How To Recruit Affiliates With The Affiliate Directories
by Neil Durrant
There are many affiliate directories providing searchable databases to help webmasters find affiliate programs suitable for their sites. Think of them as the Yahoo's for the affiliate world.
All of these directories will consider your affiliate program for a free listing in their database. If a directory editor chooses to highlight your program as a recommendation in their newsletter then you will benefit from even more great publicity!
With almost 40 such directories ensuring you are listed on as many of these directories as possible is an important task.
As affiliate programs rise in popularity they are becoming increasingly selective as to which programs qualify for a listing making it important that you submit and present your program in the correct manner.
How To Get Listed
Each directory will have their own submission policies but in general they will not accept:
1) Adult content related sites
Most won't accept submissions from affiliates themselves; submission needs to come from the program owner.
It's also worth noting that a lower priority is often placed on most pay-per-click programs. Some will still accept your listing but be prepared for a higher rejection rate than for a pay-per-lead or sale program.
In almost every case your submission will be reviewed by the directories editors before inclusion in the directory. Also bear in mind that they are very busy and if you have evaded the submission policies the chances are your request will just hit the recycle bin!
6 Tips To Increase Your Chances Of A Listing
1. Make sure your programs ready!
Is the affiliate sign-up form up and operational, is your tracking system actually logging click thru's and sales. Make sure there is no 'little red crosses' where logos and banners should be and spell check your pages.
2. Create an "Affiliate Information Page".
Both directories and potential affiliates need to be able to access pages detailing your program. If you're using one of the affiliate networks it's generally not enough to just supply the directories with your co-branded sign-up page at the network.
Create your own affiliate information page and include the following:
1) A description of your product/service
3. Do Your Homework.
Review a few of the directories before you start. Get a feel for how they list programs.
All provide a "drill down" category selection and some also offer a keyword search.
Look at the category choices to find the most suitable to submit your program to. Try to search as an affiliate might. Some headings can have more than one meaning. For example lets say your a retail outlet you might think the heading of e-commerce is appropriate but if you look at the other programs listed you'll discover most are actually offering services to enable e-commerce, maybe you ought to have opted for Shopping instead?
Perhaps you sell household goods and think 'Hardware' is a good choice but then you might look like a computer hardware seller and would be better off in Homes & Gardens!
Finally, I suggest avoiding the 2-tier category if you're only allowed one category choice. If you have gardening products with a 2-tier commission structure wouldn't good affiliates who know they attract gardeners want to know you meet their sites visitors needs before worrying about your pay plan?
4. Prepare Your Submission Data.
Next, plan out the data you want to submit.
I suggest when you're asked for your URL and if you're only given the option to provide one address, submit that of your affiliate information page.
Write your "program description". Often you are limited to just 255 words so you need to get your message across fast.
Mention your product/service and also work in commission rates payable and any special features of your program.
DON'T SHOUT it all out in caps. Go easy on the exclamation marks and hype. Promise untold riches for no work in just 7 days and your listing is heading for that recycle bin again :)
You will also need a list of keywords or key phrases, comma separated. Choose phrases affiliates might use to search out your product/service types or program features.
5. Don't Play Tricks.
An editor reviews all submissions. Try to bend the rules and chances are you will waste both your time and that of the directory editor.
You could try naming your program aaaaaaa1computers to try to get to the top of the categories alphabetical listings but more likely you will end up no where!
You could try subtle keyword loading with your program title and description but personally I very much doubt you will attract much more exposure through this. This isn't like search engine submissions influencing automated spiders, rather spend your efforts creating a great program the directories will love and promote for you!
6. Submit Your Data.
With all your data prepared your ready to start submitting.
You need to track down each affiliate directory, double check their submission policy and find their "add URL" or submission form. When completing the forms you will find it easier to have your prepared data open in a separate notepad window to cut 'n' paste.
Alternatively instead of spending the next day or two tracking down the directories and form filling you could fill out a single form at the Affiliate Announce service. For a small fee we will ensure all your directory submissions are completed promptly and professionally while you concentrate on looking after your affiliates and building your business!
Neil Durrant is the founder of Affiliate Announcement, the original affiliate directory submission service. You can download his free e-book "Creating and Managing a Profitable Affiliate Program" from the site.
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