How to attract affiliates in retail

By  •  Updated: 09/26/07 •  3 min read

This isn’t just a pretty picture to get my blog readership up, this is part of the fashion show that Tights Please organised for last weekend’s Affiliate Future Performance Booster.

It was by far the most professional, and effective way of showing off a merchant’s wares I’ve seen at an affiliate event so far, and a lesson to us all in how far you can raise the bar to get the attention of a room full of affiliates.

Not all merchants have a product that can be shown off in such a dramatic fashion though so what else can be done?

First off, you need to remember who you’re selling to. These people have little intention of buying your products themselves, but have bases of traffic that may be interested. Merchants who have a wholesale arm and are used to visiting trade shows such as Spring Fair will get the idea. Image you have a room full of trade buyers looking for top discounts amongst a thousand other traders and you’re almost there.

If your product is portable enough, take some along. there’s nothing like seeing and feeling a product to get the copywriters amongst them flowing. How big are those hampers? What do those earrings look like away from studio lighting? Take the chance to answer all those questions that your website can’t. If you have a catalogue, take some along, or at least make sure you send one to everyone you take a business card from.

Bring a little backup information including top sellers, commission rates, voucher codes, conversion rates and EPC’s. Make sure it will fit in a back pocket, we don’t all wear suits or carry our briefcases with us to these events.

If this seems like a lot of work compared to a lot of networking and a well-rehearsed pitch, remember how people learn… 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, 50 percent of what we see and hear, 70 percent of what we discuss with others, 80 percent of what we experience, and 95 percent of what we teach to someone.

A nicely penned merchant description page on your affiliate network just won’t cut it any more, with over 2,000 programmes in the UK alone you’ll need a little more to get some attention, especially if you’re not a top national brand. Get to your affiliates using all their senses and you’ll be remembered long after the night is through.

Stephen Pratley

I build email lists, that grow into one-man businesses.