Top tips for running the best International Affiliate Programmes

Taking your Affiliate Partner Program global is a huge commercial opportunity, but it comes with its risks. 

Worldwide investment in affiliate marketing is over £12 billion and growing as US brands invest 10% more in the channel every year. With over 81% of global brands investing in an Affiliate Partner Program, the opportunities are endless. The channel, which still acts as a powerful means of generating revenue, can now work to deliver a variety of business objectives. From raising brand awareness in new territories to managing brand reputation, an effective Partner Program with a varied affiliate mix can make all the difference.

It’s no wonder that brands are investing heavily in the affiliate channel when taking their brand global. Whether you’re already operating internationally and simply want to take your Programm there, or you’re planning to take your brand to new shores, let us take the reins. 

We’ve worked with huge global brands including Hello Fresh and MONNIER Freres to take their Affiliate Partner Programmes into new territories.  If you are considering expanding your affiliate program overseas, take a look at our case study on international expansion with one of the worlds biggest sports performance brands, or a meal subscription client who have expanded across EMEA and North America.

1. Choosing the network

When selecting an affiliate network for your international Affiliate Partner Program, consider what you are wanting to achieve. Do you already operate in these countries or is your brand new to the audience in question? Your network should be able to give valuable insight when it comes to local opportunities – all over the world. 

To give your Partner Program the best head start, opt for a network that has extensive operations in the countries you’re hoping to move into – on a national and local level. They should be best placed to turn their knowledge of each market’s unique characteristics and trends into a strategy that works for your brand.

We work closely with the key affiliate networks across Europe, Northern America and Australasia. By working with us, you’ll benefit from our strong relationships with partners and publishers all over the world. We’ve been in this game since 2002, so our little black book is bursting with international and local partners specialising in the retail, travel and lifestyle sectors.

2. Be mindful of cultural differences

While you may have a successful domestic affiliate program, you shouldn’t simply replicate the campaign in an international market. It pays to take the time to get familiar with the affiliate landscape, including different cultures and customs.

For instance, the US affiliate market is wider and larger than the likes of Central Europe and Australia. As a result, you should expect to set aside a larger budget for good exposure. 

Consumer behaviour varies widely from country to country, with a greater emphasis given to coupons and cash-back in the US compared to elsewhere. In other markets, such as Australia, affiliate marketing is still in its infancy. While such countries might have some catching up to do, this could offer a great opportunity to establish your brand in these untapped markets as they grow

3. Localised Campaigns & Publishers

This is where your research comes in. Become an expert in your target market and uncover local opportunities you may not have thought about. We manage Affiliate Partner Programs in 11 countries, so we know how to spot those key opportunities when they arise. 

Start by making a note in your diary of the key calendar dates in the countries in which you operate – this way, you won’t miss out on any hot shopping dates such as Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

4. Brand awareness

When expanding into a new country, your company won’t have the same profile that it does in the UK. For this reason, it is all the more important that your Affiliate Partner Program presents your brand to new audiences in the right way. 

Building strong working relationships with affiliates in new countries and demographics is easier said than done. The chances are, your brand is not well-known (or even recognised at all!) by key potential partners in your target market. 

Not only do we run international Affiliate Partner Programs for a number of global brands, but we also hold developed relationships with content partners all over the world. Just because your brand perception and awareness is low, it doesn’t mean you can’t get traction in new territories, through some effective brand awareness.

5. Being aware of seasonality

Can you change how your website appears to customers depending on their location? Bear in mind that while we might be wrapping up for winter here in the UK when lucky Australians are gearing up for the summer sun. 

Make sure your website is flexible for different customers and targets them with content and products that are relevant to their needs. After all summer focused products promoted in December aren’t going to be a big seller for Australians who are after a bikini to hit the beach.

6. Overcome the language barrier

This might seem like an obvious one, but making sure that your website is translated into the appropriate languages is a quick win when it comes to increasing conversion rates. 

Delivering your campaign in the local language will not only ensure that customers are engaged but it means affiliates are more inclined to join your program too.

Remember to translate all pages of your website and don’t neglect your customer service and ‘About Us’ pages – they are key for those all-important first impressions when introducing your brand to a new market.

7. Currency and shipping

Aim to remove any potential barriers that will deter international customers. Offer your affiliate campaign in the local currency and make shipping costs transparent, or better yet, where possible try to run free shipping offers.

So, you’re ready to take your brand global? An international affiliate program is a great way to enter the market by bringing relevant eyes to your product. Not sure where to start? We’re the experts. We’ve helped huge retail brands go global with comprehensive and tactical affiliate programs suited to their target audience. Get in touch to find out how we can help your brand.

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