Affiliates, where art thou?
The success of your affiliate program relies on your promoters, so while it’s a relatively passive marketing tactic, you proactively need to recruit the right types of affiliates.
Having a strategy for recruiting affiliates for your program can be a game-changer.
The right affiliates help drive traffic, increase sales, and spread the word about your products or services, all while you focus on other marketing and business elements.
Now, how to find these superstar affiliates? It takes a bit of digging, or some expert advice. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or new to affiliate marketing, we’ve gathered some effective strategies in this blog to recruit affiliates when running an affiliate program.
1. Make Sure You’re Easy to Find
First things first: you’ll want your affiliates to find you.
There’s more you can do than promote your program properly on affiliate network listing sites, or joining affiliate program directories. To bring all the affiliates to your yard, you need to make sure you are easily discoverable. Here's how to recruit affiliates effortlessly:
Write a clear and compelling program description
Let’s start with crafting a captivating program description that highlights the unique features and benefits of your affiliate program. Showcase the attractive commission structure and how you will support them with exclusive promotional materials and any special incentives. Let them know why partnering with your program is a win-win opportunity – but keep it real.
Create a landing page that doesn't just sell but also supports
The best way to sell your affiliate program to potential affiliates? Show them. By this, we don’t just mean their possible earnings but also how you make it easy for them to thrive.
Maintain an FAQ section and an affiliate program support site or blog. This is a two-birds-one-stone situation because these resources can help potential affiliates find you via search engines and get their questions answered without needing to contact you directly.
Put yourself in the shoes of affiliates-to-be, and answer anything you can think of.
Here are some questions to include:
- What is the commission structure?
- How and when are affiliate payments made?
- What is the cookie duration for tracking affiliate referrals?
- What promotional methods are allowed or prohibited? For example: can affiliates advertise on Google Ads?
- Are there any specific guidelines for using affiliate links or promotional materials?
- How are sales and conversions tracked?
- Is there a minimum threshold for affiliate payouts?
- Are there any restrictions on geographic locations for affiliates?
- Do you provide affiliate support and resources?
- What platform do you use? Are you using SaaS affiliate tracking?
- Are there any performance-based incentives or bonuses available?
- Can affiliates promote multiple products or services within the program?
- Are there any special promotions, discounts, or exclusive offers for affiliates to promote?
- How frequently are reporting and analytics updated for affiliates?
- Are there any restrictions or guidelines for using PPC advertising or social media marketing as an affiliate?
- How can affiliates contact the program manager or support team for assistance?
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out our affiliate ABC.
Be active on social media
Be where your potential affiliates are.
Establish and maintain affiliate program support forums, Facebook pages, LinkedIn Groups, and a dedicated support Twitter account. Truly engage with your audience and smother them with valuable content to build trust and credibility. Here are some ideas to implement:
Share success stories
Highlight the success stories of your current affiliates to showcase the earning potential and benefits of your program. Authentic testimonials and case studies can inspire others to join and promote your products or services.
Host Q&A sessions
Conduct live Q&A sessions on platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or anywhere you can that makes sense for your affiliate audience. This interactive approach helps build trust and encourages engagement – and it shows you’re serious about your affiliate program.
Engage in affiliate marketing chats
Participate in Twitter chats, LinkedIn groups, and Reddit discussions dedicated to affiliate marketing discussions. Contribute valuable insights and easily connect with potential affiliates who are actively seeking program opportunities.
Leverage the power of hashtags
Research and utilize relevant hashtags related to affiliate marketing, such as #affiliatemarketing, #affiliateprogram, or industry-specific hashtags. This helps expand your reach and connect with individuals interested in affiliate opportunities.
Create visibility through partnerships, press releases, and SEO
Leverage the power of press releases! Don’t be shy and proudly announce new developments, partnerships, or updates about your affiliate program. This not only boosts SEO benefits but also increases visibility and exposure.
Be present at conferences and print publications
Participate in affiliate marketing conferences and consider advertising in conference guides/programs. Also, explore niche conferences that align with your target affiliates' interests. Don't forget to advertise in relevant print publications.
2. Reach Out to Influencers
Influencers hold great potential as high-value affiliates who can reach a large audience. To make sure they’re willing to work with you, keep these tips in mind:
- Research and target relevance: focus on influencers who have a genuine interest in your industry or niche. Dig deep – sometimes micro-influencers are the best way to go.
- Personalize your outreach: avoid generic templates, they’ll spot those in a heartbeat. Take the time to personalize your outreach messages. Reference specific content or campaigns from the influencer that caught your attention.
- Offer exclusive incentives: go on the charm offense! Provide influencers with exclusive incentives to join your affiliate program. This can include higher commission rates, personalized discount codes for their audience, free products or services for review, or the opportunity to participate in exclusive collaborations or events.
- Provide supporting materials: provide them with high-quality visuals, product descriptions, affiliate links, and any necessary guidelines or restrictions. The more prepared and organized you are, the more likely they will be to consider jumping on your program.
- Emphasize authenticity and transparency: encourage influencers to disclose their affiliation with your brand to maintain transparency with their audience. Highlight that you value genuine recommendations and authentic content. This helps build trust and credibility for both the influencer and your brand.
- Follow up professionally: if you don't receive an immediate response, don't hesitate to follow up after a reasonable time frame. A gentle follow-up can help increase the chances of getting a response.
- Work on the relationship: once an influencer becomes an affiliate, foster a strong relationship by providing ongoing support, timely commission payments, and open lines of communication. You’ll want to be known as a great partner in the influencer industry.
3. Target Competitor Affiliates
One of the smartest affiliate recruitment strategies? Look at ambitious and active affiliates – they rarely only work with one partner. Identify affiliates who are already (actively and successfully) promoting your competitors. You can find them by searching tagged posts and relevant hashtags. Reach out to these affiliates and highlight the unique advantages of your program compared to your competitors. Here’s how to persuade them:
- Identify competitor affiliates: look for websites, blogs, social media accounts, or review platforms that feature content or promotions related to your industry or niche.
- Analyze affiliate performance: evaluate the performance and influence of competitor affiliates by considering factors such as their reach, engagement rates, audience demographics, and conversion rates. This data can help you prioritize and focus on affiliates who are likely to have a significant impact on your program.
- Highlight unique selling points: clearly communicate the benefits, advantages, and incentives that set your program apart from your competitors.
- Personalize your outreach: as you would for influencers, do this for individual affiliates as well. It doesn't have to be long letters and deep digging, but personalize your messages to demonstrate that you've done your research and are genuinely interested in their work. Tailor your message to highlight how your program aligns with their audience and goals.
- Provide data and testimonials: back up your claims with relevant data and testimonials from current affiliates who have experienced success with your program. Sharing concrete evidence of the benefits and results will definitely help build credibility and trust.
Last but not least: you don't have to bash the competition – you can also focus on how your program makes a great addition to their current tactics.
4. Give it a Boost with Paid Ads
Consider setting up paid advertisements specifically aimed at attracting affiliates. Some people actively search for affiliate programs to join, and paid ads can give your program an extra boost alongside your SEO efforts.
Leverage the network of your current affiliates and community
Tap into the power of your existing affiliates by asking them to refer your program to people in their network. Incentivize them to do so by offering rewards or bonuses for successful referrals. This strategy allows you to expand your community from within, leveraging the trust and relationships your current affiliates have built.
Make sure all your customers know about your affiliate program
Put your affiliate program front and center. If someone signs up for your newsletter, make sure there's an email in the pipeline that mentions it or a link in every email mentioning the program. You can also personally reach out to customers who leave stellar reviews and offer them to join your program.
Ready to Recruit Your Next Top Affiliate?
While you take care of recruiting, Rewardful takes care of the rest.
Our affiliate software helps you create a solid foundation and a warm welcome for your affiliates in just a few simple steps. Sign up and start your affiliate program today!