At the other end of the spectrum is the small merchant who is only willing or able to work with a handful of affiliates. In this case, the merchant and affiliate may come to an agreement and utilize a “low tech” solution to determine commissions earned (e.g., a custom referral path and an earnings statement powered by Google Analytics). This type of affiliate relationship will typically develop when there is a logical affiliate relationship between two parties, but the merchant isn’t interested in opening up the affiliate program to a wide range of partners via an affiliate network.
You might think that super affiliates would not want to help each other, but this is not the case. In fact, super affiliates become super affiliates because they help each other. Jim and Sue will sell Bob’s e-book. Next month Bob and Jim will promote Sue’s software tool. The month after that Bob and Sue will peddle memberships in Jim’s online community. Go through the archives of different super affiliates’ blogs and sign-up for their email newsletters. Watch for who they sell for. Then, follow those people. Soon you will uncover the pattern of cooperation for yourself. Notice too that super affiliate clans tend to share an industry or niche. This ensures that no matter whose product or service they are selling, they will always be selling something that can interest their audience.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.