10 Avenues for Passive (Yet Highly Effective) Affiliate Recruitment

While surveying “more than sixteen hundred affiliates” for the newest 2013 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report one of questions asked: “How do you typically find out about new affiliate programs?” (p. 15) The distribution of votes was truly interesting:

Affiliate recruitment (through affiliates' eyes)
If you look carefully, you will notice that while some respondents mentioned that they are being contacted (affiliate managers reaching out to affiliates via direct contact or conferences), the vast majority voted for the methods where they themselves are doing their research (be it by checking out competitors’ websites or utilizing search engines, browsing affiliate network listings or print publications, or merchant websites) thereby discovering new affiliate programs to join.
I believe that nearly all affiliate recruitment techniques may be split into two large groups: active affiliate recruitment (when merchants find affiliates), and passive recruitment (when affiliates find merchants). Unfortunately, when we talk about affiliate recruitement, most of us are nearly completely ignoring the latter. However, as the above chart shows, it is the passive recruitment that is being preferred by the vast majority of affiliates.
So, today I’d like to bring you 10 great ways to get found by affiliates. Here they are (in no particular order):
  1. Program Description: Whether it is on an affiliate network’s page, or on your website, do put your time into it [these tips should help].
  2. Program FAQ & Support Website: Maintaining an FAQ section [see an example here], and an affiliate program support site (and blog) helps them find you easily via search engines, as well as get their questions answered even without contacting you.
  3. Affiliate Network Listing: If your program is run on a network, make the most of the listing you have there (and don’t forget to embed a good 88×31 button into it).
  4. Affiliate Program Directories: Affiliates still use them. So do list your affiliate program in these.
  5. Social Media: Be where your affiliates are! Run affiliate program support forums [see an example here], Facebook pages, LinkedIn Groups, and a support Twitter account [like these].
  6. Second-Tier Affiliates: Wheter you pay them a one-time bounty (for referring new affiliates to  you), or recurring commissions (based on the money their referrals make), it may work for you.
  7. “Subscribe to Affiliate News” Link: If they aren’t yet ready to join your affiliate program, they may be open to, at least, subscribing to your affiliate newsletter [check out this example].
  8. Press Releases: These carry a number of advantages including SEO benefits (from links to immediate rankings, like this announcement is already yielding0, greater visiblity/exposure, and wider spread of your news.
  9. Conferences: Just as with social media, you want to be where your affiliates are. And don’t limit yourself to affiliate marketing conferences only. Consider niche conferences where your prospective affiliates may be (either specific to a vertical or a promotional method, like BlogWorld for example).
  10. Print Publications: Here do not focus on magazines only; consider also buying ads in conference guides/programs.

Good luck exploring these frequently overlooked, but quite effective, methods of passive affiliate recruitment! And, as always, if you have anything else to add to this topic, I would appreciate your comments under this blog post.

2 thoughts on “10 Avenues for Passive (Yet Highly Effective) Affiliate Recruitment”

  1. Pingback: Marketing Day: June 12, 2013

  2. Pingback: Managing Advertiser Expectations for an Affiliate Program

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