Step 3: Newsletters, Discussion Groups, Mailing Lists, and Other Promotional Strategies
Directories aren't the only way to get the word out about your program. Another strategy for locating potential candidates is using discussion groups, e-zines (electronic magazines), and email discussion lists.
Hundreds of thousands of people read newsgroups on a daily basis, and tens of thousands of people participate in them daily. The best newsgroups where affiliates hang out are the following:
Many of the affiliate program directories have their own message boards with varying levels of activity. Visit http://www.affiliatemanager.net/boards.htm for a list of the affiliate program directory message boards.
You can use the same approach with e-zines and email discussion lists. Discussion lists are groups of people who discuss a common topic by sending email to the list that is then sent to all others on the list. Search for e-zines and discussion lists that cover affiliate programs at List-Universe.
Affiliate newsletters are another good source for promoting your program. AssociatePrograms.com has a very good newsletter that goes out to affiliates; a positive mention there will help you recruit affiliates. CashPile offers a newsletter, including an HTML version. Visit http://www.affiliatemanager.net/newsletters.htm for a list of affiliate newsletters.
Another useful, yet underused technique for recruiting affiliates is to trade for them. It works like this. Find another merchant with a non-competitive product or service to sell and throw in a short endorsement for his or her program in your newsletter to your affiliates. The other merchant does the same. This is a free and effective way to grab some quality affiliates. The affiliates acquired through newsletter plugs are likely to be active, because they made the effort to read an affiliate newsletter. Another co-marketing idea is to trade affiliate lists. Send an email blast to your respective affiliates with a message dedicated to promoting another merchant's program.