Use your existing customer base
Look for service providers in your existing data
Using the Shopify Partners dashboard or your support chats logs, find service providers (Web devs, Marketing agencies, designers, etc.) using your app on behalf of merchants. An easy way to identify those is by the email address, which normally looks like: [email protected], or is just different from the store owner’s email.
Service providers are very likely to work with other merchants. Reach out to them using LinkedIn/Email and offer them to join your affiliate program.
Try to add this to your support workflow, just like asking for a review after communicating with a satisfied merchant.
Add a CTA in your app
You can add a menu item calling your customers to join your program right inside your app. Many merchants know other merchants and are active in communities of merchants. They can be great authentic ambassadors.
Add a partners page to your website
Many service providers are looking at whether an app has a partner program when researching which app to recommend to the merchant. It’s very common to add a page describing your program and link to it in your website footer.
Outreach potential partners
Search your mentions
Did you ever Google your name out of curiosity about what you’re about to find? It’s time to do the same to your app. Look for mentions of your app in Google, FB communities, YouTube, or any other place you think you might find.
You will find much valuable information but focus now on websites/people who wrote good things about you, reach out to them and offer them to join your affiliate program. They are going to be great.
Look for partners who specialize in the niche your app is operating in. Search videos and tutorials that suggest solving the same problem your app is solving, and let them know there’s a better way to do it (using your app, obviously).
You can offer them a demo or a free trial, and after they are amazed by your solution, submit them to join your partner program.
Be attractive for affiliates
You can suggest and provide better app support for your partners, that can be by giving them a special communication channel or simply giving them priority when they contact you on behalf of the merchants using your app. If they can tell the merchants later that better that they will handle the issue because they are getting VIP treatment, you gave them some extra points in the merchant’s eyes.
Money, Money, Money.
Hate to be the one telling you, but this will be the most significant metric in your offer to partners to join your affiliate program. Make sure you highlight the amount that an affiliate can possibly make by recommending your app. you can use the Yearly possible amount so they understand the potential.
One of the most challenging points in pursuing partners to join your affiliate program is that the revenue is “potential” and in “the future”, a great way to make them translate this potential to numbers is using a study case.
Once you have an affiliate who makes a “decent” amount of income from your program, ask them to be featured in a study case. Let them talk about the advantages of being your partners, the extra income, etc.
The study case can be a great tool to attract new partners and encourage existing ones to do even better. You can add it to your outreach emails and your partners’ page on your marketing website.
Recruiting partners to your affiliate program isn’t always as easy as app owners might think. It is somehow similar to hiring new employees. It takes an effort to find them and make them join, as well as offer them benefits, but it eventually pays.
Good affiliates will expose your app to merchants you would never be able to reach, and with a much more authentic approach. Even after the installation, affiliates who are already familiar with your app will be able to solve issues and use your app smarter, leading to fewer support tickets and happier clients who are much less likely to churn.