How to Find Affiliates

The question that merchants and networks always have is how they can they find more affiliates. Here are five quick tips I’ve been successful with while working in the network space…

1. Have attractive offers (more is not better… we all know what FreeSlide did). Attractive offers are offers that are easy to understand, are consistent in payout and can even be niche focused.

2. Blog, podcast or do videos that discuss the industry and important issues rather than just producing fluff content describing how super awesome your network or program is.

3. Participate participate participate.

4. Don’t have long and annoying signatures on your email messages. Put them in text, make them quick and easy to read and understand, and put your phone number or maybe url at the most. If an affiliate wants your AIM or your Skype info, they’ll ask.

5. Have a gimmick that makes you stand out… use Twitter for communications, have a crazy color scheme, send Lego toys to affiliates… do something different.

What did I leave out?

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22 Replies to “How to Find Affiliates”

  1. Jonathan (Trust) January 17, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Buy a program annoucement on affiliate forums.

    Reply

  2. Does that work? I’ve seen Rextopia and Market Leverage among the CPA Networks doing that on ABW.

    Is that kind of spending balanced out by the number of affiliates gained?

    Reply

  3. Jonathan (Trust) January 17, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Oh yeah, it works.

    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4

    Those announcements are only $50, forums are more. I’ve found some good programs that way. If you even just find 1 producing affiliate, that $50 is going to pay for itself many times over. You can find many producing affiliates. If you’re looking for affiliates, you go to where the affiliates are.

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  4. I completely agree that you go where the affiliates are (#3 above). I just wasn’t sure if such ads were seen as something clickworthy by affiliates at ABW (or any forum). I’ve heard other things along the way and have heard other networks/merchants who weren’t pleased with the results. As you point out, it’s all relative, really… you have to have clear expectations and know what you are going into before throwing money at something like a banner ad on an affiliate forum.

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  5. Jonathan (Trust) January 17, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    As a side topic that would tie into this one. Another good question would be: Where or How Do Affiliates Find Merchants? And then merchants can position themselves, based on those answers, to be found. For me, most of them I find in the networks. I also like to go “indy hunting” from time to time. How to find good indys is another topic on it’s own. I check out my competition to see who they’re using. I read around and look for good reviews on merchants and then take a look. I read message boards, take a look at announcements. Some contact me thru my site. Just some of the ways.

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  6. Jonathan (Trust) January 17, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    “I completely agree that you go where the affiliates are (#3 above). I just wasn’t sure if such ads were seen as something clickworthy by affiliates at ABW (or any forum). I’ve heard other things along the way and have heard other networks/merchants who weren’t pleased with the results. As you point out, it’s all relative, really… you have to have clear expectations and know what you are going into before throwing money at something like a banner ad on an affiliate forum. ”

    It’s a tool. Some people know how to work it and have a good program. Some don’t. A lot of the merchants who have bought announcements or have forums have contact info in their sig. I would contact them to get their experiences with it. The ones I have found to be successful usually have good programs and communication skills. Goes back to your point #3, participate. Most of the successful merchants who have forums at ABW, participate, get into the conversation. A lot of times affiliates like to know they can get into contact with the people running the affiliate program for a merchant. Get active. Get to know your partners.

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  7. Sam, I think 5 has merit but is the same as 2… which amounts to “have a Purple Cow.” I think, as an industry, we can do better than this kind of a list.

    IMO advertisers should hire an OPM services company to make the introductions to affiliates. Skip the network who takes a % when they should be getting paid a flat fee.

    * How do you pay Omniture to measure your customer/prospect campaign ROI?
    * How do you pay for your shop cart technology?

    Myth: Affiliate networks don’t bring you affiliates.

    Reality: YOU bring you affiliates.

    Networks simply offer a means to connect — they do not offer a connection or, in many cases, as much as a reasonable opportunity to connect.

    Cue Mr. Nobody. Why won’t anyone else ever show up to do battle with my tomfoolery? Because it’s true to life. Next!

    Reply

  8. “I think, as an industry, we can do better than this kind of a list.”

    I’m proud of you, Jeff. When I read that I was waiting for the “With my new program, The Partner Maker, David and I are putting together just that solution…”

    #5 and #2 are no where near each other in terms of implications. Go back and re-read. And while I do admire Seth, I don’t think this is Purple Cow. Much much different b/c this is not brand advertising which brings a whole other level of baggage to performance marketing.

    I like the network structure because it buffers us from a complete free-market scenario which would, in effect, create giant hubs of super affiliates and super merchants. Having networks in the mix keeps us all honest and keeps the system somewhat democratic and longtailable (is that a word? is now).

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  9. I’m proud of you, Jeff. When I read that I was waiting for the “With my new program, The Partner Maker, David and I are putting together just that solution…”

    I’m curious as to why you would think that? Either you should speak up about the in-appropriateness of my comments (as your comment above suggests I’m prone to) or maybe I should go back to contributing at Revenews… that place that I once keyword stuffed for a few good years.

    Reply

  10. See you at the summit Jeff!

    Reply

  11. Jonathan (Trust) January 17, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Jeff, wouldn’t keyword stuff or blog for the sole intention of marketing a product or start threads in affiliate forums. I just don’t believe it. I need more proof.

    http://www.revenews.com/jeffmolander/archives/001736.html

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=68643&highlight=jeff+molander

    Reply

  12. Or you can contribute at the scraper sites that you seem to enjoy.

    Wait… maybe I can contribute for free to your podcast while you’re plugging things here! It’s a win-win for me!

    You can contribute anywhere you want, dude. Your comment above makes you seem a little insecure and childish, though.

    I think I’ve given you (and others) more than enough rope and leeway in their comments (or in your case podcasts) and don’t intend to crack down on any type of self promotion. Promote yourself all you want… that’s what marketing’s all about. Let the reader decide what is visit worthy and what isn’t.

    Just please spare me the “well, if you don’t like what I’m saying, maybe I should go back to RN bullshit.” We’re not competing and it’s two different audiences. If you’re not contributing there (I think I’ve contributed there more than any other commentor this month… Jim check that stat for me), then you are missing out.

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  13. BTW, can we go back to talking about how to find affiliates and vice versa. Networks and merchants are interested in things beyond our own ego’s… shock!

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  14. I’m here Jeff! 🙂

    Your quote:

    Myth: Affiliate networks don’t bring you affiliates.

    Reality: YOU bring you affiliates.

    Networks simply offer a means to connect — they do not offer a connection or, in many cases, as much as a reasonable opportunity to connect.

    Cue Mr. Nobody. Why won’t anyone else ever show up to do battle with my tomfoolery? Because it’s true to life. Next!

    My response: I will come to battle because I think you are wrong in this case. I represent only one network obviously – but we are consistantly bringing partners together (merchants and affiliates). Think about things like network functions, blogs, interfaces, etc… This isn’t a point that makes me better than any other network, but I can think of quite a few very profitable relationships that were directly related to myself knowing an affiliate and knowing a merchant that would work together well. This happens constantly with networks.

    You mention specific examples omniture and shopping cart tech…

    Do you know of any communities in the “shopping cart” world, or the “omniture” world where affiliates and merchants debate (sometimes heated) interactive issues of the industry? It is time to realize that this industry.. affiliate marketing… is different. and it takes a different type of company to be a “network” or a middleman. I stand up for the network! we are not a commodity! 🙂

    Reply

  15. Brian…
    I respect your opinion and position. I would enjoy hearing advertisers make such points once in a while. This doesn’t dilute what you suggest and I’m sure you guys have made many a partnership — as have CJ, Performics, Linkshare et al. I’m simply amplifying what I hear among those who decide on hiring / plugging into networks. Everyone is welcomed to call my comments baseless and fanatical.

    Yes, I see controversy and such in other realms of e-commerce. I suspect you don’t see much of it as it doesn’t transpire in blogs and on boards… that’s all. It happens at conferences, in private email groups I subscribe to (as you may as well, of course) that extend outside of affiliate marketing. Other communities are equally vibrant (i.e. I belong to the “Inbox Insiders” email list which can get pretty heated up… there are many others like them).

    Anyway, sorry to go back to my snotty ways, Sam. You just got my goat a bit. I know better 🙂

    Reply

    1. I suspect you don’t see much of it as it doesn’t transpire in blogs and on boards… that’s all.

      Brian, I find our community to be vibrant within the sphere of about 10 people max.

      Seriously, Jeff?

      Reply

  16. In hindsight… Brian, I find our community to be vibrant within the sphere of about 10 people max. I hardly find our industry to be filled with people willing to talk about the real issues. I also find our industry to be devoid of musical talent to ride that pony bro!

    Reply

  17. I agree we don’t hear enough from the advertisers and merchants… speak up!

    I believe I overstated my opinion perhaps for effect… there are of course communities for just about everything. I take part in a few for specific ecommerce platforms actually. I guess I just find this industry different…. the people are different, there is more individuality, entrepreneurial spirit, etc… that is just my opinion though. In my opinion that makes for a unique demand on a network… most other “third party providers” don’t get so involved in the process of bringing two people together… Most products serve one customer, one type of customer that is… ours (a network) serves two distinctly different with often day and night views on issues. In short, I find the “commission” model completely accurate for what it is we do at times. Yes – tracking… we can all do that … but we also do a lot more that puts us directly involved in the success of an individual program.

    10 people is a little short 🙂 , but I understand your point. I wholeheartedly agree that more participation from advertisers/merchants would benefit us all greatly. The 10 of us 🙂 seem to all have our opinions and they are valued but we could use some more input publically from merchants who use this channel… come out of the woodwork oh merchants!

    Sam, Jeff, Jeff (anyone else?) Jim? Scott? Wayne? A small gathering this weekend? Stimulating conversation on 2.0, blogs, small affiliates, and where to find them? A common lunch table on monday perhaps? If you are part of our Twitter experiment you’ll know where to find me! ahahhaa 🙂 Perhaps a discussion on how to get more people to the table. We could even assign some homework and say that everyone has to bring one advertiser/merchant to the table with them. This could double Jeff’s number to 20 in a heartbeat! 🙂

    Thanks for coming here to debate 🙂

    Reply

  18. Have attractive offers (more is not better… we all know what FreeSlide did).
    What do you mean???

    Reply

    1. Freeslide.com was an offer that was created and promoted within the AdDrive network and caused a bit of an industry rage with $1.00 – $1.25 payouts for incentivized name/email only offers which made considerable use of the backend with co-regs. The hype over these offers have died down, but for a while every network was trying to find the next “FreeSlide.”

      Reply

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