The Power of Profitable Partnerships: $400 Million Sold with Zero In Paid Ad Spend

affiliate marketing

As Co-Founder of East Fifth Avenue, Amber Spears has trained more than 500 companies and helped clients generate more than $80 million in front-end sales and significantly more on the back-end. At Traffic & Conversion Summit 2021, Spears weighed in with her experience-backed insights and tips. 

Here’s a look at what she had to say about how every business can make the most of affiliate marketing. 

On the Ongoing Rise of Affiliate Marketing….

Affiliate marketing burst onto the scene in the early 2000s and has been undergoing dramatic growth ever since. It’s expected to generate $8.2 billion in revenue by 2022 in the US alone. 

In 2019, 40 percent of US merchants cited affiliate programs as their top custom acquisition channel. As paid media channels like Facebook and YouTube become harder to navigate, the channel will take on even more importance.

On What a Business with a Successful Partnership Program Looks Like….

  • Consistent, high quality inbound leads
  • Big spikes in sales from large partners promoting your products
  • A sustainable, scalable part of your business that doesn’t get rocked with every FB or Google algorithm change
  • Building a community and making great money with rusted partners who share in the risk of growing your business with you

On 7 Strategies to Grow Your Affiliate Program

  1. Have the right assets for your partners. Don’t make them do the work! Give them everything they’ll need to want to partner with you. 
  2. Plug holes in your current program and don’t neglect the affiliates you already have. If you’ve got great affiliates, you WILL lose them if you don’t put in the work to keep them. 
  3. Be an important part of your community. Establish yourself as a center of influence.
  4. Be willing to spend money to test to help take the risk off your partners. 
  5. Nurture your best relationships to prevent them from getting poached from you — but still have a pipeline for growing new business.
  6. Incentivize your team and your affiliates with competitive pay, traffic levers, and other tactics.
  7. Invest in training your team to keep turnover rates low. Training, support, and community are the three best ways to make sure your team is in the top 1 percent performance-wise AND that key players won’t leave you.

Final Words of Advice

Spears also underscored the importance of two other aspects of maximizing your affiliate marketing efforts, including:

You need a coach. Most companies and leaders don’t have the time or “know how” to invest. The right person can help you add hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more!) a month in revenue through the use of tools like affiliate audits, asset audits, traffic levers, and more. 

“Algorithms change, but people don’t.” At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for a good community. The best way to build mutually beneficial partnerships is to invest in taking care of your community. The rest will follow!

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Bethany Cowan

I set the stage for expert marketers to connect with eager learners. Together with DigitalMarketer, our audience and attendees at Traffic & Conversion Summit get most relevant, proven and actionable techniques available. When I'm not swimming in spreadsheets or running backup batteries to our speakers, you'll also catch me hosting, emceeing, and speaking from time to time.
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