A woman on a street at night, smiling at her cell phone after receiving a personalized offer through an affiliate marketing program.

How To Triple Engagement with Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Posted on Mar 26, 2020 · 4 min read

From shoes to stereos to sweet travel deals, you can promote anything using affiliate publishers. And if you do use affiliates, you’re in good company.  More than four in five brands use affiliate marketing, and affiliates drive 16% of all online orders.

By leveraging affiliate channels, marketers can share personalized offers with numerous consumer tribes, such as students, teachers, or the military. In return, the affiliate publishers earn a commission.

Brands use verification to preserve the integrity of these offers. Affiliate-based verification gives your brand access to a portion of your target audience, but it actually restricts your ability to fully leverage all the affiliate publishers and communities that cater to your target audience. This limits revenue potential.

You can best maximize your personalized offers by  digitally verifying shoppers with an identity marketing platform. Then you can promote your offer through all the relevant affiliate communities and sites. Personalized offers can see 3x more traffic if they are promoted by multiple affiliate publishers instead of just one.

Personalized offers that use digital verification and promote offers through multiple affiliate publishers see 3x more traffic.

Follow the Money: Why You Need Digital Verification

Digital verification is vendor agnostic. Using it increases your channel marketing options because multiple publishers will help you reach your audience in exchange for commission on purchases.  

Many affiliate-based verification providers, on the other hand,  are set up to receive last-touch attribution. Because of this, most affiliate publishers won’t promote your targeted offers, and who can blame them? They would forfeit their commission.  

Most affiliate communities and marketplaces are also reluctant to  send consumers to these verification providers because they don’t want to help them grow their membership base.  The providers are the competition.

An image that says in the left column: Affiliate-Based Verification 20% off for Military Customers Affiliate-Based Verification Provider 3 Customers And in the right column: Digital Verification 20% off for Military Customers Identity Marketing Platform Hundreds of customers.

Not only does affiliate-based verification cost more in the long run, it also delivers a poor customer experience and has a number of other risks and limitations. The comparison table below highlights the difference between the two methods.

Affiliate-Based Verification Digital Verification User Experience Customers have to go to create an account with the affiliate publisher, get verified & redeem the offer. Customers remain on your website and are instantly verified. Privacy Concerns Often requires sensitive personally identifiable information (PII), such as an SS#. Requires only the PII customers are most willing to provide: name, email, DOB. Cost You pay a percent of each transaction as commission, plus verification and document review fees. You pay for only the verification and keep all the margin. Customer Data Data is not shared with you, and can be used to market competitive offers. You receive zero-party data. Customer Loyalty Can’t integrate with your loyalty programs. Easily integrates with your loyalty programs. Marketing Support Will market your brand but it might be alongside your competitors. Marketing support is available from the identity marketing platform provider. This includes best practices and consumer insights to help you reach your target audience.

7 Steps to Maximizing Your Affiliate Program

Here’s how to amplify your affiliate program with digital verification:

01 Pick the Tribe That Fits Your Brand

Determine the attributes of your target market, such as age, gender, income level, how they spend their time, and any known preferences. Most brands already do this when they develop their target personas. Then you map your personas to a consumer tribe you can reach through an identity marketing program.

02 Create an Attractive Offer

Consumer tribes respond well to brands that honor their identity with personalized offers. Sixty-four percent of teachers say that getting a teacher-specific discount makes them feel valued. And 65% of the military say receiving a personalized offer makes them feel supported.

03 Digitally Verify Customers with an Identity Marketing Platform

With digital verification, customers are instantly verified using only the data they are most willing to provide, a frictionless experience they appreciate. The identity marketing platform uses 9,000 authoritative data sources to ensure the security and integrity of your offer, reducing fraud—especially among students with .edu email addresses.

Digital verification uses 9.000 authoritative data sources to ensure the security and integrity of your offer.

04 Promote Your Offer through All Your Channels

Digital verification through an identity marketing platform is white-label, so you can share your offer broadly on your other existing channels—website, email, social media, paid and organic search, referrals, and content marketing.

05 Promote the Offer through Any and All Affiliates

Identity marketing is compatible with all affiliate programs, so all affiliate publishers will promote your offer—instead of just one. For example, if you offer a military discount, MilitaryTimes.com and ArmyWife101.com will publish it. Brands using this strategy typically see triple the traffic.

06 Nurture Ongoing Engagement with the Customer Data You Collect

Your affiliate marketing program is great for customer acquisition. However, the real power of that first sale is the opportunity for future sales that grow your customer lifetime value (CLTV). Digital verification provides you with zero-party data to drive nurture programs and create lifelong customers. Brands using digital verification can see ROAS as high as 25:1.

07 Track and Optimize Your Program

As with any marketing  effort, be sure to examine how well the campaign is performing. Use the platform’s dashboard to measure the revenue generated and fraud prevented, and to review verification analytics and conversion metrics. Look at which programs drive the most traffic, which segments drive demand, and how many of your customers are instantly verified, and then optimize accordingly.

Make the Most of Your Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate marketing is a powerful channel for delivering personalized marketing to consumer tribes. And using digital verification to secure those offers costs less, provides a better customer experience, and delivers greater returns for your brand.

Read our e-book: The Definitive Guide to Identity Marketing

Erika Tansey by Erika Tansey