How Financial Institutions Can Recruit and Retain Top Affiliates
Creating and promoting an affiliate program to attract the attention of high-quality affiliate partners can be a tricky project for financial institutions, as it is a competitive and time-consuming process. In this article, we’ll discuss how to nurture relationships with motivated entrepreneurs who have a successful online platform in place.
Recruiting top affiliates requires a specialized skill set and access to a direct pipeline of motivated self-starters. We’ll also talk through how to partner with affiliates who understand the regulations and requirements of advertising financial product.
1) Send effective outreach emails
First and foremost, getting your outreach emails right is key. It takes time to go through a potential affiliate partner’s website, but publishers know the difference between a personalized email and a template that you have sent as a batch email. The below will provide tips on how to write an effective outreach email:
2) Find the right contact
Dig deep to find the right contact for your outreach email, we’ve found an email to the founder or marketing team is a great first introduction. However, contact forms on websites isn’t the most effective way to reach the right person and finding a relevant email address can be tricky. Try alternative measures such as connecting via LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to reach out to different people at the same company.
3) Recruit the right affiliates
Certain types of affiliates drive the best results for financial services:
- Comparison sites
- Content sites
- Rewards sites
- Coupon sites
- Niche sites (for example travel related blogs are a great target for reward/airmiles credit cards)
Bloggers who author user-generated content sites are experts at curating engaging content that attracts potential customers. These highly targeted sites offer the opportunity for lucrative partnerships.
4) Do your homework on Risk Management
Is your affiliate marketing program meeting federal guidelines? Are your terms and conditions clear and does your affiliate manager conduct audits on a regular basis? Compliance with rules that govern how your affiliates can advertise financial products and services is just one of the unique challenges you’ll face when recruiting affiliates to help you reach your marketing goals.
5) Give affiliates a high-quality product to promote
Your affiliate program can only be as good as the products and services you offer. Make sure your website is optimized, and your company can nurture the referrals from your affiliate network. Potential affiliates look carefully at the rewards and bonuses they’ll earn by partnering with you, but they also want reassurance that you’ll keep your promises to their readers.
6) Treat your valuable affiliates like people, not numbers
Your top-performing affiliates know they drive more business than their competition and they expect to be treated accordingly. It’s vital to respond to queries promptly, with top affiliate marketers expecting a response within 12 hours (at a stretch).
While excellent service is a necessity, there’s more to creating a lasting relationship with your best affiliates – meeting in person goes a long way and is something Fintel Connect does often.
7) Provide services that cater to your affiliates’ specific needs
Reach out to affiliates with personalized emails that include suggestions of products they could promote in certain areas of their website. Send along your most recent advertising materials so potential affiliates understand how your products and services may align with their message. A shopping related publisher will want to understand the products that are relevant to their target market. For example a reward credit card. A wedding planning blogger probably does not want to receive information about a credit score product and would be more interested in learning about a travel reward credit card that their audience might be interested in for their honeymoon.
8) Help affiliates convert traffic
An experienced affiliate manager knows what works and why. Assist affiliates in diagnosing potential problems by looking through their website for areas where they could make changes that may help convert traffic.
Affiliates that do paid advertising to get traffic appreciate suggestions about markets and keywords that the affiliate manager has had success with in the past. Sometimes, the target market isn’t quite right for the product, and a few small changes could boost traffic.
9) Be honest about what works and what doesn’t
Let your affiliates know you are ready and willing to help them succeed. For example, some promotions work better than others during certain times of the year. Share that information with your affiliates. If some promotions work better with one type of publisher than another, let that be known as well. Offer suggestions about proven tactics to drive and convert traffic. Maybe newsletters work better than banners?
Whether you send out a questionnaire or contact individuals directly to discuss their needs, try to understand what motivates your affiliates to go the extra mile to promote your products and services.
High payouts, rewards, and promotions may attract the attention of new affiliates, but how you treat them is a major determining factor in the success of your entire affiliate program. An affiliate manager’s knowledge and personalized service is key to developing and maintaining a successful affiliate network.
Partnering with Fintel Connect allows access to both the tools and expertise needed to reach qualified affiliates while nurturing relationships with top performers.