At first glance, taking in new affiliates might seem like an easy task. The more, the merrier, right? Well, in this case, that's never the best approach. While you might feel tempted to accept a large pool of people, not picking the right questions to ask affiliates applying to your program could cause more harm than good in the long run.
Here's why: Think of affiliates as an extension of your brand. They're there to represent you, so their values and beliefs should align with yours. The affiliate screening process will allow you to ensure the applicants you end up partnering with are valuable to your program and help you meet your goals. Having a clear idea of the kind of people you want to work with is essential — as is formulating the right questions. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. What's your website's URL?
Visiting an affiliate’s site and having a look at the content and quality of that content can help you determine if they're a good match for your brand. In other words, make sure their website is professional and has certain domain authority. Bonus points if their site ranks high in searches related to your products and services as this further shows they'd be a good fit.
2. How much traffic does your website get every month?
Before you trust an affiliate to generate traffic and sales for your brand, they should be able to prove they can produce their own first. Knowing how many visitors a potential partner has in a specific period of time can help you evaluate if they’re a good fit. There's no use in partnering with an affiliate that doesn't have a strong enough following to bring in the results you're aiming for.
3. What social media platforms are you active on?
Looking up your affiliates' social media profiles can give you a clear idea of their true following volume and whether or not they keep their audience engaged. Keep in mind that just because a profile has 40K followers doesn't necessarily mean they're all active — or even real. Look at common telltale signs that indicate they might be using unorthodox methods to grow their accounts.
Affiliate marketing is more about quality than it is about quantity, so don’t base your decision solely on an impressive following. While it's true a macro influencer may increase brand awareness, accounts with millions of followers tend to have lower engagement rates. Micro-influencers, on the contrary, are often more relatable to most audiences. Moreover, affiliates that actually nurture a relationship with their followers are more likely to increase your conversion rates through their endorsements.
4. What's your niche?
While affiliates can put you in front of an entirely new audience, at the end of the day, having thousands of people become aware of your brand means nothing if they're not going to translate into sales. You want to make sure a particular affiliate will draw a suitable type of traffic into your site.
5. Which is your favorite of our products and why?
This question will help you explore if a prospective affiliate is familiar with your products and services and match them with those they genuinely like. This way, they can actually share their experience with your brand's products enthusiastically. The more authentic an endorsement looks and feels, the more likely it is to attract customers to your site.
6. How do you plan on promoting our brand?
Getting a sense of how affiliates typically promote other brands is helpful. It will let you decide if an affiliate's methods align with what you want for your brand — or if they even know what they're doing. An affiliate's lack of experience may not be a dealbreaker if you like some of their other answers. Yet, knowing their limitations will allow you to support them better moving forward.
The Bottom Line
Now that you have a clearer idea of what questions to ask affiliates, you'll have an easier time screening your candidates. You definitely want to know much more than their email address and name — but don't go overboard. Pick only the most relevant questions and avoid super long forms that could potentially scare your candidates away.
If you recently set up an affiliate program or are thinking of getting yours off the ground, let us connect you with the best affiliate tracking software available. Contact us and start your free trial today.
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