What Suppliers Should Provide to Affiliates

All affiliates have a ‘Supplier Wish List’.  Here’s Travel Dividend’s take on the Top 15 Wishes on every Travel Affiliate’s wish list:

1. Support: Have someone who champions your Affiliate Sales Channel, make affiliates feel ‘warm & fuzzy’

2. Sales tools: Pre-Sell, Sales and Post Sale anxiety reducers

3. Incentives: Provide a target, and pay a bonus if the affiliate hits it

4. No Keyword bidding restrictions: And a Keyword list that you have tested is nice!

5. Tested Ads: Tell affiliates what conversion rate they should expect to achieve from your add, and keep providing new ones that work.

6. Current content: When you add/delete/change information, let your affiliates know.

7. 90+ days cookie duration.

8. Great Ads: Affiliates love high impact graphics and videos in a variety of sizes… widgets are cool, too.

9. Deep Linking: If they are lazy; on a landing page that converts.

10. A Dashboard and Meaningful Reports: Reports that they can generate themselves, and can produce on a frequency most optimal for them, e.g., daily, weekly, monthly and YTD.

11. Telephone Call Tracking and Calls Close: Outside of airline tickets, standard hotels or domestic car rentals, much of their sales will close over the phone, not on the website.

12. Prompt Email Response: If you are a Supplier that has always sold over the phone, and have little experience with web sales or email RFQs, don’t start a Travel Affiliate Program. Emails get ignored when the phones are ringing. This is very, very bad.

13. Happy Customer Service people that are forbidden to say no….and answer their emails promptly too.

14. Preferential pricing: If the affiliate proposes a good, or novel marketing idea.

15. Prompt payment: Preferably by EFT.

And, for those suppliers with products that pay an average of $50 or more in commission – we suggest you look at affiliate payment terms where commissions are paid at the time of customer payment, not the travel date. Like in many other similar business relationships, once you have determined that the affiliate is trusted partner, and has a solid sales track record with you, putting in place such a program (with a built-in projected refunds amount deducted from earned commissions to cover the account’s historical cancellation rate), would be a business decision we strongly urge you to consider.

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