Effective Affiliate Recruitment Through Affiliates' Eyes

Yesterday I have written about the key affiliate expectations as presented by the new AffStat Report. Today I’d like to mention one more graph that caught my eye in this report. It addresses the question of avenues that affiliates use to find out about affiliate programs “and then join”. The report reveals that the top 3 ways of finding affiliate programs to join are:

  1. Affiliate directories (18.3%)
  2. Search engines (18%), which when combined with the “personal research” piece of the pie, make up close to 24%. Add affiliate program blogs (which are loved by SEs) to these, and we’ll almost hit a 30% mark.
  3. Direct contact by affiliate manager (16.2%)

Avenues of Affiliate Recruitment

Conferences (11.3%) follow the above-quoted three, whereas, interestingly enough, the least frequently used methods are (1) affiliate forums* (1.3%), (2) word of mouth (1.3%) and (3) Twitter (3.9%).

Lessons affiliate program managers can learn from this:

  1. By all means, do have a dedicated affiliate program page on your website [see this post of mine too]. Additionally, do maintain an affiliate program blog and participate in other activity that will help you improve the organic rankings of webpages that talk about your affiliate program
  2. Submit your affiliate program to directories [see also this poll]
  3. Use direct approach channels (email, snail mail, personal contact, etc) to reach prospective affiliates

* It is interesting to me that 1.3% voted for “affiliate forums” but 6.4% for “message boards”. I always thought they are one and the same.

7 thoughts on “Effective Affiliate Recruitment Through Affiliates' Eyes”

  1. I guess I don’t do things like the average affiliate – it’s been years since I bothered with a directory.

    I typically search in Google for “niche affiliate program” to find relevant affiliate programs.

  2. Thanks for jumping in, Shawn, and a separate thanks for putting together the survey. Good stuff.

    I think the majority of affiliates basically do the same thing you do. In fact, as I look through the options listed, that sum total of all the factors/variables that can positively contribute to a good rank for a “niche affiliate program” keyphrase comes close to 60% (Google, personal research, affiliate directories, forums, blogs, Twitter, and message boards).

  3. Geno good write up. This is exactly why it’s crucial for Affiliate manager’s to spend time branding their programs as the authority for their category. We (AvantLink) have argued for a while that it’s a better use of the Affiliate manager’s time to work on branding the program, then to “cold call” recruit Affiliates. Make your promos and news widely known via channels like blogs, press releases, ABW, etc… and the good Affiliates will find you.

    A lot of Affiliates have told me that before they sign up for any program, they first perform due diligence by Googling “MERCHANT NAME Affiliate Program” to see what articles, news, blog posts, etc. come up. Make sure you have program content (And that means more than your Affiliate info page, although you do need this as you said Geno) in place when prospective Affiliates search for it. -Gary M

  4. Good point and good to know Shawn, in fact I do LOTS of “NICHE Affiliate program” linking to our merchant’s detail pages from our blog and other channels 😉

  5. Guys, I see lots of interesting and useful ideas in your posts, thanks.
    However as a foreigner ( Polish ) I cannot understand the meaning of expression: “affiliate directories”. Who are they? What is their role?
    Generally speaking In Wikipedia or Google there is no translation, no information just nothing in Polish about such terms as : ‘affiliate’ or ‘affiliate directories’. May be I will the the first one who will do it!
    By the way, do you see the potential of new markets? Translation of books, seminars, interviews, etc….

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