How to Create Great Affiliate Rewards That Don’t Sacrifice Profitability

Coming up with affiliate rewards that are above and beyond their normal percentage of the customer’s spending and sub-affiliate volume can be tough. You want to reinvest some of your profits back into affiliate satisfaction, and encourage them to grow their own affiliate networks. But you want to do that using methods that won’t break the bank.

Fear not, there are plenty of ways to create great affiliate rewards that won’t sacrifice your overall profitability. You just have to be smart about the affiliate rewards that you offer and automate affiliate marketing incentives as much as possible.

You should also pick rewards that have a high EV. That means you shouldn’t look at the short term individual results of your affiliate reward program, but the long term benefits averaged over dozens or hundreds of affiliates.

Let’s look at some examples of this.

Cash Based Affiliate Rewards Should Always Be Tiered

If you want to offer cold, hard cash as an affiliate reward, you need to make sure that it’s compensated by the volume they’re bringing in.

That’s why the strategy of offering a ‘congratulations’ style cash bonus for reaching a new tier for the first time is your best option. You can calculate it as an exact percentage of what the affiliate is already bringing in for that month, and you’ll only be paying it out if they’re producing a lot of volume.

In other words: They’re easily paying for their own bonus. And by offering escalating bonuses for every new peak that they hit, they’ll be incentivised to ramp up their activities even more.

Using a platform like Coupon Affiliates, you can fully automate affiliate marketing rewards, as well as sending an automatic E-mail notification to congratulate your affiliate for reaching a new level.

Affiliate Rewards

Any New Creatives as Bonuses Should Be Dynamic

If you want to do something special for your top affiliate performers, make sure that it’s something you can invest effort into once, and then easily customize it later.

Rather than have a banner created and mess around with layers in Photoshop or GIMP, you can take advantage of dynamic creatives, like those found in Coupon Affiliate Pro.

These allow you to take a core banner and customize it for a high performing affiliate with just a few clicks and typing in the name of their business or website. No artistic talent is required.

This kind of affiliate reward is easily one of your best investments. It encourages affiliates to hit certain minimum tiers to start reaping the rewards of your adaptive technology. Dynamic creatives give you amazing ROI.

Offering Affiliate Management Time as an Affiliate Reward

It might seem odd, but many affiliates who are eager to grow simply want a little facetime.

You can offer check-ins with a dedicated affiliate manager for top affiliates. That might be yourself, or a member of your team if you’re a growing business. Topics that can be covered on a check-in include website optimization, building a sub-affiliate network, making the most out of the free creatives that they have access to, and the like.

You’ll be amazed at how much a little bit of your team’s time is worth to these growing affiliates. You’ll want to put this affiliate reward at a high enough tier that it won’t take up too much of your affiliate manager’s week, but low enough so that you’re helping the people who have the greatest growth opportunities.

And really it’s a win-win, since by helping them make more money, you make more money. So consider this time to be an investment in the growth of your affiliate network.

Free Products, Discounts, and Vouchers at your Online Store

Then again, why guess what kind of affiliate reward someone might want when you can allow them to choose it themselves?

You can offer your own products and services at cost as a reward for hitting certain affiliate levels. By using your own storefront to automate affiliate marketing rewards, and offering bonuses using coupons and vouchers, you simplify the entire process and get your affiliate invested in the products and services that they’re promoting.

The surge that some affiliates will have in order to reach these goals will more than make up for your product or service costs. Just make sure that the percentage of profit at that tier is significantly higher than the COGS of the product that you’re giving away.

Raffles and Giveaways

Similar to the free products concept above, if you would like to offer the possibility of winning one much bigger product using a raffle system, that’s also a possibility.

This can be even cheaper than offering moderately priced free products to everyone who reaches a certain tier, and is particularly attractive for the kind of affiliates who like a little gamble.

We would still encourage giving everyone who reaches a certain affiliate tier and qualifies for the raffle some kind of small participation prize. After all, they’ve earned you a ton of money and you don’t want to discourage them from pushing themselves to qualify for next month’s raffle.

Bringing It All Together with Coupon Affiliates New Bonus Dashboard

A new feature of Coupon Affiliates is the Affiliate Performance Bonuses.

This is exactly what it sounds like: A way to control access to various affiliate rewards, while you automate the affiliate marketing process.

Bonus goals can include total commissions earned, yearly thresholds, large one-time referrals, or specific product sales as part of special incentive programs.

You can choose what triggers the automatic bonus, and whether or not that bonus is a one time deal or repeatable.

Pretty much all of the options we’ve already discussed are available, including giving them store credit, a specific free product, cash bonuses, assigning them a new role that will give them access to bonus creatives, or even sending them an email with instructions for how to schedule time with their affiliate manager.

You can also boost their commission rates as part of your automatic affiliate marketing tier management system. Other custom rewards can be offered through email links, of course.

Once goals are set, a user will be able to see how close they are to achieving them via their affiliate dashboard. Dashboards motivate users who are close to a certain goal to go that extra mile in order to hit their target. If you’ve heard of ‘gamifying’ your affiliate program, this is exactly what a dashboard system like this achieves.

Summing It All Up

When you’re thinking of great affiliate rewards, think of things that will help grow your business in the long run, and things that are easily customisable or repeatable.

Look at every bonus as a potential opportunity to invest in your affiliate network. Cash rewards provide financial stability that reduces stress and increases affiliate performance. Dynamic creative rewards can help affiliates that are more numbers oriented than they are artistic. Free products can inspire brand loyalty and hands-on product experience. And affiliate manager check-ins can give growing affiliates much needed advice that will keep them heading in the right direction.

All of these bode well for the future of your affiliate network. Choose the options that you can most comfortably achieve, and listen carefully to affiliate feedback on the offered bonuses.

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