A couple of weeks ago I said I would let you know how I was recruiting and encouraging affiliates. My initial plan was to approach people who have a list in the internet marketing niche and encourage them to promote for me. However in the last week or so a new opportunity has arisen. More on that later.
Finding people in your niche who can promote for you is fairly straightforward. Put some appropriate keywords into Google and take a look at the results. You will find potential affiliates selling products or maintaining a blog within the niche. If you find signs that the bloggers are collecting visitor’s details via an opt-in form then you know they’ll have a list they could promote to.
Your own email inbox is another great resource. If you’re receiving emails related to the niche you are selling in, you know the person sending the emails also has a list.
As you identify the potential affiliates you should note how to contact them, because this is the next step.
One of the biggest mistakes made when approaching a potential affiliate is to leap in with an offer, presenting it as if it is the best thing the recipient would have heard all year and they’d be a fool not to take advantage of the incredible opportunity you are giving them.
Why is this so wrong? The analogy often used is going on a first date. A proposal of marriage on the first date would be considered moving rather fast. Better to build a relationship slowly than propose an immediate partnership.
So consider how you approach these people carefully. Gather the clues from their blogs, emails and other communications. If they are open to offers and have an email address specifically set up for them then a more direct approach would be appropriate, but if they rarely send offers to their lists an initial request for advice might be a better approach. Do not make one of the other big mistakes and send out a blanket email that is hardly personalised to anyone.
Making contact is often the hardest part, particularly if you are unknown in the niche. It’s not the mechanics of getting in touch that’s hard, it’s the psychology. You have to realise you are contacting busy people and the most likely response is a rejection or no reply at all. You just have to follow the steps above, grit your teeth and realise this is a numbers game. Persistence is the key. Don’t despair and don’t give up. Sooner or later you’ll contact someone willing to take a closer look at your offer, so just keep going.
In addition to the above you should also create a set of resources to help affiliates promote your product. Graphics of the product, banner ads, emails, blog posts, articles and reviews can all help an affiliate promote for you. Ensure they are of good quality and set them up on a web page so you can direct interested affiliates there.
You can also set up a blog dedicated to the product launch and use it to introduce affiliates to the product, outline the launch process and schedule, and perhaps give details of a launch competition, if you intend to have one.
Now, until last week I was following the above advice. I had set up a JV Blog with a number of resources, made a list of potential affilates and was working my way through them. Then Omar and Melinda Martin and Dave Nicholson launched WP Affiliate Builder .
This is a product designed to help internet marketers set up a successful product launch. But it’s not just the product itself that has changed my plans. Affiliates have been desperate to promote this. Some have offered incredible bonuses, including the opportunity to promote your product to their list, but only if you buy WP Affiliate Builder through their affiliate link.
I can’t recall so many people offering this sort of bonus and, frankly, it’s too good an opportunity to miss. Consequently I have already bought through one affiliate link just for the opportunity to promote to someone’s list, and I’m contemplating purchasing a second time just to access a second marketer’s list.
Now these are high profile, busy marketers and if I want to take advantage of their offers I’ll have to fit in with their timetables. This could push my product launch into next year, but it’s a price worth paying if I can get my product offer in front of tens of thousands more targeted people.
So, this latest development has added a new twist to my advice for recruiting affiliates. In addition to the process I outlined above, it also pays to keep an eye out for marketers offering helpful bonuses. It won’t happen very often, but it will be worth considering when it does.