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how to find affiliate partners

Are you managing an affiliate program and searching for affiliates that will promote your product to different audiences and generate more revenue? How to find affiliate partners can be a daunting task. You want to ensure affiliate partners have a strong reputation in your industry, possess the skillset necessary to drive qualified traffic, and best represent your brand’s values — all while meeting your specific needs. Fortunately, with the right strategy in place, connecting with quality partners doesn't have to feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

In this blog post, we'll share steps on how to find affiliate partners that matter most to your program and create mutually beneficial relationships along the way.

What are affiliate partners?

Affiliate partners, often referred to as affiliates, are individuals or businesses that collaborate with a company or organization to promote their products or services in exchange for a commission or a referral fee. This marketing strategy is known as affiliate marketing, and it has become a popular way for companies to expand their reach and boost sales, while affiliates can earn income without having to create their own products or services.

Here are key components and aspects of affiliate partners and affiliate marketing:

1. Affiliate program with tracking.

Companies or organizations set up affiliate programs to manage their relationships with affiliates. These programs provide affiliates with unique tracking links or codes that they use to promote the company's products or services.

Affiliate programs use tracking technology to monitor and record the actions of referrals made by affiliates. This ensures that affiliates are accurately compensated for their efforts.

2. Promotion of your brand.

Affiliates promote the products or services of the company through various marketing channels, which can include websites, blogs, social media, email marketing, YouTube videos, podcasts, and more. They use their affiliate links to direct potential customers to the company's website.

3. Commission structure.

Affiliates earn commissions or referral fees for each successful action driven by their referrals. These actions can vary and may include:

  • CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): refers to the amount of money an advertiser is willing to pay for a specific action taken by a prospective customer. The “action” could be anything from a purchase, a sign-up, or any other predefined action.
  • CPL (Cost Per Lead): the amount an advertiser pays for each lead generated. A lead typically refers to the contact information of a potential customer who has shown interest in the advertiser's product or service.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): the amount an advertiser pays every time someone clicks on their ad.
  • CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions): cost advertisers pay for every time their ad is seen on a device.

When choosing between these models, businesses will consider their specific goals and the nature of their products or services. For example, a brand awareness campaign might focus more on impressions (thus considering a CPM or model), while a campaign for a specific product purchase might prioritize CPA.

4. Payment processor.

Affiliates are typically paid on a regular basis, often monthly, for the commissions they've earned. Payment methods can include checks, direct bank deposits, PayPal, or other online payment platforms.

How to find affiliate partners?

Finding affiliate partners is crucial for expanding your business reach and driving sales. This guide explores the importance of how to find affiliate partners in growing your brand's online presence.

Step 1: Create a list of target affiliate marketers.

Start by identifying potential affiliate partners who could help promote your product or service. These could be influencers in your industry, bloggers who write about related topics, or businesses that complement your own. Do some research and make a list of potential partners.

Step 2: Collect contact information.

Once you've identified potential partners, the next step is to gather their contact information. This might include their email address, social media handles, or other relevant contact details. You can usually find this information on their website or social media profiles.

Step 3: Create an outreach campaign.

Now it's time to reach out to these potential partners. Create an outreach campaign that explains what you're offering, why they should partner with you, and what's in it for them. This could involve sending personalized emails, reaching out via social media, or even setting up face-to-face meetings.

Step 4: Don’t stop until you get a hard no.

Persistence is key in affiliate marketing. Don't be discouraged if you don't hear back right away or if a potential partner says they're not interested at first. Keep following up and making your case until you get a definitive “no.” Even then, it's worth keeping the door open for future opportunities.

how to find affiliate partners

Suggested tools to find affiliate marketers.

1. Performance Marketing Manager.

The website Performance Marketing Manager is a comprehensive platform aimed at teaching the next generation of affiliate management skills. This site offers a unique course that covers everything from program setup to relationship management, providing learners with the secrets to affiliate program growth through hands-on training and personalized coaching.

The man behind this initiative, Dustin Howes, is a seasoned veteran in the partnership space with over 12 years of experience in the affiliate marketing industry. His goal is to dispel misconceptions about affiliate management and provide proven methods of success to those looking to optimize their programs.

One standout feature of the site is its focus on community and interaction. It offers weekly group coaching sessions, personal coaching, and access to a community of affiliate managers seeking to elevate their programs. The site also provides a wealth of resources such as video training covering the intricate details of affiliate management duties.

Moreover, the site is not just about learning; it also offers a certification process, giving learners the opportunity to become certified performance marketing managers within three months. This makes it an excellent resource for both budding and experienced affiliate managers aiming to level up their skills.

how to find affiliate partners

2. Respona.

Respona is a versatile tool that serves as a comprehensive solution for businesses exploring how to find affiliate partners. As an all-in-one link-building and outreach software, it's designed to increase organic traffic from Google, which can be invaluable for businesses aiming to expand their digital footprint. What sets Respona apart is its unique blend of personalization and productivity. It allows businesses to identify potential affiliate partners, including influencers, bloggers, and other industry-relevant contacts, and reach out to them directly through the platform. This streamlines the process, making the task of finding and connecting with affiliates more efficient.

Moreover, Respona isn't just about link-building and outreach. It's also a robust PR tool, enabling businesses to manage their online reputation, engage with their audience, and build strong relationships with their affiliates. By automating much of the outreach process, Respona allows businesses to focus their efforts on nurturing these relationships and growing their affiliate networks.

In summary, Respona is a powerful tool that simplifies the process of how to find affiliate partners, making it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes.

how to find affiliate partners

3. BuzzStream.

BuzzStream is a powerful platform that significantly simplifies the process of how to find affiliate partners. This end-to-end outreach tool is designed to help businesses grow their digital PR and link-building results by staying organized and efficient.

BuzzStream aids in building qualified lists in half the time, sending personalized emails at scale, and managing your inbox without overload. It uses data-driven insights to improve your success rate in finding and maintaining affiliate partnerships. With its research feature, BuzzStream assists in discovering metrics and contact information for prospects, helping build a database of past promoters to get more links and traffic.

how to find affiliate partners

The platform also offers a CRM solution that minimizes tedious tasks, allowing you to focus on personalization and relationship building – the key elements to successful affiliate partnerships. Furthermore, BuzzStream provides performance measurement tools such as open rates, reply rates, placements, and team activity tracking to optimize your outreach ROI.

In summary, BuzzStream offers an all-inclusive suite of tools that make it easier for businesses to find affiliate partners and manage these relationships effectively.

Wrap it up, Dustin.

These are three simple tools I have use to answer the question of how to find affiliate partners. There is a more complete list of tools to find affiliate marketers.

Affiliate manager consultant

Dustin Howes


Dustin Howes is a partnership nerd spreading the good word about performance marketing. He is the chief coach at and is dedicated to helping companies grow their performance marketing channels. He also provides affiliate manager training and private consultations, helping companies find the right solution for their budget.

Find out more about Dustin here.