In our how to find affiliates guide, we briefly touched on creating “minimal forms” as a best practice for your affiliate program. That was general advice, specifically for D2C e-commerce brands. However, as we mentioned there as well, sometimes companies need to create in-depth forms.

Which option is the best for you, and why should you even bother building an effective affiliate registration form? Below, you’ll find the answers.

Does Your Affiliate Sign Up Form Size Even Matter?

Short answer: Yes.

Studies after studies have shown the impact of the number of fields in a form on conversions. 

Generally, the lesser the number of fields, the higher the conversions. For example, Marketo reduced the number of fields on its gated content registration form and increased conversions, and decreased cost per conversion:

Image: shorter form = higher conversions,
Image source

Let’s assume you get similar conversion rates. Then, if you attract 1000 visitors to your affiliate landing page, 130+ will join if the form is short, and only 100 will join if the form has more fields. That’s a loss of 30+ affiliates (per 1000 visitors) or $1000s in revenue just because the user was asked to fill more information.

However, “shorter form = higher conversion rate” isn’t always true. For example, Michael Aagaard, a former senior conversion optimizer at Unbounce, A/B tested landing page forms for a client and found that reducing the number of fields from nine to six also reduced the number of leads by 14.23%.

Image: longer registration form = higher conversions.
Image Source

Long Registration Form vs. Short: What’s Best For Your Affiliate Program?

It’s clear that the size of a registration form can impact the number of affiliates you get. So how can you know what’s the ideal number of fields to attract the most number of quality affiliates? Michael Aagaard’s way is the most foolproof: A/B test your registration form.

  • If the short form gets more conversions than the longer one, then the short form is ideal for you…
  • …but wait! More sign-ups ≠ quality affiliates. After all, one reason to ask potential affiliates more questions is to learn more about them and how their actions will impact your revenue and brand image. On the other hand, a shorter form is likely to attract more bogus entries.

You’ll have to find the balance to get the maximum quantity of quality affiliates.

Here are three levels of affiliate registration forms and when to use them:

1. Ask for zero details

The reason to create minimal forms is to remove as much friction as possible for a potential affiliate to become an affiliate. And asking for no registration details at all is the most minimal you can go.

One of the easiest ways to find affiliates is by asking your happy customers to become affiliates. Because you already have their details, you don’t need them to fill a form. Instead, you can auto-convert them into affiliates ⁠— if you are on Shopify, you can do it with Social Snowball (the only Shopify app that auto-converts customers into affiliates).

And that simple switch to asking zero details/having zero friction can fetch you many quality affiliates. For example, a DTC brand recently switched to Social Snowball. Because we made all their customers affiliates, their affiliate revenue increased 260%! With the traditional method of asking customers to fill the affiliate form, it’d have been impossible.

Automated affiliate program increase conversions because of zero-detail forms.

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Side Note: Check out these referral program examples to learn how big brands grow by making their customers their affiliates/referrers and forming growth loops.

2. Ask for basic details

The first method works only for converting your customers into affiliates. 

To accept professional affiliate marketers’ or influencers’ requests, asking to fill an affiliate registration form is the most effective way.

The simplest registration form you can create for that includes only two fields: Name and Email, like this: 

Sign up form using Social Snowball
Create sign up form with Social Snowball

You should ask for just these two details only in one case, though: You don’t mind having anyone and everyone as an affiliate. For instance, if you run a dropshipping store, you wouldn’t mind making everyone an affiliate as long as they bring in customers.

However, if the stakes are high, you can’t afford to let anyone become an affiliate. For example, if you have a solid brand image, spammers spamming affiliate links of your products can hurt your brand. Therefore, we recommend having at least these four fields in even the most basic affiliate registration form:

  • Name
  • Email
  • URL (Website, Instagram page, Twitter profile, etc. where they’ll promote your brand)
  • “Why would you like to join the [Company Name] affiliate program?” or “How do you plan to promote our [product or service]?”

Answers to these will give you most of the essential information you need to judge a potential affiliate.

3. Ask to fill an in-depth registration form

Unless your affiliate program is super worthwhile, stick to asking the basic details. Why? The thing about affiliate marketing is that most affiliates can barely bring 3-5 sales. And they likely know it; so, they won’t bother filling an in-depth registration form for an individual program that gives $5 per sale, for instance.

However, let’s suppose you want to attract only the top-tier affiliates (who can bring 100s of sales monthly), or you have high commission rates. In that case, the in-depth registration form is worthwhile for the potential affiliate.

In fact, in some cases, not having an in-depth registration form can repel the best affiliates. Rory Sutherland, the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group, put it best in a podcast I recently listened to. He said something along the lines of ‘Eliminating friction and making it as easy as possible to perform an action is vital in behavioral science. However, sometimes adding friction to make an action seem worthwhile is a more effective option ⁠— the friction kind of prevents people from thinking the (big) result for the (small) action is too good to be true.’

The SEMRush affiliate program is an excellent example of a worthwhile affiliate program. It pays $200 per sale and has a registration form with 20+ fields:

The SEMRush affiliate program form.

The main benefit of such in-depth forms is you can get all the details you want beforehand so that you can make the most accurate judgment as to whether you want to accept the affiliate or not. Plus, most unserious affiliates will self-decline and not put in the effort to fill a time-demanding form.

In a long registration form, you can ask for details like:

  • Number of monthly visitors on their website,
  • Phone number,
  • Social media profiles,
  • Topics/categories they talk about on their page/site,
  • Their promotion strategy, etc.

Create An Effective Affiliate Registration Form!

Your registration form can highly affect the number of requests for joining your affiliate program. 

If yours is a typical e-commerce store or small business, a minimal registration form will likely serve you best. However, if you sell premium products or want only the best affiliates to join your program, a longer form might be more effective. And of course, you can have a medium-sized form with 6-10 fields as well.

What works best for you depends on your business. Consider the details we shared in this article as a base, and A/B test your way to the ideal form for getting as many quality affiliates as possible.

Best of luck!

Create Your Affiliate Program with Social Snowball

Create a minimal registration form with Social Snowball or use our Typeform Integration to create an in-depth registration form.

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