How to Set Affiliate Marketing Objectives

Affiliate marketing objectives can be delivered in just a few words and points, but are critical for shaping your strategy and measuring what success looks like for you and your program. Objectives are the part of the strategy that outline where you’re taking the program and what you want to achieve. 

You can spend a lot of time getting those few sentences just right, which is why we’ve pulled together some of our top tips to generate affiliate marketing objectives that can deliver. 

LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE

Don’t just look at the affiliate program and channel for objective inspo. Aside from delivering customers to clients via the affiliate channel, programs can add value to the wider goals of a brand whether it’s a new product launch, new customers, exploring a new customer demographic, or helping to establish a foothold in a new country market. 

Take a top-down approach.  Listen to the brand’s ambitions and plans for the short and long term. Then, assess the goals of the wider marketing team; how do they see affiliates fitting into their marketing mix? How can affiliates compliment other digital channels?

BE SMART

Chances are, if you’ve been involved in writing a marketing strategy, you’ll have heard about setting SMART objectives – objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. 

SMART affiliate marketing objectives look like this: 

  • Specific – be clear and well defined in your end goal.
  • Measurable – ensure you set an objective that can be quantified and where KPIs can be set.
  • Achievable – a key part of any objective.  If you can’t achieve it, you are setting yourself up to fail before you even begin.
  • Relevant – set goals that are relevant to your program and the brand (see first point).  
  • Timely – ensure you have a deadline, and make sure it’s realistic.

LEARN FROM PREVIOUS OBJECTIVES

Take time to review your previous affiliate marketing objectives – what worked, what didn’t, what would you do differently? You can even reach out to your affiliate base and ask them what they think is achievable. Adapting objectives to reflect previous learnings can strengthen future affiliate marketing success and ensure you don’t repeat mistakes.  

You can also learn from other brands in your industry, as this will give you an idea of what’s achievable and what can give you a competitive advantage. You can do this by exploring affiliate marketing case studies or talking to other affiliate teams. 

WHAT DOES SMART LOOK LIKE?

Let’s take an example of a high street fashion brand who is looking to reduce the reliance of sales through bottom funnel partners to protect their brand values.  A SMART affiliate marketing objective may look like:

Diversify the affiliate mix by reducing voucher and cashback revenue contribution to a combined maximum of 45% and increasing content revenue contribution to a min 15% for the financial year 2023-24.

Don’t work harder, work smarter.  Building SMART objectives fuels affiliate marketing strategy success, driving maximum productivity for your program.  Without them, focus goes off course, results are lost, and you end up working harder to achieve your end goal. Also, by building great affiliate objectives, it shows you are laser focused on delivering the best results. It builds trust and confidence and demonstrates your capabilities as an expert affiliate marketer!  

Top tip:

Share your objectives with your affiliates. Not only will this help build stronger and more profitable relationships, but affiliates can also provide insights and recommendations to assist you in achieving your objectives. 

Get in touch with Silverbean today for help hitting your brand’s affiliate marketing objectives.