Affiliate recruitment — or the process of finding affiliates to join your program and promote your product/service — is arguably the most important affiliate program management element. After all, they are the driving force of any affiliate program, and
while I also always say that a recruited affiliate is no good until they become active structured and intelligent recruitment is the #1 task for every affiliate program manager.
Among the most popular ways to recruit new affiliates we observe (a) reaching out to relevant content producers, (b) going after competitors’ affiliates, (c) active participation in forums, conferences and other places where affiliates gather… basically, all the things I have written about 2.5 years ago. But today I’d like to turn to some pretty effective, yet underused, ways to recruit good affiliates. There are at least 5 of these, and they are:
1) Guest blogging and article writing — As Marty M. Fahncke puts it “write, and be written about”. It attracts attention, builds authority and credibility, and really helps in building bridges to those really good affiliates that you want to work with.
2) Keyword search — As you’re setting your program up, especially on an affiliate network, you can specify the key words and phrases by which you want to be found. Spend your time on this one, making sure you cover all key phrases (including competitors’ names, when permitted).
3) Paid search — Very few are doing this, but it does yield fruit, especially when you run closely targeted PPC campaigns (around the precise words that affiliates use when looking for affiliate programs in your niche… don’t forget competitors’ affiliate programs too); and not only on Google, Bing and Yahoo, but also on Facebook, and LinkedIn.
4) Snail mail — Affiliates generally experience no deficit of supply when it comes to affiliate programs. To attract their attention you want to do something that makes you shine and helps you stand out from the crowd. Experiment with postcards! They do catch attention. Especially, when they come with a gift card
or something of the kind attached to it.
5) Reaching out to your customer database — …at least, the happy shoppers. :] Chances are they will be happy to market you to their friends for a commission.
Are you utilizing these yet? If not, give ‘em a try. They do work!
Also, if there are other underused methods that have worked for you, I would really appreciate you sharing them through the “Comments” function below.