It is sometimes easy to forget that “www” stands for “world wide web.” Being online gives you access to the whole planet, so don’t forget to leverage the rest of the world in your affiliate channel. The best affiliate programs have a global strategy even if they only sell domestically. Let’s break down the considerations for taking your affiliate program global.
Whether you are a global brand looking to expand into new markets or a domestic brand looking to grow your in-country sales, leveraging global media partners is a key component to your success. Just because a media partner lives in Germany doesn’t mean he or she can only get you German traffic. Often times these partners have US-centric sites and attract exclusively US based consumers.
Many leading domestic media partners have international versions of their sites. Almost every country has similar affiliates to the ones you are used to working with in your home base. If you don’t know who these media partners are, it might make sense to engage a consultant or agency to help target and recruit them into your program. When seeking out global media partners, it is best to seek out those that can drive the most volume or you will end up frustrated with few results to show for your efforts.
When creating international partnerships, there are some key capabilities that require international functionality to help you gain an advantage. The most important are are support, reporting, commission terms, and payments. Without international versions these capabilities, it may be more difficult to forge new international partnerships.
Support – Providing responsive support is a must, especially if your partners are many time zones away from you or your agency. Prioritize international responses to minimize the lag between times zones and to demonstrate your commitment to supporting these partners. If your media partner lives in Germany, it is a safe bet that they speak German and most likely have a good English skills as well. When you send out email communications, write in simple sentences and avoid acronyms or words that could be confusing. You might also want to take your email and then run it through Google translate and add the German version under your English version as a courtesy.
Reporting – Local time zones and currencies make it easier to working together. Enabling partners to get reporting based on their time zone and business currency makes partnering with you turnkey. For example, if a partner generates $10,000USD in sales, it may be more useful for the reporting to show them €8,750. They also want to see clicks and conversions for their time zone so they can match up the data with their internal reporting.
Local currency terms – If you are paying out on a CPA, some partners prefer to see the CPA shown in their currency. For example, if you are offering a $30 CPA in the US, consider offering EU partners a €25 CPA.
Payments – Getting paid is the name of the game and being able to process payments in local currencies is key. Again, if your EU media partners are banking in Euros, it is important to pay them in Euros.
Many of these considerations are not easy to manage unless you have a vendor that can provide these capabilities as part of the technology or services. Before you embark on an international strategy, reach out to your vendor to learn about their international capabilities. If you are serious about leveraging international media partners, you need to make sure you make it as easy to partner with you as it is for local companies.