Home > Articles > Business & Management

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Step 2: Building Your List

There are three prime ways to recruit affiliates:

  • Do it yourself.

  • Register with the affiliate directories.

  • Use the affiliate solution providers.

Before you launch your affiliate recruitment program, there are some key points to remember. When looking at building your list of affiliate candidates, focus on three types of sites:

  • Sites with their own domain name.

  • Sites with their own domain name are far preferable to free web pages, such as those provided by Yahoo! Geocities and Tripod. With the proliferation of low-cost domain registrars, a domain can be purchased for less than $20 per year. If a Webmaster isn't serious enough to have his own domain, don't count on him to produce results for your program.

  • Sites that draw high traffic.

  • If your business has an established name on the Net and you're offering a product or service that appeals to a desirable demographic, you could have a decent chance of attracting web sites with high traffic to your affiliate program. The top 500 sites are listed in Media Metrix.

  • Sites that draw consistent or targeted traffic.

  • Unlike the high-traffic site that may draw one-time visitors, some sites draw a consistent number of repeat visitors because they fill a special or targeted need for the visitor. These are good potential candidates for your network for two reasons. First, they give the affiliate web site a chance to continuously promote your offer to the same visitors and make a sale. Second, you can choose sites that can offer your product or service in context, thus making a sale more likely.

Start with a list of 100 potential sites (10 dream affiliates and 90 likely to join your program) with which you would like to form a profitable relationship. Then contact them—preferably by phone, but use email if you can't find a phone number—and create a win-win strategy with them. Rather than aiming for tens of thousands of affiliates, which may look good on paper, focus on establishing business partnerships with highly targeted, segmented sites. After all, an affiliate is not just a place to advertise your business, but a business partner.

Keep in mind that while finding affiliate partners isn't as impossible as it seems, it does require an incredible amount of work.

Finding Affiliates on Your Own

To find affiliates, start with your own site. You can promote your program to your current customer and site visitors who just may a have web site that would fit with your program. The words "Join our Affiliate Program" are being seen more and more on web sites today. At the very least, you should do the same for your company's web site. You should post your invitation to join your affiliate program on your home page and every navigational bar elsewhere on your site. This simple act alone can be a valuable medium for reaching Webmasters.

And don't stop there. Plug your program in your email signature, company newsletter, printed collateral, and even your invoices, email signature, business cards, voice mail, and your signature in online forums and discussion lists.

Your next step is to use the search engines and web directories to find potential candidates. How? By thinking like your customer. Find out where your customers like to go and you'll find your best affiliates. Here's how.

The bane of most search engines on the Net is that they return hundreds or even thousands of results that may have little to do with what you're specifically looking for. You can use this inefficiency of the search engines to find sites that would be good candidates for selling your particular product or service. Let's take searching for a Madonna CD, for example. Suppose you have an online store that sells CDs—Madonna CDs included. And suppose you wanted to recruit affiliate sites to sell your CDs. You can use the search results to target potential affiliate sites that could sell Madonna music from their site to their "Material Girl" visitors. If you enter the name of a Madonna CD in the search engines, you'll get hundreds of search results—you now have a ready-made list of affiliate site candidates.

Another trick is to use AltaVista to find targeted affiliate sites. Let's say you're selling pet supplies and are looking for sites that target pet owners. Spend some time thinking about who your competitors are in your market space. Let's say it's PETsMART.com. In the AltaVista search bar, type link:petsmart.com. You'll get a list of hundreds of sites that link to PETsMART.com. From there, you can quickly compile a list of sites to email about joining your pet supplies affiliate program.

If you're adding to your affiliate program, visit your best affiliates' sites and look at their links. Sometimes they link to other great sites that would be a perfect match for your program.

Registering with Directories

Once you've done your best to hand-pick and contact your best affiliate candidates, it's time to turn to the affiliate directories. They've already spent the time, effort, and advertising dollars to attract web sites interested in joining an affiliate program to their sites. These visitors can be yours if you list your program with these directories.

The affiliate directories are like specialized Yahoo!s. There are 20 or so main directories and as many smaller directories to register with. They consist of two types:

  • Affiliate Network Directories or Affiliate Solution Providers

  • Affiliate Marketing Directories

For a complete list of these directories, see Affiliate Manager.

Using Affiliate Solution Providers

The first type of affiliate directory is that of the affiliate network or affiliate solution provider. These networks actually administer your program and provide the tracking and reporting features you and your affiliates need. Your company pays this middleman a fee to handle the tracking, sign-up, and payments for each referral or sale of your affiliates. The advantage of contracting with one of these network directories is that they invite web sites to visit their site and view the stable of merchants with affiliate programs in their own network and allow them to join.

If you contract with one of these solution providers, they will list and even announce your program to their network of web sites. Using this shotgun approach, your company can recruit and sign up volumes of affiliates a week! The disadvantage is twofold. First you have to contract with a solution provider, and some will not let you join another solution provider's program as long as you are with theirs. This can present a problem if you want to have access to more than the potential affiliates the solution provider can offer, or if you want to run two programs side by side to see which one gives the better results, offers the better tracking and reporting program, or even which program your affiliates prefer to work with.

The shotgun approach of these solution providers also can be a disadvantage. You'll receive hundreds or even thousands of sign-ups a week. Even though some of these programs have an auto-approval feature, you do have the option of turning off that feature and personally approving each request for sign-up. But let's be realistic. If you plan to personally approve each request in order to keep your program targeted to the right affiliates from the hundreds you may receive each day, you better have the staff and resources to do it. As you can see, this could be quite time consuming.

If you use a solution provider, you have two choices. Either build your program on quantity, with most of your network performing below average, or shoot for quality and hand-pick your affiliates from the pool of candidates that the shotgun approach will produce.

With some of the affiliate solution providers, you can pay a fee to have them manually review the applications to your program. The biggest and most popular affiliate solution providers are Be Free, Commission Junction, and LinkShare.

If you decide to contract with one of these solution providers—and even if you don't—your next step is to register with the dozens of affiliate directories dedicated to affiliate marketing. Because of the popularity of affiliate marketing, new affiliate marketing directories pop up almost every day. The good news is that submitting your program is free. It costs nothing to join. But you're not automatically listed when you submit your request. The directory's editor reviews just about all the affiliate programs submitted to the directory. He or she makes the final decision on whether to list your program.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020