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Ideally, companies that are starting an affiliate program have also considered employing an affiliate manager or a dedicated resource to overlook the program performance. In practice, the affiliate channel falls many times under the responsibility of the Online Marketing Manager or the Business Development team. And for many early software start-ups, typically product-driven businesses, the company owner is also doing the affiliate’s management.
These are our top five affiliate recruitment tactics. These strategies are great for the person that wants to start their recruitment tomorrow without having to hire or outsource it to experts or to wait for the next industry event or local meet up.
1. Implement a Sign-Up Page
By far, the affiliate sign-up page on your website will be the main entry door of “organic” driven affiliates. All network platforms provide default forms and links to embed on the website, though some work on your part will also be required. Our recommendation is to make your Affiliate page visible in both the website menu and footer.
- Action: Go to your Advertiser Account and in the Campaign Settings area you can define your sign-up branding and get your Partner Manager Pages and Links to place on your website.
2. Network Driven Partners
The second source of the incoming affiliates is the affiliate network itself. One could say there is not much you can do here apart from actually joining an affiliate network. Still, there are a limited number of platforms that actually allow advertisers to access their partners’ marketplace and connect with them.
- Action: Log into your advertiser account and start browsing the Impact Radius Partners Marketplace. If you are not sure where to start from you can sort the partners by their star rating and connect with those first. Once your affiliates list increases the next step will be to segment them based on their profile – blogger, coupons, Paid Search, software portal, International, etc.
3. Competitive research
This strategy is probably the most time consuming of all, so we suggest you start looking at two of your main competitors that are running affiliate programs. And, of course, the research on Google using branded and or specific keywords will be the bread and butter of monitoring the competition. For organic results, don’t hesitate to analyze the results of up to page five or even more and use tools that offer in-depth analytics such as Ahrefs
- Action: Because the online presence is not just about organic search engine results (at least not after Google has started displaying up to four AdWords ads on the top of the SERP), please look carefully at the paid advertising your competitors are receiving. You can use some well-known traffic analytics tools like SimilarWeb or SEMRush that will indicate both organic and paid incoming traffic.
4. Invite your customers
This pays off especially for professional tools and services destined to online marketers, designers, digital artists or developers. That’s because most of them already have a website and are to a certain extent familiar with online advertising.
So if you don’t have a referral program maybe this is a good time to start one by using the affiliate system that’s already in place. What better endorser than a satisfied customer who refers the product to their industry peers?
- Action: Make your community aware of the existence of your affiliate program. Perhaps sending an email blast to your several hundred thousand users is not very marketing wise but you can start with connecting with the most influential and social media exposed users and tell them about the opportunity of being rewarded for sharing the news about your services.
Affiliates are usually familiar with setting up accounts and getting tracking links. A non-affiliate might consider it too complicated and drop the idea of sending the referral. We recommend you give straightforward explanations on what an affiliate account consists of, especially the fact that it doesn’t involve any fees or long-term commitment with the 3rdparty platform.
5. Advertise your affiliate program
Indeed, the Google search volume for keywords like “affiliate program” is not underused. However, given the multitude of affiliate programs and market niches out there, we wouldn’t recommend that you choose such a broad keyword. Instead, bid on competitors’ keywords, if they have them.
A full-service ecommerce platform is a great tool when you’re working to improve your affiliate program. Click here to request your free FastSpring demo today.