To make a difference in your website’s traffic and revenue, you need a great strategy to support building your programme with many affiliates that are relevant to your product/service. 

But recruiting affiliates for your program is a difficult task; to make things more complicated, the success of your affiliate programme does not come from quantity. It does not come from recruiting as many affiliates as possible. Rather, success comes from the quality of the affiliates you build a relationship with.

To help focus your efforts, here are five steps to recruiting that will help you find and build relationships with high-quality affiliates:

  • Outline your overall online strategy
  • Analyse your competition
  • Make your affiliate program visible
  • Attend affiliate conferences
  • Activate recruited affiliates

Outline your overall online strategy

Before starting your recruitment efforts, you need to define your goals and align your overall online marketing strategy with your affiliate efforts. To define useful and attainable goals, look at your service or product, find the regions it is performing well in, and determine which promotional efforts are leading that success. Once you clearly identify how your product, regional customers and promotional tactics fit together, you can decide what types of affiliates fit your overall goal. 

Competitive analysis

If you are new to the affiliate world or are looking to revisit your strategy, it may help to analyse your competitors’ tactics. What are they doing to promote their product? Which affiliates are promoting them? Target those affiliates and try offering them a higher revenue share, or provide them more promotional assets. This is a great way to capitalise on already-established affiliates in your vertical.

Make your affiliate programme visible

According to the AffStat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report, 24.46% of affiliates find out about an affiliate programme through the merchant’s website. Make sure to prominently display a sign-up link to your affiliate programme on your site. Include details about your commission structure and information on your top converting products.

Source: AffStat 2016 Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report

Attend affiliate conferences

There are many conferences worldwide dedicated to affiliate programmes, Affiliate Summit is the largest affiliate conference, and it is held twice a year in the US. Many merchants and super-affiliates from across the world use the opportunity to network with their peers and learn about new programmes they can join. These events are a great way to build a relationship with new affiliates and also grow any existing relationships.

Activate newly-signed affiliates

You need to ensure you are following up with newly-joined affiliates and provide them with relevant assets for their user base. If affiliates are signing up but are not going live, you need to revisit your promotional assets or commission offering. Reach out to them directly, and ask what is needed and where you could support. Don’t rely on the affiliate to do all the work. Education and support is needed, especially at the beginning of your relationship.