Although any successful Internet business will automatically attract eager affiliates, we should not rest on our laurels and expect this to be enough.
A good affiliate manager must not only work with these affiliates who seek out the merchant, but also apply proactive efforts to discover and recruit affiliates. Of course, such work is time-consuming and requires a fair share of creativity, especially if you are looking to find new affiliates outside of the established affiliate network circles. Let me share some recruiting tactics we currently use that have proved to be quite successful.
Website traffic volume is a good indicator of potential earnings, and you will want to use this to prioritize your recruiting efforts. Alexa indexes millions of websites, conveniently listed by category, which you can browse and cherry-pick the best. Look as well for the services and tools related to your particular type of business, but not direct competitors (complementary products). Additionally, you may want to use Compete.com to evaluate monthly unique visitors to potential partners’ websites and use in your prioritization efforts.
Monitoring Google Alerts
Whereas Alexa is a great tool for finding high-traffic partners, Google Alerts can be used to find potential affiliates among bloggers who write on topics relevant to your business. Just add relevant keywords here http://www.google.com/alerts, choose frequency and result type, and enjoy latest web updates delivered right to your inbox or RSS reader. Such blogs are often an untapped resource and they can be quite popular among people interested in your product or service. Additionally, they typically do not feature as many affiliate ads or might not be familiar with affiliate marketing at all. Alerts are also great for finding competitor’s affiliates.
Digging through the SERPs
Although it can be a particularly time-consuming process, trying various keywords related to your business in a web search browser and digging through the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) can help you identify websites not yet in the affiliate game. When you find websites that would be a perfect home for your ads or links, create custom pitch e-mails with a brief explanation of the concept of affiliate marketing and your interest in partnering with this website.
As affiliate marketing becomes more and more popular, affiliate managers must step up their game. No longer can we wait for affiliates to come to us. Use these techniques to find potential affiliates and recruit them. Particularly attractive are website owners who are not yet familiar with affiliate marketing and performance-based payouts (which doesn’t mean that they oppose the idea). Take the time to educate them about the benefits and strategies of affiliate marketing. Introducing website owners to the affiliate space might be more rewarding than fighting your competition for existing affiliates. Also, by adding them to your recruiting efforts, you will maximize your outreach and create successful, lasting partnerships.