The best marketers are happy customers.
While you can’t hire them all, you can make them part of your team as affiliates.
Your most loyal customers can benefit from your business beyond your products – they can earn some extra income. You’ll broaden your reach and make more people happy.
However, asking your fans and brand ambassadors to join your affiliate program should be done with careful planning and consideration. When and how you ask matters – which we’ll show you below. Here are some ideas on how you can turn your fans into brand affiliates.
Why Happy Customers?
Apart from the obvious – the cost-effectiveness of affiliate marketing, the expanded reach, and the ease of setting up an affiliate program – converting your brand users into brand promoters can have numerous benefits for your business. Here's why it's a fantastic idea:
- Authentic advocacy: they provide genuine and relatable promotional efforts.
- Trust and credibility: personal connections enhance the credibility of your brand.
- Increased customer loyalty: their deeper involvement with your brand can lead to stronger loyalty and improved retention rates. People buy from people, not brands.
- Continuous feedback loop: affiliates who are dedicated to your brand will provide valuable insights, helping to fine-tune your offerings and customer service.
9 Ways to Turn Your Happy Customers into Affiliates
If you’ve been meaning to reach out to customers but don’t know when to make a move, these ideas will help.
1. Make sure you provide stellar customer service
The first tip isn’t a tactic – it’s a must-have. Your customer service team should be part of your affiliate strategy. They’re the ones who:
- Help turn your customers into fans;
- Are in direct contact with customers and know who’d make a great contact;
- Can directly refer happy customers to the affiliate program.
Teaching your team how they can identify good candidates and sneak your affiliate program into the conversation can be a game changer. But it all depends on the level of service you’re offering. It should be quick, personal, and solution-oriented. If customers see that you offer great support, it’ll give them confidence in you as an affiliate partner.
2. Host exclusive webinars or events
Exclusive webinars or events are a fantastic way to engage your most loyal customers and introduce them to your affiliate program. By hosting these sessions, you can walk them through the benefits, demonstrate how it works, and answer any questions they might have.
Let’s say your product is a SaaS solution”
When you host webinars that show new integrations or you have experts share their best practices with your tool, you keep adding value. (You can also be pretty sure that the ones attending are quite happy with your tool.) So, with these webinars and the communication you can send out afterward would be a great way to introduce your affiliate program to attendees.
Of course, webinars directly dedicated to your affiliate program and the benefits are also possible, but it might be too direct for some users. Rather add value with other content and sneak the affiliate program in when the time is right.
3. Check your social media followers
Chances are, your happy customers are also engaging with you on social media. Why not use these platforms to promote your affiliate program? Publish posts that highlight the benefits of your affiliate program and encourage your followers to join in on the action.
1:1 engagements could work even better. If a customer likes your content or even comments on certain posts, vet them as an option and discuss your affiliate program with them.
4, Involve customers in product development
People love having a say and giving their opinions. You could ask customers for their input on new features or even give them early access to upcoming products or updates. Then, after you’ve gathered ideas and feedback, introduce the participants to your program.
When customers feel that they're part of your brand's growth and evolution or have even contributed to a product, they are more likely to promote it to others.
5. Ease them in with referral programs
While similar to affiliate marketing, referral programs often involve less commitment, making them an excellent first step to get your customers used to promoting your products. Offer benefits like discounts or free services for each successful referral, and keep the system for this simple. Once they see the rewards they can gain, they'll be more open to the idea.
6. Double down on personal outreach
Don't underestimate the power of a personal touch. If you have customers who consistently rave about your products or have a substantial following on social media, reach out to them directly. Explain why you think they'd be a great fit for your affiliate program and offer them the opportunity to join. Look at people who repeatedly buy new products, leave reviews, or tag your brand in their pictures. They're probably waiting for you to notice and get in touch.
7. Build a vibrant community for your customers
A thriving, engaged community can be a powerful tool in your affiliate arsenal. Create a space where your customers can connect, share experiences, and learn from each other.
This could be a Facebook group, a forum on your website, or even a dedicated app.
Encourage discussions about your product or service, answer questions, and share exclusive content. As relationships strengthen, so does the connection to your brand. Slowly introduce your affiliate program and watch your brand advocates multiply.
8. Sweeten the deal with coupons and sign-up bonuses
It’s possible customers are excited about your affiliate program but are impatient and don't want to wait to start earning. Luckily, everyone loves a good deal. Offering coupons or sign-up bonuses is a great way to pique interest in your affiliate program and incentivize affiliates. For example, you can provide a one-time discount code or a cash bonus upon sign-up. This initial incentive can be the push needed.
9. Keep your system and program simple
An affiliate marketing program will fail if it's too complex – on the side of the business or in the eyes of the affiliates. Your fans should easily understand the process of joining, promoting, and earning commissions. The less friction, the more likely they are to join.
Your affiliate tracking platform should be user-friendly and intuitive. Ensure that the process of getting affiliate links, sharing them, and tracking sales is straightforward and easy to understand.
Promoting Your Affiliate Program – Best Practices
Whatever tactic you choose (or come up with), there are some tips to always keep in mind when reaching out to potential affiliates. Here’s what not to miss.
In Your Message
- Personalize your outreach: tailor your communication based on the user's engagement with your brand.
- Invite them personally: if possible, invite your biggest fans personally, showing them that their advocacy is valuable.
- Make sure you follow up: if a fan shows interest, follow up with them in a timely manner. Don't let potential affiliates slip through the cracks.
- Don’t be pushy: give them the space to make a decision. Over-pushing can be a turnoff.
On Your Landing Page
- Highlight benefits: clearly communicate the perks and benefits of joining your affiliate program. Give examples, case studies and let other affiliates share how it benefits them.
- Don’t overcomplicate things: keep the process of joining and being part of your affiliate program simple. Avoid technical jargon, difficult structures, or vague promises.
- Provide clear information: give them a clear idea of what they need to do as an affiliate and how they will earn from it. Add FAQs for any question you can think of, even the simplest ones!
- Don’t hide information: be transparent about the terms and conditions of your affiliate program. If you feel the need to hide something about your program, you may want to reconsider whether it’s fair.
- Offer support: Assure them that they'll have the necessary support, training, and tools to succeed as an affiliate.
- Don’t ignore feedback: If a fan expresses concerns or suggestions, listen to them and take their feedback seriously.
Remember, the goal is to make the transition from fan to affiliate as smooth and appealing as possible, treating your fans with the respect and appreciation they deserve throughout the process.
Which Customers Are You Reaching Out to First?
Your brand fan base, satisfied with your services, is a fertile ground for recruiting affiliates. With Rewardful you can easily harness the power of affiliate marketing for SaaS and experience the exponential growth your brand advocates can deliver.
Pick your plan and start today!