The First 100 Affiliate Applications are Crap

Greg HoffmanFrom ApogeeLeave a Comment

New merchants are shocked when they launch an affiliate program on their own and watch as applications begin rolling in. The first impression of affiliate marketing from these applications is a huge turn off for business owners hoping to work with major media publications and influencers with millions of followers. These applications were not what they were expecting.

The quality of the applications, in my opinion, is very low and they are not the type of partners we work with in professionally managed affiliate programs. Maybe it’s not exactly the first 100 but I’d say 75/100 at least.

The best partners who will bring you new customers over the next 3-5 years need invitations. You can spend months trying to figure out who they are, but Apogee already has that list ready for recruitment in new programs.

I can think of 10 of the top corporate affiliates (coupons, loyalty, shopping cart abandonment) that never apply to new programs. These affiliates are helping drive about 30% of all affiliate traffic to our clients. Our top 10 corporate affiliates drive more clicks and have higher order amounts than the first 100 applications combined.

Your program needs to be at least 3-6 months old for relevant content partners to consider joining and getting active. And you need to have positive statistics to convince them. If your network stats are all 0’s, they will continue to ignore your program. Some smart affiliate partners will hold off on joining until you make it past the six-to-12 month mark. They want to make sure the conversion exists, and that they aren’t going to waste their time.

Part of the Apogee proprietary strategy for launching and relaunching programs includes cleaning out the approved and declined applications. Our managers can spot the good and the bad, and reactivate ones that have the ability to drive quality traffic. If lower quality affiliates are active with sales, we replace them and see immediate increases. At that point, we make sure the infrastructure is attractive to potential partners, and we invite them to join with strong incentives to get active quickly.

If you want to read more about our philosophy of affiliate program management, read How to Increase Sales With A New Affiliate Program.

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