One of the biggest challenges an Affiliate Program Manager has is bringing new traffic to their websites by recruiting new affiliates. We already know that recruiting new affiliates is no easy task, therefore I’d like to share some tips that you can use to optimize your affiliate recruitment plan and find new affiliate partners.
Whether you already have an established affiliate program or have just launched one, here are seven simple tips that you can use to recruit affiliates directly:
1. Make sure you have an optimized affiliate sign-up page on your website.
Many vendors focus so much on nurturing and managing affiliates, they forget to optimize their affiliate sign-up page. Check your website and make sure you have a visible page for your affiliate program that includes: the program description, commission structure, and a sign-up button. This is important, as, according to the 2016 AffStat Report, 25% of the affiliates find out about new affiliate programs from the merchant’s website.
2. Invest in PPC (Pay Per Click) recruitment campaigns.
Create targeted campaigns to reach potential affiliates, as 19% of the affiliates search for new affiliate programs on search engines (2016 AffStat Report). You can start with a test budget to see bid amounts and results for the relevant keywords in your industry, and then optimize these campaigns.
3. Use segmentation to find your ideal affiliate profile.
You can split affiliates by category (coupon/ discount sites, review/content, SEM affiliates, etc.) or by geo-targeting (select the top 10 selling countries or choose countries by the languages supported on your website, etc.). Select the categories that best fit your program and create your ideal affiliate profile.
4. Focus on identifying the right affiliates.
Now that you know your ideal affiliate profile, you can use the data to start searching for the right affiliates. Use relevant keywords for your industry to manually search and select the top affiliates for each relevant segment, and use the profile in your future recruitment actions.
5. Contact affiliates directly.
9% of affiliates find out about a new program when the affiliate managers contact them directly (2016 AffStat Report). For a good response rate, use call to action messages and include sign-up links. You can either offer a higher commission, extend the cookie lifetime, or offer an incentive bonus to motivate affiliates to take action.
6. Conduct affiliate recruitment within the network.
Each network offers recruitment solutions to their vendors, and I suggest you to work closely with your network to find the best way you can do this. It would be best if you would work with a niche network as this will increase your chances to get in contact with industry’s affiliates.
7. Run contests and special campaigns.
You can run contests to engage existing affiliates to drive more sales or activate dormant affiliates, but also to recruit new affiliates. New affiliates can be engaged into raffles so that they have a fair chance to win. To accelerate the activation process, ask the newcomers to perform a specific action after creating their account (start promoting a minimum of products or generate a minimum of one order, etc.) to be included into the raffle.
These actions should be included in the development strategy of virtually any affiliate program to generate new business and increase conversions.
To conclude, affiliate recruitment should be top-of-mind when it comes to growing your affiliate marketing program. How to recruit affiliates is a matter of optimizations, some small financial investment and networking. Good luck with your recruitment efforts!
This article appeared in issue 33 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2016.