You’ve done the hard part. You’ve put together your offer, tested it, and fine-tuned your VSL. Now it’s time to find people to promote your product.
Building the best affiliate program full of promoters who are eager to market and hype your offer is one of the most effective ways to scale your online business. If you haven’t tapped into the power of leveraging promoters’ audiences, you’re essentially sabotaging your own success.
So, how’s it done? How do you find people to promote your product? And, after you find them, how do you keep them? Below, we’re outlined seven surefire steps to cultivating the affiliate program of your dreams.
1. Bring your offer to the right internet retailer.
I bet you thought I’d save the “ClickBank plug” for the bottom of this article. Well, surprise–I’m putting it in here at Step 1. ClickBank combines the global reach of an internet retailer with the scaling opportunity of its affiliate marketplace. When you partner with ClickBank, you immediately have access to the world’s best affiliates who are promoting in over twenty countries all around the globe.
To get this kind of retail opportunity would be next to impossible if you were trying to do it alone. The onboarding process is seamless and ClickBank is always working to make life easier for both affiliates and vendors through product updates and easy-to-understand instructional products.
ClickBank CEO, Kelly Householder, says it the best in an interview with Websiteplanet.com:
“Although ClickBank is often compared to other affiliate networks, our business model and product offering occupy a unique niche in the affiliate marketing industry. ClickBank is the internet retailer that actually sells the product. We ensure all of our products are compliant and high quality versus just making the connection between product vendors and affiliates like other networks.”
Yes–I’m biased. After all, you are likely reading this on the ClickBank Blog. So it makes sense that I wouldn’t encourage you to take your offer anywhere else. But even if I wasn’t a copywriter at ClickBank, I would still endorse the company this emphatically. I have witnessed extraordinary success happen on ClickBank and I know it comes down to vendors utilizing the remarkable affiliate marketplace, plain and simple.
2. Make your product easy to promote.
The best way to get someone to do something for you is to make it as easy as possible for them to do it. If you want someone to help you jump your car, the process is a whole lot simpler when you have the jumper cables on hand. So, before you go out searching for affiliates, make sure you have the proper bait. In this case, it’s promotional content and materials.
For vendors who list their product in the affiliate marketplace, there’s a spot for what is known as the affiliate tools page. The affiliates tools page is a website that vendors put together that showcases promotional copy, banner images, videos, icons, and any other digital asset that can help affiliates promote your offer and stay congruent with your branding.
When vendors provide this for affiliates, it makes it easier for them to promote your product and helps both vendors and affiliates earn more and scale faster.
3. Incentivize affiliates.
The affiliate/vendor relationship is what is known as a symbiotic relationship in the wild. Think clownfish and anemone, ants and aphids, or nitrogen fixing bacteria and legumes… these species all benefit from a relationship with the other. So, how do you make it worth it for affiliates to promote your product? By offering commission of course!
However, not all affiliates need the same amount of commission. Based on their ad spend and audience size, some may need a higher commission rate to incentivize them to promote your product. Others may not be interested in earning more than a standard commission rate from you because they promote many offers. Whatever the case, the best way to build a robust affiliate program is to be able to offer different commission rates to different affiliates.
You’ll also want to consider what you can feasibly offer your affiliates without losing money yourself. Calculating commission can be tricky. One one hand, you want to make money; on the other, you want to attract industrious affiliates who know what they’re doing to promote your product. Take some time to do the math. There’s nothing worse than losing money over some poor calculations.
3. Speak to your niche.
One way to find people to promote your product is to do a little competitive snooping… er… research. What kind of commission rates are other vendors in your niche offering? What kind of promotional assets do they give their affiliates? Now, “competitive research” does not mean “monkey see, monkey do.” Instead, treat competitive research like a window into what’s working for the top earners in your niche. This insight can help you better speak to your potential customers and price your product to sell.
4. Don’t slack on your copy.
This is another thing I might be a little biased about… you have to make sure your copy is impeccable. I’m not saying it needs to be Pulitzer Prize winning, New York Times Best Seller copy, but it does need to be free of grammatical errors; compelling but also concise; and effective at getting your potential customers to buy.
There’s one way to make sure you don’t mess this up:
I know, I know, you’re a solopreneur! You can’t afford to be throwing fat stacks around for some words! Hear me out though. The copy a professional copywriter will create through their ingenuity and raw talent will pay dividends. It’s an investment in your success and one you shouldn’t take lightly.
How will hiring a copywriter help you attract people to promote your product, you ask? Because you will be able to sell more and pay more if you can convert more. Simple as that.
5. Optimize your offer content.
This step goes hand in hand with step number two. You’ll want to make sure you provide affiliates with content they can use for all platforms. This means preparing video for social media websites and YouTube as well as making sure you have copy and images ready for LinkedIn and Quora. If you cover all of the content bases, all your affiliates have to do is promote.
This step might be a big of a lift for you and it may take some learning, but it will ensure brand consistency and will attract affiliates to promote your product. There are plenty of resources out there to create the best content you can including one of our favorites, HubSpot’s annual State of Marketing Report. This report provides quality insights for a high level content plan. Again, keep in mind that the work you do to better understand content will pay dividends when it comes to finding people to promote your product.
6. Go to events.
Events, in person or virtual, are a great way to find people to promote your product. Affiliates of all types gather at Affiliate Summit and Affiliate World Conferences every year to find offers that would be a good fit for them. There’s truly no better way to network than in-person, so take the time to plan for attending at least one event a year.
The best way to network at events, according to Forbes, is pretty simple: just smile. People are genuinely attracted to warm vibes and smiling can open the door for a conversation. If you’re a bit introverted, and even smiling can be hard, just set a goal for yourself to make one connection. It’s likely you’ll surprise yourself with your efforts and end up making more.
7. Make sure your webpage converts.
If you’re having a hard time keeping affiliates, the problem could very likely be your pitch page. Affiliates can drive traffic all day, but if customers can’t figure out how to buy the product, then conversions simply won’t happen.
Even little changes to the layout, whitespace balance, and button placement can make a big difference in conversion rates. If you’re unfamiliar with design best practices, take some time to brush up and do a thorough audit of your pitch page to make sure it’s clean and easy to navigate. One of the main culprits of low converting pitch pages is an indirect call to action. If you want people to buy, make sure your CTAs make that evident. If you want to direct people to a free trial, indicate that through clear language. User experience is a highly important element of a pitch page, but is often overlooked when it should be the first priority when it comes to deducing why your pitch page conversions are low.
Of course, all of these steps may not be relevant to your personal hunt for affiliates. Regardless, make sure you double check that you’ve put effort into each and done your due diligence to finding people to promote your product. Performance based marketing is the number one way to grow your product online and cultivating an excellent affiliate community is quintessential to that process.
Speaking of ways to attract promoters, ClickBank ads can help you reach more affiliates in less time. If you’re interested in advertising on ClickBank, submit an inquiry here.