Approach Influencers for Affiliate Marketing in 6 Steps

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Affiliate marketing drives 16% of the total eCommerce sales in the US and Canada. So, around 80% of businesses have affiliate marketing campaigns. 

Some are partnering with other businesses and some are approaching influencers to become their affiliates. Between those two, influencer collaborations stick out for a good reason, and here’s why.

Studies find that 71% of younger audiences discover new products through social media influencers. This shows that influencer partnerships can significantly improve the affiliate strategy, especially in terms of increasing sales and boosting ROI.

So, if you don’t know how to approach influencers for affiliate marketing so they can’t say no, keep reading. In this article, we share:

  • 6 proven steps on how to approach influencers for affiliate marketing 
  • Best ways to find influencers for your affiliate marketing campaign
  • Examples and expert tips to maximize your outreach efforts

Let’s get started!

Role of Influencers in Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a partnership where affiliates promote a brand’s products or services, earning a commission for every purchase or action made through their affiliate links. 

As influencers shape consumer behavior and buying decisions, affiliate marketing in partnership with influencers is one of the most effective strategies for expanding reach and increasing revenue

Plus, since in affiliate marketing influencers earn based on commissions, it’s also a cost-effective strategy.

How to Approach Influencers for Affiliate Marketing

Approaching influencers for affiliate marketing is not as easy as it sounds. 

But after 5 years of doing outreach to all types of creators, we know how you need to do it so influencers will accept your collaboration proposal.  

We divide that process into 6 main stages. Below we discuss each in more detail.

1. Define your goals

Before contacting the influencers you must have clear expectations for your affiliate marketing campaign. Typically, brands aim for:

  • Brand awareness: The affiliate collaboration with the influencer allows you to introduce your brand to a relevant audience and expand your reach.
  • Sales: You can drive direct sales through affiliate links that influencers share on their stories, under their posts, or in their bio.
  • Lead generation: Influencer affiliate marketing is one of the best strategies to attract more leads to your sales funnel. 

Additionally, it’s important to mention that the social media platform you decide to run the campaign defines the type of influencer you need to look for. Therefore, make sure to determine the platform for the campaign before you move on to the next stage.

2. Find influencers to reach out to

Once you establish your goals, the next step is finding the relevant influencers. And since all social media platforms are flooded with influencers (64M on Instagram only),  we share 3 most effective ways to simplify this search process.

Use an influencer discovery platform

 To run a successful affiliate marketing campaign, you don’t just need to find top-performing influencers. You need to find the ones that share similar interests, are in your niche, and have influence over your target audience. 

However, finding these influencers in a crowded market can be tough. But, using influencer search tools you can easily locate and verify the best influencers for your campaign.

Here at influencers.club you get access to a database of 100M+ influencers of all sizes. There are 40+ filters you can use to find your perfect match. You can search influencers by keywords in bio, interest, location, content type, etc, 

But, our main advantage is that you can directly search for influencers who promote affiliate links

This strategy allows you to target influencers who are more likely to agree to a collaboration. 

Plus, partnering with influencers experienced in promoting affiliate links increases your chances of boosting sales.

All you have to do is type or select the preferred filters as in the picture below:

find influencers for affiliate marketing with influencers.club

Tips from experts: Nikola Sokolov, the co-founder of influencers.club, highlights the comments and engagement rates as priority filters when choosing affiliates. Also, he encourages to check how the audience responds to the influencer. Are they influenced and engaged or only supportive? If you want to see performing affiliate campaigns you need influencers with highly engaged audiences.

Find influencers for your affiliate program

Search our 100M+ influencer database to find niche-specific influencers who promote affiliate links.

Find influencers in your customer database

Looking into your follower or subscriber list on social media is another effective strategy to find the ideal influencer. 

You can do this manually by going over the list and looking for the “verified” badge next to the username. Or simply scroll down and see if you recognize some of the names. 

But, if you need micro-influencers or you want to dive deeper and find every influencer among your followers, you can use a tool specifically created for that. 

With our Enrichment Service, you get access to exclusive information about each influencer in your follower base, plus, a verified email within a few minutes. 

To do so, sign up to our creator discovery dashboard for free and upload your list on the Add new batch button.

Find influencers for affiliate marketing using the Enrichment service

We’ll match it with the influencers in our database and return it to you with emails and 40+ relevant data points for each influencer found.

Search on Google or social media

If you want to find free lists of influencers for affiliate marketing, you can use Google search. It’s a simple method, but you have to be precise with the keywords. 

For example, if you need micro-influencers in the beauty industry, type beauty micro-influencers for affiliate marketing, or micro beauty affiliates in Google search.

Find affiliates on Google

The only downfall of this method is that the influencers may be repetitive and you may not find what you were looking for fastly.

3. Evaluate influencer profiles

One of the biggest concerns for brands is finding affiliates who can influence purchasing decisions. Generally, all smaller affiliates accept influencer partnerships, but not all of them drive sales. 

It’s important to find social media influencers with affiliate marketing experience who have provided results for companies they’ve worked with. Therefore evaluating the influencer profiles is crucial. 

Therefore, go over the profiles and look for the engagement rate, types of comments, and other relevant performance metrics.  Additionally, review these data points:

  • Audience: See if their audience matches your target audience in terms of age, demography, or gender.
  • Content quality: If you want to boost sales or gain more leads, you need top-notch content.
  • Interests and niche: The influencers in your affiliate program should be in your niche, or a niche similar to your brand. Also, interests play a crucial role here. While the influencer’s primary niche might be healthy food, they might also be interested in fitness, parenting, etc. Being aware of this will help you find the ideal influencers for your affiliate program.

4. Engage with the influencer before outreach

To increase the chances of getting a positive reply, first, you should build a connection with the influencer. Go to their profile, like, and comment on the posts to catch their attention. Also, you can share the posts you like and get into their DMs subtly. 

If they like the post you’ve shared, you can start an informal conversation. This is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with the affiliate and propose your collaboration. You can find more tips on getting positive replies faster in the blog below.

5. Craft a compelling outreach message

The first message = first impression, so it plays a crucial role in the entire process. 

It must be compelling and catchy for which you need to improve your outreach skills. The tips below will help you start writing a professional and effective collab proposal.

Personalize your email

Probably the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking about reaching out to influencers for affiliate marketing is that you can write the email using ChatGPT. 

But, personalization in emails is key. It helps your proposal stand out from a generic template and catch the attention of the influencer faster. A message that shows genuine interest in a specific content is normal to stand out from the one that simply praises the influencer. 

Check the picture below for reference:

Both emails are professional and polite. But the problem with the bad example is that nobody talks like that – it’s too generic and cold. 

Instead in the good example, we reference something we like – the full glam makeup tutorial and that the influencer knows all about makeup. This gives proof that the message was written by a human who is genuinely interested in the collaboration.

Such personalizations help you click with the influencer and stand out from the crowd. 

So, even if you’re using ChatGPT or other AI tools to write emails, make sure you’ll have the final touch. 

Additionally, you can research their interest and reference a similar one in the message to build that relationship.

Highlight mutual benefits

Remember to always highlight the benefits of collaboration in your message. When influencers get to the selection process, it’s the offers with the best interest that proceed to the next stage. 

Therefore, make sure to mention the benefits of your collaboration such as free products, exclusive deals, commission rates, new skills, or anything you find important or relevant for the influencer.

Be transparent

Always be open and transparent with the influencers. Discuss expectations, deliverables, budget, and compensation structure openly even from the beginning. The current and existing model for affiliates is:

  • Pay for results only (no upfront fee)
  • Small fee with a usual commission rate
  • High fee with a lower commission rate

Review all models and choose the one that suits you best.

6. Follow up

Follow-ups are extra important in the approach. Influencers get many proposals daily, and it’s likely for them to overlook your message. But, with a follow-up, you get back on the radar. You can send up to 3 follow-ups in 7-10 days in between.

You can use our free templates and customize your message. With the following template, we’ve sent over 12K emails, and have a 67% open rate, and an average of 18% reply rate.

Hey {first_name} –

It’s {rep_name} over at {brand_name}.

{{personalization based on content}}

Just a small reminder about that earlier email. We’re ready to get things rolling, and hearing from you would really help get us on the right track. Whenever you can, drop me a line with your thoughts.

Can I send you some more info?

{rep_name}

Conclusion

If you want to approach influencers for affiliate marketing, follow the steps in this article and you will land the ideal influencers for your brand. 

Or if you want a hands-off solution for approaching affiliates, let’s get in touch. We have a team of 40+ influencer outreach experts that can handle the entire process. 

If you want to learn more about our service, see how we helped Pearpop onboard 100K+ creators in 7 months, or get in touch with us so we can discuss this in more detail.

Need influencers for your affiliate program?

We have a team of 40+ creator sales experts who can find, approach, and negotiate with influencers on your behalf.

FAQ

All contracts between a brand and an influencer for affiliate marketing must follow the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Otherwise, the brand and influencer may face financial charges and reputation damages  You can learn more about it here.

You can offer them exclusive access to new products or services, experience-based opportunities, custom products, and promo codes. Also, you can offer them further training.

In influencer affiliate marketing rates typically range from 5% to 30%. It can be up to 50% if you work with high-value influencers. Well-established influencers may also request upfront payments in addition to commissions.

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