A friend and fellow affiliate marketer, Mark Welch, writes that “the single most important source of successful affiliates is a direct invitation from the program manager to the site owner or advertising manager” (source: Affiliate Recruitment Strategies and Practices post). I fully concur with Mark here.
Interestingly enough, out of all available methods of direct contact, the vast majority of affiliate program managers are using only one.
In reality, there are 3 methods of direct contact that can be effectively used for affiliate recruitment. They are:
1. Electronic mail (self-explanatory) — This is by far the most widely-used method of a merchant’s/manager’s coming into direct contact with a prospective affiliate (with a purpose of inviting them into an affiliate program). In this category I include both traditional emails, and direct messages sent via an instant messengers, affiliate network or social media platform, or other messaging options. The latter basically represent a condensed form of an email invitation.
2. Regular mail (postcard or similar invitation) — This method of affiliate recruitment is without a doubt the most underused method, which consequently gives it the edge most prospective affiliates will appreciate. Mail them a postcard, or even a package with a little gift! It can do wonders for your affiliate recruitment campaign; and it’s well-worth the extra time spent on it, especially when we are talking super affiliates.
3. Face-to-face contact (at conference or other meeting) — There are a number of affiliate marketing shows and events to attend every year, and each has its own opportunities for meeting prospective affiliates. Besides the events directly related to affiliate marketing, I always recommend attending other conferences on digital marketing.
Whether you’re reading this as an affiliate, or as a program manager, I’d love hear your feedback too. As always, you may post it in the “Comments” area below.