3 Types of Affiliate Calls to Action

Call to actionI think there are three types of calls to action which affiliate program managers and merchants should be using with affiliates.

The vast majority of managers and merchants use only one type (the first one, which also illustrated on the left), and this hurts the development of their affiliate program in at least the areas that the other two types cover.

1) Primary — calling to the the action you want them to take in response to an outgoing recruitment email or when they visit your affiliate program bio page (you better have one). This may be contacting you about your affiliate program, or most typically, submitting their application to join your affiliate program.

2) Secondary — providing an alternative route of action for your prospective affiliates, or those of them that may not be ready to to take the primary action (concept explained here). Are you inviting them to contact you anyway, providing them with enough of contact info and motivators to get back with you? You could also include an offer to at least exchange links, or a hint at the fact that you may be open to other partnerships (e.g. a synergy of a placement fee + a CPA model).

3) Post-primary — here I imply the call to activation you should have in the very approval email (more here) you send to the affiliate that has just been accepted into the program. Examples of motivators on the level of post-primary calls to action would be a commission bump, a cookie life increase or a monetary bonus in exchange for them putting your links up on their websites.

Are you as an affiliate program manager using all 3 types? If you aren’t, I strongly encourage you to change this today. It won’t take more than 15 minutes of your time to put the missing calls to action into the places where they belong.

6 thoughts on “3 Types of Affiliate Calls to Action”

  1. Thomas Kupracz

    Great article. Funny enough, I am currently (read:now) researching affiliate programs within a niche. You wouldn’t believe how many sites don’t make their affiliate program visible, and even more don’t provide the information needed for me to make a positive decision to join.

    I don’t want to signup for something I know nothing about. Some good tips for affiliates:
    – Make sure your affiliate program can be found on your site OR google. If you use CJ / ShareASale / LinkShare, etc… make sure to AT A MINIMUM provide a link to that. You’d think that would be easy enough.
    – TELL ME HOW MUCH I WILL MAKE. Detail ALL of your options (CPA / PPS / Sale / %) and TELL ME what your PRICING AVERAGE is.
    – TELL ME HOW LONG I HAVE TO MAKE THE SALE. What’s your friggin’ cookie duration 🙂
    – TELL ME of upcoming promotions AHEAD OF TIME (7 to15 days)so I can get PPC / Site content READY TO SELL (duh!)
    – GIVE ME A LIVE IM CONTACT. Email contact is sooooo 2009. Hire or outsource to someone I can talk to LIVE for my issues.


  2. Lol. Yeah I prolly overdid it on CAPS. I actually was a little frustrated 🙂 Good research is tough. Hehe

  3. Geno, your 3 year old posts look very much related to the current affiliate marketing industry in Russia. As for, I always tend to focus more on first type of CTA, while after re-reading your post 2-nd and 3-rd seem to be more efficient.

    1. Alexander, I think it is still very much relevant to affiliate recruitment worldwide. Very few western affiliate managers are using anything beyond the primary call to action either.

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