How to Promote your Affiliate Program

The information your affiliates need to best share your offers.
Ways to Promote your Affiliate, Influencer, and Partner programs

Promoting your Affiliate Program…

Whether you are building an affiliate network or a program as an individual merchant, promoting your affiliate program is best done by promoting your offers and campaigns. Sure, you can go ahead and claim to have the “Best Offers” and “Top Payouts” like everyone else, but just what those offers are will make the real difference.

Networks and Affiliates are always looking for new, unique, and exclusive offers. They know what types of offers work best for their traffic, and regularly review and evaluate dozens of potential offers on any given day. To get your offer noticed and get the network or affiliate interested in setting up the offer for promotion, you need to share the necessary information they’ll need to quickly recognize the opportunity of running the campaign.

Promoting your affiliate program

Be Clear and Direct. Promoting an affiliate program is like any other ad copy. You have limited time and space to get the reader’s attention. If they don’t even know what you’re selling, they’re not very likely to take any desirable action. Follow the old 5 W’s and H of journalism.

Promoting your affiliate program means promoting your offers

Keep your affiliate offer information clear, direct, and complete. Follow the 5 W’s and H of Journalism to help organize.

Be Clear and Direct. Promoting an affiliate program is like any other ad copy. You have limited time and space to get the reader’s attention. If they don’t even know what you’re selling, they’re not very likely to take any desirable action. Follow the old 5 W’s and H of journalism.

  • What? What is the offer? Start with the name and follow with a brief description, including the payout. Have both copy and graphic collateral available. If it’s an email offer, have your list of approved From and Subject lines already drafted, and be open to working with your affiliates to create their own as long as you review and pre-approve any new creative.
  • Who? Who is the offer for? Name both the target audience as well as the type of affiliate or traffic you know will perform well with the offer. Does it do well with coupon traffic? Email? Reg-path? Social? Display? Is there an age target or other qualifiers? Does it perform better for men or women? (And don’t be fooled just because it’s an offer for a woman or for a man, when it may be the husband or wife who actually purchases it as a gift.)
  • When? In this case, the ‘when’ is when the offer converts. In other words, where do you place the pixel and what is the desired action to conclude it as a successful action? Is it real time? Is it a one-page zip-submit? Do you require personally identifiable information or a credit card to purchase? Be specific and honest about what is required by the end user before your conversion pixel will fire.
  • Where? Do you have any geographic targets or restrictions? Do you take traffic in all 50 states or even internationally? In what countries do you accept traffic? Do you have restrictions such as specific zip codes or general metro areas?
  • Why? Again, answer this for both sides of the equation. Why does someone want to buy this offer, what are the features and benefits, and why does someone want to promote it? How does it perform? What’s the payout?
  • How? How does someone sign up? By all means include a link to your program and your contact information so anyone interested can learn more and register as an affiliate

Affiliates review multiple offers on any given day. If the opportunity with your offer is not immediately clear or understood, it is not likely they will choose to promote the campaign.

With your sales copy in order, now you can begin promoting the offer.

  • Post on affiliate forums and boards. There are many out there and there is no harm in posting on all of them. There are groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as promotion sites like Offer Vault and ABestWeb.
  • Recruit from the competition. Who is promoting your competitor’s product or program? Contact those affiliates and share with them your opportunity.
  • Once you’ve identified the affiliates having success with your offer or your competitor’s, go get more like them that aren’t yet promoting either. Also, find the affiliates with complementary traffic. For example, a health-based site with traffic of folks looking for information regarding illness could very well also benefit from financial assistance. The assumption is they are sick, they are likely not working, and their medical bills may be adding up. Look for cross-promotional opportunities like this and you’ll find dozens of potential new affiliates.
  • Make your offer available to other affiliate networks. Networks are always looking for good new offers. If possible, structure your offer type to best match the affiliates and traffic available through the network. This way, each network you partner with has the opportunity to promote the offer as exclusive and you’ll get the maximum return for the effort.
Promote your affiliate programs on multiple sites, forums, and groups

If you have more than one product to promote, go back to step one and start over. And since you should now already have some affiliates promoting the first offer, make sure to start with them. If it is only the one offer, figure out if you can offer different types of promotion. For example, can you offer a higher payout for a successful purchase with a credit card, but maybe also offer a lower payout for anyone who only requests more information with just an email address? Affiliates will prefer different types of offers depending upon their traffic and ad placement.

There are many reasons to communicate with your affiliates

Frequent communication with your affiliates is key to a successful program. Make sure to keep it two-way and always be available to support your affiliates. 

Now that you have affiliates promoting your offers, be sure to keep the communication open and two-way. Emails and Instant Messages are fine, but nothing is better than phone calls or in-person meetings when possible. Get on the phone and speak with your affiliates on a regular basis. Any excuse will do. This is why gimmicks like affiliate contests and promotions work. It’s not about the prize at the end, but about a reason to start a conversation with your affiliate to help develop the relationship. Other good reasons to start a conversation include:

  • Change in performance. If you notice your affiliate’s conversion or quality rates are changing, and it is unique to them, give them a call to discuss. Either figure out how you can increase the volume if things are going well, or correct any issues causing the drop. Also, if optimization efforts have increased the conversion rates for your affiliate, definitely make sure they know and learn if they can increase traffic to take advantage of the new performance.
  • New Creative. If your design team has new banners, or a landing page to test, let your affiliates know and give them the option to test. If it is performing better on in-house tests, you’ll definitely want to share the opportunity.
  • New budgets or caps. If the offer has been capped, and there is room or need to increase the overall volume, give your affiliates a heads-up with time to react. This is especially true with your email affiliates, who may have their drop calendar scheduled weeks in advance. And, of course, if you can increase the payouts, discuss with your affiliates if an increase in rate will result in an increase in traffic.
  • Optimization feedback. If your affiliate is passing in subids for different placements and promotions (and they should), share with them how each are comparing. They’ll already know the conversion numbers, but let them know about any variances in disposition data if applicable.
  • Bad news. There is very little to be gained by holding off on sharing bad news. Definitely let them know if a campaign is shutting down or having technical issues, and certainly communicate any issues of severe quality questions or fraud.

Good news, assistance, and opportunities are great to share with your affiliates, but also never hesitate to discuss problems or quality issues.

By running an honest and consistent program with solid offers and support, the affiliates will start to come to directly to you. Make it easy for them by making sure your landing pages and web sites are well branded with complete contact information, and don’t hide behind anonymous registrations. Be ready to accommodate any unique requests which do not jeopardize or cannibalize your current efforts, and your program will continue to grow.

Who We Are

Tessera Marketing is an online marketing agency specializing in Affiliate Program Development. We build and manage direct affiliate programs for our clients. If you are interested in learning more about affiliate marketing and whether or not an affiliate program could help your business, please give us a call at 303-379-9501 or send a note by visiting We love learning more about your business and helping to determine if any of our services can be of any assistance. Consultations are always free, and introductory packages are available.

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