A level playing field in affiliate program selection?

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One thing I get asked frequently by new clients is, “Will our program be as big as Brand XYZ?”. One issue they face right away is that affiliates prefer big brands to no brands, they convert better just for starters.

Nicky Senyard from Share Results put together this very good article on the topic of considering brand awareness when selecting affiliate programs;

There are several things that go into selecting a merchant affiliate program, such as creative selection, affiliate support and reporting capacity. Brand strength is another important factor to consider.

As much as I’d like to say that every new brand stands a great chance of doing as well as their big brand competitor, the reality is that the Internet is not the level playing field that it once was, not even when it comes to affiliates picking partners.

There is the occasional new brand that bucks the trend, but the reality is that big brands will still take in the majority of the online dollars. Small brands need to tell a very compelling story if they want to attract big affiliates to their programs. Going beyond commission and product price, and selling not only their program but also their product and brand to the affiliates. Else affiliates will generally not consider signing up.