Have you ever created an ebook, app, or a drop shipping store?
Making it’s not that hard right?
The hard part is selling it to thousands of people and making a big stack of money.
A lot of advertisers (offer owners) have been hitting me up over the past few years…
“Charles, where do I find affiliates to help sell my product and make me riiiiiich?”
These are people who have…
- Written a book or built out a course
- Built a SaaS company and wants more customers
- Run a “local business” (lawyers, marketing companies, accountants who need more quality leads)
Everyone wants to know where they can find affiliates who deliver insane results.
Finding affiliates (the ones who can actually deliver) is super tough.
Affiliate marketing is a “95/5” industry.
If you took a list of all the affiliates who sign up for an affiliate network, and then order their revenue highest to lowest, you’d see something interesting.
The top 5% of affiliates will almost always drive 95% of the revenue.
This means that most affiliates who sign up to promote your offer won’t make money for you.
In fact, they’ll probably LOSE you money. They’re gonna be a pain in the ass asking for custom landing pages, stats, help with tracking etc. while super affiliates would just be sending traffic and asking for pay bumps 🙂
If you’ve ever thought of recruiting affiliates to promote your stuff, this post will help you out.
Why Is It So Hard To Find Affiliates Who Drive RESULTS?
You want to find more experienced affiliates that can push real volume and help you make serious money. For every 100 little affiliates, there’s probably only one big player that can drive real volume.
It probably won’t surprise any of you to hear that there are shady affiliates out there.
Affiliate fraud is particularly common with CPA affiliate offers – especially with offers that converted on email submits. In 2013, a couple of guys were caught defrauding eBay out of $20 million with a cookie stuffing scheme.
Obviously it didn’t put eBay out of business, but still…
Finding Affiliates that Drive QUALITY Leads
You must make sure an affiliate pushes quality traffic first. Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of money paying for leads that don’t convert into paying customers.
(Hint: Always cap your offers… Even though the affiliate in me hates caps. If the advertiser wins, the affiliate wins. You can slowly raise your caps for affiliates who drive quality traffic.)
How Do You Find Affiliates? (The 1%er Affiliates… Not Noobies)
Work with a Network
Your first option should always be to go through a network.
- They have more experience monitoring for fraud and quality.
- You gain access to a large pool of affiliates right off the bat.
- They handle all questions, so you don’t have to waste your time mentoring your affiliates.
ClickBank, CJ and Share-A-Sale are all places worth checking out to see if your product fits in with others they offer.
If you’ve got an app install, game, mobile utility offer etc. get in touch with companies like Advidi, Mobidea, or Avazu.
Affiliate networks specialize these days. Find one that specializes in your type of product.
Get Referrals from Super Connectors
Some people have more pull than others in this industry.
Major affiliates that make seven figures or more a year and reps from big companies are good places to start.
How do you find these people?
- Digital marketing meetups
- Cold intros Tim Ferriss style
- Conferences (and with drinks at after parties)
- Follow them on social, comment on their stuff, and work your way into their circle
Look at Facebook Groups for Niche Affiliates
Do you sell weight loss products?
There are actually Facebook groups out there for weight loss affiliates that might be able to point you in the right direction. Most big niches have Facebook groups that the affiliates spend time in.
Protip: These groups get a TON of spammers in there. Be prepared to eat some humble pie if you go into these groups pushing your offers hard.
Check out Affiliate Summit, Affiliate World and other affiliate marketing events. You can have one-to-one conversations with prospective affiliates to find those that’ll be the right fit.
Where do you find affiliates at conferences? That’s an industry secret.
But anywhere with bottles and models (the private parties) is a good start 🙂
Reach Out to Niche Bloggers
Find bloggers in the same niche as your industry. They can’t generally push as much volume as affiliates with paid traffic, but some of them have built huge email lists. Make sure you send them some brief stats, and have a page set up for affiliates to give them all the info they need.
Bloggers in an industry tend to know each other, so it can be handy to build up a network of influencers in your niche.
Top-Tier Affiliate Forums
There are loads of affiliate forums out there with people looking for good offers. Most forums are free, and attract freebie seekers.
Stick to places like STM forum. You can try free forums, but there’s a reason they’re free guys…
Who’s Promoting Your Rivals?
Figure out who your top competitors are. You can reverse engineer to find out who is promoting them.
Ask if those people are willing to promote you. Give them extra incentives to.
Ask Yourself – “Why Would Affiliates Promote My Offer Over Competitors?”
There are hundreds of thousands of CPA offers out there, and millions of other products/offers.
So why would an affiliate push traffic to yours?
It doesn’t matter if you think your offer is unique and special. What actually separates yours from other offers?
If you don’t have anything to offer, go back to the drawing board.
Here’s how to make your offer appealing to affiliates:
Test your offer conversion on your OWN dime.
Test different paid traffic sources (search, display, social, etc.) to see how they convert. I know it’s gonna cost, but you have to give affiliates something to work with. A few hundred dollars testing will give you some solid data to start with.
Build a page with ALL the info an affiliate needs to know.
Here’s an example of an affiliate page that gives affiliates the details they need to know before they run your offer. But that page is huge… Keep yours short and easy – nobody knows your offer yet so you only have a few seconds to get a super affiliate interested.
Be generous with pay bumps for affiliates who send good volume/quality
Would you rather have 5% of $100m or 50% of $1m? Keep your good affiliates happy and running your offer… Even if you’re not making a ton of money off it. There are benefits to running at breakeven even for advertisers – you’re getting valuable knowledge, lessons, and data.
Make the process as fast and easy as possible.
Your affiliates should be able to easily check their stats, grab their affiliate links and get custom creatives approved.They don’t want to have to wait or email you for anything.
How to Vet Affiliates to Get Big Results
You want quality over quantity. Every time.
But that’s hard to do, so here’s a process to follow:
- If you’re selling a product on CPS (cost per sale), your vetting process doesn’t need to be as strict. You only pay them when they put money in your own pocket. Unless you want to control your brand (for example you don’t want it on adult affiliate sites), you can let them do whatever they please.
- Always cap leads for CPA offers to a certain number of leads per day until you can verify their traffic quality. This will stop big fraud problems (and stop you going broke paying spammers).
- Ask for earning reports if they make you suspicious. Affiliates that can push volume without getting pulled from offers will send a screenshot of something they’ve run before.
- Ask how they’ll promote offers (i.e search, email, PPV, social, mobile, etc.). This helps you weed out affiliates that plan on promoting offers with adult traffic, incentive traffic etc. (unless of course, you don’t care).
- Ask to see an example landing page. You need to make sure the lander isn’t misleading in any way (for example, claiming your product is 100% free when they’re compensated for a free 7-day trial).
- Provide clear guidelines on regulatory compliance. This is especially important for certain niches, such as adult dating, credit companies, finance etc. It will only get more important as your offer becomes bigger.
- Ask for referrals if they lack strong earnings and you’re unsure of them.
Affiliate networks do a lot of these things, but if you go it alone, you’re essentially taking on the network’s job.
Super Affiliates Are KEY To Advertisers
There’s a lot of money to be made as an advertiser working with affiliates…
But most affiliates won’t meet your expectations.
If your offer converts then you’ll have no trouble recruiting affiliates. It’ll start to pop up in spy tools, forums, blogs, search results etc.
One of the most important phases is to run some of your own initial tests for your offer.
Imagine you’re an affiliate and the advertiser says A or B…
A.) “I’m getting 0.5% conversions running it on Facebook in Germany targeting 35+ women”
B.) “Naahh, I haven’t got any data for you.”
Which offer is the super affiliate going to run?