Fostering Business Development & Relationships - Building an Affiliate Marketing Program

Jeff Gordon, founder of Interactive99 ( explains how to build relationships in an affiliate marketing program. Follow these tips to build strong connections and partner relations.

  1. Move beyond the affiliate box to direct partnerships
  2. Confer with your media team to determine most powerful CPM buys
  3. A hybrid CPM/CPA can help craft a partnership
  4. Consider how the deal will ultimately affect the user

I’ve had clients approach me with affiliates programs that have reached maximum potential and they come to me with a question asking how do we grow this, and I take a look at their dossier of marketing efforts and find out what they’re doing, but one thing that’s often overlooked is the power of direct partnerships, business development.

At some point, affiliate managers need to step outside the box and really start thinking about what’s going on with some of the big websites, the portals or even affinity-based sites that might make sense for a partnership.

Talk to your immediate team, find out which CPM buys are knocking out of the park and what’s doing very well for your company. These could be websites or companies that you may want to approach.

It’s also very important to think in terms of custom economic modeling. A lot of these websites were especially for the direct partnerships, they don’t want CPA. They’re going to want a CPM but perhaps you could find a middle ground and do either some sort of a tendency deal or a CPA/CPM hybrid, something that make sense for both parties.

And really do your homework. Think about what this deal looks like in terms of user display execution and what it means for the user ultimately.

A deal like this can be a big feather in your cap. It could spur growth and it could definitely make your affiliate program a lot bigger than it is today.