When you are getting started with your affiliate marketing journey the first thing you need to get sorted is the application process for CPA Networks. I remember when I was 16 and 17 I had to do the calls and barely spoke English BUT I knew exactly what to say, I used the lingo that is used by the industry (EPC, CPC, etc..) and I got approved right away as I showed a professional image.
Many newbies don't understand the importance of representing themselves as a professional media buying agency, but I believe this is a mistake as if you want to succeed in this business you need be taken seriously. Let me put you into the CPA Network's head for a minute: Just imagine on the wild wild web the many fraudsters that go and try to cheat the “system”. CPA Networks get tons of applications DAILY and fight these shady people so if you are represented as a solo person, you may seem suspicious, especially if you are applying from a foreign country. Secondly, applying as a solo affiliate with your personal name, you are already a step behind your competition as the network won't think you need to be on the top of their priority list. CPA Networks like to take serious business people on board, they would much rather deal with a business as it shows the affiliate's commitment to the industry. Applying as a company (media buying agency or marketing agency) builds credibility, creates trust and after all the most important thing in a business relationship is TRUST.
So now that you understand how CPA Networks think, let's go over the most important things you need BEFORE signing up for a CPA Network.
Importance of networking – I know you're just starting out and trying to figure out everything at once, but first thing first, allocate 70% of your focus on NETWORKING. This industry is all about who you know and if you meet the right people at the right time you can make things work pretty quick.
Speak their language – Learn the meaning and calculation (=true meaning) of basic metrics such as CR, EPC, CPC, CPM, etc... When you need to get in touch with the networks have a game plan on what you're going to say to sound like a pro. For example, when you hit them up and they ask you what kind of verticals/offers you're looking for you can say something like “We are a media buying agency looking to test your best-converting offers in “xyz” vertical. Please let us know which offers do the best by providing EPC stats so we can put the top 3 into rotation.” - If you're a native English speaker I am sure you can make it sound even nicer.
Business set up – Once you have decided that you're committed to Affiliate Marketing, even if you still have a full-time job, setting up a company doesn't take too much effort. If you're planning to open a company, set up an LLC (Limited-liability-company) which costs about $300 in the USA and start building your own brand. Here’s also a great company that can make your life easier: http://www.mynewcompany.com When you are brainstorming about names get a piece of paper and write down your ideas and then add “Media” at the end, so it would sounds something like “Superhero Media LLC” or similar.
Bank account – Once you got an LLC registered at the Secretary of State, you're ready to proceed and open up a bank account. Generally you need to be present in the banking center to open it. They're going to take your ID, proof of LLC's existence, etc... Bank account number will come handy at the CPA Network signups, it's like a bonus point in the affiliate manager's eye that you're serious about business and prepared to be paid.
1-800 number – Want to look like a super ad agency? Get a Toll-Free number and make your company shine on CPA applications. It’s super easy, you can sign up here: http://grasshopper.com/800numbers/ and just direct all calls to your cell-phone.
Website – There is no professional image without a kick-ass website. It doesn’t take much to get a website up at http://wix.com ! Also make sure you create an email account that starts with “info” or “contact” and ends with your website’s url. Zoho Mail is a great tool to manage emails.
If you have any other ideas how you could show a professional image that CPA Networks would like to see drop a comment below! ;)