How to Get Affiliates in 6 Easy Steps
Having an affiliate sales force in place can mean the difference between minimum to moderate product sales and tremendous product sales rates. Also important is recruiting quality affiliates with proven track records. As a seller, you can use a range of methods to find affiliates, though certain approaches do work better than others. When you take the step into being a vendor rather than an affiliate it can sometimes be difficult finding momentum.
Here are six easy steps on how to get affiliates to market your products.
Step 1 – Sell Your Affiliate Offer
Getting affiliates is really not that much different than getting buying customers. In essence, the mindset needed to recruit affiliates closely resembles the mindset needed to sell a product or service. In order to convince an affiliate to sign up for your program, you basically have to sell them on the offer. So the first step in how to get affiliates entails putting yourself in their shoes.
Affiliates often spend their own money in paid advertising to promote your product and those who don’t are more than likely investing time in article writing, article submissions and email list building. Likewise, an affiliate offer should give them good reasons to “invest” in your product offer.
Putting yourself in a potential affiliate’s place can give you some clues as to what types of offers you’d pounce on and which ones fall by the wayside. Some things to consider when putting together an offer include:
• Having an outstanding product for sale
• Generous affiliate commissions
• Finely-tuned product sales copy
• A demonstrated low refund rate
• If possible, recurring commission or a two-tier commission structure
Offering additional content materials, such as freebie giveaway materials, promotional emails and articles can also help sweeten the deal. Ultimately, the easier you make it to be an affiliate the easier it will be for them to hit the ground running once they sign up.
Just like a good product offer, a good affiliate offer makes it impossible for potential candidates to say no or at the very least peak their interest enough to keep reading. In other words, “sell, sell, sell” your affiliate offer!
Step 2 – Contact Affiliates Directly
The second step in how to get affiliates involves a “taking the bull by the horns” approach. No doubt one of the most straightforward steps, contacting affiliates directly can be a productive (as well as selective) way to recruit your sales team. While email is the preferred contact method, you’ll want to be careful to avoid the “spammer” role. This can be done by searching out high-ranking product sites within your category, visiting these sites and sending a message through the contact link on the site.
This approach not only helps in avoiding the spam dilemma, but also puts you in touch with affiliates who know what they’re doing. Granted, some of these sites will belong to the actual product creator but who’s to say this person wouldn’t be interested in being an affiliate as well? It never hurts to ask!
Affiliates can also be found by doing a generic or wildcard search with the terms “download,” “buy” and “purchase” combined with a product-type descriptor, such as “ebook” or t-shirts. The highest ranking or first 10 sites are the first ones you’ll want to check out.
When contacting potential candidates, simple and concise works best. Basically, you’re offering a partnership opportunity for him or her to consider. Since first impressions only get one try, it’s important to communicate how your product stands out from its competitors. Touching on your generous commission structure and ample supply of pre-written content can also help things along. Also, be sure to leave your contact details as well as a link to both your product page and your affiliate offer page.
Step 3 – Join Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks provide a one-stop shop and solution for anyone looking to recruit affiliates, which makes this step the simplest of all. This third step in how to get affiliates also offers a stable home base for your affiliate program. Affiliate networks are designed to bring sellers and affiliates together so sellers gain instant exposure to active affiliate members. This means you can promote your products and affiliate offers directly to your target candidates. Finding an affiliate network to join is as easy as entering a search for “affiliate networks” in your favorite search engine.
Ecommerce providers, such as Commission Junction and Avangate are another way to find affiliate networks. Some providers offer networks as a free service while others may charge fees for using the platform or for using premium features. In terms of administrative tasks, these networks provide payment options for affiliates, issue refunds and handle much of the customer service work involved with running an affiliate program.
When deciding on an affiliate network, keep in mind that different networks often have different rules (for sellers and affiliates) so there’s no harm in shopping around before deciding to join. Some networks may prohibit sellers from joining other networks so this is something to consider if you’d rather not be tied down.
The quality of affiliates in terms of the average conversion rate can also vary from network to network. Also check the number of affiliates in each network. Networks providing a range of features to affiliates, such as different payment options and automatic feeds can also attract a certain caliber of affiliate. Ultimately, the quality of the network may very well point to the quality of the affiliates in the network.
Step 4 – Use Paid Advertising
Paid advertising campaigns not only work for product sales and email list building, but also for finding affiliates to sell your products. Also known as pay-per-click and pay-per-action ads, this step in the recruitment process will require money and a time investment. This fourth step in how to get affiliates can greatly expand your candidate pool on an ongoing basis.
Depending on demand, ads for certain keywords can run as high as $5 a click though a long-tail keyword approach may help in reducing these costs. Time-wise, you’ll need to set up a landing page that spells out your affiliate offer. Also, the more experienced candidates or those with high conversion rates will research your business so optimizing your website for search engines is a must.
If you’ve joined an affiliate network, the landing page should also include the network sign-up form. It also doesn’t hurt to mention the benefits of working with your chosen affiliate network.
The best thing about paid advertising is the potential for recruiting many, many affiliates as response rates are generally good. To ensure the majority of these sign-ups include quality affiliates, you’ll need to tweak you’re landing page content to include certain qualifications or requirements.
Paid advertising campaigns also allow for niche affiliate advertising based on the keyword selection used. This makes it easier to recruit affiliates who already have experience in your product niche. Though paid advertising may be the most expensive step, when done right the benefits are well worth the money and time investment. Here are
Step 5 – Attend Affiliate Events
Along with the seminars on affiliate marketing, affiliate events create an environment where sellers and affiliates can interact in an ideal setting. These events take place all over the world with a large number held in the U.S.
Step five in how to get affiliates allows you to sell your offer in a real-world setting. This step will take a different kind of planning since you’ll be selling your affiliate offer in person as opposed to online. Overall, this is a good thing as face-to-face encounters can reveal so much more in terms of temperament, expertise and work ethic than online or even phone communications alone.
Many if not all affiliate events offer networking socials for affiliates and sellers to mingle and make new connections. Some even hold open bar gatherings, meaning you may see some qualities you don’t want to see but really should see in potential candidates!
Another benefit from attending affiliate events is the opportunity to present your program in its entirety to interested listeners. Conveying friendliness and excitement over your product offer can go a long way towards convincing an experienced affiliate to jump on board. This combined with the ability to hand-pick your sales team makes for a convenient, if not ideal step towards recruiting new affiliates.
Do keep in mind, there may be some traveling involved depending on where you live and where any particular event is held. Also, most affiliate events charge an entry fee so plan to invest some time and money on this step.
Step 6 – Join Affiliate Communities
Like any online community network, affiliate communities exist on discussion boards, forums and even groups within social networking sites. These communities abound on the Internet so finding them is a breeze. The trick is to find the communities most aligned with your product offer. This entails including a niche descriptor, such as “self help” or “gardening” when searching for affiliate communities.
The great thing about these gatherings is the opportunity to interact with possible candidates and demonstrate your expertise within your niche area. Affiliates often discuss the types of problems they run into when trying to market products. As a seller, you’re in a perfect position to offer solutions based on your own experiences in online marketing.
Something to keep in mind when working this step is the “non-salesy” atmosphere that’s typically expected when interacting in an online community. This means aggressive sales tactics or blatant promotions are not only a no-no but may very well get a seller kicked off a forum. On the other hand, some communities do include a promotions area and feature spots for sellers in which case blatant promotion is warranted.
Overall, this step can greatly increase your exposure in the affiliate community as a whole. Like all marketing efforts, this step will take up some of your time though little to no actual money costs is involved. In a nutshell, step six in how to get affiliates makes you “one of the guys” (or gals) within the affiliate community.
Interestingly enough, the steps involved with recruiting affiliates actually mirror the steps involved with finding paying customers. As each step entails its own approach in terms of environment and atmosphere, sellers can run the gambit when it comes to affiliate hang-outs, get-togethers and question-answer discussions. With a killer product, a finely optimized product site and a “can’t say no” affiliate offer, these steps will put you in all the right places to find quality, high-converting affiliates.
Now you know how to get affiliates in 6 ways. What other methods do you know?