One of the most vital components to growing a new affiliate program is recruitment. Identical to an outreach campaign, the process involves finding and inviting bloggers to promote your products in exchange for commission if they make sales or send leads.
I personally love recruitment because it's very rewarding, nothing beats the feeling of finding win/win minded people who are excited to join your affiliate program and promote your brand. I secretly do a happy dance when someone I've personally recruited starts sending sales – obviously the company with the affiliate program is happy but as an affiliate and business owner myself, I love seeing people profit from affiliate marketing first hand.
But without the right tools in place, two areas of recruitment that can be really slow are list building and emailing. Imagine spending hours hopping around from blog to top ten list to Twitter and ending up with a whopping 25 people – who you haven't even contacted yet. That was me the first time I tried to build an affiliate list.
Since I share affiliate marketing strategies with awesome people like you, naturally my content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I'll earn some coffee money ☕️ which I promise to drink while creating more helpful content like this.Affiliate Disclosure</ br>
Thankfully my impatient attitude led me to research and test many tools over the years. One that I've really come to rely on lets me build affiliate lists AND email people super fast – it's called Ninja Outreach. After using it for over a month, I'm able to find and email 25 people in under 30 minutes – much less than those painful 3-5 hours I spent back in those early recruitment days.
What Ninja Outreach Can Do
This dynamic software can do a lot more than affiliate recruitment. For example, you can also:
- Find Journalists To Write About Your Business
- Find Retail Stores To Pitch Your Products To
- Get Product Reviews, Guest Posts, And Mentions
- Find Guests For Your Podcast Or Interview Series
- Get Featured On Interviews And Podcasts
- Find The Most Shared/Linked To Content For A Topic
- Promote Your Content or Crowdfunding Campaign
- Find Someone’s Email Address or Collect Contact Info from Google
- Find Bloggers In Other Countries
Pricing starts at $29 per month but you can start with their 14 day unlimited free trial. Honestly, any type of business could benefit from outreach but it's especially essential for a product business.
How I'm Using Ninja Outreach
Right now, I mainly use Ninja Outreach to do bulk outreach (available on the Small Agency plan). Each week, I email 300 potential affiliates for a client, so with the “Auto Sending” feature, I'm able to send out 100 individual-looking emails per day (spaced every 3 minutes).
Every other tool I tested before finding Ninja Outreach made me put a little footer message on emails (because of CAN-SPAM) which made it really obvious I wasn't sending them a personalized email. Luckily Ninja Outreach doesn't make you do this (though you can enable that setting) and for affiliate recruitment, I don't feel it's necessary.
Don't get me wrong, I believe in CAN SPAM and my own newsletter is compliant, but here's the thing: if I find a blogger who welcomes pitches by email, then I'm not spamming them if I invite them to join an affiliate program. Emailing them one by one vs. in bulk doesn't change a thing, and if they aren't interested, I would never email them again.
How To Find + Recruit Affiliates Using Ninja Outreach
Unless you have a huge affiliate program, you really don't need to send recruitment emails in bulk the way I do. Instead, I recommend using Ninja Outreach to find + email 25 potential affiliates each week. The entire process should take an hour max. You could even approach affiliate recruitment like social media and spend 10-15 minutes a day vs. a full hour once a week.
To make things easy, I created a short tutorial video showing you the exact process. Below the video, I've whipped up a quick written tutorial for non-video peeps that includes the exact email template I used for the recruitment demo. Feel free to swipe this template and make it your own. Freebie Alert: click here to get 3 additional bonus scripts!
Video Tutorial: Find and Recruit Affiliates Fast with Ninja Outreach
*As mentioned in the video, you need to connect your email account to Ninja Outreach first before you can email affiliates. Here's exactly how to do that.
Step 1: Click on the List icon and create a new list called Affiliate Outreach
Step 2: Click on the Search icon and enter the type of blogger you're looking to reach.
For example, if you sell Baby products, you might enter Mommy Blogger. If you sell clothing, Fashion Blogger, or if you sell WordPress themes, maybe Design or Business Blogger. You don't need to limit yourself to a type of blogger either – you could enter the type of product you sell as well, such as “Baby Onesie” to find sites that blog about similar products.
Last search tip: there are filters you can use to find higher quality prospects (ones with names, or high domain authority sites, or high Twitter followings) so play around and get comfortable with your options.
Step 3: Add some prospects (bloggers, websites etc.) to your Affiliate Outreach list using the blue + icon underneath their photo. You can add as many as you like, but feel free to stop at 25 to begin emailing.
Step 4: Click on the template icon and add a new template to be used for outreach. You can drag and drop dynamic variables into your template to ensure it looks personalized.
Also, remember when you link to your affiliate program signup page (or include other links), make sure it has // at the beginning or some email providers will give an error when users click it.
Here's the exact template I used (click the image below to get 3 bonus scripts as well!):
Hi [First Name],
My name is Karen and I'm the creator of BabyBam, a line of musical themed baby tees and onesies – popular among moms worldwide.
I came across your blog and really love the care you put into showing moms where to find the coolest products for their little ones. Since we serve a similar audience, would you be open to partnering with BabyBam as an affiliate?
Our program pays 25% on all sales and we run regular contests as well. You can learn more and sign up here:
Once I see your application come through, I’ll approve you right away. If you have any questions, I’m here to help so please let me know.
Step 5: Before you start emailing, ensure your email account is connected to Ninja Outreach (here's exactly how to do that). Then, click on the Outreach icon and load your Affiliate Outreach list. On the right hand side, load the template you'd like to use and the from email address.
What will happen is when you click on someone in your list, it will automatically populate the email address and most times, the first name as well. To ensure you only add people to your list with first names, make sure you check that box off in search filters at step 2.
Now all you need to do is click the green “Send Email” button and you've just sent your first affiliate recruitment email! To complete the list, just click on the rest of the names and the template will automatically change the name/email to the next person – making the entire process super fast.
Remember, affiliate recruitment doesn't have to be a time-consuming nightmare. With tools like Ninja Outreach, you can automate the process and spend less than a hour each week bringing high quality affiliates into your affiliate program.
How often do you recruit new affiliates and do you use any tools? I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below