Leveraging Affiliate Marketing for WordPress Plugin & Theme Sellers – Part 2

Hi everyone – Ben from Freemius here. When I was a theatre actor, I used to wonder:   What’s the value of a stage play without 
an audience? Does it have any significance? When it comes to marketing and affiliate 
programs for your WordPress business,   you might ask yourself a similar question, does it have any impact if I don’t have any marketers working to bring me new customers? The answer here is quite 
obvious – of course, it does! Having efficient and productive 
affiliates for your plugin or theme   can make a big difference when it comes 
to spreading the word about your product   and giving that extra push to your bottom line. That’s why, in this second part of the 
ultimate guide for affiliate programs in   the WordPress space, we’re going to focus on 
the best ways to attract affiliate marketers! Let’s plug-in! Before we get started, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future videos. If you're watching this directly on YouTube, you can click the alert icon for notification about new releases. Like cooking a three Michelin star dish, you need to have the right recipe to 
lure the best affiliate marketers.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need:  First, and this might seem obvious, 
you must have a great product! Don’t count on affiliates to invest 
their time and effort when the product is   only half baked – no matter how 
appealing your affiliate terms are. If you make your product as awesome as possible,   it’ll be easier to eventually build 
a strong network of affiliates. In short, if you build it well, they will come! Second, treat your affiliate program as a product 
on its own – and don’t be afraid to market it. Make it easy for potential marketers to sign 
up by preparing a friendly landing page,  invest in promotional content, and 
dig deep inside social networks   to find the right affiliates for your product. Another high-converting technique   is marketing your affiliate program directly 
from within the WordPress admin dashboard. This way, you spread the word exactly where 
there are eyes who want to see it, users of your product that probably like it already 
– and it’ll be easy for them to recommend   it on their blog, for example, which is 
probably already built with WordPress.

There are great ways to include an 
onboarding mechanism in the WordPress admin area,   including a registration form, in 
a way that’s not too intrusive. When selling through Freemius, you can 
easily add that option out of the box,   and start seeing those affiliate 
applications coming in automatically! The third ingredient for the 
perfect recipe to lure affiliates   is to give them an offer they can’t refuse. For most products in the WordPress ecosystem, 
affiliate commissions are usually between twenty   and thirty percent – and if you choose to 
offer more – you’ll definitely stand out. Another factor of a good affiliate deal 
is extending your cookie expiration   date – which means increasing the chances that 
a purchase will be attributed to an affiliate. If a user clicks an affiliate link and makes 
a purchase 45 days later, but the cookie   for that link expires after thirty days,
it means no commission for the affiliate. The longer the expiration date, the more 
attractive the affiliate deal becomes. The fourth ingredient is rewarding affiliates 
when users renew their subscriptions.

This is a great incentive for any affiliate 
because it means they’ll have recurring revenues,   and it will create more 
commitment to your product. With Freemius affiliate platform, you can easily 
choose to reward all renewals to the affiliate   or limit the renewals commission 
based on a specified timeframe. The fifth ingredient for a successful 
affiliate program is offering a “lifetime commission” which means linking customers 
together with the affiliate who brought them on board, and awarding the affiliate a commission 
for each of the users’ transactions – for life.

This is a very powerful and attractive benefit for affiliates because it raises their loyalty to the max. Ingredient number six: treat your 
affiliate marketers as your employees,   and award them according to their performance. Give them the incentives they need to 
keep going strong for your business. For example – you can give them a $100 bonus when they reach $1000 in gross referral revenue    or a 10% increase to their commission after referring more than 3000 new users. The options are endless, and remember to market 
these incentives on your affiliate landing page   to show that you want to build a 
long-term relationship with affiliates. The last ingredient for that perfect dish to 
attract affiliate marketers to your business   is to give them special discount 
coupons to make it easier to find   new customers for your plugin or theme. This is a win-win-win for the 
affiliate, the customer, and for you. Bon appetit! Having the right affiliate program 
for your product doesn’t necessarily   mean that it’ll attract the best marketers. To make your affiliate recruiting efforts 
matter and really boost those revenues, you’ll need to get out there 
and actively search to find   the right affiliates that will make an impact.

One way to do that is to log 
into your social networks and   try to find community influencers 
with large numbers of followers and ask them to post, tweet, and talk about your 
product – for a special commission, of course. It won’t be easy, I’ll tell you that. Sometimes it’s a process that needs time, patience,   and a good amount of persuasion, which usually 
involves face to face mingling at conferences. Another way of “recruiting” is by 
finding a successful piece of content that is relevant to your product on search results.

I’ll explain. Go to Google and type in relevant 
keywords for your product. If your product is a security plugin, for example,   searching for “best WordPress 
security plugins” will do the trick. It makes sense that a good chunk of your potential audience is using similar keywords to find security plugins. It is also a fact that the top ten search results 
get most of the traffic for this keyphrase. And most of the results will likely 
be articles written by a combination   of unbiased professionals, promotional 
websites, or affiliate based sites. So you “just” need to figure out how to 
get your product listed on those pages. Simply reach out to the authors of those 
pieces and ask them to put an affiliate   link to your product in the article. Be sure to offer preferred terms, like a higher commission,   sometimes even a monthly retainer if the 
page is getting tons of relevant traffic. This is a definite win-win since you’ll be 
surprised to hear that many of these authors   don’t even plan to make money out of their content, but for those that do, you’ll be prepared with a good offer.

This method allows you to capitalize 
on existing traffic sources without   investing a lot of time and effort in writing 
content, promoting it, and working on SEO. It’s basically a marketing funnel shortcut. And although it involves reaching out to 
people and asking them to piggyback on   their content, the links you’ll get in these 
articles will prove themselves to be priceless. That’s it for the second part of 
our series on affiliate programs. I hope that you’re now aware of all 
the ingredients to the perfect recipe   for building and growing your affiliate network. In the third and last part, we’ll go through 
the hazards that you need to be aware of when   setting up affiliate programs, and 
how you can avoid affiliate fraud. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to 
be the first to know when we release a new video. See you next time!.

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