As an online merchant your primary goal with any kind of marketing activity is ultimately to drive online sales – with a healthy margin. When it comes to affiliate programs most advertisers instinctively look for the biggest affiliates to form a partnership with first, and while this is certainly not wrong (and necessary), there is something to be said for smaller affiliates. Here is why:
Frequency – smaller affiliates are generally willing to promote you more often than larger affiliates. Large affiliates get asked dozens of times each week to promote. Smaller affiliates don’t. Smaller affiliates generally have fewer products of their own to promote, which leaves more time to promote you.
Growth – small affiliates grow, faster, and you benefit from their growth. A small affiliate could easily double their list size with an optin change, a podcast interview, or a few Facebook ads. It happens all the time.
Eager to learn – Smaller affiliates are usually more open to learning and are less set in their ways. They attend affiliate seminars, read the email tips you send out, they ask questions.
Engagement – 10 people are easier to keep track of than 100. The larger the list, the less engaged you will be with them and the less engaged they will be with each other. Advertisers often overlook the power of a close-knit list of less than 5,000 people. And yet, time and again, we see affiliates with small lists succeed.
Diversification – Know the old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”? A good affiliate program will be just like that. You should have some huge needle movers. You should have some people who’ve been around for a couple of years and have built a medium-sized list. You should have some up-and-comers. And even some newbies.
Daniel Gross – CEO