Direct exclusives: tips and best practices

Published: July 16, 2020

Category: Affiliate marketing guides

There comes a time in an affiliate’s career when they have to make a decision: Do they want to continue being a member of an affiliate network, or do they want to ”go direct”? Let’s talk about direct exclusives.

What are the advantages of direct exclusives?

At we understand the hesitation many affiliates face when deciding if they want to get direct offers or stick to an affiliate network. This is a decision that will impact their business and livelihoods, after all. Going direct means they’ll lose the safety net of the affiliate network, and also have to work harder with no guarantee. Still, there are many positives to direct exclusives.

The first advantage of direct offers is the payout. Going solo means you’re bypassing the mediator (aka the affiliate network), and thus, getting the money it would take. Depending on the network, these sums can get quite hefty. This advantage can propel you ahead of your competition. To put it simply, firstly, you’ll have more money, and be able to scale to traffic sources they can’t afford. Secondly, this money will allow you to outbid the competitors for more volume. Lastly, by removing the affiliate network from your affiliate funnel, you’ll raise the probability of visitors actually going through with the purchase by preventing click loss.

An illustration of an affiliate funnel.
An affiliate funnel should have as few sides as possible.

The second advantage of going solo is the absolute privacy of your business. This means no one will be capable of using the data your affiliate network can get to become your competition. Of course, not every network does this, but you should be careful and take the time to do proper research. Find out everything there is to know about your network’s business model. This includes the questions

  • Do affiliate managers run their own campaigns?
  • Are there internal teams that buy media?
  • Who can see the top offers within the network?

Another advantage of doing direct offers is exclusivity. Many affiliates don’t like being in the same playing field with a great number of competitors. Hence, they want to have a competitive advantage, which can be done by developing personal and business connections with advertisers. With an affiliate network as a mediator, this is extremely difficult.

How to get direct exclusives?

We’ve talked about the advantages, but now you must be wondering – how do I get an opportunity to go direct with an advertiser. Well, you’re in luck, because we’ll give you the key to high-converting offers.

Direct exclusives – DIY route

You can find direct offers simply by using Google or any other search engine. Of course, googling ”direct affiliate exclusives” won’t get you too far, because of the sheer volume of different affiliate programs out there. Hence, you should narrow your search by using your niche keywords. Also, you should do your research first, and find out what others’ experiences with that particular advertiser are. To put it differently – by ditching your affiliate network, you transfer all the responsibility of finding a secure partner onto yourself.

Illustration of a man sitting at a desktop computer.
Your computer can be enough to find direct exclusives.

Direct exclusives – with a little help from my friends

This is a method more suited for experienced affiliates, who have done their due diligence in creating a connected network of their own. For some, this is a hurdle, and for others it can be a bonus pleasure of working in the affiliate world. It all depends on your views on mixing business and pleasure. One of the advantages of networking is finding people with the same mentality you have, and forming meaningful connections with them. A common goal, perspective, and adversities you face are excellent conversation starters, that can lead to some powerful connections.

When you are a part of a group with the same business goal, it is only logical to share tips, connections, and ask for help as well. These relationships can be strictly business too, where every side’s primary goal is to strengthen it because of future prospects. There’s nothing wrong with that, we just wanted to point out that there are opportunities for a deeper connection. Whether you’re talking to your friends or colleagues, as we previously stated, everyone’s goal is to prove themselves as worthy connection and provide you with the best information.

The most important advice we can give you for getting a great direct opportunity is to put in the effort into building strong relationships with the advertisers you work with.

Why are exclusive campaigns the most profitable ones?

Are exclusive campaigns the key to get a higher conversion rate? They can be. Here’s how.

More room to customize

Exclusive offers give affiliates more room to personalize both their content and advertisements. They allow them to cater to a specific niche of the audience that has the biggest probability of conversion. Forget about the generic messages of the past. Now you can connect to your audience through their preferences, age, gender, geographical location, general interests and many more options.

Illustration of people talking and sitting at a computer, with a pair of hands shaking behind them.
A more personalized approach can do wonders!

Generate more leads

If you manage to get an offer that demands multiple verification steps, that’s even better. In other words – your visitors will be providing you willingly with the information you’d otherwise need a dedicated landing page for. This way, you’re killing two birds with one stone. You’re getting a conversion and a new email address for your mailing list! And let’s not forget the power of remarketing via email. Just imagine your visitors opening their inboxes, with those items they wanted and planned to buy simply calling their names. That is the third bird!

Have better testing options

Exclusive offers allow affiliates to test different options for small visitor groups you already know everything about. It is much easier to get good results when you’re already acquainted with your visitors, and that, in turn, can lead to better opportunities for repeated exclusive offers. Long-term partnerships are mutually beneficial for publishers and advertisers because they show your audience you really trust this particular brand, which increases their trust by proxy.

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