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Finally, somebody is thinking about Affiliate Marketers; about what we need from affiliate companies to help us be more successful at selling their products. If they want to maximize their affiliate power, they have to get inside the affiliate mind!

Linc Wonham, associate editor with Website Magazine, has an article in the February edition of the publication titled, Inside the Affiliate Mind. In this article, Wonham highlights the fact that companies typically train, support and reward their paid employees, but often overlook giving the same consideration to their affiliates.

Worse yet, some of these affiliate companies point the finger at affiliate marketers when the company’s sales are down! Wonham notes that while there are some companies that do look after their affiliates, there are those that leave a lot to be desired when it comes to affiliate relations.

“The most successful online business owners learn how to get inside the minds of their often misunderstood (affiliate) partners,” says Wonham. There is value in regularly acknowledging the efforts of affiliates and in supporting them any way possible. “The important point is that the more you can do for your affiliates, the more they will do for you.” …

In the article, Wonham provides an overview of the four steps required for a company to build productive relationships with their affiliate marketing partners. Below are a few key points taken from the four steps:

Step One involves setting the affiliates up to succeed:

“You are doing your company, your customers and your affiliates a grave disservice if you do not give the affiliates every chance to flourish,” says Wonham. Quality products to sell, engaging creative content, highly targeted promotional campaigns, the proper technology, and sales leads should all be part of the package.

Step Two involves the tools necessary for continuing success:

Front end tools and resources provided to the affiliate at the beginning of the relationship are important, but Wonham says that “new tools must be added as the relationship deepens.” Website MagazineIncluded on the list are advanced or enhanced training modules, product demonstrations, video conferences, tracking information, customer reviews and testimonials, and more. The methods of delivering these added resources can also be enhanced in a variety of ways.

Step Three involves commitment to the affiliate’s success:

Wonham explains that what affiliates want from their online business partners is “a level of commitment that does not fall short of their own.” The emphasis here again is on providing ongoing tools, support, information and communication. Keeping the affiliates informed about various company activities will help them to feel like part of a team and will increase their desire to succeed.

Step Four involves inspiring affiliates to succeed:

Here, Wonham describes “performance marketing” and the use of performance incentives, such as increased revenue shares, an enhanced commission structure, bonuses, contests, competitions and recognition in company newsletters. “Creating a competitive atmosphere instills a greater desire to succeed,” Wonham explains, “but it is essential that the environment remain positive and respectful.”

In a closing statement, Wonham says, “Even though you may not interact with them face to face as you do with your own staff, your affiliate partners are people, too.”

Read Linc Wonham’s article for the full story on this important aspect of affiliate power:
Inside the Affiliate Mind

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* You might also enjoy these Affiliate Power Central blog posts:

Website Magazine

The ABCs of Accelerated Success in 2011

Free Targeted Advertising From Adzly

The Best Social Network to Brand Yourself

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