What Advertisers and Affiliate Networks Expect from Affiliates
Demonstrating Potential of Long-term Relationship
As an instructor of an affiliate marketing course for advertisers, it was interesting to put on my thinking cap and look at the topic from another perspective.
Why is this an important topic? You may have experienced rejection by an affiliate network. They have their reasons. Bad actors violate network agreements to defraud advertisers. This history puts a pall on procedures to approve applications to affiliate networks and advertise programs.
Here are four tips to help you gain acceptance from these programs:
- Establish Your Credibility
- Demonstrate Your Experience
- Present Your Interest
- Develop Relationships
1.Establish Your Credibility
When reviewing your application, affiliate networks and advertisers want to see a professional affiliate. Use your own domain and a domain email address and you’ll start to look like an attractive prospect. Fill out applications completely and make sure your identification documents match up. For instance, don’t use a relative’s bank statement. While the address may match yours, the mismatched names will send up a red flag.
Create a website, social media accounts and other web presence that look professional with obvious placements for ads. Build out your About and Contact pages with your experience and policies for privacy that show how well you treat your web visitors. Post a media page and/or downloadable media kit that includes interviews you have done, press you have received and statistics about your email subscribers, web traffic and social following. Describe where and how you promote advertised products. Offer a sample of your newsletter, attachment, or link.
2.Demonstrate Your Experience
Before you apply for CJ Affiliate, one of the biggest affiliate networks, prove yourself with one or more individual advertisers or a network like Mobidea, which says they approve all applications. The caveat is that with your first commissions, Mobidea will ask for identification documents. Once you have earned commissions, you’ll have earnings reports you can share as proof with larger networks.
It’s important to have an audience that will buy what you promote. Once you are accepted by CJ Affiliate, you’ll have six months to complete a sale or face account deactivation.
With any advertiser or affiliate program, expect monitoring. Read and don’t disobey Terms & Conditions of affiliate networks and advertiser programs. Take these seriously; doing otherwise could get you kicked out of programs.
3.Present Your Interest
Make it clear what niche you serve with your content throughout your web presence. Describe the different opportunities you offer: emailing, display, textlinks, podcast, YouTube channel and sites where you post reviews and articles.
Introduce yourself or re-introduce yourself to your affiliate network team members. Do a web call on Zoom or Skype. Above all, be responsive to emails and calls from the team. If you can, attend a conference in person or virtually to meet them in person.
When you get listed on a leaderboard, a list of an advertiser’s top-performing affiliates, save and share it with prospective networks and advertisers. Collect testimonials from advertisers and affiliate team members and create case studies.
Eventually, when you build your audience and your reputation, you may well have advertisers come to you, offering sponsorships.
I tell all my students that their companies, considered merchants by the affiliate networks, should also sign up as affiliates, either personally or as their company. There are a lot of advantages to what you can learn.
I would flip the advice for affiliates: create your own affiliate program when you create products. What you may glean could be invaluable, as well as profitable.
[bctt tweet="At the end of the day, affiliate networks and advertisers want affiliates to be successful. When affiliates are making money, so are networks and merchants." username="JanCarozza"]
Here’s to your affiliate success!
A 40-year marketing veteran, is the author of “Rockin’ ROI: How to Bootstrap Ecommerce with Performance-based Marketing” and instructor of “How to Add Pay-for-Performance Affiliate Marketing to Your Mix,” part of a Digital Marketing certification program. Find her at jancarroza.bio.link.
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Thank you @Judy Rodman and @Elizabeth Herbert Cottrell. Yes, all the original basics of marketing still hold true – what is old is new again. Thank you @Luc Dermul for the opportunity to share my thoughts on the topic.
I’ve never read anything before about what is expected of affiliates… but of course! This is brilliant. It reminds me of a deep truth about good networking… to ask myself what’s in it for them before I ask them for something.
It’s fascinating to me that the more I learn about online business and digital technology, the more I am convinced that ultimately success depends on some of the basic, foundational principles that have always been the key to sales success: building trust and credibility, providing value, rinse and repeat. Thank you for this very helpful and implementable article.