Adam Westreich on “How To Launch New B2B Affiliate Programs”

Adam Westreich has been diving deep into the affiliate space for more than a decade. After working in roles on almost every possible side of the industry, Adam built his own agency, Westreich Consulting, which specializes in helping B2B affiliate programs.

There are unique challenges that affect B2B affiliate programs that we don’t see as prevalently in other verticals. Michael Cole, VP of Marketing at Everflow, recently caught up with Adam to discuss how B2B programs can overcome those challenges during a fireside chat.

 

The main takeaway from this chat was that removing as much friction as possible will lead to a more successful B2B program. Here are a few key tips from Adam for cutting friction for your affiliates while ramping up your program performance:

Know your competition. Are other companies like yours seeing results with affiliate marketing? It helps to at least be similar enough to be vetted against others on comparison sites. Partnering with publishers like Natural Intelligence and checking out sites like top10.com that rate top brands within a vertical, can be a good indication of your program’s potential.

Additionally, if you’re new to the space, you may need some help getting your name out there. If you don’t have a known brand name, utilize an agency for relationships, or hire someone internally that has the connections you need. At the end of the day, affiliates are relationships, and it’s hard to build the relationships you need without a name people know.

Find benchmarks through paid marketing. Affiliate marketing is an extremely cost-effective channel, but that’s because the affiliate is the one who bears the burden of cost, and you only pay them for your wins. Since affiliate marketing puts all the risk on the affiliate, you’ve got to identify your campaign’s worth prior to bringing them on board.

Most affiliates are not interested in testing campaigns for you; they want you to have already done that work so they can see results as soon as possible. Start with other channels first to set your affiliates up for success. Figure out how your offer shines, including details like which landing pages perform best and which keywords work best for your SEM strategy. You want to be able to pass these key details to your affiliates so they are more likely to see quicker success with your offer. 

Address the sales cycle. Keep in mind that, for B2B, shorter sales cycles are king. Not only do affiliates get to see returns quicker, but you may also be able to pay your affiliates based on a standard CPA model, which keeps things simple. However, if the cycle is more than 30 days, you may need to get a bit more creative. For example, for a longer window that begins with a signup, tracking another event between the signup and the sale could be a touchpoint from a salesperson to gauge the likelihood of a customer converting. If this is part of your sales strategy, it’s crucial to make sure that salespeople are holding up their end of the bargain. Otherwise, the conversion rate from free trial to paying customer will plummet.

Write your copy (or hire someone to write it!). You should expect that there is no one-size-fits-all package that all affiliates will be able to use to succeed in your program. Things that may seem insignificant, like being able to provide copy, can make all the difference. Come up with a short 200-word description of your products, a longer paragraph write-up, as well as bullet points for unique selling points, so that your affiliates aren’t struggling to describe the product. It’s so important to be able to support your publishers with anything they may need , as otherwise they’ll quickly move on to promoting other brands.

Although B2B isn’t necessarily the most popular vertical for influencers and affiliates, money talks. One of the biggest differences between e-commerce and B2B is the revenue potential for affiliates since B2B products tend to sell for significantly more than, say, a pair of jeans. That being said, it’s worth exploring whether affiliate marketing is a viable option for your B2B product. Feel free to reach out to Adam at https://www.basset.dog.

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