Last year I was invited to speak on a panel at AvantExpo regarding the topic of affiliate recruitment. This is the process by which you find websites to partner with through an affiliate program. Recruitment can be a tedious process that requires ample research, crafting a unique message, and delivering it to the appropriate person at the right time. Response rates are typically low, offering little satisfaction for the work put in.
I spoke of techniques, resources, tool and how to craft the right message. At the end, there was an open-discussion allowing audience members the opportunity to ask questions. I can’t recall the exact question, but it was something like “what kind of websites should I be targeting?” At Clique, we specialize in influencer marketing, so I went into my spiel on partnering with endemic websites. A fellow panel member followed up by saying “don’t be afraid to GO BIG.” My immediate thought was, that’s easy for you to say, you work for a very well-known retailer that carries major clout. We work with small and mid-level brands that aren’t as recognizable.
Six months passed, and I’d given little thought to the “GO BIG” comment. This week while working on recruitment, the idea of “GO BIG” re-entered my mind. With a little extra time on my hands, I decided to give it a shot. I found several major publications that aligned perfectly with our brands and began the tedious process. Despite having little confidence, I felt excited by the slight chance of a response. It’s that feeling you get when purchasing a $100M Powerball ticket.
Two hours later, I got my first response: “we’ll pass your request along to the person responsible for affiliate marketing.” This basically means get-lost. Just minutes later, I received another response and they want to know how to sign up. The following morning, I receive another positive response. I’ve since doubled-down on recruitment of major websites and have seen very positive results.
While I have no idea how these partnerships will pan-out, I found myself wondering – why are publications suddenly interested in affiliate marketing? Affiliate has always taken a back-seat to other digital channels. But to me, the answer is simple. Publications that for years have relied on print dollars and display advertising (CPM buys), are now finding out the monetization of their online content is not only lucrative, but adds a completely new revenue stream they’ve previously overlooked.
This experience has opened my eyes to major opportunities within the affiliate channel, don’t be afraid to GO BIG.
At Clique, we’re a small agency that (now) thinks BIG.