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Nov 08, 2021

YOUR 5 STEP PLAN TO DRIVING INCREMENTAL REVENUE

Bethany Cowan

Although the approach of BrandVerity is inherently sophisticated, the concept at the heart of it couldn't be more straightforward. It's a business dedicated to protecting the world's biggest brands online by helping them create better and more organic (not to mention compliant) marketing programs in the face of today's ever-changing digital landscape.

At the center of these efforts is Georgia Gier - Vice President of Customer Success. She started with the organization seven years ago as its first female employee and now manages no less than 11 managers and analysts across the United States and Europe.

Affiliate marketing has been a significant part BrandVerity's success up to this point - but in Georgia Gier's estimation, it's something that brings with it both risks and rewards in equal measure. The risks include intercepting customer traffic in a way that could potentially see a brand pay an affiliate for traffic that was already on their way to the business' website. Usurping brand loyalty, the potential to offer unnecessary discounts to existing customers and dilution of the larger brand message are also risk factors.

Having said all of this, there are five things that businesses can do to mitigate these risks and drive as much incremental revenue moving forward.

#1 Study the Customer Journey

First and foremost, brands need to understand the journey their customers are going on. They need to know how customers get to their website and the purchase path they take. That way, they can see where affiliates contributed along the way to help better determine commissions.

#2 Watch Performance Metrics
Along the same lines, they need to carefully vet and review affiliates and partners - meaning they shouldn't have an open program. Always be on the lookout for anomalies in the metrics and know how your affiliates drive traffic and what "normal" actually looks like for them.

#3 Have Clear Expectations from the Get-Go
Writing clear affiliate and partner agreements is also a must, especially in the fast-paced world we're now living in. Review affiliate agreements and ensure that you're being clear on allowable promotional methods and at the very least, consider a "three strikes and you're out" policy in the future.

#4 Compare Affiliate and Paid Performance
Georgia Gier also indicated how important it is to monitor all paid search and affiliate programs in a proactive way. Businesses need to understand that they should implement a regular monitoring process - whether it's manual or with an automated solution is less important than it existing at all. They should also define and communicate both roles and responsibilities with the entire team. 

#5 Follow Through
Finally, brands need to put themselves in a position to enforce their affiliate agreements no matter what. Reach out to any affiliates to inquire about suspicious activity and follow through on your pre-existing agreements if an affiliate isn't playing by the rules.

If you're able to successfully follow these best practices, you'll have more than just an efficient affiliate marketing program on your hands - you'll have the rock-solid foundation upon which the next decade or longer of success will be built.

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