How to Talk to & Pitch Affiliates at Affiliate Summit & in General

How to recruit affiliates at Affiliate Summit
How to recruit affiliates at Affiliate Summit

Shawn Collins from AffiliateTip recently released some information from their survey that the largest group of Affiliates right now is between the ages of 31 and 40.  Having this data gives you a huge insight into how you may be able to get a better success and response rate when pitching Affiliates at Affiliate Summit, as well as in general with your recruitment.  By knowing that the majority are within this age range and also the largest group is from here and older, you can turn your pitch into something ideal for these target groups.  Most of this is normal and common sense, but some of it may be unique.

The first thing to think about is this age group, what is going on with them socially and what matters most to them.  By thinking about this, using their lingo and language as well as what is important to them, you may be able to get their attention, deliver a better pitch and also sign up more partners.  Think about them socially, interest wise and where they are within their lives.

How to recruit Affiliates Based on social culture

Whether your goal is to learn how to recruit Affiliates at Affiliate Summit or in general, think about what is important to those specific age groups and Affiliates.  With the 31 to 40 age group, they are starting to think about retirement.  Some are getting ready to fall in love and wanting to start or have started a family, many are moving into or have management and director or some vp roles in their companies.  Some could be thinking about buying a house and saving money, and a good portion can probably invest in other tools to market their businesses because they have been working and advancing their careers.  (Remember, not all Affiliates are 100% full time Affiliates, some have real jobs or side jobs and companies that they work for).  When they talk, they probably aren’t using phrases they may text like “OMG” or “LOL” like 20 somethings and teenagers do, so if you use these, you may want to try to think about how you talk so you can appear more professional and speak how they do.  So what is important to know when pitching them socially?

They grew up in the 1980s and many may react to retro things and retro marketing.  They don’t mind working hard and are also thinking about their futures.  Instead of talking about how amazing your products are and why your program kicks butt, instead ask them about what they do, what types of sites they have and then speak to that and how it can tie into their lives so that they can earn more with you and help for their futures, etc…  If you can get any information like they had a kid or are saving for a house, this will definitely help.

If you know your content sites convert at X amount and have an AOV of X%, you can make a case that with their amount of pageviews, etc… they could be earning X amount by promoting you.  You should break it out by each individual type of Affiliate to make a stronger case and show the potential revenue for each.  By helping to increase this they could potentially pull a higher revenue stream by working with you instead of working with a competitor.  If you don’t allow trademark bidders, coupon sits to rank for your url + coupons or have adware, this age group is very interested in not loosing money and these could be huge selling points for content sites, comparison engines, non trademark PPC partners and other Affiliates that add value.  This age group is fairly tech savvy and could see this as added value for your program since their sales and money is being protected.  Numbers, figures and optimizing their chances of keeping sales vs. competitors who do not offer the protection is the perfect pitch for this money conscious group that may be looking to invest in a house, retirement, etc…  If you do allow coupon sites to rank for url + coupons, trademark bidders and adware in your program, you may want to avoid talking about that.

Even though some of them may look like they’re in their late 20’s and love to party all night, they could be a bit older.  If you’re in your 20’s and pitching them by inviting them to one of the events or a club, try to avoid saying things like 2am, 3am or 4am.  These are scary numbers to hear when you are thinking about having to work after the show and having to wake up for sessions or meetings the next day.  You also have to think about their interests.

You may be into a huge loud club with blaring music and people going crazy on a dance floor, but they may enjoy lounge music or a wine bar as a fun night out.  You need to cater to their needs if the goal is to get them out and you want them to relax and have fun.  If you are older than this group, your interests may be similar, but you still need to meet theirs.  Try to find a place where both of you can enjoy yourself and be able to do business.

What matters and is important when recruiting Affiliates

How to pitch and meet Affiliates at Affiliate Summit
How to pitch and meet Affiliates at Affiliate Summit

Now that we know how to interact with this group socially to recruit them for your program, you need to think about what matters and what is important to this large group of potential partners as far as Metrics and Jargon?  I’m going to list a bunch of terms here and what I think is important and what may not be important to them.  If you aren’t using these, haven’t heard of them or are using them but agree they could be not as important, try adding them in or taking them out of your pitch when you use these to help you recruit Affiliates at Affiliate Summit, other shows and in general.

  • EPC – Earnings per click.  This is a great fake metric that can be distorted.  If you have someone do a large newsletter drop, your EPC will be extremely low.  If you have trademark bidders and coupons sites or self shoppers, your EPC skyrockets and can be a warning sign that you allow your company and your value adding partners to be stolen from.  It could also tell a non value adding partner that you aren’t paying attention to your program and they may try to join so they can make money without having to do much work.  Do not use this as a pitch as it could possibly chase away value adding partners and give a heads up to thieves.  Save it for your internal use and use it by channel.  It is a good metric for individual Affiliates though when comparing programs.
  • Coversion rate – Knowing your conversion rate by niche, type of Affiliate, etc… is a huge selling point.  If you know a non trademark ppc partner converts between 4 and 5% and a site about recipes or cooking converts at 2% while sites about specific kitchen products and how to use them converts at 6%, you can take this and really make a solid case that directly relates to your new potential partner and how much they can potentially earn with you.
  • CTR on PV – This stands for click through rate on Page Views.  This metric is saying that after 1,000 impressions, how many people clicked through on your links or banners.  For content sites and blogs that run banners, knowing the click through rate based on a thousand impression basis and average order value or AOV can help give them a good estimate of how many sales they could possibly expect and how much they could potentially make.  It will depend on the creatives used and how their audience reacts to the site, price points and product selection, but this is a huge one for content sites that don’t do posts and just run banners.
  • Trademark Bidding – This is when people bid on your trademarks, urls + coupons, misspelling of your trademarks and add almost no value.  If you allow this and talk about it, you could possibly chase away legit partners and continue to take a hit.  If you lie and say you don’t, then the person looks and sees you do, you have know made yourself either a liar or someone who doesn’t know how to do their job.  You can be certain they will probably not want to work with you if you either don’t know how to monitor for this or pretend you don’t allow it.
  • Adware – If you allow adware in your program you might chase away any smart or legit partner.  If you are not testing for adware then you actually do not know if you do or not.  Learn about it, learn to test it and then if you can honestly say and prove you can keep most of it out of your program, you can easily pick up a lot more value adding partners.  It is almost impossible to catch all of it but you can definitely remove most of it.  I do consulting to teach this as well.  Just use the contact me form at the top of the page in the navigation and we can set up some time to talk or you can hire me to do an audit.
  • Social Media – Some Affiliates use Social Media to promote offers and products to their followings.  Let them know what you allow, what you don’t allow and also offer them custom deals or offers for their followers and fans only.  One other thing that can work is giving them first access to news about your company, new products, etc…  It is a great way to get them active and pushing your program.
  • Social Media Ads – The other type of Social Media Affiliate is the one who buys adds, boosts posts, etc…  These can be amazing partners, but they can also easily target your audience and poach your sales.  They are great to have but you need to be clear about your program’s restrictions and you can also give hints and tips on how to use paid ads to generate sales by social network.
  • Coupon Sites – If you work with coupon sites, be honest about it.  If you work with them in a value adding way (not letting them rank for trademarks or urls + coupons) or bidding on those terms, then you won’t chase away other partners.
  • Loyalty Sites – If you approach a content site and they do a trademark, review or coupon search for your names and find loyalty sites showing up, their readers and followers may join the community meaning the Affiliate you are pitching may lose commissions for life since if they join these sites because loyalty site rewards them for shopping and can overwrite or replace their cookies.  Loyalty sites can be very good and drive a lot of incremental sales, but you need to be careful about how you work with them so you don’t chase away other partners.
  • Product price – The price of your product isn’t always important.  If your conversion rate by niche is higher, AOV is higher, etc… the lower price points could be a better option because the increased conversions and AOV could mean more money.  If the audience like brands and doesn’t want anything cheap, the most expensive product prices could be a good thing.  Ask the Affiliate about what their readers or audience normally shops for and then talk about your product prices.  You could always offer them discount codes and other things to help make your products price points better for their audiences.
  • Tracking – If you’re on a network you have the same tracking as everyone else on that network, don’t say you have the best tracking.  If you have a second and third tracking system set up as well as another control like server based reporting for recurring, then this can give you something to talk about and give extra confidence on why the potential partner should join your program.
  • Creatives – Let them know about your creatives and everything you offer.  Have examples of banners and talk about the designs, talk about videos, datafeeds, product links, widgets and everything else that you offer.  If you are an Affiliate Manager and want to offer a seriously cool product, use this one.  They are a client of mine, I use it on my own sites and absolutely love it.  They have packages designed for Affiliate Programs as well.
  • Third party tools – If the partner uses things like GoldenCan or PopShops, make sure you let them know.  This can make their lives easier if they join your program.  If they use video, you should mention this one as well, especially if you buy it to use for your program.
  • Datafeeds – If you have a datafeed, make sure all of the descriptions are separate from the ones on your site, all of your images are the same size and that it is complete.  If you have a good datafeed a lot more partners will be more happy to work with you if your competitors’ feeds are broken or not done well.
  • Uptime and Downtime – If your program has never gone down for lack of payments, down time with your site, broken links, etc… this is a huge selling point.  If you do have a record of downtime or not paying partners, be ready to give a real and honest reason to help get your new partner to trust you and trust your program.
  • Multiple Networks vs. Singular Networks – If you are on multiple networks, many smart partners will avoid you unless you have an good reason why.  If your reason is something like we want access to as many Affiliates as possible, you have now shown you know nothing about this industry and cannot manage a program.  It is your job as a manager to recruit partners and get them to join the network you are on.
  • In house private program – If you have a private in house program, be ready to offer great deals to partners.  Some of your partners who would enjoy this and have been around for a long time may ask about what adware you are testing for, payment information, secondary tracking and how they can see their stats as well as what tools they will have access to.  Be ready to answer these because this could give you priority for them joining, or chase them away.
  • Payment thresholds and minimums – Know what your network or in house payment thresholds are and what the minimum to get paid is.  This is one of the most basic things, but something you need to know and can easily tie into your pitch.  It is especially important for new Affiliates who aren’t familiar with each network or the industry.

By combining these into your own companies pitch you can help to have stats and figures that might be important to this large group of Affiliate partners.  Now how do you turn these into something you can use and develop your pitch?

How to develop a pitch to recruit Affiliates

When you are ready to develop a pitch to recruit Affiliates, it is important to think about a few things.  What makes your store unique, what makes your products or offers unique and how is your site designed to stop leaks, increase conversions and how is your program protecting their sites from theft through other partners that bid on your trademarks, use toolbars or adware and from sites that rank for your url + coupons, etc…  You’ll also want to have a background of your company, how long you’ve been around and if you have solid funding.  If an Affiliate adds you to their site and you are new and go under, it is a ton of work to replace you and remove you.  If you are an established store there is a better chance you will be around in the long run, in theory.  If you’re a newer store, but have solid backing and funding, you could have their confidence by letting them know about it and get them to join your program.  Here is how you may want to start to develop a pitch to recruit Affiliates at Affiliate Summit or in General.

 

  1. Ask about their site and their niche.  Now you know what to talk about and how to pitch them.
  2. Give an over view and history of your company.
  3. Talk about ideas on how you can fit into their sites or niche, be very specific, detailed and creative.
  4. Talk about your payouts and the way you will protect their sales.
  5. Make sure they have your information written down, you hand them something memorable and you get their real contact information for a followup.
  6. Ask when you should follow up after the show and what their preferred follow up method is.

Now you have learned how to create a pitch to recruit Affiliates at trade shows and in general.  The other things you want to remember are to make sure you are polite, quick and always make your pitch about them and how your products or services will benefit their readers so they will want to shop through your links.  That is probably the most important thing when you are trying to figure out how to create a pitch to recruit Affiliates at tradeshows like Affiliate Summit.

Recruiting Affiliates is the only definite way to grow an affiliate program.  If you aren’t out there doing it or your manager or outsourced management company has a hands off approach, isn’t showing you a list of sites they reached out to each week or doing any recruitment, you may want to look for someone else.  Learning how to recruit Affiliates at tradeshows and on search engines is vital and something you can hire my company to teach you with our Affiliate Management Training.  You also need to learn how to develop a pitch to recruit Affiliates at tradeshows as well as in general.  By using the information above you should be able to begin to learn how to talk to and pitch Affiliates to have a better chance at getting them to join your program at shows like Affiliate Summit, Pubcon and other shows.

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