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I have found there are 3 basic types of potential affiliates. Some people may disagree with this because some marketers believe the only good affiliates are the first type I will mention. But what they are forgetting is that every affiliate had to begin somewhere, with some product. Why shouldn’t it be yours?
The First Affiliate Type is People Who Are Already Proven Affiliates
No doubt this is the easiest source of affiliates in that they’re already sold on the concept of affiliate marketing.
In addition, they have EXPERIENCE at affiliate marketing – always a good thing. You don’t have to sell them on affiliate marketing. You only need to sell them on YOUR program.
You’ll need to prove yourself – prove your product does what it says, that your sales letter converts, that you are already getting sales. Your number one selling point to an experienced, potential affiliate is your CONVERSION rate and price point. The higher the conversions, especially in conjunction with a high price point/payout, the more likely you are to capture their attention.
Remember to warm these people up. You want to make friends before you need them to promote your product. Dropping out of the blue as a total stranger and asking them to promote is far less effective than getting to know them first and THEN asking them to promote. Common sense, but I know a lot of marketers totally skip this step and go straight to asking for the promotion. That’s like trying to go all the way with a girl without so much as a first date or first kiss. It seldom works.
The easiest place to find experienced affiliates? Find the affiliates who are promoting your competitor’s products because those affiliates are your best bet. You can simply Google your competitor’s name and see who’s promoting those products. Easy, right? And that is a million dollar tip right there, in case you missed it.
So you’ve decided you want seasoned affiliates, and you know how to find them – but what do you do next to actually recruit them?
Here are the steps I take…
First, I consider how my product is a good fit for their audience. For example, I go to their website if they have one, I look at their content, and I see how my product fits with their content, their niche, their target market – and I make some notes.
Second, while I’m on their website I look for specific places where promoting my product would be a natural fit. For example, if my product is a hair tonic and they have an article on hair care, it’s a perfect fit. If my product is a course on how to do social media marketing and they have a blog post on social media marketing, it’s a great fit. I write these places down because I’m going to be sending this information to them. I’m trying to make everything just as super easy as possible for my future affiliates.
The third thing to look at is how is your product better than what they are already promoting? Does it pay the affiliate a higher commission? Does it convert better? Is it a better product for their customers?
And then fourth – how do I warm this affiliate up to me? I don’t want to just jump in cold turkey and say, “Hey, I’m so and so, will you promote my product?!” I mean, I could, and once in a blue moon I might even get a response to that. But even so, I don’t do that. Instead, I like to approach them through social media, personal email, etc. without mention of promoting anything.
You could ask to interview them on a specific topic – that’s a great way to warm people up. After you are on the phone with a person for thirty minutes or an hour asking them questions and listening carefully to their answers, you can’t help but bond.
You could also offer to write guest articles for their website or posts for their blog. Be sure to add comments to their blog – I guarantee they read those, and when they keep seeing your name, they’re going to remember you when you contact them.
And the rest is up to you. There is no one way that works every time. Your product is unique, you are unique, your potential affiliate is unique – and so you’ve got to use your people skills and your good common sense.
Two things I might mention – do sell yourself and your product, and do keep track of your conversations with each potential affiliate.
What I mean is, do tell how well your product converts, how low the refund rate is, if you pay instant commissions, if people are raving about your product, and so forth.
And keep a log of your conversations with each potential affiliate so you don’t forget what’s already been said, what you’ve learned about the affiliate, and what you promised to do.
Also, don’t forget to stay in touch. Sometimes it takes days, sometimes weeks, and sometimes months to bring a good affiliate into your fold. It’s well worth the time and effort spent if that affiliate then makes lots of sales for you, adding not just money to your coffers but also buyers to your list. Be patient; they’re worth the wooing and the wait.
The Second Affiliate Type is Someone Who Is NOT An Affiliate (yet)
These folks have a website or a blog, and perhaps they’re promoting their own products – they’re just not promoting anyone else’s.
So why would you target them if they’re not affiliates? Because if you can convince them to promote your product, they can actually be MORE effective than other affiliates BECAUSE they don’t normally promote other people’s products.
They’ve got trust established with their readers, perhaps more trust because they aren’t constantly pitching a new product. And when they finally do promote an affiliate product, their readers will take notice.
Think of it this way – You subscribe to Dave’s newsletter and you read Dave’s blog. And every month or two Dave comes out with a new product, which you may or may not buy. But that’s it – Dave never promotes other people’s products. Then one day, you get a glowing report from Dave that says you really should check out this great product he just found. What are you going to think? You’re going to think this product must be absolutely awesome if a person who never promotes other products is telling you to take a look at it.
What if you’d gotten the same recommendation from Steve, who sends you a new offer every single day? You probably wouldn’t pay much attention to it because you know that Steve is just in it for the affiliate commission.
There are two hurdles you’ll need to overcome to bring a brand new affiliate into the fold: First, since this person hasn’t done affiliate marketing before, you may have to walk them through the process. You want to explain how it works, why affiliate marketing is a good thing for them, and how it can result in a big reward versus a small investment of time.
The second hurdle is you’ll want to demonstrate to this person how your product or service is in line with what they’re presently doing. If their list consists of retired people who garden a lot, then you’ll want to show how your product fits right in with that market. Perhaps you sell an ointment to remove stiffness, or a padded cushion for kneeling while working in the flowerbeds.
However, if your product is how to make money online, then obviously it’s not a good fit for this person’s gardening niche. Never approach someone to be your affiliate if your product is not a good match for their list. You’ll just waste their time and yours.
But if you can show your future affiliate how their audience will benefit from your product, you should have no problems.
The steps you take to win this person as your affiliate are very similar to #1 above. Take a look at their website and determine if your product is a natural fit for them, and why. Look for places on their website that would be good places to promote your product.
Next, think of the possible objections they might have to being your affiliate, or being an affiliate in general. How will you answer these objections?
Warm the potential affiliate up using any of the methods we’ve already mentioned. Think of what information you will supply them with – conversion rate, why it will sell well for them, etc. And then keep track of your contacts with them. Follow up until they either tell you “No” three times, or until they say yes.
(Getting 3 “No’s” is an old technique from sales, and actually quite effective. Just because they say “no” once or twice does not mean you can’t offer new information that they can then base a new decision on. However, if you get to the third “No,” it is usually best to stop. You don’t want to appear obnoxious. And guys, this rule of 3 “No’s” only applies in business, not in love.”)
The Third Affiliate Type Is Your Product Purchaser
If you’re thinking the seasoned affiliate marketer is the easiest affiliate to recruit, guess again. Purchasers of your product believe in it enough to buy it with their own money and use it. And who better to be your spokesperson than someone who already uses the product?
So how do you recruit them? Sometimes it’s as easy as mentioning your affiliate program in your product or the related materials. And don’t just say, “I have an affiliate program.” Instead, give them all the details. Tell them what you pay, how well it converts and how easy it is to promote because of your copy and paste ads and emails.
Then send them an email or two or three, again telling them about your affiliate program. This might be a paragraph or two at the end of an email, or an email devoted entirely to your program. Don’t make it a hard sell – you’re informing them more than selling them on the concept of making some money by promoting your product.
Let them know they don’t need a website – they can promote in forums, on Twitter, Facebook, etc. You’ll want to basically educate them on how to promote your product.
Most of your customers will never promote for you, but the ones who do can sometimes outshine a seasoned affiliate simply because they passionately believe in your product and they’re able to convey that to their readers. They’re credible, they have a lot to say about your product, and they come off as a fellow buyer rather than a seller. Best of all, they can share the results they got with your program with their readers.
Using a mix of all 3 types of affiliates, you should have no problem finding people to promote your products. The key when approaching affiliates is to warm them up, keep track of your conversations, and continually follow up, even after they have begun promoting. Treat your best affiliates like your best customers because they are the ones who can continually send you sales, not just this week, but for years to come.