Finding affiliates is a process that combines having an excellent affiliate program and reaching out to people who might be interested in promoting your products. Let’s not forget, generous commissions are also a big plus.
Finding the right affiliates is not an easy task since there are hundreds of affiliates out there but not all of them can offer serious results.
In this article, we’re sharing the best ways to find affiliates that will help you sell your products and earn money.
Work Out a Great Affiliate Program
When it comes to finding affiliate partners organically, you need to be clear about the terms of your affiliate program. The most important facts about your program need to be clear and understandable. Here’s what they need to include:
- conversion cookies’ duration
- payment options (when and how do affiliates get paid)
- payment methods you use
- how conversions are tracked
- clear commission structure: how much do the affiliate partners get from each sale, who exactly gets the commission (all affiliates or only the first/last)
Speaking of the commission, make it generous. Low commissions (5% to 10%) won’t motivate many affiliates to work with you. According to experts, your commission should be within the range of 25% to 30%.
In addition to this, offer bonuses, higher commission, or special conditions for affiliates that’ll bring outstanding results.
It’s also helpful to have things all set up beforehand so that your affiliates will only need to collect the money when the sales are made. Affiliates will appreciate if you provide all the necessary materials including email templates, videos, banners, and articles to make things easier on them.
Make sure that potential partners can actually discover your program. Insert a link on your website (usually, this kind of info is found in the footer, so that’s where people will look first). Another alternative is to have a separate page for affiliates where they can find all the information they need.
Finally, having a great product or service is crucial. An offer that solves people’s problems or adds value to the marketplace in any way will be much more appealing not only to affiliates but also to potential customers.
Where to Look for Affiliates
Join Affiliate Networks and Directories
Join affiliate forums and communities like Affilorama Community, JVZOO, Clickbank, and ABestWeb. They’re free and give you a possibility to connect with potential affiliate partners in an inexpensive way because marketers go to these sites to look for products to promote.
In addition, they offer opportunities to expand your knowledge through their sections dedicated to affiliate newbies. You can find plenty of valuable tips on how to start affiliate business, find your niche, conduct market research, find marketing ideas, etc.
You can also list your affiliate program on directories. They are also free but will ask you to link back to them in return. Chances are you won’t find a large number of affiliates through these directories because it’s important to build relationships first, but you can use them to direct prospective partners to your affiliate program.
Connect with Bloggers and Influencers
Just like affiliate marketing, influencer marketing has been ruling the digital world for some time now.
Studies have shown that more than 80% of advertisers have affiliate programs. On the other hand, almost 50% of Twitter users rely on influencer reviews before buying a product and 40% of them stated they bought something after seeing a tweet by an influencer.
Even though these are two different methods, marketing experts have started to combine them in order to maximize the results. Here is how you can use them to your advantage too: Find influencers and established bloggers in your niche and reach out to them directly (via email, or direct message on social media). However, it’s important to build a relationship before pitching your affiliate program.
Start by asking them to test your product free of charge or offer your product as a gift (whether before or after they make a sale). Once you’ve established a relationship, introduce your affiliate program and ask the influencer/blogger to publish a review.
Bloggers and influencers in each industry usually know each other, so building an influencer network could be very handy.
Use Social Media
Social networks are a great way to recruit affiliates and maintain long-term relationships with them. Here are some ideas on how to find affiliates on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
One way to find them is to use hashtags. For instance, you can search for the hashtag #makeup, then start checking through the results to find people who make makeup tutorials or sample makeup.
Your focus should be on the people who have the audience that is willing to buy the things they recommend. Once you make your final selection, reach out to these people via direct message or email address (the email address or website is usually in their profile bio).
When it comes to Facebook, it’s best to join groups where your target affiliates are active. The groups you’re looking for are either product-centric or affiliate-centric groups. Once you find people you want to recruit, approach them with a purpose to build a relationship before letting them know about your affiliate program.
You can also use Facebook ads to send Facebook users to a lead capturing page and ask them to join your affiliate program.
Another way is to follow affiliate newsletters, affiliate-related FB pages, as well as some of the followers on these pages.
Twitter Search is quite similar to hashtag searching, but instead of hashtags you need to use keywords and keyword phrases.
Twitter allows you to narrow down the audience you’re trying to reach through a number of search factors. For instance, if your niche is mattresses, you’ll be looking for people who are talking about sleep and mattresses. Don’t forget to narrow down a location and select a time frame as well (the last two weeks is ideal).
The results will show the Tweets that have your keywords. Find people who have reviewed mattresses, bought a mattress, or have written an article in connection to sleeping or mattresses, then get in touch with them.
Use Your Website and Blog
As mentioned before, your website should contain a link to your affiliate program in a prominent place. Another alternative is to build a separate landing page that provides information, offer incentives, and gets sign-ups.
Your blog is also a part of your website where you can promote your affiliate program and speak to prospective affiliates. Besides offering tips and solutions for any problems they might have, you can also insert a link to your affiliate program in your articles or mention that you want to help your readers to earn money by becoming affiliates.
Use Online Ads
There are three main reasons why you should consider running ads to attract affiliates: they require no expertise, they’ll save you time, and they’ll get you high-quality reps. Here’s where you can run your ads:
Google AdWords helps you reach the largest number of people possible. The Google Webmaster Tools is great for finding keywords that people are searching for in your niche; you just need to add the word ‘affiliate’ or ‘affiliate program’. In addition, the Google Display Network allows you to run YouTube ads.
Facebook is the place where a large number of influencers hang out, so you can find some quality affiliate partners among them. Start by creating a Facebook page which points out to your affiliate page. When you post to this page, use the ‘boost a post’ option to make it more visible.
Facebook ads are another way to reach your target audience in a simple and affordable way. The creation of ads is quite simple and requires no special expertise.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to advertise to groups. This fact, along with the fact that LinkedIn is the place where professionals of all industries hang out, makes it a great place for finding affiliates and influencers.
LinkedIn gives a $50 credit to every account which you can use for ads. Conduct your research, find groups in your niche, and try to get in touch with the people who could help you sell your products. Even though LinkedIn ads are quite costly, they might be worth it because they’ll bring quality traffic.
Similar to FB, you can promote posts that you’ve already published.
Take Part in Affiliate Events
Conferences and live events are a great way to meet potential affiliate partners. It doesn’t matter if you are a speaker or just an attendee, events like Affiliate World and Affiliate Summit give you an opportunity to talk to prospective affiliates face to face and find the ones that fit your program.
Turn Customers into Affiliates
Did you know that one affiliate gives you an opportunity to present your product or service to 338 potential customers? That’s the number of Facebook friends an average person has.
People who have already used your products can become your best affiliate partners. All you need to do is send your customers an email letting them know they can earn money by referring new customers to you.
However, before you ask customers to recommend your services to their family and friends, you need to make sure that they’re actually satisfied with your business. So, the first thing to take care is providing excellent customer service and making your customers happy.
Turn Colleagues into Affiliates
Whether you work from home or in a physical company, you must have colleagues of like mind around you. Let them know about your affiliate program so they can join and earn some money. In addition, offer special commissions for people you know to make the offer more attractive.
Use Print Publications
Place ads in print industry publications that publish news about your industry on a regular base, as well as magazines devoted to people who work from home or are interested in extra income opportunities. This type of publications has an audience that is very similar to your customer base. Statistics say that affiliate marketing represents over 20% of the printing publications’ revenue.
Use Cold Calling
Why not contact potential affiliates yourself? Find people who promote products from your niche/industry and contact them directly via email or phone. Be prepared to describe your product, emphasize its best features, and explain how their audience will benefit from it. Don’t forget to mention that you’re going to have everything set up in advance and make things very easy for them if they decide to become your affiliate partners.
Rely on Word-of-Mouth References
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to have a great product and an outstanding customer service. These are the two factors that strengthen customer loyalty, help build a customer base and, eventually, lead to word-of-mouth references. These references, in turn, will bring new customers you can later turn into affiliates.
In addition, if the terms of your affiliate program are good and you make sure to build a great relationship with your affiliates, word-of-mouth will eventually reach other affiliates who will want to join your program.
Hire an Affiliate Manager
If you’re a newbie in the affiliate world and everything seems too overwhelming, consider hiring professional help. In addition to identifying and recruiting new affiliates, an affiliate manager will also perform the following tasks:
- Approve affiliates
- Keep affiliates engaged in the program
- Respond to affiliate questions
- Track conversions and sales
- Negotiate terms with high-volume affiliates
- Conceptualize and measure promotions
- Inform affiliates about current and upcoming promotions
- Develop tools and ads to increase conversions
- Predict sales and ensure effective ads expenditure
Finding an affiliate manager isn’t hard at all; all you need to do is post the position in affiliate forums.
Finding and recruiting affiliate partners is only a part of beginning an affiliate program. Make sure you have a great product and appealing offer. Offering a good commission is also a big upside but you also need to build a positive image: be honest and fair to your affiliate partners, make sure to keep your promises, and respond to any questions your affiliates might have.