Networks: Here’s How to Get More Business From Your Affiliates

Every network has a theory on how to get more business from affiliates.

I am convinced that most are wasting valuable time and money with strategies that are completely tits-up.

I have my own theory, one that I know to get more of my business. It is based around avoiding several pet peeves that I’ve highlighted below.

Please discuss this perspective at your next staff meeting so we can all start making more money.

1. If an offer requires approval, provide it quickly (where possible).

Like many affiliates, I am not particularly patient.

If two networks have the same offer, and I apply to run it on both, guess which network is going to get my business? 9 times out of 10, the one that approves me first.

There are situations where a delay is understandable:

If a merchant demands careful vetting of publishers’ advertising methods, then it is damn near unavoidable.

But what I can’t fathom is how the majority of requests, put bluntly as in the following example, can still take over 24 hours to approve:

Banner display

Approved, nearly 48 hours later.

To highlight the lunacy of this ‘barrier to entry’, here are three additional requests I sent last week:

Shouting from rooftops

Extended family

Registration URL on my balls

How many of these dubious requests do you think were accepted?

Answer: All of them, over 24 hours later.

Well, what was the bloody point in that then?

I have nothing against careful vetting of who does and doesn’t get accepted to promote an offer. Sensible business. But if you’re going to force publishers to apply for offers and then accept the requests as a matter of routine, do it quickly. Or lose the business.

2. Weekly EPC reports. I want them.

There are networks with gigantic lists of inactive affiliates.

How do you get that traffic back?

There’s one outreach method that remains vastly underrated by pretty much every network that I work with, and that is the weekly EPC report.

Networks that keep me in the loop about their best performing offers get more of my business.

Guys, I would pay you to keep your stats up to date. It saves me money in the time that I don’t waste chasing them.

Here’s a little perspective:

On Monday morning, every Monday morning, I search my Gmail for the terms ‘weekly EPC’ and ‘top performing offer’. The networks that have contacted me with this information are instantly filtered from the rest of the chaff. They are brought to my immediate attention.

I’m probably running one of their offers by the end of the morning.

What excuse do you have for not telling your affiliates which offers they should be promoting?

3. Resist the industry marketing jargon.

We work in advertising.

Correct?

It’s amazing how many networks promote their features rather than their benefits.

  • High payouts are not a benefit. They are an expected feature of a good network.
  • Weekly payouts are not a benefit. They are a necessity.
  • Access to thousands of offers? That’s not a benefit. That’s a pain in the arse. CPA affiliates do not promote ‘thousands of offers’.

The language networks use to attract affiliates is littered with features, not benefits. And that’s why your marketing is so ineffective.

If you really want to get our business, here are some pointers.

1. There is no such thing as ‘unrivaled’ in the network space. No matter how good you are, we will always do business with your rivals. Positioning your brand as ‘the only option’ hurts your likeability, which as I’m about to explain, is a major unspoken benefit.

2. We are banner blind to the ‘best payouts’. If you are going to promote a real benefit, tell us what is new, exclusive, and unsaturated. Where these offers are concerned, the payout takes care of itself.

3. Make us like you.

Given the enormous competition, and how relatively little there is to distinguish you by, a simple way to get more business is to make us like you more than we like your rivals.

We are fickle, yes, but this applies to just about any industry.

The more we like you, the more we want to work with you.

How do you make us like you?

Engage in the affiliate community. Learn the language spoken by your publishers. Appeal to it. Hold your own meetups. Use Facebook and Twitter to create dossiers on your affiliates. Use what you learn to engage them before you pitch them. Use it to make outreach more personal. Assign your most amicable (and knowledgable) staff to trawl the forums offering insight and perspective; don’t wait for a negative thread with your name on it. Resist slagging wars with other networks. Never call yourself the ‘best’ network, or the ‘most exclusive’ network. Act like one. We will always be the judge.

In short…

Most networks rely on a theory that the best payouts, best terms and widest array of offers will be enough to seduce an affiliate.

From my perspective, what we are actually looking for is responsiveness, honesty and likeability.

Providing your features are ‘on par’ with other networks, it is these benefits that will get you ahead.

Recommended This Week

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About the author

Finch
Finch

A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.

10 Comments

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  • I can’t stand the offer approval. Like you are saying it’s a stupid step that anyone can lie about and really serves such an incredibly small benefit of being a paper trail. A lot of times I will just change my campaign if the offer I was planning on trying required approval.

  • Good read, being responsive is important indeed. Taking care of your valuable webmasters is essential for any cpa network.

  • Question…I have had a couple new offers in the past month. Given I have no stats (or limited stats from our internal tests) it has been a struggle to get Pubs to take them on…any suggestions? Thanks a million for the article!

  • That’s when you shoot me an email telling me how no one is running the offer (and as such I have no competition).

  • 100x I’ve been interested in an offer, see it requires approval, and say “eh screw it” and figure out something else to run.

    Why not just let people into your network who you trust to begin with rather than this secondary or tertiary screening BS?

  • Completely agree with everything here!

    I really don’t get why some networks make it so difficult to get the latest network EPCs and top performing offers. A weekly email makes everything much easier, especially on networks with thousands of offers, and I’m always more likely to promote an offer that’s already doing well.

    And the approval system on some networks is just….pointless. I get it with offers that need creative approval, but If you’re a proven affiliate with a history with the network, you shouldn’t have to apply for EVERY offer.

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