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  1. #1
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    How do I Recruit effective Affiliates
    Hi,

    I am new with Affiliate marketing and want to know what is the most effective method of recruiting affiliates

    My idea of an affiliate is a site(complimentary to our business) that can keep my banner on their site and drive traffic....but I guess there is more to it that i dont know...are there special sites that act as affiliates and promote the merchant's programs?

    Please help,

    Thanks,
    Shaily

  2. #2
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    It's all here
    Hi Shaily,
    You are not the first to ask this question

    Have you searched the forum for "recruit" or "find affiliates" etc. and other related keywords. There's a ton of good material in this forum to dig through.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  3. #3
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaily
    Hi,

    I am new with Affiliate marketing and want to know what is the most effective method of recruiting affiliates

    My idea of an affiliate is a site(complimentary to our business) that can keep my banner on their site and drive traffic....but I guess there is more to it that i dont know...are there special sites that act as affiliates and promote the merchant's programs?

    Please help,

    Thanks,
    Shaily
    Hello Shaily,

    There is much, much more than keeping a banner on a site. Banners are now the least effective ways that successful affiliates use to drive traffic. Most of the answers to your questions are here at ABW, it's a great resource for someone as yourself just starting out. My advice is to read, read and then read some more...

    You can also check out my affiliate manager seminar being held on July 29 in Miami. I see you are in Atlanta, not too far away. If you need more details, send me an email and i will send it your way....

    Have a great day,
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend Andy's course. It's a great way to get a crash course in affiliate management.
    Michael Coley
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     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
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    My attitude toward recruiting affiliates is simple: identify the affiliates you want, and recruit them like they were customers. You might start with email; almost certainly you will want to follow up with a phone call. You need to learn a little bit about the site, to make your pitch: Do they carry competitors' ads? Do they carry advertising at all (if not, they might actually link to you for free)? Do they have unique content that you might want to license? Do you have content (including your product info, which is often content by itself) that they might want? Do they have an attitude or theme that you might mesh (or clash) with? Do you have banners/buttons/etc that will match their site (size, colors, mood)? Of course, all of these assume that you are targeting content sites -- that is, you sell widgets and the prospective affiliate is writing about widgets or widget users.

    Of course, the prime affiliates will be those who are willing to work to integrate your product content into their sites: datafeeds, search boxes, recommended or top-10 lists, etc. There are folks out there who actually develop complete new content sites just to exploit an affiliate program -- creating original content, getting into search engines, even paying to draw traffic, all to earn money by driving business to one or more merchants. (This is one of the things I am doing these days. My incubator sites are usually very thin -- product feeds merged with minimal content or none at all, just to test the water. Once I've tested the water and believe that I can draw traffic and drive sales, then I spin my "incubator" into a new content site with its own domain name.)

    I can't speak for others, but I don't invest time and money in an affiliate program if I perceive any significant flaw. Some of these have been mentioned here: an 800-number on your home page; non-competitive prices; and of course the all-important functioning links.

    I cannot imagine allocating time and money to a new content site unless I've first tested to make sure that the affiliate tracking actually works -- I'll initiate a test transaction (unannounced) and see if it gets reported. At least 1 in 10 of my tests "fail" and those merchants names are added to my blacklist -- maybe they will fix the problem, but I won't bet on the solution "sticking."

    Some things that I don't care about: first-sale bonuses, tiered commission rates.

    One thing I insist on: a datafeed that I can use (which means NOT through LinkShare or CJ, which charge affiliates a fee, and I won't meet their fee-waiver theshhold because I won't devote effort to develop a new content site without having access to a datafeed -- indeed, usually I won't start developing unless I have datafeeds from multiple merchants).

    Don't use ClixGalore or another "poor cousin" -- either use one of the top-tier folks (CJ/BeFree, LinkShare, ShareASale, or maybe Performics) or go in-house (I include Kowabanga/Kolimbo as "in-house"). Whatever solution you use, do NOT rely on the "network" to bring you strong affiliates -- recruit, recruit, recruit.

    Consider using multiple affiliate channels (offering a direct program PLUS a program through CJ or LinkShare, for example) so that affiliates who prefer to work with the big networks can still access your program and datafeeds.

  6. #6
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    affiliate marketing
    i would say first you neeed to define your target

    are you after golfers etc

    then id say place google adsense on your site and then build a list

    if you market a product your best affiliates are gonna be the people who buy the product

  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    place google adsense on your site
    Google Adsense on a merchant's site = affiliates running away! Check out what happened when Backcountry.com tried it...flames went up, and links came down!

    However, advertising your aff program on Google AdWords (so your ad is showing on OTHER sites) might be a good idea.

    You might start with email; almost certainly you will want to follow up with a phone call. You need to learn a little bit about the site, to make your pitch:
    I've had merchants do that. But their efforts all fail, because they miss that second part: Learning about the affiliate's site! I've had more than one just go through what is probably a spidered list of whois info, and call or email despite obviously never having seen my site. Their pitches are wasted.

    It'd be much more effective if these contacts included evidence of actually having been to my site. While I never appreciate "hint" emails once I've signed up with a program (if I didn't know how I'd promote 'em I wouldn't have signed up), it's different for recruitement attempts. THEN, I would like to know why the AM or owner thinks his program is such a grand fit that I should sign up. And, I want to know if his/her vision is clear...or did he hallucinate a fit between something as different as diet books and plane tickets (not a real example but you get the idea)?
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Leader's right on in that last post.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    I've had merchants do that. But their efforts all fail, because they miss that second part: Learning about the affiliate's site! I've had more than one just go through what is probably a spidered list of whois info, and call or email despite obviously never having seen my site. Their pitches are wasted.
    You got that right. I've probably only seen half a dozen merchants spend the time to make a personalized presentation. Most of those made it on my site. I've had well over 1000 other merchants approach me with canned sales emails, calls, and mail. Barely 10% of those made it on my site.
    Last edited by MichaelColey; July 8th, 2005 at 05:48 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo.
    Michael Coley
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Michael:


    Ditto.

  11. #11
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    content
    as long as you put content on your site

    and then put adsense on your site its ok,

    look at allan gardyne he does it heck he even suggested it to me , and every top affiliate marketer ive seen does it

    and i want to be a top affiliate marketer ,yes im able to be full time and earn more in a month than i did in a year but im not there yet

  12. #12
    Full Member c4's Avatar
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    Davidlee39:
    I think there is a bit confusion here, it's ok to put AdSense to your affiliate site, but it is NOT ok to put AdSense onto the MERCHANT'S site!


    As for recruiting affiliates the active way (e-mailing them) is probably the best way to go, but keep in mind what others said. Announcing your program here at ABW can also be a good start, see http://abestweb.com/merchants/newforum.htm
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  13. #13
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    Hi all,

    I was thinking of starting an adwords campaign for my affiliate program...i have heard it clicks...so ...wish me luck

    Shaily

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador
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    You could just buy an announcement here to start.

  15. #15
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    adwords
    hi shelly best luck

    heres some info i just got from perry marshall who i think is the best adwords person about

    he also has a free ecourse

    Over the weekend, the AdWords folks
    sent out a pretty important notice: The 0.5%
    Click Thru Rate minimum is effectively going
    away.

    Also going away: the Normal - In Trial -
    On Hold - Disabled designations. Instead,
    they'll either be Active or Inactive. And Google
    will simply tell you how much more you have
    to bid to become active.

    This is going to do two things:

    1) The immensely frustrating experience of
    losing your disabled keywords 'forever' will
    change. Instead of getting disabled, the minimum
    bid price will just go UP. So now you've got
    more than just 1000 impressions to get that pesky
    thing up and running. In fact, you've got as long
    as you need, IF you're willing to pay, as long as
    you're willing to pay.

    2) It means that the difference between stupid
    advertisers, who have money and no brains -
    and smart advertisers, who use brains instead
    of brawn - that gap will grow even wider.

    This has not yet been implemented, but will
    be implemented in the next few weeks. So, you ask,
    is this good, or is it bad?

    Simple answer, it's good if you're smart and
    bad if you're dumb. It also means you can make
    more mistakes and get away with them, IF you're
    willing to pay.

    It means a few other things, too:

    3) The 0.5% minimum effectively is no more. You
    can show your ads at 0.1% CTR, if you're willing to
    bid enough.

    4) The Five Cent Minimum is going away too.
    You can pay as little as 1 cent, IF your CTR is
    high enough.

    5) There are some categories where you can't
    get a 0.5% minimum because you're targeting a very
    unique kind of high value customer, different from the
    guy all the other advertisers are trying to reach. You
    may be willing to pay a lot for that visitor. If that's you,
    this could open up some new opportunities.

    How this *really* affects you depends on Google's
    minimum threshold formula. (They're not saying
    exactly how it works.) There's all sorts of ways
    they can cook this thing, and we'll just have to
    wait and see how things change. I'll be watching
    closely; I've got a lot of campaigns that run at 5
    cents, and I'll be especially interested to see how it
    affects those.

    This does put Google in a position of being
    able to slowly raise the minimum bids, without
    ever really telling you exactly what they're up to.

    Being that they're a public company now, none of
    this is very surprising, is it?

    Regardless of how the exact details play
    out, AdWords will continue to be a game where
    the dumb bloke who just walked in off the street
    pays through the nose... And the educated guys
    and gals get the sweet deals. The race goes
    to the swift - and to those who value education.

    Stay Tuned,

    Perry Marshall

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager PaulS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    ...I've had merchants do that. But their efforts all fail, because they miss that second part: Learning about the affiliate's site! ...
    Just a few ramblings from a merchant about the "content match" issue Leader noted above....


    With many affiliates today creating niche sites to support particular programs, is it purely the content of a site that should indicate a desire to recruit and work with an affiliate partner?

    If, for example, I find someone who has made an amazing Golf site to support a Golf partner, would that not be someone worth working with to - perhaps - build a Monet site to support Art?

    Yes, it is possible that this affiliate simply loves Golf and has no interest in working with other products. And, if that's the case, then they will simply decline the invitation.

    But I've also heard, from many affiliates, that it's not fair to be declined because their content doesn't exactly match the program being applied for.

    Some of my best affiliates in the past have come from unusual places, and with sites that wouldn't make ANY sense in the grand scheme of things. But they worked.

    Personally, I've worked in Broadcasting, Art, Home Decor and As Seen on TV Products. If people looked at me the way many people look at affiliates, I would never have been able to move from one genre to the other... because there would have been a "content mis-match."

    But, IMHO, the ability to create a compelling site as an affiliate partner is more important than what the site contains. The skills that it takes to make a successful Golf Site can and will transfer to making a successful Art site, or a successful Fitness site.

    That's why I will approach people, even if there isn't an immediately obvious match.

    In the end, I think it's up to the affiliate to decide if the content makes sense for what they want to do (not necessarily what they are doing right now).

    So... I don't see any harm in extending the invitation to them, so that they can think about it and decide for themselves.

    JMHO.... I fullly admit to the possibility that I am wrong.

    Paul

    P.S. - I do get, however, that an e-mail stating "I think my products would really suit your site" when there is an obvious content mis-match (e.g. Diet Site and Godiva Chocolates) is just plain silly.

  17. #17
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    omeone who has a golf site
    yes they maybe intrested in affiliate marketing of art

    but if theve taken the time to create a site about golf which they play , they read about and their absorbed by

    a how much time are they relisticly gonna comit to an art affiliate program

    b. how intrested are they going to be, ie are they going to say ill not play a round of golf every wednesday like i normally do and spend 2 hrs putting an art site up

  18. #18
    cashengine
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    when in doubt.....google for some

  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager PaulS's Avatar
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    Hi Davidlee39...

    My only point is, is it fair for affiliate managers to assume that they won't be interested?

    That assumption is often what causes affiliate managers to decline sites for "content mismatch" and often what keeps them from contacting a possible affiliate partner.

    Absolutely, if the main reason the person created the site was because of their love of golf, and the affiliate links are something to help them support their love of golf, then it's not likely that they will be interested.

    However, if their main goal is to create revenue streams (which will allow them to play golf more often), and I can offer a program that may appeal to a similar target demographic (one they know how to communicate with at some level already).... well, enough said.

    In the end, I believe that it's up to the affiliate to decide. And, of course, if they decide that they only want to dedicate 2 hours to an Art program (or none at all) that's their choice.

    I just don't like making that choice for them... that's all I'm trying to say. And by overlooking someone because of content of their existing site, I feel like I'm making a decision that should be the affiliate's to make.

    Does that make any sense?

    Paul

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim-store.com
    One thing I insist on: a datafeed that I can use (which means NOT through LinkShare or CJ, which charge affiliates a fee, and I won't meet their fee-waiver theshhold because I won't devote effort to develop a new content site without having access to a datafeed -- indeed, usually I won't start developing unless I have datafeeds from multiple merchants).

    Don't use ClixGalore or another "poor cousin" -- either use one of the top-tier folks (CJ/BeFree, LinkShare, ShareASale, or maybe Performics) or go in-house (I include Kowabanga/Kolimbo as "in-house"). Whatever solution you use, do NOT rely on the "network" to bring you strong affiliates -- recruit, recruit, recruit.

    Consider using multiple affiliate channels (offering a direct program PLUS a program through CJ or LinkShare, for example) so that affiliates who prefer to work with the big networks can still access your program and datafeeds.
    Can you explain the datafeed more, and what you expect it to have as far as features?

  21. #21
    Mama in Charge Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    You got that right. I've probably only seen half a dozen merchants spend the time to make a personalized presentation. Most of those made it on my site. I've had well over 1000 other merchants approach me with canned sales emails, calls, and mail. Barely 10% of those made it on my site.
    Nothing could make me click delete faster. I am amazed at how many affiliate managers hound me to post products I *know* won't convert. Just because a site has high sales in one area, does not mean it is across all areas. Most affiliates know their target group and what they will and won't buy, and I think a manager who takes the time to find out which types of sites will and won't convert, and then writes affiliates a personalized mail is a big plus.

  22. #22
    I saw mentioned that a 1-800 number on the home page scares off potential affiliates. What if in your description of the Affilaite Program, you offer a way for your affilaites to get credit for a phone order. This is what we are doing at the time being. We are getting so little traffic from or affilaites that we don't want to lose potential customers from our "organic" traffic.

    Any thoughts suggestions?
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  23. #23
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    Offer a coupon that gives them an extra % off when they call in, but only give the coupon out on affiliate sites.

    Give each affiliate their own coupon to use on their sites. Track the coupons so you can reward the appropriate affiliate. Most will probably make use of it if they know you are tracking it and it won't affect their commissions.

    If someone calls in without a coupon then most likely they didn't visit an affiliate site. There's other schemes like dedicated extension numbers, different 1-800 numbers etc. but people understand coupons if it means instant savings.
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