Many times affiliate networks close down, or you outgrow them and it’s time to move to a new improved version. But the idea can seem daunting. The thing is, it’s really not any harder than when you first started your affiliate program; you just need to remember to plan accordingly and keep in contact with the affiliates you have now so that the transition goes smoothly. Follow these eight steps for a smooth transition to a new affiliate network.

1) Do Your Due Diligence – Study the network thoroughly before deciding to switch. You obviously aren’t happy with the one you have now or you would not be thinking of switching. Take the time to ensure your next choice is a long-term choice that will work for your needs. Make a list of functions you need, along with your budget, and put your answers into a spreadsheet so that you can eventuate better.

2) Get Help – Migrating to a new affiliate network from another can be a busy and complicated procedure. You might consider getting help. If you don’t have an affiliate manager, hiring one who is experienced using the new platform would be a good choice to make at this juncture.

3) Communicate in Advance with Affiliates – It’s important that you open the lines of communication with your affiliates so that they will be ready to move with you to the new platform with the time comes. If you make it an exciting transition that promises more tools for your affiliates, they’ll be excited. But don’t spring it on them. Give them time to prepare.

4) Get Rid of Dead Weight – You probably have affiliates who don’t produce, so this is a great time to only move over people who have made sales in a specific period of time. You can even run a contest in advance of the move to help create more excitement. Don’t forget to look at holidays if you have a product that sells more during holidays. You might have a super affiliate who only promotes your product then and it would be terrible to lose them.

5) Know Your Top Producers – Get to know the affiliates in your network who are your top producers and make a special effort to reach out to them about the switch. You may even want to seek their feedback prior to choosing a new affiliate network to help you make a good decision. Some top affiliates have systems they refuse to work with. You don’t want to make that mistake.

6) Create New Marketing Collateral – You have to switch anyway, so it’s a great time to make, or have made, fresh new creatives. It’ll excite your affiliates and revitalize your brand. They’ll be excited to see new graphics, apps, landing pages and tools that will help them sell even more and make more money. Plus, it’ll give you something to email them about as you send reminders about the migration.

7) Tell Your Customers – While a new affiliate program may not directly affect your customers, it could if you usually allow them to sign into an account (that will now be different) to download the items they’ve purchased repeatedly. If that’s the case, keep them informed just like you will your affiliates.

8) Follow Up – Even after the transition, be sure to talk to your affiliates on the old platform for a while, making sure that all the people you wanted to move over know. You’ll need to send them frequent reminders to stop old creatives, ads, and promotions and to not forget to get enrolled in the new program.

Moving to a new affiliate network can be a great way to increase sales, have access to new and improved features, and give more to your affiliates so that they can market your products and/or services more easily. Don’t shy away from doing it just because you have to go through a trying process.

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