A successful affiliate programme is more than just a marketing channel; ultimately, affiliate marketing is a partnership. As an iGaming brand, you must be able to ensure that the actions of your affiliate partners align with your marketing strategy. For this to happen, effective, consistent communication with affiliates is an absolute must.
Last week, we discussed how you can boost your marketing effectiveness by engaging your player database with email marketing. In Part II of this series, we’ve put together an overview of best communication practices to help you connect (or re-connect) with your affiliate partners and maintain a harmonious, profitable programme.
Segment and StrategizeSimilar to the way you can use email to segment your customer base, you can also use email to easily segment your affiliate database and communicate key information that would be relevant and personal to them. Taking this approach to your bulk communications will allow you to:Be targeted. Separate your affiliates into groups based on shared characteristics. Affiliates can be segmented in a number of ways, including:
- Geographic location
- Commission structure
- Tip: Group affiliates that have clicks but few registrations, or registrations but few deposits
- Type of website and creative content used
Segmentation allows you to send relevant and timely information effectively, ensuring the right message reaches the right marketing partner.Plan Ahead. The ability to plan your mass communications in advance gives you more control over your communications strategy. Try setting up a monthly communication calendar to keep your messaging organized. Maintain a ‘big-picture’ view of your activities and effectively compare different strategies.
Tip: Be sure to measure open rates to see which communications resonate most with your affiliates.Create Trust. With your segments and strategy in mind, you can plan multiple bulk messages in advance. This helps you ensure that key messages always reach affiliates in a timely matter, which creates trust and transparency. Less time spent on standardized communications leaves you more time to refine your marketing strategy and build authentic affiliate relationships.Sample Mass Email Activity Schedule
|Daily||Auto-email new affiliates with programme information. This email can be customized to automatically include your latest offers and promotions. Tip: Use merge fields to include custom tracking links per affiliate user.|
|Weekly||Update affiliates with new player promotions and creative content. Sort your affiliates by performance, commission, geography and other characteristics to identify relevant trends among affiliates.|
|Monthly||Re-segment your affiliate groups as necessary. Update your bonus and promotions calendar and send it to relevant affiliate groups.|
Personal Messages: Cut Through the Clutter and ConnectNo matter how well-crafted your mass emails are, sometimes a little personal touch can be the difference between an affiliate reading your email or scrolling on past. Personalized emails can be used to:Achieve a time-sensitive goal. The battle against inbox clutter is a tough one to win. If you have critical or time-sensitive information for an affiliate, a distinctive, individualised message will help catch their eye. Try crafting a specific subject line, either by addressing the affiliate by name or referring to their website.Re-engage an inactive affiliate. If you have an affiliate that has stopped bringing in new players or is underperforming, the most effective way to re-connect with this affiliate is through individualised communication. You can identify inactive affiliates by segmenting site IDs, conversions, number of deposits or revenue. Check in with them to find out if there is a reason for their performance drop, and if you or your account manager can provide support to address their feedback.Boost your relationship with a high-performing affiliate. Maintaining a close relationship with your top-performing affiliates is critical to your affiliate channel performance. These affiliates can also be individually identified from within your segment groups. Messages to maintain affiliate relationships could be simple check-in emails, congratulatory messages on good performances or reminders about creative materials relevant to the affiliate. You can also lean on these affiliates for product feedback and what additional content their traffic would find relevant.Sample Personal Email Activity Schedule
|Daily||Follow up with a personal message to newly-registered affiliates. Segment your affiliate database to identify new affiliates who may be struggling with new player registrations or conversions so you can offer effective strategic support.|
|Weekly||Check that affiliates are using current creative materials and promotions; send an individual message to those that aren’t.|
|Monthly||After re-segmenting your affiliate groups, reach out personally to high performers and low performers to offer congratulations or support. By identifying these affiliates based on specific types of performance data (such as the number of clicks, deposits or registrations relative to other affiliates), you will build trust with the affiliate and be able to offer effective insight.|
iGaming operators, what are your most effective methods for staying connected with your affiliate partners? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.