As we all know, affiliate recruitment is one of the five key pillars of affiliate program management. While all the pillars are important, most affiliate managers will devote at least 75% of their time toward recruitment. After all, if you’re not recruiting affiliates then your sales force isn’t growing and you’re not selling more products.
Massive action will yield massive results. As with anything though, if you throw a bunch of things against the wall and wait to see what sticks, there will be some things sliding down the wall that will inevitably get forgotten while you’re picking up all the things that stuck hard.
Here are a few tips to help stay organized when recruiting affiliates into your affiliate program.
Use A Master Recruiting Spreadsheet
Make sure to track all the targets you’re reaching out to in a master spreadsheet. Include the email address/contact form URL in the spreadsheet, as well as each date that you reach out to the prospective affiliate. This helps make things very easy when it comes time to do your follow ups.
As targets get converted, you want to color code the cells in your master spreadsheet. I use light green for “joined my program” and light red for “not interested.” As your spreadsheet grows to several hundred entries and more, you’re going to be thankful you’ve color coded things because it makes it easier to see the white cells containing prospects that are still open.
Lastly, clean up the sheet every month. You can do this by creating new tabs for the converted and non-converted targets. Move the green and red cells into these new sheets and then you’ll have a clean, new sheet to start working from again at the start of the month.
Use A Task Manager
Every affiliate manager should use some sort of task manager or CRM. There are countless ones out there. You just need to find what works best for your reach out/follow up style. You could get something as fancy as Salesforce or as simple as Any.do.
My personal style is to create entries for every important affiliate. We will call these your eagles. You always want to feed your eagles. By creating these entries, you can easily set reminders for yourself when you next need to follow up with them.
As you start to convert targets into your program and activate them, you’re going to want to make sure you’re still following up with your eagles and feeding them whatever they need to be successful.
Set Recruiting Time Blocks
As I mentioned earlier, every affiliate manager spends the most of his or her time recruiting new affiliates. That said, it can be easy to get caught up in day to day affiliate management activities and forget to block out some time for recruitment.
I’ve found that it’s valuable to set aside at least one hour a day where you don’t do anything else except focus on recruitment efforts. By doing this, you’re all but guaranteeing that you’re not going to neglect any follow-ups or let any potential prospects fall through the cracks.
Good luck with all your recruiting efforts and feel free to email me with any comments or questions. I would love to hear from you!