How To Run An Online Affiliate Program In An Offline World

5 Tips For Getting Affiliates In The Offline World

A lot of people are starting an online business when a majority of their audience, and especially a majority of their potential affiliates, still live in an offline world. Maybe they run brick and mortar stores, maybe they’re in a service industry, or maybe they’re online but they’re not really “online marketers.”  So the question is, how do you get these people to become affiliates when they don’t really understand affiliate marketing? In today’s post, I will show you how to do just that.

How to Run An Online Affiliate Program In An Offline World

Today I am going to share with you 5 tips to help you find your ideal affiliates in the offline world, regardless of whether they understand or have even heard of affiliate marketing.

1. Find Their Pain Points

This is a great tip that applies to any type of affiliate recruiting.  Focus on what causes them pain.

I heard an example recently where a pain point for brick and mortar business owners was keeping inventory.  This is something we never even think about online. For instance, I don’t have inventory, all of my products are digital.

But for a lot of offline businesses, this is a big pain point.

So what’s your solution?

Well, affiliate marketing is the solution.

Now again, this applies to brick and mortar businesses, but also businesses that are online, but they actually ship their goods.

So, someone who can earn a 10-30% (or greater) commissions without having to have any inventory, that is addressing a pain point.

Other pain points might include margins and staff, and again, you’re addressing their pain points with affiliate marketing because the margins are typically higher because you get to keep all of the commissions and you don’t typically need any staff unless you’re running ridiculously high numbers, in which case, you might need a support person.

2. Speak Their Language

Notice that when I talked about the pain points, I used the words that these business owners are using themselves.

Those are the types of words they use: inventory, margins, staff, etc.

So you want to find the words that they are using and speak their language.

That means you need to know their buzz words, their terminology, their “only spoken here” language.

Don’t say “affiliate” when they might not understand what the term affiliate means.

Don’t say “cookies” when they might think of chocolate chip, instead of what cookies mean in terms of affiliate marketing.

Find out their keywords like profit, inventory, tracking, etc. and use those types of words when you reach out to them.

This ties back into #1 – address their concerns using their language. 

So let’s take “cookie” for example.

You wouldn’t say that you have a “lifetime cookie” (and you should have a lifetime cookiehere’s why), that is a meaningless phrase to them.

Instead, you would say something like, “All the traffic that you send to our website will be tracked to your link forever. That means as long as they are using the same device, they don’t even have to do anything, they are “cookied”, which means they are tied to your account.  And if they sign up for our list, or buy anything, their profile is tied to your account even if they switch devices, this means you get fair credit for the traffic you are sending to our website.”

To an online marketer I would just say we have a lifetime cookie and leave it at that and they would know what I mean, but to someone who is not in the online marketing world, you have to explain it using their language.

3. Go To Them

In an offline world, sending an email is not enough.  Even hitting them up on social media won’t work.

You want to reach out to them through mail, phone, conferences, getting an article published in an industry magazine, etc.

The great thing is, all of these work in an online world too.  The best way to recruit affiliates is at conferences and in person.

So get creative and go to them.

Send a postcard to their office, send a letter to them and handwrite their address on the envelope.

Again, make sure you are addressing their concerns and personalizing your recruiting as much as possible.

4. Educate them

Much like above, where I educated them on what a “cookie” was so that in the future when I use the term cookie, they instantly know what I mean, you really want to spend time educating your potential affiliates.

We do this with “regular affiliates” in the online world. We send out emails with promo tips…

We record videos for them…

We update the partner Facebook groups with tips…

And we host training webinars…

Affiliate Training Webinar

In the offline world, you could even extend this to physical newsletters and postcards with tips and strategies to educate them.

5. Make Them Evangelists

The reality is, in the online world, people in the same niches and industries tend to know each other and we tend to all congregate in the same places.

This means that we are in frequent communication with each other.

The offline world is no different.

That means they are talking to other business owners in your niche. They are part of groups – both online and offline.

They’re meeting at conferences, and even if you can’t be there, if you have evangelists who fall in love with your affiliate program, they are going to spread the word.

They are going to tell other people in their industry that they were able to address their concern about staffing by just joining your affiliate program.

They’re going to be able to share how they addressed their concerns about margins (or inventory) just by joining your affiliate program.

They are going to share their success stories.  So get them talking!

So get them talking! Encourage them to share your tips and trainings.

Set up a second tier affiliate referral program so they can earn a commission for referring their colleagues to your program.

This is the #1 way to get new affiliates that almost no one uses.

So make your affiliates evangelists and they will gladly spread the word.

By doing this you could potentially double or triple the size of your affiliate program with almost no extra effort.

So there you have it, it is entirely possible to get affiliates in the offline world.

Question: If you’ve had success getting affiliates in the offline world, what’s worked for you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Free Affiliate Training from Matt McWilliams