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How To Grow Your Store With Affiliate Program Coupons (3 Easy Steps)

How To Grow Your Store With Affiliate Program Coupons (3 Easy Steps)

Are you wondering why you should start an affiliate program for your store? Affiliate Program Coupons might be the answer you’re looking for.

These programs are fantastic for boosting your sales and extending your store’s marketing reach without the need for hiring salespeople or investing heavily in expensive marketing channels like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or other paid acquisition methods.

And the best part? You only pay your affiliates when they successfully help you sell something.

If you’re already aware of the benefits and are seeking ways to enhance your store’s affiliate program, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll dive into how using coupons can significantly grow your affiliate program and seamlessly fit into your marketing strategy.

Remember, a thriving affiliate program can substantially increase your store’s revenue and marketing reach, making it a powerful online sales tactic worth exploring.

Before we get into the details, let’s discuss a few key points…

Best Affiliate Program Tool To Use For WooCommerce Stores

This article will offer general information for store owners running any kind of store software. But since we’re WooCommerce extension developers, there’s one thing we’d like to say specifically to WooCommerce store owners before we start today’s topic.

Prior to growing your affiliate program, you have to set up an affiliate program for your WooCommerce store. And to do that, you need an excellent affiliate program tool.

Among the best on-site tools for running your affiliate program on your store is AffiliateWP.

AffiliateWP's homepage
Best WordPress affiliate management plugin today

AffiliateWP is a plugin that works alongside WooCommerce and adds the features and tracking necessary to run an affiliate program.

The reason we recommend this particular plugin is that we use it ourselves in our affiliate program and are impressed with how it operates. We found the setup to be straightforward and mostly automated.

It can let you have an affiliate program ready to accept sign-ups within minutes.

For the rest of this article, we’re going to assume you already have your affiliate program set up and running (regardless of whether you’re using WooCommerce or not).

Creating A Coupon Strategy For Your Store’s Affiliate Program

Having a coupon marketing strategy is a great way to grow your store as well as your affiliate program.

By setting up exclusive affiliate coupons, you can attract big affiliates. On top of that, you can use coupons to motivate affiliates to promote your store and its products more often.

When it comes to creating a basic affiliate program coupons strategy for growing your store’s affiliate program, there are three steps we want to cover. These are:

  1. Identifying your top producers
  2. Recruiting more top producers
  3. Choosing your approach

These three steps will illuminate some of the paths you should take toward creating a successful affiliate program using coupons. As with any marketing strategy, however, it’s up to you to figure out the tactics that’ll work best for your store.

Advanced Coupons Free plugin landing page
Advanced Coupons lets you create effective coupon strategies

Step 1: Identify your top producers in your affiliate program.

If you aren’t aware of the 80/20 rule (or Pareto’s principle), which states that 80% of outputs come from 20% of inputs, it’s time to get familiar with it. This principle significantly impacts affiliate programs, including affiliate program coupons.

In essence, 80% of your affiliate sales will come from just 20% of your affiliates. Often, the ratio is even more skewed—95% of sales might come from only 5% of your affiliates.

Understanding this ratio gives you a strategic advantage. You don’t want to spend too much time on affiliates who won’t drive sales, right? By recognizing the 80/20 ratio, you’ll identify the “top producers” in your affiliate program—those affiliates who deliver the most value.

A diagram of an affiliate program model featuring the merchant, publisher, and customer.
Affiliate Program Model click to zoom

As the affiliate program manager, your goal is to identify these top producers and collaborate with them to boost their sales even more. This strategy is like picking the “low-hanging fruit.”

These top producers are likely eager to earn more since they’re already making money with you. They’ll appreciate your efforts to support and optimize their sales further.

Focusing on these top producers means you won’t waste time on affiliates who aren’t contributing significantly to your sales.

What should you do for your top producers?

Your top producers in the affiliate program deserve the 5-star royal treatment. Affiliate program coupons can be a great way to reward these key players.

They should be your primary targets for first-access deals, exclusive discounts, standing offers, joint ventures, and any other special initiatives you want to run with your affiliate partners (more on choosing which approach to take in Step 3):

Identify and reach out to the top 20% (or whatever top percentage you determine). Then, simply ask them if they’re open to working on some special initiatives together.

Initially, you can approach them in bulk with a templated email.

However, keep in mind that these top performers will likely appreciate special treatment. So, don’t make them the same offer you give to everyone else. In Step 3, we’ll delve into the specifics of what kind of special treatment you can offer. But first, let’s pour some fuel on the fire.

Step 2: Recruit more top producers.

Now that you know who your top producers are, it’s time to profile them and find more affiliates just like them. As your affiliate program grows, you’ll start receiving frequent emails from individuals seeking special treatment.

It’s great to see interest, but how do you differentiate between the promising affiliates and the ones who might not be as beneficial?

This is where being proactive comes in. Actively seek out the right kinds of affiliates, especially those who can effectively use affiliate program coupons. By focusing on affiliates who have the potential to be top producers, you can ensure you’re collaborating with the best.

The key is to be selective and use “fitness criteria” to guide your choices.

Fitness Criteria

Before you approach (or respond to) any potential affiliate, make sure they pass your “fitness criteria” checklist. This is a way for you to ensure they:

  • Are legitimate business people
  • Are a good fit for your extra attention
  • Have potential for big sales numbers

How to apply fitness criteria?

Check their social profiles. A blogger, for example, should have a following of more than 1,000-5,000 people on most of the platforms they’re promoting themselves on. If they’re a big name, you should expect social profile numbers exceeding 10k on each platform.

These numbers are a vanity metric, true. However, they give you a rough idea of a possible affiliate’s potential reach. For example, if an influencer has 50k Facebook followers, their email list likely has around 20-30k contacts.

That’s a good amount of people that they could reach to tell about your products.

Check their website for professionalism. It should be professionally designed, and have clear funnels and active contributions from visitors like in the comment sections.

One other thing we like to do is check their LinkedIn profile. This will give you a signal of their legitimacy. Fly-by-nighters who aren’t serious won’t have anything business-related on their LinkedIn.

Serious online marketers have a LinkedIn page, Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account, etc. Even if they aren’t using these for promotions, they usually still have a basic profile with info on it. What you’re looking for is a level of seriousness that comes from someone who knows what they’re doing.

Lastly, we also like to make sure that the people we’re going to work with are also working closely with other affiliate programs.

If you can find evidence of these people doing specific deals with other affiliate programs, it’s a good bet that they’re open to working closely with you. Another excellent sign is that they have special pages honoring other companies’ products, as well as links to, said products via their affiliate program.

Such people are extremely likely to be willing to collaborate with you.

Finding New Affiliates That Fit The Criteria

If you’ve just set up your affiliate program and haven’t attracted many top producers yet, it’s crucial to find the right people who fit your criteria.

Newsflash: Big affiliates aren’t likely to just stumble upon your program and sign up on their own. You need to be proactive in reaching out to potential affiliates.

Like any marketing effort, success in affiliate programs hinges on building connections. Start by creating a dream list of bloggers, online celebrities, or social media influencers you’d love to have promoted your products. Then, create another list of “second-level people” – associates of the big names. These individuals may not have the massive reach of the top influencers but are still significant in your niche.

Why target the lesser-known people first? Because when you have some of these “second-level” influencers on board, the big names will start to notice.

Example of application:

For example, Jill might be the biggest influencer in your niche, but getting her attention is tough. Jane, on the other hand, has a smaller audience, maybe only 1/10th the size of Jill’s, but she’s eager to grow and more approachable for promoting a unique deal.

Gather enough Janes, and you might not even need a Jill. Or, by working with several Janes on joint promotions, you’ll catch Jill’s attention eventually, making it easier to land this big whale of an affiliate.

Next, filter these potential affiliates using your fitness criteria. Apply the same criteria you use for your existing top producers to this new list as a screening tool. With affiliate program coupons as part of your strategy, ask yourself the following:

  • How many social followers do they have?
  • Do they look professional?
  • How big do you estimate their email list to be?
  • Is there evidence of other affiliate marketing programs on their site? (This is a good indicator they are familiar with affiliate programs and are open to them)

Sort these people by fittest and easiest to target, then start contacting them. Directly emailing them, explaining what you do, and inviting them to try some of your products is a great way to break the ice.

Remember: developing a relationship takes time, but you can start today.

Step 3: Choose your approach.

When it comes to affiliate program coupons, there are plenty of effective coupon and deal types you can use with your affiliates. Here are the top four we recommend:

Joint Ventures

Joint ventures are a fantastic way to build trust with your affiliates, especially when combined with affiliate program coupons. These collaborations allow affiliates to have something to sell, making the partnership mutually beneficial.

You can engage in joint ventures in one or a combination of these three main ways:

  1. Jointly promote each other’s products: Use affiliate program coupons to offer special discounts
  2. Create a product together: Develop a new product and use affiliate program coupons to give it an initial boost in sales
  3. Create a product bundle together: Combine products from both parties into a bundle, sweetened with affiliate program coupons to attract more buyers

The point is to do something together that leverages both parties’ audiences.

Standing Discounts

A strategic approach in affiliate marketing involves offering affiliate program coupons, which can be standing discounts that don’t expire and are exclusive to each affiliate. These coupons are an excellent way to incentivize affiliates to promote your products or services to their audience continually.

For instance, an affiliate might offer a 10% discount on all products using a unique code like UNIQUECODE10. This strategy works particularly well for affiliates such as bloggers who frequently recommend products or services to their audience.

They can prominently feature the standing discount on their website’s “recommended” section or integrate it into their content, ensuring ongoing exposure to their audience.

One of the key advantages of this approach is its long-term nature.

By offering a standing discount, you gain extended access to the affiliate’s audience, establishing credibility and trust with potential customers. Moreover, this strategy often results in multiple backlinks to your site over time, which can significantly benefit your SEO efforts.

Exclusive Audience Deals

In some ways, this is like a more temporary standing discount. An exclusive audience deal could be something you want to promote to that affiliate’s audience only as a temporary arrangement.

It might be a special hidden discount on one of your top “entry” products, which could get tons of people in the door whom you can sell to again later. Alternatively, it might be some special product bundle that you can only get via that person’s coupon code.

You can even do things like free shipping deals or anything that makes a promotion unique and stand out from the rest. With exclusive audience deals, you’re more likely to get the affiliate to email their list and shout it out on social media, giving you additional coverage.

First Access Deals

This is similar to exclusive deals, but specifically for new products.

Do you have a big affiliate that can move tons of volume for you? Consider doing a unique launch special just with that person’s audience. You could be looking at huge numbers of sales to kickstart your launch.

First-access deals are great for giving affiliates a reason to promote the heck out of you, too. There’s no better time to get a big boost in affiliate commissions than a launch window.

Conclusion: Growing Your Affiliate Program

Growing an affiliate program can be an incredibly rewarding experience from a marketing perspective and the amount of amazing connections you’ll make in your industry.

The more you get known, the better off your affiliate program (and your store) will be.

So, to sum up, to grow an effective affiliate program for your store you need to:

  1. Start your affiliate program
  2. Identify your top producers (and double down on helping them)
  3. Find new top producers
  4. Choose your approach (note, this could/should vary per affiliate)
  5. Rinse and repeat!

Do you have any questions about how to grow your affiliate program? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Josh Kohlbach CEO

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