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Getting small affiliates under your wing is doable when you know the right strategies. We’ve got five for you today, and we’re going through each of them to help guide you to affiliate recruitment success.

If you feel that you’re ready to try out a new marketing strategy, it’s time to consider affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing places your products constantly within a tap or click on your customers’ browsers, and is a great way to increase conversions. Many emerging brands are eager to take advantage of this, but a bit unsure of how they can recruit and engage with smaller affiliates. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

How to Recruit Small Affiliates

Step 1: Identify what sort of people your affiliate base is made up of. Which of them drives the largest amount of revenue? Which has the best odds on reliable new customer acquisition? When you understand your affiliate base, you’ll know what to prioritize in terms of recruitment strategies. Tools like Nerdydata are great for identifying affiliates and influencers. You might also want to consider a two-tier affiliate program, where you give your affiliates rewards for recruiting affiliates. There are a number of affiliate program directories online that prospective affiliates—getting yourself added to them can help people find you.

Step 2: Determine the seasonality of your affiliate strategy. For example, if you know that the back-to-school season is going to help your business a lot, then you should go look for the relevant content affiliates that will drive you the traffic and business three months before that season begins. This is done to give them enough time to develop and polish the content and the brand campaign.

Step 3: Craft a six-month strategy for identifying and recruiting small affiliates as well as launching promotions. By this time, you know who to tap and when to get them onboard. What’s next is to craft your six-month-long strategy for your recruitment efforts. For example, since August is selling season for you (back-to-school), make a plan to seek out content affiliates that have good relevance on the same back-to-school period in May. In the same way, if sales—as well as traffic stemming from current coupons and other deals—spikes in November, then September or October will be a good time to begin your recruitment. Target your recruiting promotions to include financial incentives like commission bumps when they first start out, then offer bonuses for first or second sales. For bloggers, you should provide actual items that will be used in a giveaway for their readers.

Step 4: Recognize Specific Targets as Affiliates. Which websites or even small affiliates fall within your existing monthly targets? You can use tools to find out – tools that scan sites for specific keywords, or for links that point to specific sites. Look for emerging bloggers, check out their social media (Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram) and see if there’s a growing and active following that you expect to increase in the weeks or months to come.

Step 5: Execute your plan and evaluate it soon after. Send your prospective affiliate a letter detailing why you want to work with them, what value your brand gives to them and their audience, and the necessary details that outline the terms of the partnership. Make it worth their while, but be clear about your expectations, too, about the quality of their output and the targets you are aiming for. When the program starts, run performance reports to ensure that you stay within or exceed your targets. Track the sales and traffic coming in from these new affiliates, and develop new incentives or offers to maintain the relationship.

These steps to recruit small affiliates should help you find, recruit, and build good partnerships with your new affiliates. If you want to get a little more specialized in your affiliate marketing efforts, read our guide to affiliate marketing through WordPress, and how to master affiliate variables in LimeLight CRM.