How to Find Companies with Affiliate Marketing Programs

There are tens of thousands of merchants online who have affiliate programs. It can be overwhelming to think about, but also very exciting if you’re an affiliate marketer. While many merchants have them, there are plenty who do not have affiliate programs. For affiliate marketers looking to get started within a niche or just to promote products online in general, we often get the question:

How do I find companies that have affiliate programs?

This is an excellent question and there are many answers. We’re going to cover them today. Here are five great ways to find companies with affiliate programs.

1. Check the Main Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networkThe most straightforward way to find companies that have affiliate programs is to join an affiliate network, dive down the rabbit hole, and start searching for company’s affiliate programs. The main affiliate networks in the United States are ShareASale (owned now by Awin), CJ Affiliate by Conversant, Rakuten Marketing (also known as LinkShare), Pepperjam, AvantLink, Impact, and LinkConnector.

You can go to any or all of these networks, sign up as an affiliate, login to your new affiliate account and then immediately start viewing the available affiliate programs. Each network is a bit different, but they all allow you to search for company’s programs through basic keyword searches and categories.

For additional exposure, it’s common practice for companies to advertise their affiliate program within the affiliate network. This is another way to discover affiliate programs as these advertised programs tend to be front and center on various searches within the network and in promotional emails from the affiliate network.

2. Check a Company’s Website

The next way to find companies that have affiliate programs is to search the company’s website. This is more for when you’re searching for an affiliate program for a specific company.

The common practice for when a company has an affiliate program is to include a link within their website footer than links to more information about their affiliate program. This link could send you directly to the sign up page for the program on the specific affiliate network they run on or it could send you to a landing page diving into more detail about becoming an affiliate for that merchant. Here is an example of an affiliate program landing page from one of our clients.

Checking the company’s website can also be the best way, and sometimes only way, to find their affiliate program if they happen to run their program in-house and are not part of an affiliate network (you may learn about the different ways to support affiliate programs here). is famous for this. They not only have one of the largest affiliate programs out there, but they also have one of the largest in-house programs. Their program is called the Amazon Associates program and you cannot promote Amazon through one of the main affiliate networks. You need an Amazon account and you grab all your links through the associates program directly on Amazon.

3. Browse Known Affiliate Websites

Affiliate websitesA non-traditional, yet effective, way to find companies who have affiliate programs is to see which companies are being promoted on affiliate websites. Sites like RetailMeNot, BradsDeals, Ebates, and SlickDeals make the majority of their revenue though affiliate marketing. By doing quick scans of any of those sites you can see tons of companies that all have affiliate programs and are being promoted on these sites.

Taking a closer look at which companies are being promoted on other affiliate sites can also give you a good idea on which companies have good affiliate programs that convert and pay well. Sites like these are multi million dollar businesses and they wouldn’t be wasting their time promoting company’s affiliate programs that do not do well for them.

4. Use Affiliate Program Directories

Another place online where you can find various affiliate programs are affiliate program directories. There are many sites like which people have created to attempt and make a database of all the major affiliate programs out there. These sites can be great resources for finding programs in a specific niche that you might otherwise have missed, glossed over, or maybe had yet to hear about.

5. Utilize Facebook Groups and Other Social Media

Social mediaWhen looking for a new dentist or for someone to remodel your bathroom, you typically will ask around for referrals in order to give someone a shot. It’s no different with a great affiliate program. Affiliate marketers gather in various Facebook groups, social forums and subreddits throughout the Internet and these places are a wonderful place to find companies with affiliate programs.

The subreddit /r/affiliatemarketing currently has over 18,000 subscribers and people post and comment about various affiliate programs and affiliate marketing strategies all day long.

The Facebook group “Affiliate Café” is smaller and more exclusive. It got formed in 2016, shortly after the dissolution of a legendary affiliate marketing forum ABestWeb. It currently has over 300 members (most of which were active members of the aforementioned forum), and it’s a great example of a community of people on Facebook who frequently discuss affiliate programs and affiliate marketing.

On top of these, there are countless other affiliate marketing forums and places where discussions occur. Any one of them can be your next lead to finding a great affiliate program to join.

All in all, it’s pretty easy to find companies that have affiliate programs. You just need to know where to look. If a company has an affiliate program, they are going to want affiliates to join it so it’s very rare that these programs are hiding.

Feel free to contact us or comment below with any thoughts, notes, or questions.

Four Ways To Recruit Affiliates Online

So you’ve built up an online business and you’ve decided that it’s a good time to launch an affiliate marketing program for it. But what do you do next? How do you recruit affiliates (the right ones for your business)? Let’s start with the first steps.

You’ve done your competitive intelligence research, put together your affiliate program, launched it, and now you’re finally ready for affiliates to start promoting your product.

Now comes the tricky part: recruiting affiliate marketers into your program. Where do you start? What are the best ways to recruit affiliates online and get them interested in your program?

First off, it’s very important to have an attractive offer, commission structure, and cookie life. Remember that you will be compared to other programs and opportunities when a prospective affiliate is deciding to apply into your affiliate program or not. A presence on a popular affiliate network doesn’t hurt either, but what else can you offer at the beginning to grab an affiliate’s attention?

Four Ways to Recruit Affiliates

Complimentary Product or Samples

The most difficult part of recruiting affiliates into your affiliate program is getting their attention in the first place. One way to entice affiliates is to offer them complimentary product or samples to try.

This is especially valuable for content affiliates who could use the product to create a review of what you offer. As a result, they may also choose to create their own images or videos with what you send them.

This may also help their SEO and thus drive more potential buyers to their page. As with most affiliate deals, this is a classic win-win as you’ll then benefit from greater traffic as well.

When sending out complimentary product, do not forget to stay organized. I suggest creating a spreadsheet specifically for this, and keep notes of everything related to product samples in it.

Record the address information for the affiliate and also set a column aside for the tracking info. Use this column to appropriately follow up and confirm that your samples arrived. I would also consider making notes on this sheet of each day you follow up. You can then make sure you’re circling back in a timely manner.

You always want to make sure that affiliates who were sent free product follow through on what they’ve promised you. Ultimately, you are sending free products out not for the sake of sending them, but to activate these publishers in your affiliate program.

Always make sure to get a phone number too when you send out free product to affiliates. This can be useful for delivery purposes. It can also help you connect with the affiliate if they become unreachable by email. This does not happen often and is very unprofessional. Unfortunately, every affiliate manager has a stories about sending product and never hearing from the affiliate again.

Finally, if it isn’t a physical product that you sell, you can still leverage this technique very effectively. You may offer free trials of your service or technology, or create other opportunities for affiliates to “test drive” your product.

Paid Placements

The most expensive way to recruit affiliates online also ends up being one of the most effective. Creating a budget for affiliate recruitment can help onboard new affiliates.

This could end up being the best money you spend on marketing.

Crunch some numbers and determine if you have some cash to spend onboarding key affiliates. It is never a good idea to just start throwing money around at any marketing campaign.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

Be very selective with who you offer these sign up bonuses to.

If you choose to go this route, I highly recommend having some additional affiliate assets talking about your program. This could simply be a PDF one-pager with some program details and information about your product.

When proposing your offer, do it over the phone if possible so that the affiliate knows you’re serious. Reaching affiliates by phone may be difficult. Make your outreach emails concise and easy to digest to ensure the affiliates read them.

It’s highly unlikely an affiliate will ignore someone who is willing to pay them upfront.

Increase Cookie Life

Increasing an affiliate’s cookie life is an easy way to entice them to join your program. This also doesn’t cost you anything.

Affiliates like a longer cookie because customers may click and then not purchase for weeks or even months later.

A shorter 15 or 30 day cookie could mean sales that affiliates lose out on. This creates an unhappy affiliate.

Lengthening the cookie life for a new affiliate is sure to make them happy and feel special. This is a great way to start off a new relationship. It shows the affiliate that you’re serious about what you’re doing and value building that relationship.

Social Media Shout-outs

Most brands these days have their own blogs and social media pages. One way to recruit affiliates online is to leverage these when initially talking to affiliates.

recruit affiliates social media shoutoutThis could be beneficial for the affiliate to be mentioned on (or through) your social media channels.

An example scenario here could be with a large review site within your niche.

You would like the reviewer affiliate to join your affiliate program and write a review on your product. You already went ahead and sent out free product, but that’s still not enough.

This is where you can offer up your social media pages to convince them to join your program. Coordinate a campaign with the affiliate to post about their branded content on your social media pages.

Doing this accomplishes several things.

First and foremost, it makes the affiliate happy and gives their site added exposure.

Second, since you’re advertising their content to your customers, it makes it more likely that they’ll earn commission from your customers.

Third, it provides third party validation about your product. As consumers, we’re a lot more likely to purchase something if we see others have had a good experience.

Last, it further strengthens that new relationship with the affiliate. We’ve touched on relationships a lot in this post. Strong affiliate-merchant relationships with your affiliates are going to be instrumental in your affiliate program’s growth and sustained success.

Good luck with all your recruiting efforts.

Feel free to email us or comment below with any comments or questions.

We would love to hear from you!


How to Make Your Affiliate Program Stand Out Within In-Network Search

The most important way to guarantee successful passive recruitment for your affiliate program is to make your affiliate program stand out within in-network search. Affiliates are constantly looking for new programs to join and if there are a few extra steps you can take to make it easier for them to find you, you should be doing them.

Below are three excellent practices for making your affiliate program stand out within in-network search.

Proper Keywords

Assigning the right keywords to your program is far and away the most important way to make your affiliate program stand out within in-network search.

When you set up your profile within your affiliate network there will be a place to list out keywords that affiliates can use to find you when they’re searching the network. The screenshot below is from ShareASale and shows where you can place keywords for your program.

Affiliate Program Keywords

Make sure that you’re using keywords that accurately describe your product and ones that affiliates are likely to type in when searching.

The best practice here is to use several of your competitor’s names as keywords. If there’s only one tip you take away from this article, have this be it.

In the programs that I manage I get more applications from affiliates who found my program through a competitor’s name keyword than any other way of passive recruitment.

Along with utilizing competitor’s names as keywords, make sure to also include generic terms relevant to your product. Be selective though because networks have caps on how many keywords you can utilize.

Attractive Creative

Once affiliates find your program you want to make sure they don’t just gloss over it and move on to the next one. You need to stand out and attractive creative is the best way to do this. Affiliate networks give you opportunities to include nice images of your company’s logo and sometimes product shots and animated gifs.

Affiliates like to have an arsenal of assets to promote the brands they choose to represent and if you display from the get-go that you have high-quality creative, the prospective affiliate is that much more likely to look further into your program and apply.

Clean Messaging and Complete Profile

affiliate marketing passive recruitmentLastly, it’s important to have a full profile with clean messaging and descriptions. If you have an incomplete profile, not only will your program not have a professional look, but the networks will not list you as high in search results.

There are typically fields for short description, long description, and other smaller things such as cookie life. Make sure that you complete all available fields and provide prospective affiliates with as much information as possible. Make sure you make your descriptions succinct and easy to digest.

Also, make sure to include contact info in case prospective affiliates want to ask you any questions.

I hope that you found these few ideas helpful and that you implement some of them when optimizing your program for visibility within your network’s search.

Good luck with all your affiliate marketing efforts and feel free to email us or comment below with any comments or questions.