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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Advice for recruiting new affiliates
    Hi all,

    Like all new affiliate marketing managers, I am trying to grow the number of affiliates that we currently have. I've searched the forums and read the threads about affiliate recruitment, and am trying to narrow down some specifics.

    Which websites/forums have worked best for finding new affiliates? I know posting the program in forums like ABestWeb have had results for people but I'm trying to find others as well

    Thanks for any trade secret advice you guys can provide

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    How's your relationship with your existing affiliates?

    Success begets success...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

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  4. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    Currently the program is being run through CJ and we have a number of top affiliates that are performing well for us. From reading through the forums, I've learned that I can't rely solely on a network so I am trying to find some other ideas but when I reach out to most affiliates I don't get an answer...Perhaps i need to polish my introductory email

  5. #4
    Affiliate Manager
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    First and foremost, its important to understand that no matter how good your pitch is or how many emails you send out, the response rate and new affiliates to join your program will probably never be above 10%. In reality, probably about 5% of your efforts will be rewarded with new, quality affiliates. This being said, 5-10% is not bad at all especially considering that most affiliate programs, including my own, rely on only about 10% of their affiliates to drive 90% of leads and sales.

    As far as the actual affiliate recruitment process, there are two methods which I have found to work well. First, most affiliate networks offer paid services which allow you to target affiliates within the network and send them recruitment emails. We use Commission Junction and for 15 cents per email we can target affiliates in our niche. Make sure the email template is personally tailored to each of the potential affiliates and that it is professionally done using html. Also make sure that it isn't too long. Let them know your commission structure, a brief rundown of your company and that you are always willing to work with affiliates to help them earn money. Additionally, give your affiliate program a face.. meaning don't cloak it behind "affiliates@yourwebsite.com etc" let them know you are a dedicated affiliate manager and make sure your contact info is listed at the end of the email. Affiliates like personal relationships with their managers, not with shady third party vendors.

    The second recruitment method I use is basically "cold emailing" website owners and bloggers who write about stuff relevant to our users. I literally sit down for hours on end and do keyword searches on google for anything that might be remotely similar to the service we offer. Similar to the network emails, these need to be personally tailored and brief. Its fine to use basic templates, but they need to be as customized as possible. Don't just say "hey I came across your site and thought you'd be good for promoting our service" it needs to be more along the lines of " Hey Tim, my name is Pete and I work for... I saw the article you wrote back in March about small business financing and I'd like to see if you'd be interested in doing a review or write up about..."

    Also when writing these emails, the subjects need to be as un-spammy as possible. People don't open emails titled "Please Join our Affiliate Program" or "earn big money by promoting mycompany..."
    Mike Hourigan
    Affiliate Manager for [URL="http://www.shoeboxed.com/?utm_source=abestweb&utm_medium=signature%2B&utm_campaign=abestweb"]Shoeboxed.com[/URL]
    [EMAIL="mikeh@team.shoeboxed.com"]Email[/EMAIL]|[URL="http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=131457835&trk=tab_pro"]LinkedIn[/URL]

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  7. #5
    Affiliate Manager
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    Thanks so much for the insight Mike...I had no idea the scope of an AM meant cold e-mailing sites...but I will definitely get on that and try to develop a more personal relationship with potential affiliates

  8. #6
    Affiliate Manager p3steve's Avatar
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    The other thing you can do is contact website owners outside of a network. Do a google search for where you would possibly like your product(s) to be. Go through and look at the websites to see if they are a good fit. I have had a little success in this method. Although tedious, I have developed some good relationships already with people this way. Not only do they become an affiliate but I opened their eyes to the concept of affiliate marketing. Some of the best affiliates are those who don't know it yet

    They have the traffic and the followers but dont' realize they could be earning money. Teach them how... they tend to be more open to new ideas.

    I have some success but not as much with current affiliates. Usually they have a vision of how they want their websites to be. As a merchant you either fit into their plan or not.

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  10. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I am a firm believer in Seven Points of Contact! Bigger affiliates (we don't use Super Affiliate here) are very busy and get 100's of emails a day. If they don't recognized your brand or name its doubtful they will read your emails. There simply isn't enough time. So you are going to have to brand yourself. It has taken 3-6 months for me in the past to do so.

    We have a simple way to promote your program on ABW in the Classifieds which few are taking advantage of. Read the rules and take advantage of it. 99% of the viewers don't login as a member!

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  12. #8
    Marketing Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by p3steve View Post
    The other thing you can do is contact website owners outside of a network.
    I've done a little of this but saw a very small conversion rate and a huge amount of work to get each on board since they don't know/understand affiliate marketing. Have you found any tactics to improve conversion rate and reduce ramp-up time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    So you are going to have to brand yourself. It has taken 3-6 months for me in the past to do so.
    What exactly do you mean by this? How do you measure when you've become "branded?"

  13. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    What exactly do you mean by this? How do you measure when you've become "branded?"
    When affiliates start to respond to your emails!! If you create a name in the affiliate space for yourself and affiliates identify with you then you are branded.

  14. #10
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateWarrior's Avatar
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    Nathan, in my experience it usually takes a couple of attempts to start hearing back from people. I'd do some planning before you start to put together a good "getting started with affiliate marketing" doc or video series that you can send out if people are interested who aren't experienced with affiliate marketing.

    I also keep my approaches very casual and personal when I begin the recruiting process. I know I hate getting the full on pitch before someone establishes rapport with me, so I try to keep things light and start a conversation first and then follow with details.
    Wade Tonkin - Affiliate Manager - Fanatics
    NFLShop.com|Shop.NHL.com|NBAStore.com|Store.NASCAR.com
    Email wtonkin // at // Fanatics.com


  15. #11
    Marketing Manager
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    AW: Thanks for the advice. This will probably become my main recruiting technique for mature programs. The pool of quality blogs who aren't running affiliate ads is quite large.

  16. #12
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    This is all really interesting for me as I am trying to grow my affiliate program right now. Do competitions work to attract new affiliates and encourage affiliates to promote you, or is it better to run bonus schemes?

  17. #13
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blur Group View Post
    This is all really interesting for me as I am trying to grow my affiliate program right now. Do competitions work to attract new affiliates and encourage affiliates to promote you, or is it better to run bonus schemes?
    No "scheme" will ever succeed in the long run. A real, permanent bonus level that affiliates can rely on being there for sales totals or number of sales can be of significant benefit. If you want affiliates to build pages promoting your products, and if you expect them to spend time, effort, and creative juices, don't try bribing them with a bonus that will disappear after they've done the heavy labor.
    Last edited by Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound; May 15th, 2013 at 01:42 PM. Reason: typo
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  19. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    You should run both and avoid the use of the term scheme. Offer a first sale bonus that is complimented with increased commissions levels for higher sales.

  20. #15
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound View Post
    No "scheme" will ever succeed in the long run.
    FYI, not sure where Blur Group is from, but at least in the UK the word "scheme" is frequently used instead of "program" or "plan." Nothing sneaky about it, just sometimes lost in translation.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  21. #16
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    But the US popular, primary meaning, from the Urban Dictionary:

    1. scheme

    to devise a devious plan. To be shady or otherwise use intellectual power to deceive or carry out a plan for a personal interest. A plan with a twisted plot.
    And:

    3. scheme

    To plan to do something to get someones money, most often by cheating
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  22. #17
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Yup, Phil, that's why I thought I'd help explain, in case they aren't from the US.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  23. #18
    Influencer Marketing GravityFed's Avatar
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    Like all new affiliate marketing managers, I am trying to grow the number of affiliates that we currently have. I've searched the forums and read the threads about affiliate recruitment, and am trying to narrow down some specifics.
    IMO it's all about concise, yet personalized approach to recruiting. Make sure they know you spent time on their site. Comment on a feature or story you liked.

    DO NOT use a standard template for everyone.

    Finally, it's better to be calculated in this effort. Less is more. In other words, a few good and personalized recruitment emails will serve you better than blasting out 100 standard template recruiting emails.

    Hope that helps

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  25. #19
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Offices in Dallas, TX and London.

    But, if they are posting on a US based forum and trying to attract US affiliates, they need to be aware of the full meaning of what they are saying.

    As an aside, I see that Blur group is following me on Twitter. I wonder why?*

    _____

    *Must be those DavidLetterman quotes I occasionally tweet.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

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  27. #20
    Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound View Post
    No "scheme" will ever succeed in the long run. A real, permanent bonus level that affiliates can rely on being there for sales totals or number of sales can be of significant benefit. If you want affiliates to build pages promoting your products, and if you expect them to spend time, effort, and creative juices, don't try bribing them with a bonus that will disappear after they've done the heavy labor.
    That's really helpful info. I currently offer $75 per sales lead which I think is a pretty good deal but not many affiliates are joining so I thought I would run a competition on top of the flat fee. Hopefully it will work!

  28. #21
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Lead gen is a completely different animal and you have to find the players in the space. How does your commission compare to your competition?

  29. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick View Post
    Lead gen is a completely different animal and you have to find the players in the space. How does your commission compare to your competition?
    We are business to business which I know is much tougher than say retail, but we are similar to Elance who offer a sliding scale up to a max of $51 for a customer, where as we offer $75 for a lead.... so I think offer is pretty good.

  30. #23
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    What are you selling?

  31. #24
    Member Prosperent's Avatar
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    If I get an e-mail from a merchant (and I get thousands a day), I scan the heading to see if it sounds like a mass canned e-mail. If so, it goes straight into the trash. Simply not enough hours in the day to even read most of them. I even miss many good, legitimate e-mails because of this, so you may need to send multiple messages before larger affiliates even notice your message. It's nothing against you, just the nature of having a high volume of mail to go through each day.

    As others pointed out though, leadgen is a completely different animal. You might consider contacting a network that specializes in leadgen to get the most bang for your buck. Our office is down the street from getads.com. I know the team there personally and would highly suggest having a conversation with them. Let them know that Brian from Prosperent sent you their way. They will take good care of you, and can at least offer up some advice.

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