There are plenty of reasons why one might choose to migrate their affiliate programme to a new platform. Perhaps you’re looking for advanced technology and your current supplier can’t provide this. Maybe you’ve found better value for money elsewhere, or your existing relationship is crumbling.
Whatever the reason, the main priority for all performing such a big move is simple – to make sure that it does not cause financial harm in the long run. The most obvious worry related to programme migration is that you might leave everything behind, meaning that you either have to start again or recover everything. Needless to say, neither of these options are desirable.
With some realistic planning and appropriate due diligence, however, you can make sure that the move to your new platform is as smooth as can possibly be. Today, we’re going to highlight three ways that you can do this.
Review your best-performing affiliate partners.
Before you do anything else, it’s important to know who your current best-performing affiliate partners are. Above all of the others, these will be indispensable to you – especially if they generate a significant number of referrals.
Look at your existing data and identify your top 25 affiliates. Then, ask yourself whether or not they will be compatible when you migrate your programme. If the answer is no, then your revenue might suffer as a result.
Think of it like a sports team paying $100 million for an attack-minded player, relying on ball retention. However, the team he has just signed for sets up defensively. They won’t get the most out of said individual and there might have been a better return on investment elsewhere.
Your top-performing affiliates are that $100 million player. Make sure that they continue to fit your system well.
Create a reasonable timescale.
Big change takes time, period. Unless it’s an absolute necessity to move everything straight away, you should allow for longer than four weeks – and ideally up to eight weeks – for your platform migration to be completed.
After you’ve tested your new links and tags, start reaching out to your best-performing partners. After this, do likewise for everybody else. And consider possible revenue losses and technical teething problems that might occur during the process.
Creating a reasonable timescale doesn’t just benefit you; it’s also handy for your partners. Being realistic about the situation means that there is room to both migrate everything with minimal stress and carry out tests to ensure that all has gone well.
Communicate in an effective manner with all parties.
We spoke a bit about this in the previous section, when it comes to reaching out to your affiliate partners. However, one email isn’t enough – you also need to follow up (and give them a reason to continue their partnership with you). Once the migration is completed, you should send additional outreaches to those who you have yet to hear back from.
Communication within your internal team is also vital, as it is with both your old and new technology providers. If something goes wrong and all parties aren’t notified, then the entire migration process could be hindered.
Keeping everybody on the same page ensures that all goes to plan. Try to catch up with your soon-to-be-old and new platforms at least once per week. By doing this, nobody will lose sight of which tasks still need to be fulfilled.
Migrating your affiliate programme is an exciting step forward and could improve the efficiency of your business operations, if the move is right. Ask whether or not your current provider can make tweaks to your existing agreement so it’s better tailored to you; if they can’t, then just make sure you have a well-thought-out plan in place.
Setting a timescale, which allows both for everything to be moved and flexibility in case a mishap occurs is imperative, as is maintaining communication with everybody throughout. That goes for staying in touch with your software providers, while also keeping your partners engaged and giving them incentives to sign up for your newly-migrated programme.
Like with all successful B2B areas of marketing, your most valuable clients need to be kept at all costs. You should therefore focus much of your attention on these, while also doing your best to retain your other active partners – since these could become important in the future. By implementing these tips, as well as being transparent about where you might lose money, you’ll ensure that your affiliate programme migration will conclude with minimal disruption.
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