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!

 

4 Ways to Use Social Media to Recruit New Affiliates

Social media is a great source for starting new relationships, building upon existing ones and, sometimes, even ruining relationships. Luckily, we are in the business of forming and growing long-term great relationships. That’s why I wanted to share these 4 ways to use social media to recruit new affiliates.

Before we get into the 4 different ways, some of these tips can be used across all social media platforms and some are specific to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram specifically.

Hashtags

Using hashtags to find new potential affiliates is such a simple, yet effective way to find new recruits. You can do this on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Pinterest.

Let me provide a quick example.

Let’s say that you are the affiliate manager for a makeup and beauty company and are looking for new affiliates. You could head over to Instagram and search for #makeup. This will most likely bring you thousands of results, but you can start at the top and start making your way through them all.

You have to be able to figure out which posts are spam, but it’s pretty easy to tell.

hashtags for affiliate recruitment

Next, you are going to look at the images and find ones that are posted by people who are sampling makeup or making makeup tutorials for their viewers. Your goal is to focus on people who are not talking about purchasing a product, but focus on those who have an audience that will be willing to purchase something they recommend.

This is the type of person that you want to reach out to on social media. You can reach out to this person in multiple ways now. You could send them a Direct Message on Instagram (or Twitter or Facebook), you could visit their profile and find their email address or a website that may contain an email address.

Once you have the contact information, then start them in your affiliate marketing recruitment funnel.

Twitter Search

Twitter Search is very similar to searching for hashtags, except you don’t have to search for actual hashtags. In this case, you can just search for keyword phrases and look for these phrases within a certain timeframe.

As you can see in the screenshot, there are multiple search factors that you can use to narrow down the exact audience that you want to reach out to.

twitter advanced search for affiliate recruitment

Let me provide an example of using Twitter Search as well.

Let’s say that we are doing affiliate outreach for a mattress brand and you want to find people on Twitter who have been talking about mattresses and or sleep. Simply go to the Advanced Twitter Search page and type “mattress, sleep” in the Any of these words section.

If it is important to you to narrow down a location, you can do this as well. For this example, we will not use location based.

Now, you also want to find people who have recently Tweeted about these keywords so that it’s fresh and relevant during the outreach, so select a time frame under Dates. I would recommend the last 2 weeks.

mattress twitter advanced search affiliate recruitment

You will see a Twitter search results feed with Tweets that include either the keyword mattress or sleep. Now, you are going to do the same thing that you did above in the Hashtag example.

Scroll through the feed looking for people who are reviewing a mattress that they just purchased or maybe someone who has written an article about the benefits of sleep and you feel that your mattress brand would be a perfect match for an affiliate relationship with. Reach out to this person and begin your affiliate recruitment outreach.

Bonus Tip: Share, Like and Retweet their post because it will be fresh in their mind that you did something nice for them.

Community Engagement

This tip may be more of a long-term play than the others mentioned above. The reason is because this one takes time to build a relationship and engage within the communities that are surrounding the affiliate program that you are managing. The two mentioned above are quick searches and allow you to reach out right away.

Community engagement simply means finding the online communities that you potential affiliates belong to and engage with them. Sounds simple right?

It is. It is also very time consuming.

Let me provide an example for this situation as well.

Let’s say that you are the affiliate manager for a company that sells costumes. These aren’t just costumes for Halloween, but also can be used for Cosplay and other events as well.

For this example, I want to focus on the Cosplay niche.

You can find Cosplay Facebook groups or Twitter chats or even Instagram hashtags to follow (utilizing the tips above). Now, the difference here versus the examples up above is that we don’t want to reach out right away. We want to become part of the conversation and the community. Find interesting topics in the cosplay niche and engage in the conversation, share articles or other posts that you feel others will find interesting.

This will help you begin to build relationships with the people in the niche and eventually content creators who have large followings and write about different cosplay events, you know, people who would be great affiliates!

Even better, by engaging with the community, which you can do from a personal account and not the company account, you could build great relationships that can be utilized in other ways. For example, if you are an outsourced affiliate program management agency, then you can leverage the relationships built to get affiliates to join multiple programs that you manage.

No Email, No Problem

This tip is somewhat self-explanatory. If you already have a list of potential affiliates that you want to reach out, but you don’t have any contact information for them from their website, then find them on social media.

If you are able to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even LinkedIn, then start you affiliate recruitment outreach via these social media channels.

The possibilities are endless on how you can use social media to recruit new affiliates. There are always new social media platforms popping up, but the core sites are always growing and adding new creators.

If you have any additional tips for using social media for affiliate recruitment, I would love to hear them. Please comment below or share this post on social media to start a conversation.

 

5 Ways to Passively Recruit Affiliates

What is one of the most important elements to effectively managing an affiliate program? The answer is simple, recruiting new (quality) affiliates. One of the most common themes when speaking to merchants that have under-performing affiliate programs (even ones that have successful ones mention it) is that they cannot find affiliates to promote their products or services. It may be a lack of knowledge on where to find them or they are not willing to put the work in, but either way, locating and successfully recruiting affiliates is a necessary element to any successful affiliate program.

In an article I wrote over three years ago, How to Find Affiliates to Recruit into Affiliate Program, I outlined ways affiliate managers can actively recruit new affiliates into their programs. In this post, I am going to outline ways to Passive Affiliate Recruitmentpassively recruit affiliates into affiliate programs. What exactly is passive affiliate recruitment? It is a recruiting method when prospective affiliates find a merchant’s affiliate program on their own. Below are 5 ways to passively recruit new affiliates into an affiliate program:

Paid Search Campaigns

Creating paid search campaigns on Google, Yahoo, and Bing are effective ways to get an affiliate program in front of affiliates. Keywords such as “affiliate program” and those of direct (and in-direct competitors) are good ones to bid on. Even keywords related to a specific industry can be effective.

Affiliate Directories

Affiliates use directories to find affiliate programs they want to join, so logically, merchants should include a listing of their program in as many affiliate directories as possible. Many of them are broken down into categories, so locating a program is simple. An example is http://affiliatesdirectory.com

Popular Publications

Placing ads for an affiliate program in popular magazines is a relatively low cost and effective way to get in front of targeted, quality affiliates. FeedFront caters to both affiliates and affiliate managers.

Second-tier affiliates

This is a less frequently used technique but can be effective if done properly. This technique can be used in two ways; first, it can motivate current affiliates and secondly, it can provide great new affiliate partners. Second-tier affiliates are referrals from current affiliates. Typically, current affiliates are rewarded with a bounty (ex. $5 per referral), but also can be paid ongoing commissions from their referrals. The decision is up to the merchant.

Press Releases

Press releases can provide effective recruitment opportunities for many years in the future. Merchants can use press releases to announce the launch of their new affiliate program, milestones reached, partnerships created, but the beauty of it is the SEO value. If properly optimized with relevant keywords they can be successful recruiting tools.

Passively recruiting does not mean to stop actively recruiting, what it means is to use both methods in tandem and maximize the effort to grow an affiliate program to new levels. Many merchants ignore the passive recruiting methods, but successful affiliate programs interweave them into their overall strategy.

How to Create a Custom Recruiting URL in ShareASale

As an affiliate manager one of the main responsibilities is recruiting new affiliates to grow the program. There are different methods and places to find prospective affiliates, but keeping track of where new affiliates come from can be a cumbersome task. ShareASale offers a way for merchants to “tag” prospects and have them use a custom URL that will allow them to attribute the signup to a specific outreach campaign and create and make the recruiting process more organized.

The following steps are how to create a custom recruiting URL within ShareASale.

Step 1 – Create a Tag for Recruiting

First, navigate to the “Affiliates” tab in the main menu and click “Affiliate List”. Next click “Add Tag” and then Click “Create Tag” (in blue).

Next, the “tag” will want to be specific regarding the recruiting campaign, so in the smaller rectangular box the title of the tag should be entered (ex. SIGNUP FROM CONTENTAFF). Click “Create Tag”, now the tag is created and will be used in the recruiting URL.

Step 2 – Adding the Tag to the Recruiting URL

Below is the standard URL used for affiliates to sign up to an affiliate program.

http://www.shareasale.com/join/XXXXX

Merchants can use the URL above, but the recruiting link with the created tag should look as follows:

http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=XXXXX&source=CONTENTAFF

The source= should be the tag title minus the “SIGNUP FROM”.

Please note that the XXXXX should be replaced with a ShareASale merchant ID.

Each time a prospect applies to the affiliate program using the custom URL it will indicate that in the application.

Recruiting is one of the most critical components in building an affiliate program, so creating custom recruiting URL’s for all prospects is highly recommended. It will streamline the process and make campaign attribution easier as well.

If you have any questions please contact me at rick@amnavigator.com

How to Book a ShareASale Featured Program Placement

Are you a merchant with an affiliate program, but struggling to find quality affiliate to promote your brand? If so, you are not alone. One of the biggest struggles is to recruit quality affiliates. If you are a ShareASale merchant then most likely you tend to see an influx of coupon affiliates applying, but the more valuable affiliates are out there, but may need to discovered. What your affiliate program may need is additional exposure to those affiliates. ShareASale offers different ways, through paid placements to reach affiliates that may be a fit for your program. To help in this I am going to show you how to purchase and set up a ShareASale Featured Program of your Category placement. This particular placement displays a logo and description of your affiliate program at the top of the individual category page for which you belong.

Step 1 – Navigating to the Featured Program of your Category Placement

You will start by navigating to the “TOOLS” menu option, followed by “PROGRAM BOOST”. This will take you to the section where you will make the purchase.

Step 2 – Purchasing the Featured Program of the Category Placement

There will be multiple placement options, but you will scroll down and click the “BUY PROGRAM” button for the Featured Program of your Category. The next screen will be to select a month to have the placement run. To the right will be a list of the next 12 months. The green represents “available” and the pink represents “booked”. Click on the month you want to run the placement and click “CONFIRM DATES & PAY”. You will then be asked how you want to pay for it. It can be done from the current ShareASale balance (given there is enough to cover the $300) or credit card.

Step 3 – Setting up the Featured Program of the Category

Now the fun part! Navigate back to the Program Boost page. You will see a tab labeled “MY PROGRAMS”, click that and it will have the placement just purchased. There you will be able to edit the text and add the image needed.

To start creating the placement, click “EDIT”.

You will be brought to a screen that look like the image below. There are four (4) tabs. In the “EDIT TEXT” tab you will place a description of the program along with up to five (5) bullet points highlighting your affiliate program.

To add the banner image, click the “EDIT IMAGE” tab. The image should be in either JPG, GIF, or PNG form and be 350 px wide and 230 px tall. Once the image is loaded click the “PREVIEW & SAVE CHANGES” tab.

This is the final step. Review everything from the text to the banner. If there are any changes needed make them as soon as possible, but you do have up until the day before to modify the placement. Once all is good, click “COMMIT” and you are finished.

Creating brand awareness is a critical piece to a successful affiliate program, but also aids in attracting quality affiliates. For $300 the Featured Program of your Category can get you in front of highly influential affiliates and help take your program to the next level.

An Overview of the ShareASale Affiliate Recruiting Tool

Earlier this month ShareASale opened to public their Recruiting Tool (https://recruiting.shareasale.com/), along with a face lift of the merchant interface. It has been a long wait, but finally ShareASale allows merchants to invite affiliates into their respective programs through the ShareASale merchant interface. They now have a similar tool like CJ Affiliate and Rakuten Affiliate Network. This is great news for merchants as well as affiliates.

The new recruiting tool is set up to provide merchants that are exclusive to ShareASale more “affiliate invites” than merchants who have their program on multiple networks. A merchant exclusive to ShareASale is entitled to 30 invites per month, whereas, merchants on multiple networks are entitled to only 20. Also, if a merchant has multiple programs on different networks the affiliate invite list is not allowed to be used on the other networks. Without further ado, let’s get in what this tool looks like and how it works.

The layout is easy to understand and maneuver, with each section clearly marked. There are four steps to be completed in order to search for prospective affiliates and send invites.

Step 1 – Create a Basket – Merchants should name it something related to the affiliates being targeted. The goal is to be able to distinguish each basket month to month and not be targeting the same affiliates.

Step 2 – Create an Incentive – ShareASale requires an incentive to be attached to each invite, recruiting campaigns tend to be more effective if it includes an incentive in some form. Merchants can offer a first sale bonus, a commission increase on “X” amount of sales, etc.

Step 3 – Search for Affiliates – There are two ways to search for prospective affiliates (screenshot below), first, a “Keyword Search” and then an “In Network Search”. For the “keyword search” simply type in a phrase in the search box and hit search. ShareASale will look around the internet for blogs that are talking about the keyword used and then provide the results below. Next, the “In Network Search” allows merchants to browse niche categories already provided by ShareASale. Simply click on the category and the results will be placed directly below. What is nice is that the tool sifts out affiliates that are already in the merchant’s program so that an invite is not wasted.

Step 4 – Invite Affiliates  This is where the email is created that will be sent out on merchant’s behalf. Make sure the subject line is catchy and the message includes: the prospects name, information about merchant’s business, the program terms (commission, cookies length, etc.) and the incentive. After the invite is complete it will be available directly under the editor so that it can be modified at any time.

After all four of the previously mentioned steps are complete merchants can now send invites. Using the search functions described above merchants will create their prospect list and then invite them. The final step to this is inviting affiliates to participate in a merchant’s program.

On the right side of the page there will be a group of four sections that include: notifications, prospecting baskets, incentives, and invitation templates. To send the invites click one of the “Prospecting Baskets”.

In the prospecting basket will be all the affiliates to be contacted. Simply click the invite button to the right and the invite will be sent directly to the prospective affiliate. Once an affiliate accepts an invitation to join the merchant will receive two credits back to their balance.

There you have it ShareASale merchants, an overview of the new recruiting tool. If there are any questions please email me.

How to Recruit Affiliate on Rakuten Affiliate Network

Some of the affiliate networks allow the affiliate manager to recruit affiliates directly from the merchant interface. This is a good way to find targeted affiliates that are already familiar with the network, it is what we call “low hanging fruit”. Once recruited and aboard, the activation process is simpler for everyone involved because the education sometimes needed is not required. Rakuten Affiliate Network has this capability and it should be utilized by all affiliate managers with program on this network. I am going to provide a step-by-step guide to recruiting affiliates on the Rakuten Affiliate Network.

Step # 1 – Go to “Find New Publishers” Page

After you have logged in to the RAN merchant interface you are going to hover over the “Publishers” tab and click “Find New Publishers”.

Step # 2 – Fill in the Criteria of the Desired Affiliates

RAN offers various ways to locate prospective affiliates. You can enter the publishers name, site ID, URL (this is done from the drop down box highlighted in the image below). Also, the above mentioned ways can only be used if you know the information, so there are other ways to locate affiliates without knowing all their information. The most ideal way is to target a group of affiliates based on their category. For example, you could be looking for pet bloggers, fashion/beauty bloggers, etc. All you do is highlight the category and hit “include”. There are also more advanced ways to locate affiliates and they include: the date the joined RAN, active affiliates (sending traffic), platinum publishers (top performing publishers on the network), customer reach (geographic locations), business model (coupon, content/niche, comparison shopping, etc.), and publisher location.

ran-1 ran-2 ran-3

Step # 3 – Selecting Affiliates to Send an Offer To

The criteria has been entered and now the list is in front of you. Review the potential affiliate prospect list and begin pushing offers. To push offers to affiliates you want to partner with simply “tick” the box in the left column (you can add all affiliates on the page by “ticking” the box in the gray section.  Once the affiliates are selected, scroll to the bottom of the page and hit “Extend Offer”, then “To Selected”. This will allow you to send an offer to only the affiliates selected.

ran-4

Step # 4 – Extend the Offer

The process is almost complete. Review the offer(s) shown (there may be more than one, but make sure it is the offer with the correct terms.  Hit “Extend”. That’s it, the process it done. Just rinse and repeat each time you want to recruit affiliates within the Rakuten Affiliate Network.

ran-5

A step-by-step guide to recruiting affiliates through RAN is complete, but there is one important item I want to emphasize when recruiting on networks; after the offer is sent always follow up directly with a personal email letting them know an offer was sent and reviewing the terms of the affiliate program. The personal touch will go a long way.

3 Types of Affiliates to Add to Your Affiliate Program

The question I am asked too frequently is: Where can I find quality affiliates that will grow my affiliate program? Merchants are always looking to recruit quality affiliates into their programs, but that task is easier said than done. Recruiting is a task that should consume a majority of the time by the affiliate manager. Many merchants see affiliates (or publishers) as bloggers, coupon/deal sites, loyalty/cash back sites, etc., but there are companies that offer digital marketing services, but act as an affiliate. For example, shopping cart abandonment, remarketing/retargeting and paid search are key components to any successful digital marketing campaign and are offered through an affiliate relationship. What does this mean? I will discuss and highlight 3 affiliates (of various types; though with some similarities) that merchants should consider to partner with through their affiliate program.

  1. UpSellit

UpSellit is a shopping cart abandonment solution that is offered on a CPA (click per acquisition) basis. There are no monthly fees or set up costs associated with doing business with them. However, depending on the size of the merchant they may require a monthly minimum in the first few months, but that is for the new and/or smaller merchants. The minimum disappears once the program ramps up.

They join a merchant’s affiliate program and accept the terms and conditions as any other affiliate would, plus they get paid the same commission as other affiliates (there may be instances where they get more). They use their affiliate link each time their solution is enabled and conversions are tracked through whatever affiliate network interface a merchant is using (i.e. ShareASale, CJ Affiliate).

They offer merchants 3 different solutions:

  1. Targeted Offer

Targeted offers increase conversions and average order value by offering abandoning visitors a personalized incentive to convert. They fully customize campaigns to align with the visitor’s behavior. The personalized offer only engages at the time of abandonment, and not every visitor will be offered the same deal.

  1. Chat

Abandonment Chat increases conversions with a live chat simulation that assists visitors the instant they abandon. Chat is powered by a sophisticated automated chat engine called SmartAgent and analyzes sentence structure, conversation history and session data to understand both what a customer said.

  1. Email ReMarketing

The Email ReMarketing solution increases conversions with two lead recovery technologies that fuel a real-time email remarketing platform. It is fully customized to collect new leads and recover lost conversions.

  1. VE Interactive

Similar to UpSellit, but VE Interactive offers a few different solutions. They work through an affiliate relationship except through their VEAds solution, which requires upfront ad spend and they factor in certain site metric to come up with a competitive rate (may be higher than the default affiliate commission rate) to charge the merchant. There are no set up costs or monthly fees and they only get paid on a CPA basis (or CPL).

They are not integrated with ShareASale, but are with CJ Affiliate and other affiliate networks. If a ShareASale merchant wishes to partner with them they can be invoiced monthly as opposed to using the affiliate network interface.

They are meant to help increase the reach of a merchants remarketing/retargeting campaigns and use more than just the Google ad network. They have a vast network that allows them to reach a greater audience than that of Google (which is approximately 40% of the net).

Their ReMarketing/ReTargeting services that include:

  • VEAssist

Its main job is to increase a merchant’s customer acquisition from search traffic by reducing the overall bounce rate of the site.

  • VEChat

The purpose is to assist when customers have questions about a product and are about to leave the site. The VEChat solution will be enabled and assist in increasing conversion rates and customer service.

  • VEContact

This is for visitors who abandon their transaction during the payment process; it brings them back to the site in hopes to complete their purchase. This is done through email reminders which may or may not contain a discount.

  • VEAds

They use a sophisticated DSP to access online ad space, purchased in real-time and via ad Exchanges. The ads can be either static or dynamic, using a data feed from the merchant.

  1. Imwave

Imwave is a performance search engine marketing agency. They can work independent of a merchant’s paid search team or in conjunction. It is completely up to the merchant. They pay for the ads and only get paid when a sale or lead is generated. They truly have skin in the game!

They along with UpSellit and VE Interactive integrate into a merchants affiliate program and abide by the program terms listed. When they place their ads they use their affiliate links, which will then be tracked through the affiliate network.

In many cases they do require a higher commission than the default rate (unless the default is enough for them to start and grow a campaign).  What is great about them is that they play by the rules of the merchant. They may require the ability to bid on trademarked/branded terms and must have the ability to directly link to the merchants site. Not all merchants allow this, but if they work closely with the paid search team in place the relationship can be fruitful for both parties.

Partnering with the typical affiliates (i.e. bloggers and coupon/deal sites) is great, but using solutions like UpSellit, VE Interactive and a service like imwave can grow (significantly) a merchant’s affiliate program. We (AM Navigator) have been using all three for years now and recommend them highly to all of our clients (if there is a fit of course). I have seen them come in and grow affiliate programs in a few short weeks and help companies in their other digital marketing campaigns as well. Thinking outside the box and recruiting affiliates is essential to growth, but knowing who to partner with is just as important.

I highly recommend the three (3) companies mentioned and if you have any questions about them, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. You can email me or just post a comment below.

ShareASale Holiday Central Placements for Merchants

ScreenHunter_554 Jul. 23 21.03

In my last post I outlined the different placement opportunities available within ShareASale for their merchants. Having additional exposure for an affiliate program can help the overall brand, but can yield positive affiliate recruitment statistics. I want to detail one final placement opportunity and it is called ShareASale’s Holiday Central.

Holidays can turn the internet into complete mayhem and affiliates (and merchants too) love it. People love shopping online and there is no better opportunity for merchants and for affiliates to capitalize than holidays. ShareASale Holiday Central allows merchants to promote individual products that fall within specific holidays. For example, a weight loss merchant might want to target customers at the beginning of the New Year. With this opportunity the merchant can select “New Year’s Eve” holiday and they will be featured during the time period allotted. Affiliates are presented with all the upcoming holidays approximately 2 -3 months in advance so they can prepare their marketing materials/promotions.

The cost of the holiday placements are relatively inexpensive. It costs $100 for the first category. If a merchant wishes to be included during other holidays they are welcome and the cost for 2 holiday placements is $175, 3 holiday placements $225 and each additional placement after 3 is $75. What is unique about this type of placement is that is good for one (1) year from purchase.

What does the placement look like? It is similar to a Feature Program of Your Category placement. Merchants can load an image (of their logo or specific product being promoted) and a description of the program or product. When recommending placement opportunities for clients we always steer them to the Holiday Center.

ShareASale also does a good job in providing a lengthy list of holidays merchants can promote for. Some of the holidays include: Mardi Gras, Halloween, April Fool’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Winter Season, Valentine’s Day, Fall Season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and many more.

ScreenHunter_552 Jul. 23 21.02

As mentioned earlier I recommend looking into holiday placements. They target affiliates looking for specific brands and/or products during holidays and finding a programs top performing affiliate is only a few clicks away.

Combining the list of placement opportunities outlined in my last post and the ShareASale Holiday Central there are enough options to get your affiliate program out in front of the top affiliates in the industry. Along with the prices that will not break the bank a holiday placement can yield fruitful partnerships for years to come.

7 ShareASale Featured Program Options for Merchants

Are you a ShareASale merchant looking to acquire new and quality affiliates into your program? If yes (and I hope so), then I have some exciting information to share with you. ShareASale offers their merchant’s ways to “boost” their programs exposure and be directly in front of affiliates that can help grow their programs. There are seven (7) options that can increase the exposure of an affiliate program. In the following paragraphs I will detail each one to help determine if it makes sense for merchants to undertake and invest further into their affiliate programs.

Option # 1

The first placement option (and most popular) is the Featured Program of the Week. A merchant will get their logo and a description of their affiliate program displayed on the opening of the affiliate homepage. This is a competitive placement because there are only 2 merchants per week allowed to be placed. The current cost is $450 per week. Below is a screenshot of what the Featured Program of the Week looks like.

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Option # 2

The next option is the Featured Program of Your Category. It is similar to the Featured Program of the Week (includes logo and description) except the placement will be within your category only. This placement is a one (1) month deal and at the time of this post it costs $300. For example, if a merchant is in the Art/Music/Photography category it will be placed at the top of the search results for that category only.

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Option # 3

The third placement option is the New Programs in the last 20 days. This is one of the most popular places for affiliates to look for new merchants to promote. It is a “directory” of all the merchants that have launched on the ShareASale network in the last 20 days. This allows merchants to list their ad at the top of the new program category and increase exposure for a new and growing program. This (presently) is a $400 per month placement and the affiliate program must be “new”.

Option # 4

Option # 4 is for merchants who have data feeds. Not all merchants have data feeds, but the ones that do should seriously look at this as an option to increase their programs exposure. The merchant’s graphic will be placed in a rotation along with five (5) others. ShareASale recommends mentioning the data feed within the graphic to enhance visibility. This will cost merchants $550 per month.

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Option # 5

Program Directory Listing is another solid option for merchants to consider. For $650 per month a merchant’s graphic will be listed along with 5 others on the directory page that lists all merchants in the ShareASale network.

Option # 6

Not satisfied with only one (1) category listing? Some merchants operate and can be categorized in more than one category, so ShareASale gives merchants the option to be place in another related category. For $350 per additional category a merchant can be added to additional categories.

Option # 7

The final option for merchants to expand their programs reach is through Affiliate Invitations. For $200 per two weeks ShareASale will send top performing affiliates in a category invitations to join the merchant’s program.

There are seven (7) viable options for merchants to increase their affiliate programs exposure to prospective affiliates. Not all options will be suitable for all merchants, but there are a two specifically (Featured Program of the Week and Featured Program of Your Category) that can significantly increase a merchants pool of quality affiliates and drive growth for the future of the affiliate program.