How to make the most of our free tools
The Publisher Discovery free tools provide a simple way of taking a quick look at the affiliate relationships. This article will show how to make best use to get started with affiliate recruiting - and how to recruit 5 new affiliates in a week.
The platform and these tools are built on a huge database of billions of links from millions of affiliate websites from hundreds of affiliate networks. These are all leading to hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs worldwide.
You can find out some instant information from the search bar on the home page, of any of the advertiser or affiliate websites in the database. Start typing and the options start coming in - then click on the line you want to dig in to.
You'll then get the details show up - here for Matchesfashion.com - and that will show the number of affiliates identified as well as the changes since last month along with their affiliate mix. And thats all visible even with just the free tools.
You'll then get the option to see a preview of the first 5 linking websites - or to add them into your app if you're an account holder. And, you use this any number of times - no limits.
Try the insights tool out for yourself here...
start typing any website address...
Installing the free browser extension is easy and shows up as an octopus logo in the toolbar. The extension then identifies potential affiliate partners from search engine results really simply by showing the number of programs they show up in.
As we see here, thebudgetbabe.com shows 44 affiliate relationships. Click on the octopus and the side bar slides in and shows more details. This includes the affiliate networks, programs discovered, social accounts, other connected websites.
To see all the details in the panel it's easy to take a free trial or upgrade to a full account.
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Once you've activated an account you get to dive into the details. Take a look at what you can do in a free trial...
How to recruit 5 new affiliates in a week
A plan to make the most of a 7 day trial
A 7 day trial doesn't sound like it's much time to get stuff done - especially if you're comparing with the old manual and long-hand way of doing things. And don't forget that being free doesn't make it less valuable - so it's worth investing your time to make the most of the opportunity.
So here's a few steps to help for an example of a new entrant fashion brand. Some of this you can get started on even with just the free tools - the trial then lets you put this into action more fully.
Make a plan
As with any project - setting your objectives at the start is important and we covered some of this in another recent article. If we're going to target five new affiliates to recruit that's a great start.
In your plan you'll need to assess what's achievable and realistic and the best fit for your brand and inventory. So as an example for a small fashion brand, you'll need to think about:
- how your brand should be perceived on partner websites
- affiliate mix - which types of partner to target
- promotional styles you're comfortable with
Looking at the affiliate website we showed earlier, thebudgetbabe.com may well be an ideal first target for a brand at a budget price bracket.
If you're looking to rival Chanel or Balenciaga then it will be totally the wrong place to have your brand appear! For a brand with premium pricing the affiliate styles and mix are both very important.
In the fashion vertical, you'll want to engage with relevant fashion influencers, many of whom now are happily working on an affiliate model; either just as affiliates or hybrid with placement fees attached. These are perfect for getting top of funnel activity.
If you have detailed attribution in your commission structure, then that will enable affiliates at each stage of your customer journey to be fairly recompensed for their promotion of your brand.
Further down the funnel, you may want to activate tactical coupon affiliates to leverage demand spikes with offers on shipping for instance. You can read more on this aspect in a great guide from Acceleration Partners.
In terms of being realistic, major high street brands may well find it easy to get linked to by the biggest publishers, like Cosmopolitan or Elle. For our newer brand that will probably not happen quickly. So think in terms of targeting more realistic potential publishers in the next tier.
In your plan also set out your strategy for contact and outreach. Bear in mind that most of the larger affiliates will receive hundreds or even thousands of emails a month, so your single mail may well just get swamped out - so I'll share some sage advice below on this.
Research your market vertical
When you set up your trial account choose your most useful market vertical as a start point, add in your own website (if we're following it in our index) and some of your competitors that you'd like to look into.
You can very quickly dig into your own market niche and find thousands of prospects - and it can be a daunting prospect and many start off by using a spammy approach and emailing every website they see.
It's more useful to research each for potential fit with your brand before you start on outreach. Check out their Instagram and other feeds particularly in fashion.
In the platform you'll see how many advertisers each one connects with, email details and social accounts - as well as the affiliate networks and programs they are connected to. There's also a hide or star next to each, so you can ignore sites that are irrelevant - or star to add the prospect to your saved affiliates list.
Take a look at your competitors' affiliates
Let's take a look at some other similar retail fashion brands and see which affiliates are identified as promoting them. All the websites listed will be showing active affiliate links and not SEO or natural links, so you can be sure they'll understand your approach. That's something that's viewable in the free tools - this lets you go so much deeper and see the fuller details.
Use the Gap Analysis tool to see which sites are promoting them but you're missing out on. That should help you identify the 'low hanging fruit' that are most likely to be receptive to promoting your brand.
If yours is a very new brand, one handy trick may be to use the filters to target affiliate sites with lower traffic scores as they may well be more receptive to your offer.
Build a prospect list
Once you've starred your most likely suspects for recruiting, you can make any notes in each of the listed sites. That can be about about niches or geos they target or perhaps content ideas to bring up in your outreach campaign.
When you've done a final sanity check on each of these, you can then put your email campaign into action.
Engage and contact
Contacting your prospect affiliates shouldn't be just a matter of scatter gun bulk emails. You're asking these publishers to be a promotional partner - so treat each one with the that in mind. Email is great for communicating - but think about how you want to be seen from their angle.
For each of the prospects take a look at their website of course and their social accounts to make sure they are looking like a good fit. If you've added them to your contact list from the competitors' affiliate lists, then you'll know that which gives a great start point for your contacting.
If you have an affiliate program social account, make sure you are following your prospective partners. Not only will you keep up to date with them, they'll get a notification that you're following them!
When crafting your email, make sure you tell them you've enjoyed their content. If you've followed them, they'll know of course. Make the offer relevant and as personal as possible for best engagement.
Then make sure you set up a schedule for re-sending - maybe with a tweak each time. We heard from a very experienced old hand that he sends three - often at different times of day (in their own time zone) to catch them at their best time.
Often, he'd follow those with a "this is the last email you'll get from me..." type message - and that's the one that usually converts the best! Try it yourself.
Once you've emailed - and hopefully got a few initial responses, you don't need me to tell you that it's important to follow through and answer questions or provide specific content the new affiliates may have asked for.
It makes sense of course then to treat this as just your start for program growth and to build a process into your working week. Rinse and repeat as I've seen it described - make sure you keep recruiting. You can be fairly suire that your competitors will be doing just the same!
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