How to Choose an Affiliate Marketing Agency

Let’s assume here that you are a start-up looking to expand your business. The only way you are going to be able to do so is by making sure that your products and services get to the right audience. However, this task, clearly, is not easy. For one thing, whatever it is that you have to offer, chances are high that others have already been there before you! The arena is, simply put, pretty crowded. So, you have heard that affiliate marketing is the way to overcome all these challenges? You probably landed on this page because you are looking to hire an agency to do the job on your behalf? Hie, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing. My company specializes in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Remarketing. Through my website,, I have had over a decade of experience both as an affiliate and as a vendor. So, I know what I am talking about here! In this article, I am going to;

  1. Give you a brief description of Affiliate Marketing
  2. Tell you who can become an affiliate
  3. Show you what to look out for when choosing an affiliate marketing agency

Defining Affiliate Marketing

Affiliates use various tools promote products and services. They get paid when they make a sale

Let’s assume that your company, Start-up X, has a new product that it wishes to sell. Now, there are different ways of reaching your customers, of course. There are Google Ads, Facebook Ads and countless other marketing channels. There is also affiliate marketing. The idea behind affiliate marketing is that if you can get a lot of people talking about your products and services, you have a better chance of reaching your target audience than when doing it alone.

So, Start-up X, sets out to sign-up hundreds or thousands of people to begin talking about the new product. Affiliates promote products and services using blogs, websites, social media and other tools. And each time they make a sale, they get a percentage as commission. Some commissions are once off, while others are recurring. For recurring commissions, an affiliate will keep getting paid for as long as the customer continues to make monthly subscriptions. So, that’s it! I am not going to go deep into the intricacies of affiliate marketing here. To learn more about how affiliate marketing works, check out the post in the provided link. The question that this article seeks to answer is what you should be on the lookout for when hiring an affiliate marketing company.

What are Affiliate Marketing Agencies

To be frank, affiliate marketing agencies appear, at first glance, to be no more than the typical middlemen, seeking to suck the very life out of both the affiliate and the vendor. However, that is not really true. Affiliate marketing agencies have a role to play in the affiliate marketing matrix; other than siphoning money from both sides. So, what are affiliate marketing agencies?

Affiliate marketing agencies are companies that serve as a link between brands and affiliates. They are middlemen, playing the role of intermediaries whose goal is to make sure that companies get maximum exposure to the RIGHT kind of affiliate.

It’s not just about signing up large numbers of affiliates

For most start-ups, the idea of affiliate marketing is to sign up loads and loads of affiliates. While that is good, there is need to make sure that your affiliates are the right kind to bring you the results that you are looking for. Otherwise you will have a thousand affiliates on your books and hardly any sale to talk about! I am trying to further explain the role of affiliate marketing agencies here. They make sure that your brand is connected to the RIGHT kind of affiliate.

Affiliate marketing agencies are well connected

Agencies have connections to the right people

The major specialization for affiliate marketing agencies is the building of connections. They have linkages with various people in society;

  • Social media influencers: These are people who have huge followings on social media. You may try to reach out to these people on your own. But chances are high that you are not going to be as effective as affiliate marketing agencies.
  • Content creators: Affiliate marketing agencies usually have thousands of bloggers, YouTubers and other content creators on the books. The moment that you sign up, you become exposed to these bloggers and other publishers. To be frank, you are probably never going to be able to reach as many people by trying to do it on your own. And the key here is that the affiliate marketing agency that you ultimately go with will know exactly the right kind of publisher that is needed for your products and services.

Agencies can negotiate better deals for you

One of the major advantages of working with affiliate marketing agencies is that they have the ability to negotiate favorable deals for you than would have been possible when doing it on your own. Of course, most of the affiliates that are out there will simply take it as is. However, there are others, like the social media influencer that we have just been talking about, who will demand big buck to become ambassadors for your brand. Affiliate marketing agencies have an inside track on the industry and will be able to get you the best deals from these kinds of people.

Considerations when hiring an affiliate marketing agency

So, what are some of the things that you should take into consideration when hiring an affiliate marketing agency? Well, there are a number of things actually;

  • Experience in your industry: The affiliate marketing agency that you hire should have lots and lots of experience in your industry. Let’s say, as an example, your company is in the business of manufacturing medical equipment. This, clearly, is a specialized field. It wouldn’t do to hire an affiliate marketing agency that has zero experience in the field.
  • Relevant affiliates on the books: Using the above example, you should also be on the lookout for an affiliate marketing agency that has the RIGHT kind of publishers on the books. If you wish to push a new gadget for monitoring blood pressure, as an example, you will want an affiliate marketing agency that is able to connect you with health and fitness bloggers. These are the right kind of people to then market your product to their own audiences.
  • Their current clients: You will also want to work with an affiliate marketing agency that has previously worked with other successful brands. It’s even better if they have worked with some of your competitors. That only means that they have the right kind of experience in your field to bring you the kind of results that you are looking for.
  • Communication: This is going to be key to the success of your efforts. It wouldn’t do to sign up with an agency that you will hardly be able to reach. It only shows that perhaps they are overwhelmed and will have very little time to dedicate to your campaign.
  • Will they assign someone to your account? You should choose an affiliate marketing agency that assigns someone to manage your account. Some agencies will assign entire teams to your account. However, this can create problems, in that there will be nobody really dedicated to you. It’s easy for stuff to be forgotten when there are too many people involved. It may be better to be assigned an individual who is able to focus entirely on your account.

Questions to ask before signing up

Based on the above, the following are some of the questions that you need to ask before hiring and affiliate marketing agency;

  1. Do I get an account manager? If not, then you need to flee. How are they going to run your account without an account manager?
  2. Does my account manager handle many other accounts? This tends to be a pertinent question. If your account manager has many other accounts to handle, they may not really be able to give you the kind of personalized attention that is needed to give your brand maximum exposure. This usually happens if your account manager also manages other high value accounts. If you are only paying small amounts when compared to others, then they will definitely relegate you to the back-burner.
  3. What is involved in the partnership? This is something that you actually need to ask your preferred affiliate marketing agency before signing up. How will the partnership work? Where possible, you should be given a 90 day plan detailing the steps that are going to be taken to ensure that you brand gets maximum exposure.
  4. What are the goals and benchmarks? Of course, the reason for signing up with an affiliate marketing agency is to ensure that you get exposure to as many of the right kind of affiliate as is possible. The agency should, therefore, be able to provide you with tangible, time defined goals. An example would be to have signed up 100 affiliates for you in the first 3 months. Goals can also be defined in terms of revenue. These benchmarks, whatever they are, are going to help you determine whether or not your campaign has been a success.
  5. Is the agency able to maintain confidentiality? You may, as already mentioned, hire an agency that works with your competitors. In that instance, the agency should be able to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  6. What past work can you show me? This is another question that you need to ask an affiliate marketing agency before signing up. A lot of the agencies that are out there will be eager to show you their portfolios. You should be able to evaluate their ability to deliver by checking out their online reviews.


Those are some of the things that you should consider when hiring an affiliate marketing agency. You should be on the looking for an agency that has experience in your field and that is able to dedicate someone to your account. You should also make sure that they have the right kind of affiliate on their books. Also check out their current clients to make sure that they have the kind of experience that you are looking for.

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