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The business community is finally coming to appreciate the differences between the traditional affiliate world and the new partnership economy. We’ve worked hard here at Impact to help with that education. We showcase the innovative and lucrative partnerships that businesses have created and the revenue-driving power of unified partnership organizations that merge affiliate, social, and business development siloes into one. And the business benefits of expanding beyond traditional affiliates are well documented in our ebook, Six ways evolving beyond affiliates will benefit your business. 

There are even career benefits to partnerships, especially for managers who begin their careers in the affiliate world. 

So it’s not hard to make the case for businesses to expand beyond the affiliate model and add new partnership types into their programs. But what about the partners on the other side of the equation? How do you convince them that this new kind of relationship and CPA-based compensation is a good move?

Getting a new breed of partners on the CPA bandwagon

Traditional affiliates are already familiar with the pay-for-performance process, and they can probably log into your tracking platform and easily figure things out. But to build a well-rounded partner program, you need to look beyond your affiliate talent pool at other types of partners that may not have CPA experience. 

A potential referral partner might be a business in an adjacent industry or a popular fansite. Some may be media companies or content creators who have never even considered those kinds of CPA deals. 

Getting unconventional partners into your partnership program may require a change in mindset, especially if they’ve never worked on a CPA basis before. But the benefits can be huge for them, too. Here are some things to keep in mind in your negotiations.

Tips for partnership-building with nontraditional partners

  • Provide social proof. Unconventional referral partners, in particular, may need reassurance about the viability of a revenue-sharing partnership. They’ll want to see examples of how similar deals have worked in the past. They need to know they’ll get the credit they earn. And they’ll want to see “social proof” of other reputable publishers coming out ahead in performance-based partnerships. 
  • Approach the right people. You’ll also need to work with the right level of individual at the target partner. Entry-level salespeople may be keen on the idea but not authorized to do the deal. You’ll need to convince the person in the organization who actually has the power to sign off.

Grease the wheels with technology. Make working with you simple for your partner, and you’re halfway there. Most partnerships require just a transparent, easy-to-use platform where partners can log in and monitor their own performance, payments, and so on. For more complex partner integrations, some brands create API connections and frameworks that provide a streamlined way to create a commingled experience. That takes the burden off the referral partner but allows for a very “native” experience for the user.

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