Rules of Engagement: Getting and Keeping Partners Engaged

RulesofEngagement.jpgThere exists a type of partner that companies dream of working with  – the partner that sends out emails to quality leads regularly, that has consistently good performance, and leverages social media to their advantage. The trouble is that this partner is a rare find, since most partners are too busy managing their business to effectively market. Companies are left wondering how to motivate their partners to this gold standard, not realizing that partners at every level of performance and engagement can be useful. That being said, there are more useful questions to ask than “How can I get more partners to this gold standard?” Thinking of partners as “gold” or “not gold” can be unfair to those at other tiers of performance. Think about these questions instead: How can you best enable your partners to be successful? What best practices can be put in place? What are the absolute necessities you need in order to get started?

Make It Mobile

Given how much of today’s online interactions take place through mobile devices. making channel resources available on mobile devices is crucial to keeping partner engagement high. Partners are busy meeting with contacts and might not be sitting at their computer most of the day, but that does not mean you can’t meet them where they are.

Fine Tune Your Partner Engagement Strategy

Research indicates that partners prefer quality over quantity for marketing communications. Keep your interactions personalized and relevant to keep your partners happy.

One traditionally popular method of partner engagement is on its way out, too. Just sending bulk emails simply won’t cut it anymore, especially when partners receive dozens of generic emails from vendors every day. In order to stand out, you’ll need to automate responses that directly relates to partner activities. Let them know that what they are doing is not going unnoticed, and give them tips on next steps for their current actions. For instance, if a partner downloads one PDF, send an automated follow-up email recommending similar marketing materials, such as a related training video. Automated mass customization is the key to keeping partners happy and interacting with your program.

Don’t Overlook the Underdogs

Speaking of keeping partner engagement high, one critical mistake made too often is overlooking partners who aren’t your top-tier performers. Focusing on these underdogs could potentially add more superstars to your program. Encourage engagement with incentives for each tier of partners – whether they’re top performers or only occasionally make use of your collateral. Simply asking partners what will get them excited about your program is another way to help them succeed. Sometimes the easiest option is also the best one!

Want a few more ways to help keep your partners’ interest? Check out our full ebook, How to: Supercharge Partner Engagement, for more ideas on how to earn and keep partner participation and loyalty in your program.


Originally posted on Channel Chatter, by Cameron Sutton. Cameron is a Marketing Content Manager at Zift Solutions.


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