Category Archives: Affiliate Marketing

Launching a Successful In-house Affiliate Program

You’ve likely already decided that an in-house affiliate program is best for your brand, and that this option yields some impressive benefits that large affiliate networks just can’t offer. Through an in-house affiliate program, you won’t need to give up a large chunk of the pie you’re offering to affiliates like you would with a big affiliate network. An in-house affiliate platform gives you more control and a more direct relationship with affiliates, not only ensuring the content they present is on-brand, but also allowing your company to custom-tailor your affiliate program and grow revenue.

Choosing a Tracking Platform

Building your own affiliate platform from scratch is work-intensive and expensive, which is why for most companies it makes the most sense to go with an existing platform. Fortunately, there are many options available, often with a one-time setup fee, or even a monthly/yearly recurring subscription charge. But this abundance of options is a double-edged sword: with so many choices, just how do you narrow it down? Here are some features we think are essential for any successful in-house affiliate platform:

  • Fool-Proof Tracking
    Nothing makes affiliates drop out of your program faster than if they feel like commissions are slipping through their fingers. Your affiliate platform needs not only to accurately track sales, but to also prevent scammers from finding a way to cheat the system.
  • Customizable Commissions
    Do you want to offer your affiliates a percentage of sales, or a flat fee per lead? Perhaps you’d like to offer a coupon code for your affiliates to promote instead. Whatever your inclination, your affiliate platform should have the ability for you to choose!
  • Detailed Reporting
    An affiliate program falls flat on its face without any sort of detailed analytics. Not only should your company see how your affiliate program is performing, but also your affiliates should be able to see detailed reporting. In this way, both your company and your affiliates will be empowered to utilize your affiliate platform effectively.
  • Integrations, Integrations, Integrations
    We’re going to come right out and say it: integrations are integral to any affiliate platform. You obviously need to ensure an affiliate program integrates with whatever shopping carts, WordPress plugins, or CMS you may be using, but it’s also important to keep in mind that your company’s website will likely grow and expand later. The last thing you want is for your online presence to outgrow your affiliate platform!

Finding Affiliates

Many companies falsely assume that just because they’re not running their affiliate program through a large affiliate network means they can’t have as successful of an affiliate program. This is wholly and patently false! In fact, the unique benefits that an in-house affiliate platform has may very well enable you to have higher-performing affiliates since they will have a much closer relationship with your brand. You’d be surprised at how many companies forget this basic step!

Don’t Forget a Link!

A commonly-overlooked strategy many affiliate programs seemingly forget to engage in in placing a clearly-visible link on their website. While this may seem like a simple solution, it’s incredibly effective. If a company or individual is really interested in partnering up with your brand, they’re likely already looking for a link for an affiliate program. This is a great way to effortlessly capitalize on organic interest without having to reach out.

Don’t let those marketing tools that your affiliate platform should include slip your mind. Remember: it’s one of the essential features mentioned above! These tools are usually an efficient way to get the word out about your affiliate program across different social media sites, advertising platforms, and even entice visitors who visit your company’s website who may not otherwise click on that affiliate signup link.

Recruiting Affiliates

You likely already have people already interested in partnering with your budding affiliate program. All they need is a little nudge! Think about your customers, existing resellers or referrers, and even vendors you already work with. They already know about your brand and this will give them a leg up in your affiliate program, leading to more organic leads and conversions. They’ll probably also be happy to earn their commission relatively effortlessly! It’s a win-win situation.

Also, be sure to check out the affiliates your competitors have. Not only can you pitch your program to those same affiliates, but this will also give you some market research that will help you to hone in on a particular audience that responds positively to marketing geared towards your brand’s industry. With or without competitor research, you can look into reaching out to influencers or industry experts who you can partner with when rolling out your affiliate program.

Get the Ball Rolling with Your Affiliates

Once you have affiliates, you shouldn’t just leave them to their own devices. A truly effective and successful affiliate program will work with new affiliates and help them to hit the ground running, setting them up to generate leads and conversions from day one. But how do the most successful affiliate programs empower their affiliates?

  • Provide Content
    Not only should you be providing your affiliates with eye-catching graphics to grab potential customers’ attention, but also informative graphics to let them know what your brand is all about. It may also be helpful to supply brand guidelines to make sure your affiliates are representing your brand authentically and accurately.
  • Educate Your Affiliates
    Highly productive affiliates aren’t born, they’re made. You have to empower your affiliates by educating them with informational resources about how to be effective affiliate marketers.
  • Reach Out
    Let your affiliates know you’re there for whatever they may need, whether it be advice for how to best represent your brand, or marketing tips to make your partnership more successful. By keeping an open line with your affiliates, you may even open your brand up to more collaborative marketing opportunities.

Get Started Off on the Right Foot

Looking to get started off on the right foot with your new in-house affiliate program? We heard through the grapevine that you may be looking for an affiliate platform! iDevAffiliate is the leading affiliate tracking software, jam-packed with incredible cost-saving features that will help set your brand up for success.

Keeping Affiliates Active in Your Affiliate Program

One of the biggest pitfalls of a lackluster affiliate program is leaving affiliates feeling completely unengaged and disconnected from your brand. If your affiliates don’t have much of a stake in your company, aside from the commission they earn, if they don’t feel involved or included, they won’t actively engage in promotions. It’s not as simple as just providing your affiliates with campaigns, content, and links to promote and leaving it up to them. After all, what value does an affiliate bring that an automated display advertising campaign doesn’t? Affiliates choose to participate in affiliate programs for a reason. You need to build on this initial motivation and not let it go to waste.

keeping affiliates active and marketing

This is why it’s important to build a relationship with your affiliates. By fostering a connectedness with your company, it will ultimately give your affiliate program an edge over other programs your affiliates may be participating in. Connected affiliates made to feel like part of the team are more likely to be active in your program, yielding higher earnings for you, and more commissions for affiliates!

Affiliate Newsletter

Never underestimate the power of keeping your affiliates in the loop of the goings-on in your business or even just your affiliate program. By giving affiliates periodic, quality updates via an affiliate newsletter, it will help them feel more connected to your brand and help build that relationship you will ultimately be leveraging through the affiliate marketing process. Keeping affiliates in-the-know keeps them engaged, keeps them interested, and keeps you and your business on their radar.

affiliate newsletter

By keeping your affiliates well-informed and abreast of any pertinent updates by means of a newsletter, it also empowers them to represent your brand more accurately and authentically. It may expose your affiliates to aspects of your business or brand that they may not have known about, and that tidbit of pertinent information could be the key to effectively motivating your affiliate’s audience to engage in those sought-after conversions. Knowledge is power, after all, and consistent, informative communications gives your affiliates what they need to succeed.

Fresh, Frequent Promotions

Affiliates think there’s something about your brand or business that is relevant to their audience, and they believe that special something will ultimately result in the conversions they need to earn commissions. That being said, even the most interesting, most relevant campaign will lose its luster to your affiliate’s audience as time goes on. You simply must cycle out promotions and shake things up every once and a while. Brands’ marketing campaigns evolve and change over time to stay relevant and keep consumers interested, and affiliate marketing isn’t any different.

coupon code commissioning for your affiliate program

Just as breaking news stories fade and fizzle out of public consciousness in a matter of days or weeks, so too do your affiliates’ audiences lose interest. If your affiliates are posting fresh content to keep their audiences coming back for more, why aren’t you? One of your top priorities should be creating and implementing new promotions, as well as informing your affiliates of those promotions that they can then share with their audiences.

Keep in Touch

keep in touch with your affiliates

What better way to build a relationship with your affiliates than to let them meet and interact with a member of your team? Conference calls, phone calls, Zoom meetings, or even regular virtual office hours are all ways to make affiliates feel included and valued. It empowers affiliates to ask questions and get personalized (in some cases: live) feedback, and it can even include other affiliates, which is an excellent way in which affiliates can put their minds together and work collaboratively to discover effective marketing strategies. It’s a win-win-win situation!

Provide Affiliates with Resources

Sure, affiliates have access to graphics, affiliate links, and even your company’s website, but are they provided with other resources that truly empower them to be the best affiliates they can? Show your affiliates you care if they succeed. Not only should your affiliates have a vested interest in the success of your brand and its affiliate program, you should have a vested interest in the success of your affiliates that goes beyond conversion rates. Sure, it’s obvious that you care if your affiliates succeed, because their success is ultimately your success, but you need to really show your affiliates this. Again, empower your affiliates to be successful and be supportive of them.

social media marketing for affiliates

Some helpful resources for affiliates could include informative articles about affiliate marketing, various tools to optimize their performance, and even success stories from other affiliates that delve into their winning strategies. Putting forth the effort to connect your affiliates with helpful information will go a long way towards building a relationship, as well as driving affiliate enthusiasm and motivation.


There’s nothing like a healthy dose of competition to drive motivation! Motivated affiliates go that extra mile, especially if they know there’s a little something extra in it for them. Some successful affiliate programs have implemented an affiliate leaderboard or offered a bonus to top affiliates. What’s particularly fascinating about this strategy is that it will motivate affiliates to peek in on their competition, analyzing their competitors’ strategies to find out what will work best for their audience to drive up conversions. Friendly competition is a fantastic way to cut to the chase and distill effective strategies down to their most vital parts.

award affiliates for performance

Spicing up your affiliate program with incentives doesn’t necessarily have to create direct competition between affiliates, and many affiliate programs have employed a variety of innovative incentives to get their affiliates more involved. Whether it be a bonus for reaching a certain milestone, a limited-time increase in commission for a particular product, or even tiered commission percentages, these incentives motivate your affiliates to be more active and engaged!

Empower your Affiliates

Although iDevAffiliate is the developer of leading affiliate tracking software, we employ all of these strategies in our own affiliate program! At the end of the day, building a relationship with your affiliates and keeping them in the loop empowers them to actively engage in your affiliate program. With proper support, fresh promotions, a healthy dose of motivation, and the knowledge they need to succeed, your affiliates will go the extra mile in driving up conversions for mutual benefit.

empower your affiliates

For more information on how your business can benefit from the most feature-rich, easy-to-use affiliate tracking software, contact iDevAffiliate, the leader in affiliate tracking solutions for more than 20 years.

Why Start an Affiliate Marketing Program in 2020

In this increasingly competitive e-commerce climate, companies need a way to dramatically increase their odds of generating more leads, sales or even announcing their online presence. Launching an Affiliate Program is one of the ways to do just that.

In this 5-part series, we will cover tips and strategies around the following topics below:

  •           Starting an Affiliate Program
  •           How to find and recruit affiliates
  •           Keeping affiliates active in your Program.
  •           Best practices for managing your Affiliate Program.
  •           Launching your Affiliate Program


[ Part #1 :  Starting an Affiliate Program ]  

Why Affiliate Marketing?

Today over 80% of the brands we love and support use some type of affiliate marketing to buy more customers. And it’s not just the Fortune 500 companies, the mid-size, Mom & Pop’s and even the entrepreneur down the street, have successfully launched their own affiliate program.. or soon will.

According to Statista affiliate marketing spend has grown from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $5.4 billion in 2017 and is predicted to grow to over $8 billion in 2022.  

affiliate marketing spend analysis

If the numbers don’t get you out of your seat, here are some reasons why starting an Affiliate Program makes sense in today’s world.

  • Low Startup Cost: Starting a business can be expensive, an Affiliate Marketing program is a great way to start with little out of pocket expense.
  • Choose the Affiliates you want to work with based on your industry and experience
  • Grow into foreign markets with local affiliates
  • Collect valuable insights based on traffic your Affiliate Marketers bring to your website.

Do any of the scenarios below, apply to you?

  • Maybe your company is introducing a new product line and needs to expand their sales-force?
  • Does your store need to ramp up marketing efforts, in time for the busy season?
  • Are you an entrepreneur who wants to take your business from the basement to the boardroom?

To summarize; if you are selling your own products online or even offline, an Affiliate Marketing program is an effective way to increase brand awareness and scale your business.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

How it all works?

To understand ” How it all works” we are going to first take a step back and learn what Affiliate Marketing is and who the key players are in the process.

Affiliate marketing is defined as the process of promoting another party’s products or services on a commission basis.  

Affiliate marketing is also referred to as “Performance Marketing”. Why? Because how much the parties earn depends solely on the Affiliates’ Performance.

The Key Players

With affiliate marketing, Companies (known as Merchants or Advertisers) rely on marketing partners to promote their products in exchange for a commission based on each website visitor, sale, or lead, that the partner drives.

Affiliates (known as publishers) gives the Company access to an audience of customers they might not already have. Affiliates can be influencers on social media, bloggers, they may have a pod-cast or Youtube channel.

When a Consumer (also known as the Customer) purchase’s a product through the publisher’s “affiliate link”, the affiliate earns a commission for that sale.

Affiliate Recruitment and Management

Affiliate Recruitment  is all about being active in places where your affiliates are. Try promoting your Affiliate program in Affiliate forums, blogs, even your current customers. Remember a closed mouth goes hungry, as they say. 

Content is King . Provide your affiliates with as much pre-made promotional material as you can. Why? This makes the affiliates job easier to promote your products and services over other programs.  This includes Videos, Banners ,  Landing Pages, Email templates.

If you ask any affiliate manager, Communication is the the Key to running a successful affiliate program.  Just as if they were at your office. The more they learn and more they can earn, for your affiliate program and for themselves. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of “How it all works” and “Key Players” let’s see this in action!

Meet “Lloyd”

Lloyd sells bow ties. He has a Basic website and promotes his products through social media using social media. Since Louis is a “one-man show”, he as a lot on this plate. For example, he often forgets to post his latest bow-tie creation on social media. Above all, Louis is finding it more difficult to compete online and does not have added resources to spend on Social media Advertising.

Lloyd is the Merchant otherwise known as the “Advertiser”

Meet “Harry”

Harry is an active fashion blogger and happens to have an extensive Bow-tie tie collection. Harry has even bought a few from Lloyd’s web site. For Harry to support his bow-tie habit and grow the collection, he joined a few Affiliate programs to earn extra income as an affiliate marketer . Harry loves to Blog about fashion and as a result Harry can earn money as an Affiliate without keeping product inventories or handing customer support.

Harry is Affiliate otherwise known as the “Publisher”

Meet “Louis”

Louis is at home, looking for a new bow-tie to add to his collection. He follows Harry on Facebook, since they are both into bow-ties.

Louis in the Customer otherwise known as the “Consumer”

What if there was a way to “increase the odds” of connecting Lloyd, Harry, and Louis so that  everybody wins?

Affiliate Marketing Partnership


Bingo! If Lloyd had an Affiliate Marketing Program in place and Harry was an Affiliate in Lloyd’s program, there is a much higher chance Louis would have found Lloyd’s website through one of Harry’s Blogs or Ad’s on Social Media promoting Lloyd’s Bow-ties. 

Lets wrap this up, shall we? So,  Louis finds Harry’s latest Blog entry where he is reviewing the latest 5 Bow-ties for the season. Louis likes one of them and clicks on Harry’s Affiliate Link   Can you guess what happen’s next? 

Drum-roll please….

Lloyd has a New Customer! Harry receives a commission for this Affiliate Marketing efforts and Louis is strutting around town with a new Bow-tie.

You can chalk this up as a “Win” – “Win” – “Win”  

In conclusion

As you can see Launching an Affiliate Program opens the door to a world of opportunity. Affiliate Marketing can provide anyone looking to start or already managing an online business the resources needed to grow quickly or get your business off the ground. It is cost effective and ensures you will not spend countless hours or waste money on expensive programs that don’t bring in the right buyers. Moreover, you develop connections to affiliates who can really help, as they already have the audience you are looking for.

Stay tuned for ( Part 2) of this series.

In (Part 2) of our series we will share Tips and Strategies on “How to Find and Recruit Affiliates” into your affiliate program.

Go ahead and subscribe to our Blog . You don’t want to miss it! 

Need Help ? 

Now its time for our shameless plug! Since 1999 iDevAffiliate has been the leading affiliate tracking software in its class. Our affiliate software installs in just minutes and easily integrates into your existing website. Contact us! We will be happy to assist.

Wishing you all the success in 2020 !

~ Your iDevAffiliate Family

(P.S.) Don’t forget to “Like” and “Follow” us on Social Media


Can I Prevent Affiliate From Purchasing Themselves?

Every once in a while we are asked, “how can we prevent our affiliates from making purchases through their own affiliate links?”. Well, the answer in short is, you can’t. Not reliably anyways. Not with todays technology available to us. In theory, we could do things like IP blocking, issue cookies, etc. But, at the end of the day, technology is going to prevent us from truly blocking this sort of activity. A savvy enough affiliate can get around these types of things.

For years now, we’ve always encouraged affiliate managers to actually allow it. Since technology limitations prevent us from reliably stopping this activity, why not embrace and allow your affiliates to give themselves a commission for their own purchase? We have a Minimum Payout Balance feature that can help circumvent someone expecting to give themselves an instant “discount” by simply signing up for your affiliate program then making a purchase through their own marketing link.

Minimum Payout Balance Requirement

Using this feature, you can require affiliates to earn a specified commission amount before becoming eligible for payout. So for instance, you might set this amount to something that should require the affiliate to generate 2-3 commissions before becoming eligible. This prevents a “one-off” commission from being payable. Your affiliates will need to either purchase more product themselves or do some regular marketing to earn more commissions for payout.


In the above example, you’ll see we’ve set a minimum payout balance of $100.00. This means, the affiliate will not be payable until the minimum $100.00 is earned. When you click on Pay Affiliates, you will only get a list of accounts that have met your minimum payout balance requirement. Accounts will simply roll over from month-to-month until met. Once met, they will appear in the list for payment.

Note: If you are using the Signup Bonus feature, any signup bonus outstanding on the affiliate account will NOT count towards the minimum payout balance. For instance, you require $100.00 and the affiliate has earned $85.00 plus he has a $25.00 signup bonus. That totals $110.00 but $25.00 is a signup bonus so the account is still not yet payable. The Minimum Payout Balance is calculated from “earned” commissions only.

Affiliate Marketing 101, Part 1: How does it all work?

Welcome to our Affiliate Marketing 101 Series! Affiliate marketing is an integral part of e-commerce for small and large businesses alike.

If you’re just starting to learn about it, you might find it a bit overwhelming. You might find it so complex that you’re even considering dropping out of the e-commerce game altogether to pursue your second passion, learning to play the harp. Well, put that ridiculous pipe dream aside because, in reality, affiliate marketing is actually quite simple. In this five part series, I hope to break it down into its most critical aspects and give you the understanding you need to plan out and implement the affiliate marketing strategy that works best for your business. So let’s get into it!

affiliate marketing 101









The Basics 

Out in the endless universe of forums, blogs, wikis, and cat videos that make up the internet, there are a plethora of websites trying to sell products. A lot of them. E-Commerce is growing so fast that it’s the only trillion dollar industry with double-digit annual growth percentage in the world. In this increasingly competitive climate, e-businesses need a way to dramatically increase their odds of landing a sale, or even being know about at all for that matter. Affiliate marketing is one of the ways they do this.

Let’s say for example that you have a business that sells funny t-shirts of characters from 90s movies. The people that have bought from you love your products, you have a beautiful website and you market your wares on all the social media platforms. The problem is that only 8 of those shirts sold last week! And worse than that, they were all shirts of Nicholas Cage from the movie Con Air!

However there is another website you know about, 90s where people can browse a detailed database of 90s movies as well as use the sites forum to argue about which one is the best. This site receives a huge amount of traffic each month from movie fanatics but hardly makes any money. So you email them and tell them that if they put up an ad for your site on their own, and that add results in t-shirt sales, you will give them a handsome commission.

And thus, one of the greatest symbiotic relationships in the world of e-business has been activated! You (the merchant) get to benefit from the huge global network of die-hard 90s movies fans that your new affiliate partner has connected you with. And they (the publisher) have a relatively easy way to make money from their website. Now you can start selling more Pulp Fiction hoodies, Forest Gump women’s tank tops, and yes, Con Air t-shirts.

Your partner now has an incentive to make sure her website is always updated and in tip-top shape so that she can get more page views, more potentials clickthroughs to your site, and most importantly, more potential commission bucks. And you need to maintain good sales and keep producing great products lest you lose your movie experts to some other shirt maker. The two of you might even start to collaborate to come up with special promotions and ads that will appeal to your niche demographic. Before you know it, you and your affiliate partner will fall madly in love and end up married with 3 kids, all named after characters from Clueless. Look at how far you’ve both come!

That’s it in a nutshell. With Affiliate marketing, an e-commerce site is essentially converting any uncapitalized real estate on the web into more advertising space for their company. As long as your partner’s website attracts the type of people you’re trying to sell to and is also willing to form a relationship with you, you’re in business.

Take a look at our iDevAffiliate Software options today!

5 Great Ideas For Keeping Affiliates Actively Participating In Your Affiliate Program!

Ambition is similar to an untied balloon filled with air. While it looks impressive from a distance, unless you persist in exerting continuous pressure, that air will escape the balloon out the hole on the bottom. Much the same applies to your list of affiliate marketers as well. While a long list of affiliate marketing partners suggests that you have been active in your recruitment efforts, viewing them up close might suggest a wide variance in the level of motivation between each affiliate. To maximize your efforts therefore, you may want to consider ways in which you can create more active affiliate partners. These top five ways are a great way to breathe new life into your affiliate marketing program.

#1. Boosting Your Conversion Rate

increase affiliate participationIt is easy to believe that when customers arrive on your website that your wares will immediately impress them and they will be hard put to ignore your offerings if they have a brain in their head. That being said however, setting aside your hubris regarding your particular set of products and working to increase your website’s usability and conversion. By capitalizing on the organic traffic that is already visiting your site naturally, changes to your conversion rate is a proven boon for both your website as well as your affiliate partners. After all, it just makes sense. If an affiliate notes that their leads only go to your website to die, they will forgo the effort and just abandon your affiliate marketing scheme. By implementing strategies and tools aimed at boosting your conversion rates, you in turn improve on your reputation among your affiliates, and prove that you are as dedicated to their success.

#2. Building Strong Affiliate Marketing Relationships

build strong relationships with your affiliatesAn affiliate participates in your marketing program in the anticipation of making money from their efforts, and their motivation increases in direct proportion to the closeness in the relationship they forge with you and your efforts. By consistently providing them with new ways to strategies, tools, and ideas to promote their own websites, this level of interaction demonstrates that you are serious about their success. One of the best ways to guarantee this interaction is by maintaining a comprehensive tracking program, which gives your affiliate merchant a solid understanding of their marketing efforts. Behind the computer screen, real people are hoping to be successful with your affiliate marketing program, so you should reach out to them and communicate your desire to help them succeed whether through telephone calls, ongoing training, or support aimed at increasing their motivation and participation.

#3. Sales Promotions that Excite Affiliates

run promotions for your affiliatesOnce you begin talking with your affiliates and demonstrate your commitment to their success, you can further boost their motivation and performance with sales promotions that will leave no one in your network behind if they all participate. By including them in your sales promotions with detailed information and ongoing conversations, you inspire their trust in your program and help build their own motivation to participate in your outreach efforts. Communication is a critical component of any vibrant affiliate marketing program, and talking about great sales promotions is one of the prime ways you can engender the level of participation needed to ensure that everyone in the program reaches their financial goals.

#4. Doing the Heavy Lifting for Your Affiliate

affiliate marketingWe all know that not all affiliates are equal when it comes to motivational level. For instance, you may have over a thousand affiliate partners in your network, but only a small fraction of those will participate by placing your banner ad or writing a blog posting that highlights your company and its offerings. This strategy gives you artistic control of your message by offering to do the heavy lifting and writing the post yourself for dissemination. This is guaranteed to engender a response that leads to the posting of original content from a wide array of diverse and relevant traffic from a host of different affiliate websites. While you have to do the work of writing these posts, the increase in traffic and boosted interest illustrates that the hard work pays off over time by developing interesting content that points like a laser directly back to your product and services.

#5. Keep in Touch With Affiliate Newsletters

creating active affiliate participation

Not to burst your bubble, but the chances are pretty good that you are not the top consideration of your affiliate partners on any given day. That is natural because just like you, they have their own lives and responsibilities to contend with on their plates, so reminding them that you are still out there and working on their behalf is a great way to goose their memory of your affiliate marketing program. A well-crafted monthly newsletter puts your hard efforts in front of them to illustrate that while they might not be thinking about their financial future, you are continuing your efforts to move the bar upwards for your entire network.

Top 5 Techniques for Recruiting High Quality Affiliates

As an affiliate manager, you don’t need to be told that the lifeblood of your continued successful operation is found in the identification and location of high quality affiliates. Knowing that truth does not always translate into finding that high level of quality collaborators unfortunately, so itrecruiting affiliates is equally important that you concentrate your search in areas that lend themselves to delivering quality affiliates who are serious about sharing in what it takes to be successful.

Whereas these searches once upon a time were conducted within the registries of affiliate directories, these results don’t necessarily return positive results, and is closely akin to checking the bulletin board at the local Laundromat. Indeed, for the savvy affiliate manager, utilizing a targeted approach that delivers quality candidates means thinking outside of the box in terms of where to look for the talent you need to find.

#1. Newsletters

Leveraging the hard work that you have already accomplished, effective marketers have long understood the value of keeping in touch with their current customer base. Whether this takes the cast of monthly newsletters or targeted email offerings, you have a direct pipeline into a population that you know already values the products and services that you have to offer. Reaching out to this already, sympathetic audience is a great way to identify and locate high quality affiliate partners. When separating the wheat from the chaff in terms of finding high quality affiliates, harvesting from your current crop of customers is a fertile field to search.

#2. Organic Searches

Since it is always better to have quality affiliates come looking for you rather than you chasing down blind alleys in search of interested parties to join your program, you should optimize your existing landing pages to draw them to your site with targeted keywords that garner the attention of those most likely to want to join an affiliate program. After all, the best partnerships are with affiliates who are highly motivated self-starters, so they are already looking for your opportunity and your only task is to get their attention via organic search methods that they are already utilizing. By optimizing your site to electronically getting their attention, you will have a wide array of qualified candidates to join your affiliate program.

#3. Forum Announcements

affiliate recruiting in forums Speaking of motivated entrepreneurs in search of affiliate opportunities, affiliate forums are gathering points for likeminded businesspersons looking for chances to succeed in the exciting world of affiliate partnerships. Posting to these forum rooms, and becoming an active contributor to the page, exposes your products and affiliate opportunity to a host of motivated, would-be affiliates. Little has changed in the formula for business success, and effective networking efforts are the key to that success. What has changed is the ease in which you can reach out to one another on the World Wide Web, so leveraging an already plugged in population to network your affiliate opportunity is a no brainer.

#4. The Power of Social Media

The word is out, and apparently, social media is not just a mere passing fad. Whether updating your Twitter account or posting on FaceBook, every time you engage on social media is a chance to get information about your affiliate program to an eager public already looking at ways to get ahead, and the level of engagement on social media platforms guarantees the best chance of generating an online conversation about your unique affiliate opportunity. For best effects, using targeted keywords and Twitter hash tags aimed at garnering additional attention, along with the use of social media advertisements, can go along way towards boosting your affiliate marketing street cred.

where do i find affiliates

#5. Link up with Great Affiliates at LinkedIn

One of the better-kept secrets of LinkedIn is that it is far more than simply a site dedicated to networking and finding jobs within your chosen profession. In fact, the popular business site is also a great place to develop leads that result in outstanding affiliate partnerships. The relationships that develop allow for mutual promotion, and if you tailor a quality affiliate offer that is honest in its appeal, you will see a migration of potential affiliates drawn to your profile. In the same manner that you can keep an active online presence on your FaceBook account, LinkedIn has a newsfeed that you can post to in order to get people’s attention.

When it comes to recruiting high quality affiliates, your primary tasks are to first offer a quality affiliate program, and then to disperse your offer to those areas where motivated would-be affiliates are searching for quality affiliate programs just like the one you are offering. Whether via newsletters, social media, or through optimized SEO practices, you can easily attract quality of affiliates you need to succeed.

Finding the Ideal Affiliate Marketing Partner

When it comes to long-term internet marketing success, the term bandied about is “affiliate.” Like all generic terms however, understanding what to look for in an affiliate program is another matter all together, and exercising your due diligence is critical when selecting the ideal affiliate program for your business model. Towards that end, understanding what to look for, beyond high payouts, should include the company’s reputation, how long they have been in business, which products are a good fit for your business, and how they compare with companies that are hot right now in the affiliate market. Just as all franchise experiences are not the same, neither is every affiliate program the ideal fit for the business plan that you have in mind.

finding the right affiliate program

Due Diligence and Believing in what you are Selling

The first things I do when contemplating an affiliate relationship is I spend significant time analyzing the product offered. As such, I will always Google the prospective company that I am considering joining, along with reviews of their products, to get a feel for what people are saying about the quality and services offered. After all, your name will be associated with the product and as any successful salesperson will tell you, you have to believe in the product that you are selling if you hope to convince others to make a purchasing decision. Determine whether the proposed affiliate partner has a good reputation, a seamless customer service program, and reputable money back guarantees for unsatisfied customers. Finally, at the most basic level is this product or service one that you would use yourself or recommend to friends and loved ones?

Affiliate Management and the Importance of Reading the Small Printfinding the right affiliate program

As an affiliate marketing neophyte, you will want to make sure of the type of staff support you will receive if you join the team. Typically speaking, you should determine whether you will be afforded an affiliate manager, or an affiliate network will manage your account. Regardless of whom you will be working with as your affiliate partnership develops, you will want to find out how responsive they are to your questions and inquiries. Will you receive immediate results when you request assistance, or will you be left dangling 72 hours to a week following your outreach efforts? Also, while you need not get a law degree before parsing through the terms and conditions of the relationship, you should note what types of advertising they allowed, the lifespan of your affiliate cookie, and information regarding CAN-SPAM compliance and any chargeback procedures involved with company returns.

Training and Tools to Help Grow Your Business

training tools required to be a successful affiliate
Regardless of your business or professional career goals, ongoing training is the hallmark of the intrepid entrepreneur’s eventual success. For those unwilling to reinvent the wheel, after all the wheel is a pretty good design concept already, hitting the ground running as a new affiliate means getting a leg-up with comprehensive affiliate marketing training material. Video tutorials, an easy to navigate affiliate dashboard, and a reliable method to track your sales and trends are all aspects of the affiliate relationship that you will want to explore prior to committing to an ongoing partnership. Superior affiliate training and intuitive tools will make your affiliate marketing experience far more successful than you otherwise might experience, but that eventual success can be accomplished without having the growing pains associated with a poorly managed and supported affiliate program.

Show me the Money

While the overall experience is the key to long-term affiliate marketing success, your monetary recompense is of no small matter when parsing through your affiliate partnership options. Beyond comparing commission rates and payment schedules, make sure that you fully understand the payment threshold as well as how they plan on paying you and in what frequency. Again, due diligence in the form of online research of the company will alert you to any red flags as regards problems getting your money into your account.

make money as an affiliate
Your personality dictates the types of affiliate relationships that you want to explore, so make sure that your eventual choice is a good fit for your personal traits. Make sure that the product offered is an item that you would want to be associated with, and ensure that the company offering the product has a sterling commercial reputation.

Communication Is Key to Effective Affiliate Relationships

Too often, affiliates sign up, add a page to their website or a mini-site dedicated to your product or service, and then sit back and wait to see if sales happen. Good communication provides a foundation for stronger, more productive affiliate relationships.

affiliate communication

Scheduled Communication

At the most basic level, you must provide your affiliates with the information they need to participate fully in your program. This includes clear instructions for making use of the platform and the product details they’ll need to make sales.

Typically, you’ll communicate this through:

  • an onboarding email or call;
  • a platform demo or video;
  • product literature; and/or
  • product demos.

Many busy affiliate members stop there, but those initial steps provide only the bare foundation for effective communication. Additional scheduled communications that help strengthen relationships and facilitate strong performance include regular newsletters and scheduled check-in calls.

Affiliate Newsletters

affiliate newsletters

Regular affiliate newsletters do more than just provide an opportunity to touch base on a regular basis. Email newsletters allow you to quickly and effectively communicate information about product changes, sales and special promotions, tips for increasing sales and special affiliate opportunities and incentives. How often you send newsletters will depend upon the nature of your affiliate relationships and your products or services. Groupon affiliates receive multiple emails each week, while companies with more static product lines may find weekly newsletters sufficient. The key is to ensure that each newsletter contains useful information.

Scheduled Calls

scheduling calls with your affiliatesScheduled calls with your affiliates provide an opportunity to find out what they need from you in order to deliver their best efforts. An affiliate who isn’t happy with some aspect of the program or lacks information may become lackluster and not reach out, so a scheduled call allows you to ask questions and prevent problems.

In addition, scheduled calls allow you to learn from your affiliates. They’re interacting with prospects, so they may have valuable information about how your products are perceived, which techniques or content are most effective, and what obstacles to closing they’re encountering.

Schedule calls frequently enough to gather information in a timely manner but not so frequently that they burden the affiliate or your affiliate manager. A call after the first 30 days of participation and then quarterly thereafter may strike the right balance.

Two-Way Communication

Phone calls aren’t the only way to gather useful information from your affiliates. Additional methods include:

  • surveys;
  • comment opportunities within your platform; or
  • a bonus or other incentive for the best tips submitted.

Finally, make sure that your affiliates have a human being to contact. Strong affiliate programs are built on relationships. They won’t be loyal to a website or a platform, but they’ll build a relationship with the person they see as the face of your program.

Motivate Affiliates to Improve Your Bottom Line

Affiliate relationships have the potential to significantly increase your revenue streams. But when your affiliates are passive, you both lose. Fortunately, good communication and a little creativity allow you to jump-start your affiliates and keep them motivated to keep productivity high.motivate your affiliates

Here Are A Few Strategies To Help You Motivate Affiliates

Create a Tiered or Bonus-Added Commission Structure

In a straight commission arrangement, each new sale adds a small, predictable amount to the affiliate’s check. The motivation to push for that extra $20 commission on the next sale may be limited. However, if there’s a reward for reaching certain thresholds, the affiliate has an incentive to maintain a consistent push. Consider creating different thresholds for different affiliate tiers, so that each has an incentive to stretch further than the norm but can still see a bonus or extra commission within reach.

Create Competition Among Affiliatescompetition

Rewarding the best performing affiliates can have the same impact as a bonus or tiered commission structure, but be sure to define “best performing” in a way that makes every affiliate a contender. If you award a prize based on the most sales or the highest number of leads in a given period, smaller affiliates will know they aren’t in the running and won’t be motivated to participate. Instead, set a goal such as “greatest percentage increase versus the prior period.”

Incentivize Education

Affiliates who are more familiar with and conversant about your products and services will do a better job of selling them. In addition to incentivizing leads and/or sales, give your affiliates a reason to learn more about your offerings. One way to do this is to create a competition in which affiliates can win prizes for exploring your website and answering questions about your business and the products or services you’re selling.

Provide the Right Tools

Motivating affiliates also means removing obstacles. To ensure the greatest participation possible, make sure that your affiliates have clear instructions, easy access to all of the information they need, and the right platform to allow them to smoothly conduct business with you.settings

It’s easy to complain about lackluster affiliates, but it’s up to you to make the most of your affiliate program. Be proactive in giving affiliates a reason to push a little harder each month and make it as easy as possible for them to focus on sales and pass those prospects or customers along to you.