Affiliate Recruitment Techniques


The Toughest Task in Affiliate Management

Affiliate recruitment is one of the most time-consuming and hardest parts of managing your affiliate programme. That was the key motivation for developing the Publisher Discovery platform. With the advances in machine learning, we knew that it was the ideal tech for taking the hard work out of finding the ideal affiliates

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Many other tools are very much adapted SEO tools so it was important to us to make this specific for understanding advertiser/publisher relationships. The new platform gives a clear view of your competitors’ affiliate landscape. You can try it out yourself from under £100 a month – just click to Get Started.


We can help you discover your competitors’ affiliate relationships within the platform, which short cuts a huge amount of leg-work. But of course that’s only part of the picture. So we’ve spoken with some of our users and provided a few tips from them to help with your own affiliate recruitment plan.

It may be obvious but an affiliate program won’t grow by itself. Just being available on a network will not mean that new affiliates will find your programme and join. Recruitment is an active, ongoing process so here are 6 key activities you need to have in your weekly schedule:

  • Publicise your programme – post in affiliate forums, social media and press release platforms
  • Promote your programme via the network itself
  • Look in search engines to see which affiliate sites perform well for your keywords or brand name
  • Use analysis tools such as Publisher Discovery to understand your competitors’ leading affiliates
  • Consider a special section of your website for affiliates to join and understand your programme better
  • Also consider a @brand_affiliates twitter account – to help you engage with the affiliates you discover
  • Attend conferences such as PI Live and Affiliate Summit to meet new affiliates


Most programme managers recruit affiliates that work closely within their own market niche but it pays to think about looking outside or obliquely. For a fashion retailer that may be engaging with general lifestyle or family bloggers. A brand selling mattresses can engage with publishers who write on general homewares or even with wedding affiliates.
Make sure you are engaged with major professional affiliates in the reviews, coupons or loyalty sites. It’s also important to get traction with the wider publisher landscape so make sure the content monetisers such as Viglink and Skimlinks are on your radar.
If you’re a smaller brand, then your recruitment task is all the harder. As well as having a stronger brand voice, the leading brands also tend to have teams of affiliate managers to promote themselves to affiliates. So you will probably need to work smarter to get your share of market.


Once you’ve found the affiliates and recruited them you’ll know it’s not a one-off action. Keep up communications with publishers you’ve engaged with. Remember they’re being contacted by your competitors as well, so make sure what you are offering is both competitive and a strong partner for the affiliate to feature.
In addition to recruiting affiliates, there are many other aspects of managing your affiliate partners that you’ll need to attend to. Keeping creative fresh, affiliate communications, social engagement and even monitoring for fraud are all equally important.
A well managed affiliate programme is an ideal strategy for programme growth and a significant increase in sales. Many brands grew from small beginnings using affiliates as their main acquisition strategy, such as GoDaddy, GearBest and of course Amazon. Effective ongoing recruitment will be the engine to drive your future growth.


Tom Bourne

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Further Reading

There are plenty of excellent blogs and news resources that we’d recommend if you want to read more on recruiting affiliates. Here are just a few to get you started:

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