biz ladiesLife & Business

Biz Ladies: Five Steps to Get Affiliates for your Product Launch

by Stephanie

Today’s Biz Ladies post comes to us from Andreea Ayers of LaunchGrowJoy.com, the online destination for educating yourself effective business practices. First starting off in the retail industry, Andreea eventually segued her career into the business education realm, offering other eager entrepreneurs some helpful tips and tricks she learned along her own career path. Today she is sharing a few of those tips with us on how to get affiliates interested in your product launch.  Thanks Andreea for this insightful post! —Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump…

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The lead up to launching your product is a very exciting time. While you’re dreaming about the customers you’ll have once your product is public, you also need to tell the world your product is coming. There are many ways to promote your product launch, but one of the most effective is working with affiliates.

Affiliates promote your product to potential customers in exchange for a commission on each sale they bring you.

Most affiliates are bloggers with large followings and high readership, but they can also be social media personalities, YouTube video producers or podcasters. Anyone with an online audience can be an affiliate for your new product.

Here’s how it works: The affiliate places an ad or mentions your product on their site, in their newsletter or to their social media followers and each time someone clicks the ad or link (coded to mark it as originating from that affiliate) and purchases the product the affiliate receives commission on that sale.

When I launched Product Marketing Breakthrough, an online marketing course for entrepreneurs with a product line, one of my main strategies was to work with affiliates to not only increase my sales, but to also grow my list. I was able to recruit over 100 affiliates in a relatively short time and I’d love to share those tips with you.

If you’re looking to attract more affiliates for your next product launch, here are five steps follow:

1. Make a list of your dream affiliates. Start your list by asking yourself who are your favorite bloggers, podcasters and social media personalities, and do any of them fit into your product niche? For example, if your product is for new mothers, your favorite golf blog won’t offer the best audience, but a popular mom blog you read will.

Other places to find potential affiliates include using a Google search, asking your customers who they follow online and what relevant site they read or by being an active member of an online networking or entrepreneur organization. You can also look at other entrepreneurs who are doing similar things to you and see who their affiliates are.

2. Read your dream affiliates’ blogs and get to know them. Read through a few weeks of old posts and keep current by reading daily. Comment on posts you like and encourage interaction by asking questions or posting comments to encourage a response. This puts you on the affiliate network as someone who is interested in what they have to offer.

Below you’ll see an example of a comment that Tracy Matthews of Flourish & Thrive Academy posted on one of my blog posts to get on my radar. We ended up being an affiliate for each other’s programs and we continue to work together every time one of us launches a new program.

3. Follow potential affiliates on social media and start interacting with them. Social media is a great way to interact with your dream affiliates because you can show them you support their efforts by sharing their content. Don’t just re-tweet and share their content, but also interact with them by complimenting them on a recent press mention or a great article. You can also share your own interesting content and online finds that appeal to their niche.

4. Once you’ve established a connection, it’s time to officially introduce yourself. Remember, the most prolific bloggers write for a living, meaning they’re busy people who are often inundated with emails.

Make your email stand out by crafting a catchy subject line and keep it brief. Introduce and explain how you can work together so everyone benefits. This might be by reviewing their blog on your own blog, by placing an ad for their blog or information product on your website or by helping them in some other way.

When you ask them to be an affiliate for your product launch describe past success you’ve had with click through advertising, your conversion rate and other metrics that highlight likelihood that they’ll benefit from being part of your affiliate network.

And don’t forget to set up a special “affiliate center” on your website where you explain everything they need to know about working with you and promoting your product.  Below you’ll see a screenshot of the affiliate center that I set up at Launch Grow Joy. This explains what the program is, when and how much affiliates will get paid and the benefits for becoming an affiliate. You’ll also notice that I added a video – this is a great way to really connect with potential affiliates so they can get to know you better and hopefully sign on as an affiliate.

5. Incentivize being an affiliate: Every new product out there is looking for affiliates, so you need to make working with you highly attractive through commissions and prizes.

A commission is the percentage of every sale the affiliate receives. For example, when a customer visits your site via your affiliate’s link and spends $100, if your affiliate commission is 25%, the affiliate earns $25. Those just starting out will need to offer a great commission to hook your first affiliates, at least 25%, but if you really want to recruit a lot of affiliates, 50% is the standard.

A great example of this is Marie Forleo’s B-school – she offers a commission of 50% for a $2,000 program, so her affiliates make $1,000 for each new member they refer. On top of that, Marie also offers prizes to the affiliates who bring in the most sales and leads within a certain time period.

If you’ll be offering a prize, make sure it appeals to all of your affiliates and is attractive enough to encourage them to direct their readers to you.

By working with affiliates you can reach an entirely new audience with your product and build on it for years to come. As you become more experienced in affiliate marketing you can use your early successes to grow your network and work with even larger online personalities.

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  • Forgive me, but a 25-50% commission?! Did I read that right? I spend the time to be something of a sycophant to get the attention of an affiliate, then I give the HALF of the money from my hard work just for the privilege of being connected with them because they are popular? Is this advice for people who are seriously in business to make actual money?

    Surely, there has to be a better way….

    • candace

      they’re bringing paying companies to you- that’s a pretty standard commission rate for any ad or affiliate network. maybe that will change down the road, but i’ve never seen a network that didn’t charge 50%.


  • Wonderful information Andreea. I always wondered how affiliate marketing worked and now I’m seeing its so easy. I used to think you had to be a major company to get attention from…a major company, but if you have a great product that appeals to the right market, seems like affiliate marketing could be for anyone.

  • I’ve been thinking about affiliate marketing for a while, but was unsure how to approach bloggers. This info is an easy step by step guide – thank you!!

  • Your mention of Marie Forleo’s B-school really resonated with me, because I had several bloggers/health guru’s I follow REALLY pushing her program. Now I understand why. They made lots of money by sending people to her. I suppose as a Blogger you have to be extremely ethically conscious, and be clear that you are recommending something based on its merit and not because of how much money you will bring in. How do you keep yourself from crossing that line?

    Grace I’d love your thoughts on this if you have time to respond.

    Thanks! This has given me lots to think about…

  • Thank you for the tips Andreea, I had no idea how the affiliate relationship worked.. until now =)

  • I didn’t know how this worked or even thought it was an option. I am at that point of starting with marketing my products an starting with sales and it is so hard to know where to begin…..This is definately something to explore. Thankyou!

  • This is great info as I have just launched! A question—when I see adds listed on a blog site, are they what you consider affiliates, or is the affiliate a separate relationship that involves more personal endorsement from the blogger than an advertiser? I have been approaching bloggers to introduce my business and asking them to feature me, offering a discount to readers….is it naive/unrealistic to think they would pick me up without a commission?

    Thank you, this is SO helpful! I love the Buz Ladies!

  • I have the same question as Holly, what is the difference between paying for ads on a blog and the affiliate relationship? Is the affiliate really more “PR”? BTW, Holly, your products are adorable!

  • I’ve never heard of this type of marketing so thank you for the article and all this great information. Does the blogger let the public know that they are an affiliate for this person’s work ?

  • Hi Andrea,

    Do you have any recommendations for the best affiliate software that can be managed online versus a dedicated server that I would have to download software?

  • Hi Andrea, thanks so much for this article! I am launching my program, but because of the price point (697$ originally and a promotional price of 495$) I am offering 100$ for each referral that signs up. I would pursue bloggers in the way you mentioned, but I fell that they may see this as too low of a commission rate. Do you have any advice for someone like me: launching a mid-tier product, but still want to work with affiliates to get the word out there? Here is a link to the program that I am talking about just in case you want to take a look for a bit of background info: http://dinamikaela.com/services/body-by-design/

  • I know the potential affiliates who can help me in promoting my ebook, but I never thought the way you described in this article.

    Thanks for the help !

  • Hi there, I just discovered this great blog and post. My main issues with trying to get partners on with my launch is that the ‘relationship’ needs to built way before you ask for something. l launch in 5 weeks and feel a little slimy reaching out to people at this point. Is there a way to fastrack this relationship building process in a none sucky way?

  • A follow-up question: does anyone have a robust solution for managing tiered payouts to BOTH individual referral sources and affiliate marketing partners? Would greatly appreciate being pointed in the right direction!

  • Do you have any different advice for people selling physical products vs. digital info? I’m curious because 50% is really high for a physical product referral. Most people selling their physical products wholesale use a 2key markup system and have a large minimum order. This would mean it doesn’t make sense for someone selling physical goods to start an affiliate program, because it would essentially mean giving a wholesale-buyer’s price to what is basically a consignment deal. I’m not meaning to argue, I’m just curious if you have any specific knowledge about physical goods vs. digital :)

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