Advertiser recruitment tips & tricks

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Whether your affiliate program is brand new or has been running for years, publisher recruitment is an evergreen requirement to maintain the health of your program. It should be something engrained in your day-to-day routine, as new and exciting affiliates are always coming to the fore, thus ensuring you have the right partners promoting your products and content. 

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As a leading performance marketing network, we understand the value publisher relationships can provide and are constantly looking for ways to further facilitate online partnerships between Awin brands and affiliates. Drawing from our expertise, we’re sharing some key considerations for advertisers looking to ramp up their publisher recruitment strategy.

Identify targets

Determine which publisher types (cashback, media partners, coupon, blogger, influencer, etc.) could be strong potential contributors to your affiliate program. One way of doing this is to work in conjunction with an Awin account manager to generate a gap analysis for your brand’s program against similar programs. This gap analysis will reveal biggest revenue drivers, information vital when ascertaining which affiliate types are already at peak performance and what areas of affiliate performance could benefit from additional recruitment.

Activate your existing “influencer” base

Seek out customers who are already promoting or talking about your products without being prompted. Invite these customers to join your program as an affiliate if they already have a web presence. Maximize those already-occurring affiliate efforts and send these influencers free products or offer insider access to an upcoming product launch. Help build their authority and they will help your affiliate program grow with their influence.

Take a proactive approach

Directly contacting websites, blogs, and other web publishers with a well-written recruitment email is a great way to bring new affiliates to a program. To be done effectively, we recommend advertisers craft a personalized message for each new publisher. While tedious, it will ultimately be better received and entice a higher response rate, as custom messages indicate a retailer spent time understanding who this affiliate is and why they would find this potential partner’s contribution to their program valuable.

Ensure your website is SEO optimized

When affiliates are looking for specific programs online, if your website isn’t SEO optimized and filled with keywords it will be more challenging for new partners to find it. One organic way for you to improve website search engine rankings is to regularly generate new online content, including blog posts, video and press releases. Additionally, incorporating internal links (links to content across your brand’s site) and external links (links to content from other trusted sources) within your content will only further boost SEO. For more information on how to create an SEO optimized website, check out this valuable how-to by inbound marketing guru HubSpot.

Establish a dedicated webpage that describes your partner/affiliate program and links to your sign-up page. This page can be placed in the footer and will aid your recruitment efforts.

Image courtesy of Missguided

Use social media to show personality

Social media is a great way for retailers to establish a brand voice and engage with prospective and inactive affiliates. The possibilities are endless – from establishing a private Facebook group dedicated to your partner or affiliate program, to sharing publisher spotlights across social pages, to opening a discussion for answering individual affiliate questions. Provide partners with some love and they will promote you in return.

Attend industry events

Industry events and trade shows like Affiliate Summit, IRCE, ThinkTank and GLOSSY are a great way to meet new publishers and niche content partners. Prior to attending, you should conduct research to see who is attending and identify which target partners you want to schedule meetings with. This is very important, as schedules fill up quickly and it can be quite challenging to secure five minutes of someone’s time on the fly.

Run a special campaign

Create a special offer or commission increase to recruit and engage new affiliates. It’s one thing to join them to the program, and another to hand them fresh relevant content to use in their next post. Help them help you. For examples, please see Viator’s program launch campaign or ESPA Skincare’s March affiliate contest.

Utilize the power of Awin

Your account manager should be your secret weapon for recruiting and activating new publishers to your program. They can assist you with a multitude of efforts, including securing placements in Awin’s publisher newsletters and advertiser spotlights, reengaging existing but dormant affiliates, and posting on The Hub. You’re busy, let us handle some of the heavy lifting.

Whether you chose to engage in some or all these efforts, remember things do not magically happen overnight - recruitment requires you to be and continuous. Results aren’t instant, but these new publishers activated to your affiliate program will have a great foundational relationship with your brand and be loyal for years to come.

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