David Vince
David Vince 30 June 2021

Best Practice for Recruiting Non-Traditional Affiliate Partners

Many brands find that their growth from the affiliate channel has slowed or plateaued, and a small number of affiliate partners are driving the majority of their revenue. To alleviate risk, increase reach and accelerate growth, you can diversify your programme partners by working with non-traditional affiliates including, podcasters, referral programmes, technology partners and brand to brand partnerships.

When looking to recruit partners outside of traditional affiliates, a different approach is needed. Read on to find out our top tips for recruiting and activating non-traditional partners to your affiliate programme.

1: Make sure you’re a match
When thinking about diversifying your partner base, the first step is defining who you want to target and how you can reach that audience.  It’s important to think outside the box. Think about partners that have a strong synergy with your brand and its values. Perhaps they share your key target demographic or have a strong presence in a specific location, or their product or service complements your offering. The key here is ensuring the partnership will be beneficial for both yourself and the partner. 

Communicating your business goals and what you want from the partnership is also essential. If they can see you have aligned values, this will help build a successful partnership.

2: Plan how to approach partners
Take the time to research each company before approaching them about a partnership. Put yourself in their shoes and understand what value they would get from this partnership. Communicate why the partnership makes sense and the benefits for each partner.

Many of these partners will be less familiar with the affiliate model, so take the time to clearly explain the value of working on the performance model, the tracking requirements and the steps needed to activate the partnership. It can also be useful to have a programme guide to help partners get up to speed quickly. 

3: Be prepared to test
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; test different campaigns and offers with partners to see what works best. Working on the low-risk performance model will allow you to start small and scale up once you’ve found what works best.

When it comes to results, manage your company’s and your partner’s expectations. Creating sustainable and successful partnerships takes time. It’s important to take a sustainable approach, allowing you to build long term and successful partnerships. Think about your success metrics and communicate these with the partner from the start.

Download the 'Unlocking Growth through Affiliate Partnerships' guide to learn more.

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