Everyone is talking about how to move your Affiliate program from Google Affiliate Network (GAN) to another network. With Google shutting down, merchants are trying to find a new solution or resource for their Affiliate Programs. A couple of years ago we made a very smooth transition with one of my clients from Google to Share-a-Sale and here is what we did. (This works for any network you choose; however Share a Sale is probably your best option when looking for the best Affiliate Network to move to from the Google Affiliate Network.)
How to move an Affiliate program from the Google Affiliate Network (GAN) to another network.
1. Find another solution for your program asap and start signing up.
Before you alert your Affiliates, you need to have somewhere for them to go to. You don’t want to say you are going to X network when you end up on Z instead. By having a network like the one I recommended above you now have somewhere to send them to and a link for them to join.
2. Have a direct contact at the new network.
You are going to need a direct contact who can speed up the process of approving your top Affiliates if they don’t already have an account on your new network. This way they can instantly replace their links and keep going.
3. Contact all Affiliates who have sent a sale in the last few months individually.
You need to let them know where you are moving and make sure they can gain access (Share a Sale may not let specific top performers from other networks in because of different types of adware as a quick heads up. They are more strict that most other networks when it comes to adware in order to help protect their Merchants and Affiliates.). One thing that will make their transition even easier is if you create a document that shows where their links are on their site and create new links with their new ids for them. Then line them up with the page, the old link and the new link with their ID in it in a list or in a spreadsheet. Now when they go to replace their links, all they have to do is copy and paste. You will make their lives easier and they will be thankful.
4. Download your entire Affiliate List and send a mass email.
Now send a mass email to everyone in the old program (If you are leaving a network that isn’t closing, you may want to check and see what their policy is on this so you don’t get in trouble) and let them know about the changes. Offer assistance and make sure you include your Merchant ID and a link to join inside the email. Other things you will want to do are include your phone number, skype and email address so you can help them move everything over.
5. Set up all of your creatives before they start joining.
Getting everyone to join is one thing. Not having the creatives, text links, widgets and other things they used when they get there can be a deal breaker and make them wait on adding you back to their sites.
6. Create an incentive or contest.
One thing to help get everyone active again is to give a bonus for replacing all links and getting active. It could be a $5 bonus for joining and adding their links back after they send their first sale, or even a drawing for a larger prize. Individual prizes may be better because then they are guaranteed something and don’t have to hope they win a drawing or contest.
7. Work weekends and night time for the next few weeks.
Regardless if you are paid for working at night or have plans, be there for your Affiliates. Many Affiliates may only work in the evening or on the weekends because they have a full time job. If you aren’t there to help with the move to a new Affiliate Network, they will move on. You probably aren’t the only company out there with your products, and throwing up amazon links is a lot easier than transitioning to a new network. If you aren’t doing approvals around the clock, answering emails and taking calls; your content sites and value adding partners will move on. The adware partners, trademark bidders and coupons sites that poach your cart by ranking for your url or name brand + coupons, coupon codes, etc… will always be there because you are giving them free money by allowing them to poach your sales (in my opinion) by going after your current customers already on your site or in the shopping process.
If you are moving an Affiliate Program from one network to another, be ready for a loss in the short run. Not everyone will like the network you go to. Some of them will find alternative programs and networks. It will be your job to show them why they should come back to you. Moving a program can be a pain, but in the long run if you go to a good network like Share a Sale, it will pay off for you if you manage it correctly.