12 Strategies on How to Motivate Affiliates to Bring More Sales

Affiliates play a vital role in growing your business. Discover how you can boost affiliate engagement and retention and keep your affiliates motivated.


Keeping your affiliates motivated means that you maximise top-of-mind awareness for your most important affiliates. You want your organisation to be the first choice, especially when affiliates have the opportunity to promote products similar to yours. This helps give your business better visibility or exposure, given that many affiliates or influencers tend to work with multiple brands. By being on top of affiliates’ minds, you can potentially outrank competitors by growing your share of voice


Image source: The Greatest Hits of Binet and Field

Ready to supercharge affiliate engagement, boost affiliate retention, and edge out the competition? We’re sharing some helpful tips on how to motivate affiliates. 

12 Strategies to Keep Affiliates Motivated and Build a Thriving Affiliate Network

Here are 12 strategies on how to motivate your affiliates so that you can build a thriving affiliate network, drive sales, and grow your business.

1.    Get to Know Your Affiliates

Affiliate marketing isn’t just about making a lot of money with the help of your affiliate partners. It’s also about building a healthy relationship with them to keep them engaged, motivated, and loyal to your program.

One of the best ways to learn more about your affiliates is to build a personal relationship with them. Talk to your affiliates and ask them about their motivations, both internal and external. Keep in mind that affiliates are human, too, which is why it’s crucial for brands to understand what makes them tick. Are they all about self-development? Do they want to expand their own network? Building personal relationships is very important, especially if you’re working with big affiliates.

Encourage them to share their ideas and be proactive in asking for feedback. Once you know what drives them, it’ll become easier for you to come up with strategies to build a more effective and impactful affiliate program, as well as create conditions that will help keep them motivated. For instance, if you have affiliates who want to become better at what they do while growing their income stream, you can focus on providing them with training and helpful resources to help them achieve their personal goals while offering competitive commission structures or performance-based incentives.  

2.    Segment Your Affiliates and Identify Major Affiliates

Segmenting your affiliates may seem like additional work, but it lets you identify who your top affiliates are. Furthermore, this gives you insight into your most valuable partnerships and critical engagements, helping you zero in on affiliates who drive the most value for your brand.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should solely focus on your top affiliates. It’s also equally important to keep an eye on smaller affiliates who are showing potential. Also focusing on these emerging affiliates helps you develop a strategy that will allow them to maximise the value they bring to your brand.

3.    Provide Robust Support and Regularly Review the Performance of Each Affiliate Type or Segment

Affiliate support can take on various forms, from providing them with access to marketing materials to nurturing open communication.

Build a genuine connection with your affiliates and let them know that they’re an asset to your brand. Hold one-on-one sessions with them, encourage them to provide feedback, or hold in-person events for your affiliates. Don’t forget to express your gratitude and make them feel that they can talk to you any time, especially if they encounter any issues or have concerns relating to your affiliate program.

Aside from providing affiliates with exceptional support, monitoring affiliate performance is crucial for your program’s success. Besides helping you identify areas for improvement, accurately tracking their performance ensures that they’re properly credited for each referral. This is why it’s also crucial that you set benchmarks for your affiliate program. Start by benchmarking your program against that of your competitors so you can spot gaps. Use your findings to your advantage to address these gaps and strengthen your own program. Benchmarking also allows you to develop more competitive incentives to keep your affiliates motivated.

Trackdesk offers reliable affiliate tracking and real-time analytics so you can stay on top of every single click and get access to critical data to help you make more informed decisions. Learn more about how trackdesk can help transform your affiliate program.

4.    Give Your Affiliates Enough Room to Grow

Provide your affiliates with networking opportunities and encourage them to work with other affiliates for growth. Provide them with helpful guides to make it easier for them to market your product or offerings.

Create a community dedicated to your affiliates. This not only creates a sense of togetherness but also helps your affiliates feel more involved with your program. Plus, by creating an affiliate community, you’re promoting healthy competition, which can also help keep affiliates motivated. You can nurture a community of engaged affiliates by working with top partnership managers from the trackdesk Partnership Managers Marketplace. Our world-class partnership managers can help you create a private affiliate network that gives you access to high-quality and engaged affiliates. Plus, by having your own private affiliate network, you can quickly test new campaigns more effectively, offer personalised deals to affiliates, and have better control over how you track and manage your affiliate program.

5.    Be Clear with Your Commission Models

No one wants to be left in the dark when it comes to things like commissions, which is why it’s crucial that you clearly outline your commission models from the get-go. You can provide information on your commission models on your affiliate landing page or via a self-service affiliate hub. Make your terms and conditions clear so that it’s easier for affiliates to learn how they can get the most value out of your program.

6.    Moving to Higher Tiers for Higher Commissions

When affiliates discover a program that offers more beneficial deals for them, it can cause them to become inactive members of your affiliate program.

Offering appealing commission models and tiered incentives can work wonders when it comes to keeping your affiliates productive and motivated. Tiered commissions can boost affiliate productivity while allowing you to manage your profits more efficiently. When your affiliates are productive and engaged, they’re more likely to be proactive in promoting your brand.

This can then translate to more sales. Tiered commissions can also be a great way to encourage affiliates to meet certain requirements so they can have bigger rewards.

7.    Occasional Bonuses for Special Events or When a Revenue Boost Is Needed

Surprise bonuses not only motivate affiliates but also make them feel that their work is appreciated. This, in turn, can push them to be more proactive in promoting your offerings. Don’t forget to give them the recognition they deserve, especially if they meet or exceed your benchmarks. For instance, you can offer incentives for new affiliates or create time-sensitive offers to encourage them to meet program goals in a short period of time. Or, if you want to mix things up, consider adding an element of gamification. Offer a streak bonus that unlocks better commissions. This can help add a dash of fun to your program while also encouraging healthy competition among your affiliates.

8.    Provide Access to Creatives

Give your affiliates the tools they need to make it easier for them to do their job well.

Having access to the right marketing materials and other handy resources like training programs helps affiliates become more effective at promoting your brand, given that creating new content to promote your products or services can be expensive and time-consuming for your affiliate partners. You can start by providing them with a dedicated FAQ page or self-service options, as well as a visible link to your brand’s resource hub. You can use trackdesk’s affiliate management features to easily share creatives with affiliates or use tools like Notion to give affiliates access to marketing materials like banners.

Alternatively, you can give them access to bundles of the tools that might be useful to them for content creation, such as subscriptions to photo editing software or full access to services that offer stock photos or videos.

Aside from helping your affiliates learn and grow, giving them access to resources also enables them to feel more confident about your brand and how to effectively promote it. This, in turn, can translate to improved conversions and sales for your business.

9.    Consider Co-Branding Partnerships with Your Affiliates

In a nutshell, co-branding is when different brands collaborate to create a new product. It helps promote your brand to new audiences, boosts your reputation, and drives more sales while allowing you to cut marketing costs. The great thing is that you can take this marketing strategy and apply it to your affiliate program.

Co-branding helps your affiliates feel that they’re part of something bigger, which can help keep them motivated. Aside from this, it also helps affiliates feel more involved with your brand and that they’re working with you and not just for you.

10. Lifetime Deals

Consider offering lifetime deals to your affiliates to keep them motivated. This type of reward is enticing, which also helps encourage affiliates to build long-term relationships with your brand and drives them to go the extra mile to promote your products or services. Trackdesk gives you the freedom to develop flexible commission structures, helping you implement multiple affiliate commission models that are tailored to fit your affiliates’ preferences. Explore all of trackdesk’s powerful features for managing affiliates.

11. MLM Programs

We’ll start this off by saying that MLM programs are not a scam. In fact, when done properly, they’re a great way to incentivise affiliates while also encouraging them to expand your network by recruiting their own affiliates. Aside from bringing in more revenue to your business, when sub-affiliates have successful conversions, your direct affiliates can also get a slice of the pie, which can help them stay driven.

Trackdesk’s MLM feature helps you set up your own legitimate MLM program. It’s also designed to make tracking MLM commissions, payouts, and sub-affiliates easier for you. 

Source: https://help.trackdesk.com/en/articles/8544438-multi-level-marketing

For more tips on affiliate recruitment, check out our article on scaling affiliate recruitment.

12. Practise Effective Communication with Affiliates

Effective communication is vital to nurturing affiliate engagement.

Develop a communication plan and stick to it. This not only builds consistency but also helps build your affiliate’s trust in your program. When communicating with them, consider taking a personalised approach to your communications. Address them by their first name, keep them posted on their progress, and provide them with useful performance stats.

If you’re using trackdesk, your affiliates will always have real-time access to their performance via beautifully designed and easy-to-use affiliate dashboards.

Alternatively, you can consider automating your affiliate communications, such as for regular updates. For instance, you can develop drip email campaigns to send them updates or share changes in your affiliate program. You can also automate communication when providing affiliates with helpful resources. Automating affiliate communication also ensures that you’re constantly in touch with your partners while providing them with personalised messages.

Using the right affiliate marketing software allows you to more effectively track and manage your affiliates. The right tools will allow you to facilitate seamless, accurate, and speedy affiliate payments, which can help keep your affiliate partners engaged. Lastly, the right software is also crucial in helping you unlock effective communication with your affiliate partners.

Trackdesk helps you not only optimise your workflow with its automation capabilities but also streamline your communication with affiliates. Discover how you can take advantage of trackdesk’s automation capabilities to grow your affiliate program.

The Importance of Keeping Affiliates Motivated

Affiliate marketing is a growing industry that’s projected to become even bigger in the coming years. And with more than 80% of advertisers using affiliate marketing to boost customer engagement, drive awareness, and boost their ROI, it’s now more important than ever for your organisation to focus on motivating affiliates and boosting affiliate engagement to maintain your competitive edge.

Benefits of Having Motivated Affiliates

Motivated affiliates are effective affiliates. They’ll be better at promoting your brand. They’re more engaged and are more likely to be in it for the long haul.

They can also help boost your results (sales) when promoting a new product or special offer. This is why it’s crucial that you invest in building your own proprietary affiliate network. You can use the world’s first and only Partnership Managers Marketplace from trackdesk to effortlessly build and scale your affiliate network. Work with skilled partnership managers to find, nurture, and recruit top affiliates, keep them engaged, and grow your affiliate program.

What other benefits can you get from keeping your affiliates motivated?

1.    Better Lifetime Value

Loyal and motivated affiliates can help generate consistent revenue for your organisation. By keeping them engaged and motivated, you’re improving their lifetime value and you’d be more likely to enjoy better ROI in the long run.

2.    Save on Marketing Resources

Focusing on motivating and retaining your existing affiliates is usually more cost-effective and simpler. Doing so also gives you better ROI, so it’s always best to allocate your resources and efforts more effectively.

3.    Bolsters Your Brand’s Reputation

Motivated affiliates are more likely to be more effective at promoting your brand. Positive word of mouth from loyal affiliates can help enhance your brand’s reputation and entice new potential affiliates to join your program.

4.    Improved Conversion Rates

Motivated affiliates are also more likely to be engaged with your brand and, thus, will have a more in-depth understanding of it. Because of this, they’ll be in a much better position to communicate what your brand is about and the benefits you can offer to their audiences. This helps potential customers understand your brand more effectively, facilitating conversions and sales.

What to Avoid When Working with Affiliates

Knowing how to motivate affiliates also means knowing what not to do. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips on how you can boost affiliate engagement.

1.    Don’t Ask Them to Promote Your Brand for Free

It’s always best to give affiliates something of value in return for their services. Asking them to promote your brand for free will keep them from effectively promoting your brand and might even push them away.

2.    Don’t Keep Your Commission Models Stagnant

It’s important for you to review your commission models and scale them up accordingly to keep affiliates motivated. Scaling commission options gives them the opportunity to grow their earning potential. This also benefits your brand as scaling commissions can give you more flexibility and give your affiliate program a more competitive edge.

3.    Don’t Put All Your Focus on Short-Term Bonuses

Short-term bonuses are a great way to keep affiliates motivated. However, solely focusing on these can cause your relationships with top affiliates to plateau. That’s because while they love working with you, they also want access to value-added experiences and better ways to grow their own affiliate business or income.

Final Thoughts

Having a well-thought-out plan for your affiliate program allows you to nurture and motivate your affiliates more effectively. By implementing these strategies on how to motivate affiliates, such as by providing them with adequate support and taking the time to actually get to know your affiliates, you can equip your affiliate program (and business) for growth. With a reliable affiliate tracking software solution like trackdesk, it’s now easier than ever to build, scale, and effectively manage your affiliate program. Discover how trackdesk can help you and your affiliates grow.

Geri Mileva

I have a passion for storytelling. I believe that a good story delivers value while capturing, influencing, and sustaining its intended audience. This has always been, and always will be, my primary aim as a writer.

Share this article:

Related Articles