Recruiting Affiliates for Your Launch
There’s nothing more intimidating than finally getting to the place where you’re going to have a launch, and not knowing if anyone will step up to promote you. Some marketers mistakenly believe that unless they’re well-known, they can’t recruit affiliates, because they’re looking for proven vendors. Read on to learn about recruiting affiliates to sell your products.
But your time spent in this industry has very little to do with whether or not people will sign up as your affiliate. In fact, it can be very lucrative for an affiliate to promote someone who isn’t well-known because the competition for commission will be less prevalent.
Become an Affiliate First, and Then Recruit Affiliates
I like to live by the concept of serving others before asking them to serve me. In the online world this translates to “be a resource before you’re a vendor” and is apropos in this case. If you need more information on how to become a profitable affiliate marketer, take a look at my zero cost, complimentary “10-Day Affiliate Marketing Challenge” and get started right away.
Know Who Would Make the Best Affiliates
You don’t want to recruit anyone and everyone who will send traffic to your offer. In fact, if you do that – cast a wide net for affiliates – you’ll end up tanking your conversions. Imagine having a product about how to create an info product, for example.
You happen to have a marketing friend who is in the diet niche. They say they’ll promote for you. But their list is not your target audience! They might send 50,000 subscribers, but all it’s going to do is lower your conversion rate because their list isn’t a good fit.
Why would they even offer? Some people do this because they don’t grasp how conversions and traffic works. They may know how to build a list or create products, but that’s it.
Others do it because they feel obligated to say yes when you approach them to promote, so it’s important that you know who to contact so you’re not recruiting affiliates sending the wrong kind of traffic your way.
There are a couple of ways you can seek out the right kind of affiliates. When you have good affiliates whose traffic will convert, it’s seen as an attractive opportunity when other affiliates see it.
First look to other vendors – your very competitors, have lists of relevant subscribers that will generate the perfect high-converting traffic that you need. You can go through the same platform you’re listing on, or other ones, and look at previous similar launches to see who else is selling in that niche.
You can also look on websites where marketers may be selling things like info products, but may not be part of the typical Internet marketing crowd launching on Warrior Plus or JVZoo.
Competitors won’t turn you away because you have something similar to what they sell. Marketers want to increase their earnings, so they’ll welcome the additional income you can offer them as an affiliate.
You can also look for existing affiliate marketers who may not be vendors, but whose lists like to buy whatever it is that you’re selling. How do you find them? Leaderboards! Look for previous launches on places like Warrior Plus where a contest took place.
There, you’ll see the list of the top 10 or more affiliates who earned commissions for that vendor. This is a good bet for you that this affiliate will be enthusiastic about promoting something relevant that their list will respond to again.
You can also get on the affiliate lists of your competitor vendors. Whenever they have a launch, they’ll often send out update emails sharing the current leaderboard for sales, and you can take not of who is performing well.
What They Need from You on First Contact
No matter who you reach out, there’s a right and wrong way to initiate your communication. Unfortunately, every marketer has their own idea of what’s right and what’s wrong. Recruiting affiliates must be done in a way that works for everyone involved.
For example, some people hate it when you contact them and hit them up to promote for you without first befriending them and basically, courting them in a friendship before you make your move.
Others get annoyed at the chit chat and small talk because they see it as a waste of time, and they want you to just get to the point, give them the details, and let them decide.
Ideally, you’ll begin networking awhile before your launch, so that you’ve greased the wheels of those who like to form real bonds before they consider working with you. But what if you didn’t plan for this until the last minute?
The best thing you can do in that situation is approach the prospective affiliate with as much information as possible, without wasting their time. There are a few basic things you’ll want to share.
Introduce yourself and let them know why it is you’re contacting them. Is it because you saw them on a leaderboard and know their list will like what you’re launching? Or did a friend put their name out there to you?
Tell them what the product is and what it does, the price point, whether or not there are any upsells, and what the commission is. Besides the basic details, include a link to the JV page where more thorough details are, and make sure you include a copy of the product so they can evaluate it for themselves.
Ask at the Right Time
When you’re new to the product creation and launch scene, your own schedule might be wide open for promotions. But many marketers keep a tight leash on their affiliate promos, so telling them the morning of or the night before launch is not acceptable.
You also don’t want to approach people when it’s too early. If you’re merely thinking about possibly doing a launch, don’t share that around. Someone might take your idea or mention it to someone else who lacks ethics.
You also don’t want them to forget about the upcoming launch. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have the details solidified of the launch, so that if they ask for them, you’re prepared to give it to them.
Plan to contact affiliates approximately 2-4 weeks out from the date of the launch. Two weeks is the least amount of time you should give the affiliates because some will need to make room on their schedule.
There are many marketers who don’t email daily, so they have very limited spots available to share products with their list. You want to secure your spot on their promo calendar early on so they don’t have to pass. When you’re recruiting affiliates, be sure to find out how they market.
It also gives them the opportunity to create a bonus, in case they want to plan to earn increased commissions. Bonuses are how many consumers shop in this industry, so if you fail to give them time, it puts them at a disadvantage.
Another reason you want to give them advanced notice is so they have time to go through the product. Contrary to popular belief, many marketers actually do evaluate products before they promote it, and that can take time.
If it’s a tool or course, that might take more time than if you were selling a pack of private label rights content, where they only needed to go through and ensure the style and quality of the content was up to par.
Don’t bother the affiliate once you’ve given them all of the information they asked for. It’s okay to publish public announcement reminders about the countdown to the launch, such as posting on Facebook or emailing your affiliates.
But don’t send a private message every day to them asking if they’ve decided to jump onboard. Not only is this annoying for busy marketers, but it’s uncomfortable for those who don’t want to promote you and who feel bad turning you down.
This type of behavior may end up getting you blocked by the person, and bad worth of mouth will get around that you’re pestering people. It’s better to be prepared and solid with your plans and prove your product is worth it.
Consider Perks for the Big Fish
There are small time affiliates and then there are the whales – the best of the best who can send hundreds, if not thousands of sales your way. Not only do these people convert well, but the fact that they promoted you does more. When I’m recruiting affiliates for my own products and courses, I go directly to the people who can send a flood of buyers to me with one or two well-placed promotions.
It improves your reputation and makes other affiliates sit up and take note of you as a vendor. Many marketers spy on others to see what they promote, and if you’re chosen by the best, it’s a sign that your products are quality.
It also helps build your list. You might be a vendor starting with no subscribers. Those who buy your product can get the opportunity to get on your list, so if a big time marketer sends their list to your offer, it’s a way of sharing their list with you.
So how do you attract the attention of a proven marketer who is successful when you’re a newbie to the online marketing scene? There are a few ways you can ensure they give your product consideration.
First, when you send them the product information, add on the perk of a bump in commission. There are many big players who have ample promo opportunities and your 50% commission might pale in comparison to the 75% or even 100% commission (on the front end) that someone else is offering.
Why offer 100%? Because this marketer is sharing their list with you, helping you build yours. He’s also creating a buzz about your product, and you can still earn 50% commissions on the upsells.
Your earnings will also come later, when you promote or sell to these new subscribers down the road. So it’s not a total loss to give up your front end commission to get them onboard.
Another thing you might do is give them a spot on your download page. Whenever your buyers goes through the checkout process and is taken to your download page, you can have their download links shown immediately, with the affiliate promo spots directly below them.
These are typically image ads the affiliate creates offering something free (or paid) to build their list or make sales. This ad space should be reserved for top affiliates who need more than mere commissions to agree to a promo.
There’s another option you can use if there’s one affiliate (or a few) in particular who you really want to promote for you. Exclusivity. If you give this person (or a small group) the exclusive opportunity to promote the product in advance for 24-48 hours, this helps convince them to jump onboard.
To be ethical, you’d have to disclose this to the other affiliates, so they understand that others got advanced access. But this private promo time is a perk that can seal the deal.
Another thing you can do is create a bonus just for them to use. If you have 1 or more big affiliates, create a 5-page lead magnet report or something else relevant to your product that they can gift to their list in exchange for promoting for you.
Attracting Affiliates with Prize Money
There are times when you need to go a little further with the carrot stick you’re offering. A sum of prize money can be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to recruiting affiliates.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure how many sales you’ll get. You can always put minimum sales disclaimers in, such as “1st place $500 – minimum 100 sales.” But if you don’t want to go that route, just make sure you have enough to cover the prize money, if someone promotes for you and wins.
For example, don’t say the prize is $2,500 if you don’t have that much held back, unless you use the disclaimer. Because if someone comes along and makes 10 sales of a $9.95 offer, and they win, it’s going to be a big loss for you.
If you’re a newbie, don’t be afraid to level up. Start off with smaller prize amounts, like $100 for first place, and increase it over time if you want to. Whatever you do, don’t allow a contest to go on and then not pay the winners.
This is a good way to ensure you suffer from word of mouth, and no one will promote for you in the future. If you have a contest, pay out immediately after the contest ends, not weeks or months later.
When it comes to recruiting affiliates, don’t get intimidated by the process. Vendors want to send their subscribers to other confident and capable vendors, not to someone who seems flaky or scared of the process.
Keep everything above the board and don’t get pushed around by some marketers into doing anything that might be off-putting to the others. You want a level playing field – one that’s ethical and honest and will make recruiting affiliates easier.
Focus on creating a product that’s wow-worthy – one they can be proud to notify their subscribers about. The rest is mere etiquette and recruitment strategy, and using the tips mentioned previously, you should have no trouble finding plenty of people to send out an email for you.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up sales Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.
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