Recruiting and activating affiliates

Affiliate recruitment is the ongoing process of attracting, activating, and retaining publishers. Recruiting affiliates into your program involves building a program foundation and running your program.


Long term affiliate recruitment

In most affiliate programs, about 80% of network sales come from 20% of the affiliates. The top Affiliates might typically be large to mid-size publishers, as well as publishers that are ‘niche’ but have a very engaged audience.


Ongoing recruitment of your program involves:

  • Finding previously hidden, but valuable, publishers over time
  • Researching new affiliates joined to Commission Factory
  • Recruiting affiliate types that are productive or underrepresented in the program
  • Researching sites with other affiliate programs to compare publishers with your own list
  • Contacting content sites and inquiring about advertising opportunities


Affiliate perspective on recruitment

When developing your recruitment strategy, try to anticipate what affiliates would value most, and target your program to the publisher's specific vertical.

Publishers choosing affiliate programs will generally review the following:

  • Similar merchants they're already working with
  • Whether new merchants may strain existing, profitable relationships
  • The risk of managing a new program
  • Earning potential of any new partnership
  • How active the advertiser is with their affiliates
  • What offers and promotions the advertiser has available to affiliates
  • Terms and conditions

To address these concerns, be sure to prepare yourself the following information about your program's:

  • Average Order Value (AOV)
  • Average conversion rates (CR %)
  • Products or services, as compared to your competitors
  • The revenue commission you're willing to pay
  • Any additional benefits (such as increased revenue share, launch incentives, or special consumer promotions) you have
  • Creative assets


Activation Strategies

In many cases, simply providing the right tools, communications, and incentives will encourage publishers to start driving sales quickly. In other cases, you might need to add bonuses or commissions for publishers who engage within a specific time period. And, of course, once publishers start making sales, their loyalty to your program is more assured.


Building Program Awareness

Simply listing your program in Commission Factory won't necessarily attract top publishers. You'll need to build awareness of your program first.


For example, you can:

  • Email newsletters to the network
  • Highlight sales, coupons, or new products
  • Ensure that the affiliate recruitment link on your website leads to compelling information about your programs' benefits
  • Use external affiliate forums to spread the word
  • Advertise your affiliate program to your social media base
  • Directly communicate with affiliates in the region


Working with different Affiliates

Here are some tips for working with different publishers:

Loyalty and cashback publishers

  • Many shoppers are more loyal to the publisher site than to the advertiser. By surpassing the commission offered by competitors, you can maintain or increase market share within the loyalty site
  • Loyalty sites provide a clear consumer benefit and can create a recurring source of revenue
  • Co-branded landing pages can add credibility and increase conversions. Shoppers who see a publisher logo and a reminder of the cashback they'll earn on purchases are often more inclined to buy

Content publishers

  • Are the experts on their members and a valuable resource for designing consumer promotions
  • Require detailed product information, consumer offers, unique selling propositions, and other detailed content
  • Can evangelize advertiser benefits (such as quality products, selection, and customer service)

Paid Search specialist publishers

  • If you have a paid search program, search specialists can focus on the search terms that supplement your current strategy
  • If you're working with a limited budget or a competitive vertical, search specialists can assist in a long tail strategy
  • Search specialists buy traffic to test a program and absorb risk at the beginning of a test. Since ROI is critical to search specialists, you might consider increasing revenue share for these publishers

‘Offer’ publishers

  • Coupons can improve conversions and new customer acquisitions
  • Exclusive promotions attract publishers, who in turn can provide a greater value proposition to consumers
  • Exclusive promotions can improve your visibility on publisher sites

Coupon tips:

  • Use coupons to encourage sales of lesser-known products and influence demand in the marketplace
  • Set redemption deadlines or coupon codes expiration dates to bring about faster purchases
  • Give coupons to first-time customers to drive new customer acquisition
  • Increase the average order value by offering coupons valid on orders exceeding a specific amount - spend and save, free shipping when over $x amount is spent etc.


Software/Technology Partners

  • You have the option of partnering with affiliates that specialise in retargeting, cart abandonment and product bundling solutions that work off a CPA basis. 
  • Integrating these types of affiliates do require a few extra steps, as tracking updates etc. need to be considered before they can go live. It is encouraged to communicate to these affiliates via the message centre beforehand to work out a plan of attack.