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What Are the Best Rewards for High-Performing Affiliates?

Rewardful Team

We often get asked the question “why reward high-performing affiliates if they're already maxing out their commission payouts?” And it’s valid. Essentially, it comes down to loyalty. 

In this article, we'll discuss when to reward top performers and what you could offer them. We'll move beyond one-off bonuses and discuss setting up a solid rewards system that recognizes and rewards hard work. Let's dive in! 

Identifying High-Performing Affiliates

First, who are these high performers? They are not just the ones who bring in the most sales.

Here’s what also matters:

  • They're engaged with your program: if they're always active and engaging with your campaigns, that's a good sign they’re invested.
  • The traffic they send is top-notch: it's not just about how many clicks they send your way. Do these clicks convert? Do visitors stick around? That's the traffic you want.
  • They really get your brand: the best affiliates understand what you're all about. They share your values and they communicate it to their audience in all the right ways.
  • They know your products inside out: these affiliates do their homework. They can talk about your products in ways that really connect with potential customers, answering questions and clearing doubts.
  • They're proactive: a fresh idea for content? An idea for a webinar? These affiliates come up with (good) ideas without being asked. 
  • They are consistent: you're not just looking for someone who had a fantastic month, you want to reward people who show consistency over time. 

At the end of the day, or month, you want to look beyond sales numbers when identifying who deserves a reward. An affiliate that had a poor month in sales volume but was busy building a new campaign to launch should still get rewarded. Reward the ones you'd like to see repeated—including the things that indirectly lead to success.

Why You Should Be Tailoring Your Rewards

When you decide that different achievements deserve rewards, you also acknowledge that those rewards should be tailored. You don't just send everyone the same gift card at the end of the month. Here's why you want to set up a reward system that covers different types of bonuses.

  • Personalization shows effort: recognizing each affiliate's specific achievements and efforts makes them feel valued. Over time, they'll see that you put a lot of effort into finding fitting rewards for different achievements, which they'll appreciate.
  • Personalization boosts loyalty: when affiliates see that you’ve taken the time to understand what types of rewards they actually value, they’re more likely to stick around and chase more rewards. That's how they turn into incentives.
  • Personalization encourages more dedication: if you've unlocked one personalized reward, you're probably curious to know what else there is. That way, their rewards, aka incentives, act like a personal challenge. It pushes affiliates to reach more and different targets.

This just shows that it's not always about money. In fact, often, the best rewards aren’t cash. 

And that brings us to sharing some inspiration for your reward program.

Ideas for Rewards for Your Top Performers

A bonus here and there is, of course, appreciated, but you can do better than that and show off just how innovative your company is. Here are some tailored incentives to try out:

  • Offering tiered commission structures ensures that rewards are already built into your program to a certain degree. This immediately encourages affiliates to kick things up a notch to achieve those higher commission rates.
  • Provide your top performers with exclusive tools or resources that aren’t available to all affiliates. It could be a premium membership to certain tools, or even help from other professionals such as video editors.
  • Celebrate them in public — and do it right. Highlight their achievements in a dedicated section of your website, in newsletters, or during webinars. Make sure it's authentic and not an afterthought. Don't forget to reach out to them personally.
  • Give them a say in your product development. Offer them a chance to participate in beta tests or ask for early feedback on new products. You'll get great ideas, and they'll feel invested in your brand’s future.
  • Invest in their professional development. That could look like covering the cost of certifications or training courses, gifting them books, or setting them up with a mentorship program, depending on their own needs.
  • Give them merch they actually want to wear and use. Make sure it is relevant to your brand and them. It might seem small, but for certain achievements, this can be a nice personal touch.
  • Meet up! Invite them to exclusive events such as retreats or meet-ups with other top performers. This is great for providing networking opportunities and building a sense of community.
  • Provide them with VIP support. Of course, all your affiliates should have access to solid and timely support, but giving your high-performers access to a dedicated support manager is a great way to ensure their creativity and hard work can keep flowing.
  • Give them early access to new products. That also means they can hit the ground running with promoting them as soon as they get released to the public.
  • For the best of the best, consider profit sharing. Offering a share in the profits derived from the sales they generate creates an even deeper financial incentive and aligns their goals closely with your business outcomes.

Implementing a Rewards System

While the ideas we listed above are separate rewards, it's important that you set up a system for recognition and rewards. This means that no big achievement accidentally gets forgotten, and ensures that there's consistency. You don't want affiliates to wonder why others get rewarded and they don't, so communicate clearly about when which rewards will be given. 

And you don't have to immediately start big.  It’s often more effective to start small—perhaps with a pilot group of your top-performing affiliates. This selective approach allows you to introduce new rewards in a controlled environment, making it easier to test what works and what doesn't.

As you gather feedback from this group, you can fine-tune the rewards you're giving. By the time you’re ready for a full rollout, your rewards system is well-optimized and more likely to be well-received by your high-performing affiliate community.

Measuring the Impact of Your Reward System

Now, this isn't all just for fun and to be nice. At the end of the day, you want your reward system to have a positive impact on both your affiliates and your brand — there's a synergy there after all. That's where measuring comes into play.

Again, it's crucial to look beyond just the sales figures. Here's what to look at:

  • Are affiliates more active than before? If they are, this is a strong indicator that the new rewards are motivating.
  • Do your affiliates express greater satisfaction with the program? That's good news: satisfaction can lead to higher retention rates and more enthusiastic promotion of your products.
  • Is there a noticeable improvement in the quality of their promotions? Higher quality content may attract better leads, enhancing overall program success.

It's up to you to continuously monitor these metrics and gather direct feedback through surveys or informal check-ins. Use this data to tweak your rewards and watch your affiliate program blossom even more.

Rewards Are an Investment Into Your Affiliate Program

Investing in the right rewards for your affiliates is not just about giving away perks Oprah-style; you're strategically fueling the growth of your affiliate program. ''Simply'' by recognizing and appreciating the hard work of your top performers, you create an even more motivated community that's excited to push your brand forward. 

Ready to take your affiliate program to the next level with a system that makes rewarding easy? Check out how Rewardful can streamline your efforts. Visit our pricing page to find the plan that best fits your needs, and start transforming your affiliate strategies today!

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