A good affiliate marketing program is only as strong as its weakest partner. Why? As we’ll cover below, your affiliates — the bloggers, influencers, publishers, etc. who refer your company to their audience — act as representatives of your brand. Finding a good fit will help ensure that your program runs smoothly and earns you profit without a whole lot of hassle. Here are some more reasons why it pays (quite literally) to maintain positive affiliate partnerships.

1. It Makes the Referral More Authentic — At this point, it sounds like a tired trope, but it’s still truer than ever: Consumers want authentic, unbiased content. In fact, 90 percent of millennials and 85 percent of Gen X-ers say that authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands to support. When you foster a friendly real relationship with your affiliates, they are much more likely to genuinely support your business. That, of course, leads to an authentic referral.

2. It Puts Your Product in Front of the Right Consumer — When we say “positive affiliate relationship,” we don’t just mean one that functions well on an interpersonal level. We also mean one that provides measurable value to both parties — your affiliate earns a fair commission, and you get your product in front of the right consumers. Good relationships foster high-quality, qualified traffic to your site and deter affiliates from unscrupulous or unethical practices that could set you back or tarnish your brand’s reputation.

3. It Can Help Grow Your Network — Affiliate marketing is basically just the modern-day version of the referral program. It relies on the fact that consumers still highly value word of mouth marketing (WOMM) — 45 percent of consumers learn about a new retailer through friends and family, after all. As WOMM experts, we know that the same goes for affiliate networks. If you maintain a positive relationship with an affiliate, they’re much more likely to recommend your program to their colleagues, which can help you rapidly scale your program (and, in turn, your business).

4. It Can Boost Your Sales — From years in the industry, we know that affiliates prioritize the merchants they enjoy working with the most. This means they’ll work hard to make sure they exceed your expectations and will do it in a reasonable time frame. Coupled with the fact that they’ll be genuinely excited about your product or service and the fact that they’ll happily refer you to their fellow influencers, you can count on some boosts in sales when you prioritize maintaining happy partners.

5. It Can Prevent Conflicts and Disruptions — Having a good affiliate relationship as well as a solid affiliate program policy is vital to ensuring that you don’t wind up in any unpleasant disagreements with the members of your network. You need to communicate clearly and regularly while providing them with all of the information and resources they need to do their job. At the end of the day, this will keep things running smoothly with minimal hiccups.

6. It Saves You Time in the Long Run — Naturally, you’re going to spend a lot more time on a contentious partnership versus one that runs smoothly like a well-oiled machine. On top of that, when you’re friendly with your referral partners, you know their schedule and their preferred methods of contact, which means more efficient communication and scheduling. Some affiliates get comfortable enough to strategize with you and may even help you come up with brilliant new ways to enhance your affiliate program.