Q: Where do you think the best place is to find strong affiliates? I did some advertising on ABestWeb for our program, but I am not sure how effective it was. Our product is very unique-we offer a ecommerce platform for merchants to build and manage their own online business, so finding affiliates is tricky. Any suggestions on where to look for a b2b product like ours?
A: There are a number of places I would suggest checking for quality affiliates.
But first of all, you mentioned that you advertised on ABestWeb, and were not sure how it went. That’s a big problem. There is no way you’re going to know if a given effort is successful… if you don’t track whether it’s successful.
It’s essential that each affiliate recruiting campaign have some sort of unique element, so you can track performance.
For instance, provide potential affiliates with a code they should use to contact you for a higher percentage of commission, so you can identify how they found your affiliate program.
Anyhow, I’d recommend trying the various affiliate marketing forums, either through ad placements or a co-branded forum, as well as being active there yourself.
You should also have a presence at industry conferences, whether it’s just you shaking hands and chatting with affiliates, or a bigger impact with a booth or other sponsorship.
Google AdWords is also a good tool for recruiting affiliates. Whether you want to broadly target people searching for B2B affiliate programs or keywords more specific to your business, you can reach people as they’re trying to find affiliate programs like yours.
Also, do some research to identify sites that would make sense for your affiliate program, whether or not they are currently running affiliate ads, and reach out to them. You could do this by email (not recommended), phone call (some people won’t like it), or direct mail (unobtrusive, and a high open rate).
Finally, you want to be in the organic search results on Google, Bing, etc. One thing I’ve done in the past, when running affiliate programs, was to create a separate site from the advertiser site, that was solely focused on the affiliate program.
Say the advertiser site is advertiserX.com – go and get advertiserXaffiliates.com, and then mimic the look and feel of the main site, but have it be focused on tools, resources, and information for the affiliate program.
Try those techniques and I think you’ll have success recruiting affiliates.