Finding Affiliates in ShareASale
I see way too many posts from new merchants asking about how to find new affiliates in ShareASale. All they see from day one are coupon sites and they get frustrated.
Finding affiliates is not easy. It's not something you can set and forget. Affiliate marketing is about relationships. Managing a program is a full-time job. Devote time to learning more about how affiliates promote your products. Go to Affiliate Summit. Go to ShareASale ThinkTank. Meet other merchants. Meet affiliates. Get your hands dirty.
REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS & TIPS
1. Affiliate marketing is not a way to start your sales. After about 6 months, if you have a robust existing online business, the affiliate channel will supplement your existing sales by 10% - 40%. If you have no sales overall, your affiliate program will probably not help. Reality sucks.
2. Do not set your program to Auto Approve. The majority of them will never bring you new customers or profit. Look at the descriptions and try to figure out how they will promote you. If they are relevant to your category, niche or product, approve them.
3. Full affiliates have earned money with other merchants. Limited have not. Approve both only if you are comfortable with their sites and promotions. Remember, full affiliates are not always the best fit for you.
4. Dress up your program description. Sell the benefits of working with you, not trying to sell them your products. Affiliates are sales people not customers. See how your competitors present themselves in their descriptions.
5. Be competitive with commissions, cookies, banners, newsletters and deals. This helps the right type of affiliates choose to join your program.
6. Work on your site conversion. Always. It's your responsibility to make sure customers actually buy your product. Affiliates send clicks. You need to always work to improve conversion.
7. Do not set them up to fail. Reversal trends and percentages can be seen by all affiliates. If you have to reverse sales, tell them why and find a way to reduce reversals.
8. Featured Placement - Yes, a $300 ad for one month on a network category page will bring you new affiliates that are relevant to your program. It's not high volume but if you approve some good ones, the ROI will be there.
9. Test the affiliate invitations under Tools - Featured Programs. Starts At $200.00 per Two Weeks (Additionally $5 per qualifying affiliate. $5 is refunded for each qualified affiliate that joins program through invitation.)
10. Don't worry about the aquarium.
11. Recruit externally. Google your category. Look for relevant websites that are independently owned. Contact them through the contact us page.
12. Hire an affiliate manager that understands affiliate marketing.
Here are 4 excellent articles on this topic written by ShareASale. Ask them for help.
Affiliate Recruitment Strategies
Best Practices Series: Recruitment
Building Blocks for Program Optimization
Recruitment Promotional Ideas
ABW Friends, when you see merchants asking about recruitment on ShareASale, please point them to this thread.