Starting your affiliate program can be just the beginning, now it’s time to find your brand ambassadors.
So you’ve started an affiliate program and presented it to the world, now it’s time to get those affiliates on board to promote your products or services. Whilst affiliate networks provide the platform and facilitate the medium between merchants and affiliates they are not responsible for recruiting new affiliates to your program. So it is important you make yourself aware of the ways in which you can find affiliates and promote your program.
In this article we will explore the different ways in which you can contact and more importantly find new publishers.
Dedicated Affiliate Sign Up Page
One of the most important and easily implemented recruitment strategies that is so often overlooked is the addition of an affiliate sign up page on your own website. Affiliates are internet savvy and likely do a great deal of purchasing online. When they discover an online store selling products they are interested in and regularly purchase from, it is highly likely that if you advertise your program they will sign up. You can add a new page in your footer called “Affiliate Program” that outlines your program features and how you differ from your competitors. This page should also have a link to the sign up page specific to the network you have chosen to promote with or the application form on your own website if you run and manage your own program.
It is important to note that when affiliates are searching for a program they will either search your store name + “affiliate program” or Category + Affiliate Program. Structuring your title tag to snag these searches is very important so we have outlined below how you might write it:
Store Name | Category Affiliate Program (e.g. MensFashion Store | Mens Fashion & Clothing Affiliate Program)
Affiliate Program Directories
There are loads of affiliate program directories out there for you to create listings on that advertise your program and the network/s you are associated with. These sites act like any standard directory website and in most cases are always free to advertise. Ensure that your program description is short and compelling, outline what makes you great and what you’re offering and the advertising creatives you have made available.
Whilst you want to make your program look like the best thing since sliced bread you do not want to cheapen it by using sale terms like “Highest Payouts on the Internet”, “Get Rich Promoting our Products”. Affiliates have seen it all and the successful ones have been around long enough to simply guffaw at claims like these.
List of Affiliate Program Directories
Sometimes the most valuable affiliates won’t come to you organically nor might they even be looking for you so the good ‘ol direct email contact or phone call can work like a charm. Finding people to promote you requires a little Google snooping, finding all websites and blogs that are in your niche or even these that aren’t but your products or services might be able to compliment their content or angle.
When sending an email it is important to keep it to the point and tell possible affiliates how you can benefit them and what you’re offering. Once again don’t use any bold sales claims, they just do not work beyond the desperate and jobless. Below we have outlined how you might structure your email.
Subject: [Company Name] Partnership Proposal
Dear [Blogger Name, To Whom…, Website Name]
My name is [insert name] and I am the [position] of [company name, website] and I am contacting you today to enquire as to whether we could work together in a mutually beneficial arrangement.
We operate an online store that specialises in [category], your website caters to the interests and traffic that is immediately relevant to our niche but does not compete with you directly. For this reason we would like to partner with you whereby you would earn a commission of [commission rate] for every sale that you refer to us.
We have a range of banners available that you can place on your website, video content, emotive and promotional images and a data feed to help you review and link directly to products you wish to write about. [Mention a place on their site where they could place your ads, this shows that you have ACTUALLY looked at their website]
We manage our program through the Commission Factory network, so if you are interested in promoting us you can visit their website and create an account which is a quick and simple process. Please visit https://dashboard.commissionfactory.com/affiliate/register/ to create your account if you haven’t got one already.
We really look forward to working with you and should you have any questions or requests please do not hesitate to contact us.
Affiliates are not in short supply of affiliate programs to choose from so the real challenge here is ensuring you stand out from the rest. This can be achieved by sending them some actual Snail Mail or even a postcard introducing yourself. Never sell yourself short and underestimate the power of an experienced affiliate, one affiliate alone can earn as much if not more than all of your other affiliates combined.
Please note you may not receive a response from the first email, so be sure to follow-up a week later, if no response send another two weeks after that. Some affiliates are busy people and simply have not had a chance to explore your program and respond to you, but keeping yourself above the fold in their inbox will allow for a greater rate of response.
Social media and blogging
We are now in an age where we can personally follow the goings-on of our favourite celebs and companies, so if you have not had a crack at this then it is high time so that you can reach out to more customers and….. affiliates. Twitter is a great way for you to find some new affiliates by doing a hash tag search for #affiliate — see who comes up and follow them. From here you are able to do some due diligence on these people and what they can do for your program.
Facebook company pages are another means in which to attract new customers and affiliates. The company wall can be a great place to receive regular updates about what you’re doing and what new products have been added.
If you are not running a blog you are not capitalising on Googles love of new content and regular updates. By writing a company blog integrated with affiliate news and updates you could be missing out on some organic search traffic. When affiliates choose to join a program they want to see you are active in your campaign, if the lights are on and no one is home you will soon find yourself losing your publishers to the competition that IS active and offering new feeds, banners, coupon codes etc.