How to Use Cold Outreach to Find New Affiliate Marketing Opportunities

How to Use Cold Outreach to Find New Affiliate Marketing Opportunities

Finding new affiliate offers to promote is not always as simple as going to your favorite companies page, scrolling down to the footer, and clicking the “Affiliate Program” link.

Sometimes, you’ll have to do a little bit of extra work.

But this extra work can be more than worth it, as we’ll see later in a case study of mine, where via cold email, I discovered new affiliate programs that increased my affiliate sites earnings by over 33.2% in just one month.

Sounds interesting?

Let’s dive right into how I did it.

1. Why It's Necessary to Find High Patying Affiliate Offers
2. How to Find New Affiliate Programs
3. Finding Affiliate Deals via Cold Email
4. How to Find People to Email (Using Hunter)
5. A Real Case Study (+ My Script)
6. Conclusion

Why It’s Necessary to Find High-Paying Affiliate Offers

Actively finding high-paying affiliate offers is vital for affiliate marketers to maximize their traffic earnings.

Average affiliate marketers send their traffic to Amazon or other large megastores.

Great affiliate marketers find hidden programs and set up custom deals with companies.

Here’s an example:

Take the Trezor T, which is sold on Amazon. Based on its category, it would only earn a 3% commission with a 24-hour cookie.

However, if you promoted this same product on the official Trezor affiliate program—on the affiliate network Tune—you’d be able to promote it and earn a 12%-15% commission.

That’s over a 400% increase.

Imagine finding ten more of these new offers for your site and just how much that would boost your bottom line.

That’s exactly what we’ll cover here.


How to Find New Affiliate Programs

There are several ways to discover new affiliate programs to promote.

Here are a few methods that we recommend:

  • Viewing the programs your competitors promote
  • Asking other affiliate marketers (Facebook groups, Reddit, etc.)
  • Search affiliate networks
  • Cold email outreach

Viewing Competitors

The quickest and easiest way to find programs to promote is by watching some of your competitors’ actions and seeing where they’re sending their traffic.

Tools like Ahrefs are great for this, as you can input a website and view where they’re externally linking to and the frequency they are doing so.

If you don’t have access to a tool like that, look at a competitor's affiliate style content and see where they repeatedly direct traffic.

affiliate site main nav

For example, the site vpnoverview.com has its most important article, “Top 5 VPNs,” inside their navbar. It’s probably pretty important and heavily monetized.

If you were in the VPN niche, studying the services in that blog post may lead to some new affiliate programs to promote.

The more outgoing links someone sends to a website, the more likely it’s an affiliate program—and a profitable one at that.

If you’re the most prominent affiliate in your niche, then this tactic may not work, so you’ll want to try the following few strategies.

Asking Other Affiliate Marketers

Another method for finding new profitable affiliate programs is by asking in groups or communities where affiliate marketers gather.

A majority of the time, these are Facebook groups or subreddits.

A few Facebook groups I like with a lot of affiliate marketers are:

Some subreddits that can be good for this is:

You’ll want to post in your selected groups and explain that you have traffic in “X” niche and are looking for profitable programs to send your traffic. Other affiliate marketers will share their favorite affiliate programs if the niche is big enough.

Search Affiliate Networks

Another way to find new affiliate offers to promote is by signing up for affiliate networks like Impact, ShareASale, and Refersion.

Once you have an account on these networks, you can search keywords or input filters to find profitable programs in your niche.

Here’s an example of filters on Refersion:

You can sort anything from Payout Type to EPC (earning-per-click) to Categories.

Refersion Affiliate Program List Example

This method can work pretty well for finding programs to promote. However, sometimes, private or invite-only programs won’t show up. For those programs, we’ll want to use this last tactic: cold email outreach.

Via Cold Email Outreach

Last but certainly not least is via cold email. Given its scalability, cold email is such a great channel for finding affiliate offers.

You can fire out a well-written email script with custom attributes that also gives you the personalization needed to get high open and reply rates.

Let’s discover how to conduct a successful affiliate programs outreach campaign step-by-step.


Finding Affiliate Deals via Cold Email

Before you can do any email outreach, you’ll first need to develop a list of companies to contact.

We recommend creating a Google Sheet, where you can store the following fields, such as the company name, contact name, and the page where you can/are promoting their products.

Example of an email outreach spreadsheet

The best companies to reach out to for affiliate deals are companies already paying for ads on Google or Amazon.

If we were to Google a keyword like, “buy snorkel mask,” we can see at least four companies advertising with Google.

Paid Google Shopping Ads Example

Another example from Amazon’s end (inside the red boxes) would look like this:

Paid Amazon Ads Example


Because these companies are already throwing a lot of money at marketing in an attempt to see a return, they’re also likely willing to set up an affiliate deal or already have a program in place.

Outside of the companies already paying for traffic, we recommend adding any company to your outreach list that can be promoted on your existing content or has a place in your future content.

In my case, I went on Google Analytics and went page by page in order of the most traffic to the least traffic. I also added every product I was already promoting on Amazon to my outreach list.

Once your outreach list has hit a size with which you're comfortable, it’s time to start prepping the email campaign with Hunter.


How to Find People to Email (Using Hunter)

Once you’re on the Hunter website, you’ll want to input the first company on your list.

We recommend creating a Hunter account as you’ll be able to find up to 25 email addresses on their free account. You’re limited to 5 searches a day without an account and will have concealed email addresses.

You can also install the Hunter Chrome extension to find email addresses on the fly without referencing the Hunter website.

Hunter Chrome Add-On Example for Afflytics.com

Lastly, if you upgrade to a paid plan, you’d be able to use Hunter’s Bulk Domain Search engine. With this, you can input your entire list of potential affiliate partners (left) and get company email addresses back all at once (right).

Example of Hunter Bulk Domain Search

To automate this process even more, you can use Hunter for Google Sheets add-on to find emails directly in Google Sheets.

Hunter.io Google sheets example

Now that we’ve gotten a list of contact emails from Hunter, we need to verify these emails to ensure they are active and valid and keep the email deliverability high.

Guess what? Hunter has tools for this as well!

Verifying emails is key to any email outreach strategy, as bounces are no good—and hurt your emails deliverability. If your email address is marked as spam, you can kiss goodbye to any successful outreach campaign.

To verify one email at a time, you’ll want to use their Email Verifier.

Hunter.io email verifier example

To verify a list of emails, use the Bulk Email Verifier. For sheets, use their Google Sheets add-on.

Hunter.io bulk email verifier

Ok, so now that we’ve gotten a list of emails and verified them, it's time to start our outreach.

We might be biased, but we recommend the Campaigns (Hunter’s free tool for cold outreach).

To use the cold email tool, you’ll need to input your outreach template. In the next section, we’ll supply our script for creating new affiliate offers via outreach.

With this tool, by using this syntax, {{insert variable}}, you can send custom cold emails at scale.

Again, here’s an example of what you’d want to set up:

Google Sheet outreach example

For the {{insert variable}} to match up to the First Name column, it will need to share the same name and syntax as the Excel column header.

Once your email script is ready, insert the remaining variable fields using that same syntax.

Double-check the variables, and send a test template email to make sure everything is running correctly.


A Real Case Study (+ My Script)

So, all the above sounds good in theory, but does it actually work?

Well, I wouldn’t be writing this post if it didn't.

Before I got started on Afflytics, I was running a scuba diving and travel blog that utilized this tactic to increase its affiliate income massively.

The site's earnings were pretty disappointing, considering nearly all my traffic was going straight to Amazon for 3% commissions.

Something had to be done.

I started researching some of my highest traffic pages and the potential products I could sell on those pages using some of the strategies above.

Then, I sent out a mass email campaign like I explained above and created NEW affiliate deals with three companies.

Over the next six months of working with those programs, they made up for an additional 33.2% boost to my website's revenue.

The Script

Here’s the script I used:

Keep in mind that you won’t need to use this exact script. It’s more about using the concept and customizing it to fit your situation.


Conclusion

Now that you have an idea that finding new affiliate offers via cold email is possible and have all of the tools and knowledge to do it, we’re excited for you to try it out.

Remember, you can either use this mass cold email outreach to discover new affiliate programs or to create new offers that don’t exist.

You’d be surprised how many companies have affiliate or referral programs but don't publicly share them. Don’t be afraid to ask.

As for creating new affiliate programs, companies hungry for growth will snatch up your offer, assuming you have the traffic to back it up.

These are powerful tactics and tools that should exist in any affiliate marketer’s toolbelt.

If you have any questions on these tactics or want to discuss anything affiliate marketing-related, you can find me on Twitter or email me at austin@afflytics.com.

Austin Tuwiner
Austin Tuwiner

Austin is the founder of Afflytics, a SaaS tool that helps affiliate marketers track their affiliate data and provide insights via analytics. He enjoys scuba diving and shooting range in his downtime.

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