When we launched our new affiliate program almost 2 years ago we aimed to increase the number of people who recommend us by providing very competitive payout terms. However, we did not want to diminish the importance of our service quality and our goal was to keep it the number one reason for people to endorse us. The ever growing numbers of affiliate sales over the last 2 years showed that we were on the right track in attracting more affiliates, but we were not so sure about their motivation to join the program and recommend us. That, combined with our wish to gather more information about who our affiliates are, how they rate the different aspects of the program, and what we can do to make things better for them, made us conduct a survey among our affiliates and the results are summarized below.
Who is our Affiliate?
The survey answers revealed the profile of our affiliates is a mix representing the following groups: designer and web developer professionals, bloggers and affiliate marketers, as well as SiteGround clients happy to recommend our services. Half of our survey respondents belong to the designer and web developer communities, who trust SiteGround with their business and value our hosting even further to promote us as affiliates. Bloggers and affiliate marketers form more than a quarter of our affiliates, and the main characteristic of the remaining respondents is they prefer to recommend SiteGround to their personal network.
Why join the SiteGround Affiliate program?
Across the different professional groups and our clients the predominant factor to join the affiliate program was SiteGround’s service quality. It was determined as very important by an overwhelming 84% of the respondents. We couldn’t be happier about this result coming as recognition of our belief that the main motivation for recommending our services should be its quality. And while it is expected the designer and developer professionals will value service quality, as they recommend us to their customers and often need to work with us for ongoing projects, we were expecting that our hosting quality might not be the most important reason for more professional bloggers and affiliate marketers, who often rely on affiliate commissions as a primary income source. Yet, as a group they also have given the highest importance to service quality as a factor for becoming our affiliates. The business incentive for making money from commissions is the second most important reason to become a SiteGround affiliate followed closely by the easiness to join the program.
How Affiliates rate our program?
Over 90% of the overall ratings for the affiliate program are spread between the very good and good responses. This positive evaluation is also validated by the clear preference to recommend SiteGround using the in-house affiliate program, instead of a third-party affiliate network. The features that received the highest results in the assessment of the program were: commission rates, payout policies, affiliate banners and program support. We do have some room for improvement on the affiliate newsletter, statistics and tracking, and affiliate PDFs with promo information. According to our affiliates special promotions work best to generate sales. They were ranked as the most efficient tool for recommending SiteGround, and almost 90% of the respondents would like to receive information in advance about upcoming promotions. Our own sales data backs up this result, as we have observed increased affiliate sales during special promotions periods like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and SiteGround Anniversary, compared to normal days. We are glad to see that a good percentage of our affiliates have taken advantage of the special promotions already, but we want to encourage even more members of the program to utilize this tool to maximize their results.
Along with the positive feedback about the affiliate program we identified areas that can be improved as well. Some of them included insufficient knowledge about the tools available in the affiliate area designated by the “I don't know” answers given to the questions for evaluating the program features and tools. The answers in our survey also indicated a big interest for attendance of a webinar on tactics to increase affiliate sales. Holding a webinar about practical tips for generating more sales within our program seems like a natural next step that will help our affiliates turn their sales potential into earnings.
To sum up the survey results we can say the affiliate program is successful at getting across SiteGround's message that our services are worth promoting because of the high quality, and thanks to our affiliate partners we have expanded our presence in the hosting services market. We are grateful to everybody who participated in the survey and shared their opinions about the program. Thank you for your input and helping us define the path forward.