a great time to give your affiliate marketing program a deep clean. After all, how recently have you cleaned up the following:

Your publishers: There could be dozens, if not hundreds, of publishers in your affiliate program lying dormant. Make time to check in on those partners that haven’t driven at least one click or order for the last six months or year, and find out how you can work with them to drive value for your program. Would an incentive campaign encourage them to post about you? Do they require an increased commission rate for you to be competitive with similar brands? Having this conversation is the first step in rekindling the relationship that brought them to your program in the first place. In the event they’re no longer interested in being your partner, now you know – and you can focus your efforts on the publishers who are most excited to work with you.

Your creative: If you comb through all the banners and text links you currently have live, you will likely find some outdated ones. Set aside some time to go through each and confirm whether the information is still accurate. Whether you’ve updated your logo or changed your shipping threshold, swapping in the correct creative means your publishers will have the most up-to-date information, thus ensuring a consistent brand experience. It’s also worth checking to see which creative is driving the most traffic and/or sales for you so you can home in on what’s working best for your program. For instance, if no one has clicked on the 397 x 82 banners you’ve historically added to the dashboard, your design team could probably make better use of their time by making sizes that people are clicking on.

Your terms and conditions: Remember those terms and conditions you meticulously drafted when your affiliate program launched? Probably not. Coordinate time with your legal team to review your terms and conditions to make sure everything is accurate and clear for your partners. Be sure to update anything that has changed from your cancellation process to your TM+ policy and everything in between. It’s important to note that within the Rakuten affiliate dashboard, you can only update your terms once per month. Modifying your terms and conditions will alert publishers in your program that there has been an update, so you will likely have some of them reach out to you for additional detail on what has changed. This, in turn, gives you an opportunity to reengage them to find out what’s new with them and which audiences are engaging more with their content.

Much like a sparkling clean house, a sparkling clean affiliate program is a source of pride. Take good care of it, and remember (in both cases) – you don’t have to wait until spring for a good scrub!

Katie England has been with Rakuten Advertising for over 5 years, and she is currently working as a Manager, Strategic Services. In this role, she consults with current and prospective clients on how to make the most of our product suite. She is based out of Tampa, FL, though likes to spend her free time travelling (or planning her next trip). When she’s at home, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two dogs.
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