22 Effective Ways to Recruit Quality Affiliates

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This presentation is from Affiliate Summit West 2014 (January 12-14, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV). Session description: There is an array of ways advertisers may recruit new affiliates. Unfortunately, most use only a few. This session will equip you with a rich arsenal of methods and tools to recruit quality affiliates.

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22 Effective Ways to Recruit Quality Affiliates

  1. 1. 22 Effective Ways to Recruit Quality Affiliates Geno Prussakov CEO & President, AM Navigator LLC www.amnavigator.com Founder & Chair, Affiliate Management Days www.amdays.com (+1) 888-588-8866 geno@amnavigator.com @ePrussakov .
  2. 2. The 5 Pillars ≈80% of time
  3. 3. 2 Kinds of Affiliate Recruitment Active You reach out to them Passive They find you
  4. 4. Recruitment Through Their Eyes Active: Direct contact: 42.4% Conferences: 8.9% Print publications: 4.4% Source: 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report
  5. 5. Recruitment Through Their Eyes Active: Network emails: 36.3% Blogs: 29.6% Online ads: 17.8% Aff. manager emails: 13.9% Source: AffiliateBenchmarks 2013 Global Affiliate Questionnaire
  6. 6. Active Affiliate Recruitment
  7. 7. Active Recruitment “S” Ways to Find Affiliates: o o o o o o o o o Software/tools Social media Search engines Summits & symposiums Symbiotic recruitment Structure-based recruitment Snail mail Specific publications Satisfied customers
  8. 8. 1. Software / Tools Free Paid
  9. 9. Free & Inexpensive Tools 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Internet Success Spider (free) SEO Quake (free) Backlink Watch (free) Citation Labs (~$20 per 500-1000) BuzzStream ($29/mo - $249/mo) Raven SEO Tools ($99-$249/mo) iBusinessPromoter ($250-$500)
  10. 10. Paid Tools 1. AffiliateRecruitment.com 2. Linkdex 3. Syntryx
  11. 11. Linkdex (screenshot #1) Dashboard (shows relative number of links and domain backlinks; yields new mid to long-tail prospects)
  12. 12. Linkdex (screenshot #2) Publisher Discovery (interrogating affiliate network- or program-specific tracking domain(s), showing affiliate sites linking in)
  13. 13. Recruitment Email  Subject line  Introduce yourself/company  Explain why you’re emailing  Personalize  Include concrete data on your affiliate program (don’t do the math for them!)  Underscore competitive advantages (tools, cobranding, policies)  Primary & secondary CTA
  14. 14. 2. Social Media The media that they use 1. Blogs (the ones they read) 2. Forums (ABestWeb, PerformanceIN, 5StarAffiliatePrograms, AssociatePrograms) 3. Groups (on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) Play by the rules!
  15. 15. 3. Search Engines Or reaching out to websites that rank high for relevant keywords.
  16. 16. 4. Summits, Conferences 2014 Affiliate Marketing Conferences (worldwide)                           01/12-01/14 – Affiliate Summit West (Las Vegas, NV, USA) 01/15 – ClickBank Exchange (Las Vegas, NV, USA) 01/29-01/30 – LinkShare Symposium West (San Francisco, CA, USA) 02/06-02/09 – London Affiliate Conference (London, UK) 02/21 – CPA Day (Kiev, Ukraine) 02/25-02/26 – Affiliate TactixX (Munich, Germany) 03/19-03/20 – Affiliate Management Days (San Francisco, CA, USA) 03/25-03/26 – LeadsCon Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV, USA) 05/13-05/14 – Affiliate Management Days (London, UK) 05/29-05/31 – Afiliados Brasil (São Paulo, Brazil) TBA – Affiliate Dag 2014 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) 06/24-06/25 – Performance Marketing Insights Europe (Berlin, Germany) 06/24-06/27 – Amsterdam Affiliate Conference (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) 08/03-08/05 – AvantExpo 2014 (Park City, UT, USA) TBA – LeadsCon East (New York, NY, USA) 08/10-08/12 – Affiliate Summit East (New York, NY, USA) TBA – Commission Junction University (Santa Barbara, CA, USA) 10/03-10/04 – Russian Affiliate Congress & Expo (Moscow, Russia) TBA – Russian Affiliate Days (Moscow, Russia) TBA – Barcelona Affiliate Conference (Barcelona, Spain) TBA – China International Affiliate Conference (Tianjin, China) TBA – LeadConf (Moscow, Russia) TBA – Performance Marketing Insights London (London, UK) TBA – Affiliate Konference (Prague, Czech Republic) TBA – ShareASale ThinkTank 2014 TBA – LinkShare Symposiums (Japan, UK, Australia, Canada)
  17. 17. 4. Summits, Conferences Consider also niche- and audience-specific conferences
  18. 18. 5. Symbiotic Recruitment Symbiosis – a cooperative relationship (as between two persons or groups). Source: Webster’s Dictionary Promote your affiliate program on a crossprogram basis. Form short- or long-term cross-program recruitment relationships with affiliate programs run by merchants that sell related products or services.
  19. 19. 6. Structure-Based Recruitment Network-based  Newsletter inclusion  Directory listing  Internal recruitment opps External tools  Forums  Other platforms
  20. 20. 7. Snail Mail Experiment with postcards! (they do catch attention) Especially, when they come with a gift card, or contain a "private" offer.
  21. 21. 8. Specific Publications (Ads)         Revenue Performance FeedFront Conference programs/guides Electronic Retailer Internet Retailer Visibility Website Magazine Target Marketing
  22. 22. 9. Satisfied Customers Invite them to become affiliates on:  Order confirmation page  Newsletters  Social media
  23. 23. Passive Affiliate Recruitment
  24. 24. Recruitment Through Their Eyes Passive: Merchant site: 51.3% Search engines: 38.6% Directories: 38% Word of mouth: 20.3% Support efforts: 14.6% Source: 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report
  25. 25. Recruitment Through Their Eyes Passive: Support pages: 47% Network sites: 44.7% Search engines: 33.1% Forums & directories: 17.6% Word of mouth: 17.5% Source: AffiliateBenchmarks 2013 Global Affiliate Questionnaire
  26. 26. Passive Recruitment Ways to Get Found by Affiliates: o o o o o o o Program description (with visible link) Program FAQ and/or support site/blog Affiliate directories Social media Second-tier affiliates “Subscribe to affiliate news” link Press releases
  27. 27. 10. Program Description      Merchant description + link Commission structure Info on cookie life Availability of data feed Information on competitive advantages (e.g.: anti-parasite policy, phone tracking, conversion rates, EPC)  Underscore tools (widgets, deep linking, cobranding opps, custom creatives/LPs)  Any restrictions and/or special terms that affiliates should know about
  28. 28. Avoid Clichés! Cliché – a trite expression, often a figure of speech whose effectiveness has been worn out through overuse and excessive familiarity. Top 10: Source: http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/clicheterm.htm 1. “instantly” 2. “ultimate” 3. “easy” 4. “unparalleled” 5. “perfect match” 6. earn/get/make “$X in X days/months” 7. “highest payouts” 8. “impressive conversion rate(s)” 9. “best affiliate program” 10. “number one” merchant/offer/program
  29. 29. 11. Affiliate Program Support Site Minimum • Program Details (with sign-up link/form) • Program Agreement • Blog Ideally 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. . Program Details Program Agreement FAQ Section Tips & Ideas Creatives Blog Contact Us
  30. 30. 11. Affiliate Program Support Site
  31. 31. 12. Affiliate Directories Nearly 1/5th of affiliates use them 10 Directories to Sumit Your Program To:           AffiliatesDirectory.com AffiliateFirst.com AffiliatePrograms.com AffiliateRanker.com AffiliateScout.com AffiliateSeeking.com AllAffiliatePrograms.com AssociatePrograms.com JamAffiliates.com Top-Affiliate.com
  32. 32. 13. Social Media
  33. 33. 13. Social Media
  34. 34. 13. Social Media Whatever the media, design conversions This is the key to succeeding with social (not only for affiliate recruitment purposes)
  35. 35. 14. Second-Tier Affiliates One-time bounty Recurring payouts
  36. 36. 15. Affiliate News Subscription
  37. 37. 16. Press Releases • Branding benefits • SEO benefits • Visibility/exposure • Spread of news
  38. 38. Other Methods of Affiliate Recruitment
  39. 39. Other Methods Delve In & Dissect: o o o o o o Reach out to influencers Analyze similar sites Explore related verticals Target seasonal (holiday-oriented) affiliates Study competitors’ backlinks Monitor keywords and niches
  40. 40. 17. Influencer Outreach 20 Tools to Employ                     BlogDash (bloggers) BloggerLinkUp (bloggers) Business 2 Blogger (bloggers) BuzzStream (all sorts of content websites) eCairn.com (bloggers and communities) FindPeopleOnPlus.com (Google+ influencers) Followerwonk (Twitter influencers) Google Blog Search (bloggers) GroupHigh.com (bloggers) Klout (an array of social media) Kred (social media | check out Communities) Listorious (Twitter) Outreachr (all sorts of content websites) Pitch It To Me (bloggers) Simply Measured (analytics tool for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+) SocialBro (Twitter) Sulia (Facebook and Twitter) Topsy (Twitter | check their Experts section) Twellow (Twitter) Twitter Search (Twitter influencers)
  41. 41. 18. Similar Websites • Similar sites • Site topics (more key influencers!) • Key phrases & categories • "Similar search" (SEO & SEM rivals) • "HeatMap"
  42. 42. 19. Related Verticals Travel Websites Fashion Sites Consider also sites catering to:  Pilots  Anglers  Golfers  Cyclists  Snow sports fans  Gamblers  Women
  43. 43. 20. Seasonal Affiliates January-September: 13,000 UVs/mo October: 95,000 UVs November: 2,000,000 UVs
  44. 44. 21. Competitors’ Backlinks 7 Tools to Consider        Google (link:www.competor.com) Open Site Explorer (by SEOmoz) Majestic SEO Link Diagnosis Advanced Link Manager Bing Webmaster Tools Link Explorer Backlink Watch
  45. 45. 22. Ongoing Monitoring 11 Free Online Tools            Google Alerts Pipes (aka Social Media Firehose by Yahoo) Omgili TweetBeep BuzzMonitor Collecta.com BackType BoardReader WhosTalkin.com SocialMention BlogPulse
  46. 46. 3 Points in Conclusion
  47. 47. “…the chief distinction of a diplomat is that he can say no in such a way that it sounds like a yes.” – Lester B. Pearson
  48. 48. #1. Do Not Burn Bridges! We are sorry, but the website(s) and/or promotional methods listed on your affiliate profile do(es) not meet our approval criteria. We have therefore declined your application. If, however, you feel that we have overlooked your potential, we would like to hear from you. Just email us a brief explanation of how you were planning on marketing our product/service, and we will gladly reconsider your application.
  49. 49. #2. Remember to Follow Up Effectiveness:   Initial email: max. 4% sign up Follow-ups: ≈12% more join Frequency: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. A week from original email 1 more week down the road 2-3 months Half a year A year
  50. 50. #3… persistence is key!

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