I am about to reveal the easiest, most effective, and fastest way to get awesome new affiliates. When I share it, it will seem obvious…and yet, almost no one does it.

How to get affiliate referrals

This is part two of a 3-part series on recruiting affiliates “cold.” Read Part One: 3 Keys to Recruiting Affiliates You Don’t Know and Part Two: How to Recruit New Affiliates You Don’t Even Know Using Google.

I’ll spare you the teasing and the mystery and cut right to the good stuff.

The number one way to get new affiliates is this:

Ask your current affiliates.

I hear you thinking (yes, I can hear your thoughts…it’s terrifying sometimes):

“Thank you, Captain Obvious!”

Easy way to get new affiliates

But here is the crazy thing about this…almost no one does it.

I’ve been a part of more than 250 affiliate programs and product launches in my life and less than 10 of them have ever asked me to refer other affiliates. That is ridiculous!

Your current affiliates should be your number one source of new, quality affiliates.

You know…that was such a profound and important statement that I’m going to make it Tweetable:

Your current affiliates should be your number one source of new, quality affiliates.

The Secret to Getting Affiliate Referrals

So, what is the secret to asking your affiliates to refer other people?

There is no secret. It’s simply a matter of doing it.

Yes, I will share some of my best email templates below, but the most important thing you can do is to commit to regularly asking. Don’t be annoying, but don’t fail to capitalize on this opportunity either.

Get all of our best affiliate referral templates 100% FREE here. I share more about what to do with them below, but make sure you get these templates.

When Should I Ask for Referrals?

I recommend making a “clear ask” every six months or so. That is often enough to be effective without being obnoxious.

A “clear ask” is an email or other communication whose sole purpose is to ask for referrals.

You can also include “soft asks” regularly throughout the year. A soft ask is a short request as a part of  another communication.

I include examples of both below.

The best times to make a clear ask are as follows:

  • Right after a launch. The proverbial iron is hot, so strike. Ask your affiliates a week or so after your launch for referrals for the next one.
  • Right after someone signs up. People who just signed up are at their most excited about the opportunity. When you offer the opportunity to earn a 2nd tier commission, they’ll jump. (I’ll share more about 2nd tier commissions shortly)
  • Right after you’ve paid them. Right after you send payments, send another email encouraging them to refer someone.
  • 30-60 days before a launch. If you follow our plan to warm up your affiliates, they’ll be excited prior to your launch. A month or two before the launch is a great time to ask for referrals.

You can also make soft asks throughout the year in the following ways:

  • A PS in an email. A simple PS in a warm up email or other communication will usually get you a few referrals.
  • Payment email. Most people don’t read them, but it’s an easy way to make a soft ask.
  • The “links” section of your affiliate center. Make sure to include a link to referral affiliates in their links section. It’s a subtle way of asking. If you need help creating a good affiliate center, click here.
  • In videos. If you are recording a video for your affiliates, include a quick ask.
  • Thank others publicly. If you have an affiliate Facebook group (and you should), thank people for referrals. It’s a subtle reminder to others that they should refer someone.

A Note About 2nd Tier Commissions

When you ask affiliates to refer other affiliates, they should be rewarded. That is done through a “2nd tier commission.”

A 2nd tier commission is a commission paid to the referring affiliate for a percentage of sales brought in by the referred affiliate. That percentage is typically 10% of the referred affiliate’s commissions, like this:

2nd tier affiliate commissions examples

You could also make the 2nd tier commission a straight commission (i.e. 5-10% of gross revenue) or a flat amount per sale.

In most affiliate systems, setting up a 2nd tier link is easy. And you can also manually assign a 2nd tier affiliate to someone if they refer them via email.

HOW to Ask for Referrals – Our Exact Email Templates

As I mentioned above, one of the best times to ask for referrals is about 30-60 days from a launch. Here is one of the most effective emails we used for this (example from Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers launch)

SUBJECT : Know anyone for Tribe Writers?

BODY: Hey ,

We’re 47 days away from the start of the Tribe Writers launch. You ready?

Super quick…

If you know anyone who’d be a good fit to promote the launch, let me know.

Of course, we’ll hook you up with a nice 2nd tier commission. You’ll make about $31 for every sale they make.

Just shoot me an email intro. and we’ll take it from there.

All the best,


NOTE: You can get all of our best affiliate referral templates 100% FREE here. We’ve got sample emails for right after a launch, right after someone signs up, when you pay them, and email PS notes. Click here to get all of our best templates 100% FREE.

This works if you have thousands of affiliates or even just a few. It’s by far the easiest, fastest, and most effective way to expand your affiliate program.

Make sure you are asking your affiliates to refer others.

And if you are looking for more affiliate recruiting templates, click here.


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Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

Or…check out some of my free reports to help you get on the right track:

Find Your First 100 Affiliates

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