Make your Affiliate Program more attractive for Publishers to promote you.

To generate adhesion and interest in your brand new Affiliate Program, you need to work in a structured way.
Start by putting yourself in the affiliate’s shoes that will make his due-diligence and inquire about you before applying to your program.

Ask yourself:

  1. Am I looking attractive?
  2. Is my product attractive?
  3. Do I inspire stability and trust?
  4. Is my Program competitive?
  5. Do I have the necessary structure to support my affiliates?
  6. Would managing my program through a Network be more effective?
  7. Am I relatable?

1. A brand needs to look attractive to an affiliate.

While checking you out, an affiliate will always go to your website and get its first impression.

Therefore your website needs to be an immediate turn-on in its looks, content, and” professional feel.”

An affiliate is looking for this spontaneous confidence feeling that he will be able to generate traffic to your website and that traffic will stick.

Your websites have to be designed to build trust, as in our case, buying a house is one of the most expensive and one of the most important stepping stones in anyone’s life!

Therefore, your future client needs to feel you care about his investment project as much as he does.

If your site is not visually attractive; using the right colors, font, imagery, the affiliate might decide to pass on your offer and divert his leads to a more inspiring and “up to date” website.

A website’s purpose depends on the kind of company it serves for the real estate field, you can use the following strategies to drive conversions:

  • Bring viewers inside the listed properties and show them around so that they are getting stimulated to visit it in person.

Source

Source

  • Putting a face to a firm’s name makes the viewer feel like they already know the agent or team before they meet.

Source

  • Provide your visitors with a tour of the area tour the real estate’s in and everything awesome about it

Source

  • Using maps to show viewers exactly where listed properties are located, down to the block

Source

Source

Each of these websites spurs interest in their target audience, and that’s what makes them attractive.

Make sure when planning your website design to frame precisely who your target audience is and how your brand should appeal to them.

The above should be your guideline for your design decisions.

2. Why should they pick you over the competition- Is your product attractive

For Affiliates to be attracted to promoting your website above a competitor or favorizing sending the most qualified traffic to you over anyone else, you need to have an attractive product for him to showcase!

In real estate, it is all a question of packaging (as we saw above).

The ultimate question the affiliate will ask himself to decide to promote you over anyone else is: “is the product attractive and competitive for the end-customer.”

Therefore, you should put all the odds on your side and invest in professional pictures of the estates and your team, virtual tours, and floor mapping, as well as attractively describe the asset’s area.

Your secret weapon is your portfolio of properties.

To conquer the sellers’ business, your commission should be attractive, allowing you to propose a listing at a competitive price for the area and its category.

Remember, the service you are promoting should be your listing, but it is also about your knowledge of the business and your contacts.

Go the extra mile:

  • Emphasize your professionalism by showing your license.
  • Consider a full section about your team and their specialization.
  • Show off with your understanding of the mortgage business.
  • Don’t hesitate to describe the advantages of the area you specialize in (such as the schools, supermarkets, post office, entertainment centers).

All of the above can be mentioned under your listing or as articles, newsletters, and on-site blogs.

3. Am I credible, do I inspire stability and trust

Implementing the above will win you many points in credibility.

Remember that 52% of people find the home they ultimately buy over the internet, and 90% of them would recommend their agent to others, so showcasing your knowledge will only earn you credibility and professionalism points with your potential clients.

Showing your license, your accumulated years of experience and accumulated value of closed deals can also buy trust.

That is regarding the end-user, but for the affiliates, the ultimate deal-breaker is transparency.

Affiliates’ approach to transparency

Transparency implies openness, accountability, and communication; it can actively boost your Affiliate Program’s conversion rates and build trust between you and the affiliate.

Here are the three main check-box an affiliate will be seeking:

  1. The merchant (you) follow regulations (FTC/ ICLG/etc.) practices, which would be reflected in links and advertising disclosures.
  2. The Dedicated Affiliate Manager within the Company isn’t avoiding giving answers to complex questions or addressing the affiliate’s concerns and speaks openly about sensitive subjects.
  3. The Company is open about the program’s status and policies.
  4. As a Merchant, you can implement a few practices to enhance your in-house Affiliate Program’s transparency.

Transparent Affiliate Policy

Make what your expectations and requirements are clear in your Program Policy Section. Make these guidelines as simple and clear as possible, so the affiliate feels comfortable he is not being tricked in double meaning or falls into potential loopholes of the terms.

Make the affiliate policy as intuitive as possible by including” how-to” s, screenshots, and examples to illustrate how exactly you expect things should be done. You will gain extra points if your Affiliate Program policy is also open for discussion and negotiation.

Access to a tracking Dashboard and Reports

As a merchant, you are using a CRM to track your affiliate’s achievements and supervise their efforts.

Most, if not all, CRM delivers infographics and reports reflecting your affiliates’ actions and the result of it once it was referred to the website- did it result in a conversion, a sale?

Your affiliates are working hard on generating each lead, and it is only fair for them to expect total transparency on the result of the care of their lead, as their commission depends on it.

Think of it as an external salesperson who brings in a client to your office to close the deal, but you do not invite him in for the closing and is left out of the meeting room.

It is only fair for him to inquire about the outcome of that meeting: has it progressed into a signed deal?

Giving them affiliate access to the dashboard will keep them informed about their earnings in real-time, and it will also allow them to see the number of times their affiliate links have been clicked on for CPL deals.

But you should be warned:

Giving such access can also work against you.

Affiliates might realize that once the lead has reached your care, you are not pulling your part of the deal by converting it into a sale.

Based on that information, the affiliate might prioritize his leads to someone with a better conversion rate than you or simply decide to stop sending traffic your way as a whole.

4. Am I competitive in my offer (cookie duration, CPL, CPA, RevShare …)

Affiliates are like any business owner; they want to calculate risks and get the maximum remuneration as a payout for their marketing efforts in promoting your product and brand.

The thing is that every affiliate as a different way of working, and they will look for the right program suiting their channel and strategies.

So here are the mainstream types of Affiliate Programs:

Search affiliates:

This program is meant for affiliates that invest funds on search results or other online advertising platforms to promote your offer.

For this kind of Program, you will want to ensure the affiliate follows search and advertising guidelines, contributing to your SEO efforts as well, in the background.

Bloggers/influencers:

Nowadays, there are plenty of influential bloggers leading crowds towards making decisions in almost all fields. Those influencers may ask for a retaining fee, CPL, CPA, or RevShare deals.
You will have to negotiate the deal with them while setting rules and boundaries of what they are allowed and forbidden to say and how they should act to keep in line with your image and not tarnish your reputation.

Review sites:

This kind of program is meant for more expensive or niche products, as the buyer wants to make a full due-diligence about the product or the company before committing to it.

Those review sites promote brands and services by adding affiliate links to their review and articles, monetizing on CPL. The potential buyer will be transferred to your site for the continuation of its care.

Email marketing:

This program should be used in homeopathic dosage.

The last thing you want is to irritate your potential customer by spamming them.

Instead, with proper listing of qualified leads asking to be contacted, this is a very effective method.

Affiliates with elaborated funnels and specialists in converting landing pages to mailers are the ones.

Affiliate Cookie Duration

The rule is: “The longer the affiliate cookie’s life is, the more partner-friendly your program is.”

But first, what is an affiliate cookie?

A cookie is a tracking file stored on the user’s browser.

It tracks the searches and sites visited by the user.

In affiliation, cookies are used to track affiliate referrals made to a third party website. Those cookies have an agreed expiration date.

A cookie’s lifespan is flexible. As an affiliate, you will want the cookie’s life to be as long as possible, as it will track the lead you generated for that period length and, based on it, qualify the lead for a commission if a purchase has been made during that time frame.

For example: let’s say the seller parameters the cookie duration to track the lead for 30 days.

That time frame is when the affiliate has to have his lead perform the agreed action on the site of the seller from the moment the link was clicked.

If the action is taken beyond that tie frame, the affiliate will not be able to pretend to his commission.

It means that the cookie expiration date is the “deal-breaker” to get paid or not paid.

You now understand the importance of the expiration date of the cookies for your affiliates.

The cookies’ lifespan is also your way of pressuring the affiliate to make effective campaigns, and it encourages him to improve them continuously- so don’t be too generous.

If the sale can only be finalized by the seller (like in real estate), it is fair not to penalize the affiliate on a CPA or RevShare deal when they filled their part of the contract. Your responsiveness and sales pitch should not affect the commission of an affiliate, which delivered his part of the deal.

5. Do I have the necessary support structure to assist my affiliates

Your affiliates expect to get a support structure from you, which will assist them in their effectiveness and efforts to stay coherent with your marketing strategies, visual aesthetics, and brand messaging.
A dedicated Affiliate Manager is essential and should be their point of contact in the company to provide them with any pertinent material, insight, access, guideline, and answers to any inquiry the affiliate might have.

Dedicated Affiliate Manager

A dedicated affiliate is responsible for supervising and managing your Affiliate Program and covering the following:

  • Setting up the in-house Program
  • Recruiting and approving affiliate partners
  • Encouraging and helping affiliates getting proactive
  • Calculating commissions
  • Keeping an open communication channel with the affiliates
  • Resolving issues related to Affiliate Programs
  • Dealing with any other operational and marketing aspects related to the project

Use Analytics

Reports are one of the best tools available to help affiliate managers accomplish the task of creative management.

By looking at your program analytics, you will determine which affiliates need special attention or have the most growth potential. Additionally, you can customize creative campaigns by checking which marketing tools are used most and generating the highest conversion.

Accurate insights through thorough reporting analysis:

  • Publisher performance
  • Network performance
  • Campaign performance
  • Mobile performance
  • Publisher comparison
  • YoY Year-over-year/MoM month-over-month /WoW week-over-week Comparison
  • Product/category performance

Sharing your insight with your affiliates will help them concentrate their efforts on proven successful channels of conversion. You can guide them to cover other marketing channels that are less prosperous for you, but you would like to reinforce them.

Fresh Marketing Materials

The responsibility to create an archive of marketing materials rests on the vendor; it provides affiliates with visual tools and aids them in quickly create campaigns and content. A good Affiliate Program is streamlining the process with the sole purpose in mind of assisting its affiliate in achieving better results.

The archive should include:

  • Landing pages (mobile friendly)
  • Banners in all kind of sizes and colours to fit the affiliate site in an aesthetic way
  • Professional pictures of the properties to promote and a clear description of them ( preferably also floor plans)
  • A clear list of SEO keywords essential for you to promote
  • Virtual tour videos of properties
  • Widgets (mortgage calculator for example)
  • Email templates
  • Your logo in different formats and sizes
  • Etc.

Keep in mind that we are in a visual consumption era; therefore, you will sell better through visual stimuli. Make sure to provide those materials to your affiliates and have them available at all times in an accessible library.
Continuously update banners to fit the season, and the holidays are a nice touch appreciated by the affiliates as well!

Marketing framework and clear guidelines.

In addition to visual materials, the affiliate needs to understand the vision of your product and the philosophy of your brand to promote it faithfully to your vision.

Therefore it is in your best interest to make available for your affiliates the following:

  • Guidelines — besides your terms and condition, have a clear list of do and don’t for your affiliates to follow.
  • Updates — about their Affiliate Program and promotions.
  • Automation Tools — like API or data feed- will reassure affiliates that they promote the latest products and offers you are advertising.

No matter if you leverage widgets, logos, banners, screenshots, or copy in your affiliate marketing activity, they should all be of excellent quality and wide variety in each Affiliate Program.

6. Should I manage the program in-house or through a Network

Affiliates love to work with Networks, and usually, if they work with one, they won’t bother exploring new clients’ proposals outside the platform.
But why is that?

  1. It allows them to be presented in one location with all the opportunities for promotion.
    Therefore they will not have to look outside for new sources of income.
  2. Working with a Network is a guarantee for the affiliate that the advertiser proposed on the platform has been cleared by the network and is good for its contract and commissions payment.
  3. The Network is their go-to person in case of an issue with the advertiser- so they feel confident that someone got their back in case a problem was to present itself.
  4. Networks have many ways of payments that individual vendors don’t necessarily have. As the network is the one processing the commission’s payment, they will prefer closing deals through Network contracts rather than having to collect their payment individually from each company they do advertise,
  5. The affiliate can follow all his campaigns from one CRM and pull reports for all his campaigns in parallel from one unique backend!

For all of those reasons and many more you should consider joining a Network, but remember that the network is not replacing your affiliate program manager and will not generate content nor materials for you ( although some might propose that service as an extra)

7. Remember to be grateful.

Affiliates are working hard in promoting you, and in a virtual world, a personal message, a simple thank you, goes a very long way!
Be kind to your affiliates, be grateful, and be personable. If they do not feel appreciated by you, they might as well leave you without notice and promote your competitor.

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Real Estate Affiliates is an affiliate network that provides profitable conditions for both advertisers and publishers.

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Real Estate Affiliates

Real Estate Affiliates

Real Estate Affiliates is an affiliate network that provides profitable conditions for both advertisers and publishers.

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