Affiliate Marketing • 16 min read
A commonly overlooked aspect of the affiliate business is the nuance of communicating properly with your affiliate partners. We have a “secret sauce” that will help you have good mailings and communication with your affiliate partners, so they stop ghosting you and instead come back to promote your offers again.
Communicating With Affiliates
Before anything else, it is essential to understand how to talk to your affiliate partners. To begin with, you must match your affiliate tone-for-tone. There are different kinds of affiliates, and each one is different. It is important to reach out with new offers and promotions, but first, you must meet their needs, or they’ll be less inclined to work with you.
Here are some tips to help formulate a better relationship with your affiliate partners:
- Communicating with your affiliate partners should be a two-way street, not a ME street.
- Stand out with value, give as much as you can afford.
- Their goals are NOT your goals, find out how to make shared goals.
- Under-promise and over-deliver.
Once an affiliate partner realizes that you are willing to tailor your terms to accommodate them, it will be easier to move forward together. More importantly, once an affiliate partner works for you and does a stellar job, make sure to let them know you appreciate their work. Give shoutouts and gifts to those rockstar affiliates to show your support and gratitude. Those who are openly acknowledged for their hard work will remember your recognition and be open to working with you again or will refer you to other affiliate partners.
Good Mailing vs. Bad Mailing
The majority of people will measure a mailing in revenue, and the difference between a good and a bad mailing depends on whether you are able to make this number. As we discussed above, it is essential to communicate with your affiliate partner, and this is especially important in regards to their revenue goal per mailing needs. For affiliates to work with you again, you need to know what their revenue goal per mailing is so you can do everything in your power to make sure they meet that amount.
Let’s say your affiliate partner told you that their target is $5,000. In this case, there are three different possible situations:
1. They mail for your offer and get $7,500 in revenue. To show that you appreciate your affiliate you congratulate them and instantly ask to send unopens, send new swipe copy – subject line and link, and set up future mailings within this affiliate.
2. They mail for your offer and receive $4,500 in revenue, just short of their target. You should pre-negotiate with your offer owner to gift the affiliate partner the $500 they missed and ask this partner to send again to unopens.
3. They mail for your offer and receive $2,500 in revenue, which is way under their target. You must ask your partner for feedback because you do not know how the affiliate is managing their lists. They could have sent only a test, or maybe a different group of assets would perform better to their list.
In all three cases proper communication is key to achieving success with your affiliate partners. Discussing the process is the best way to make sure that your affiliate partners do not ghost you after working with them. Even if they are under the targeted amount, talking may help you understand their process and realize that they could potentially be on track to reaching their goal.
Good and Bad Mailing SOP
You need to make sure you have standard operating procedures around all changes after a mailing. Thus, it is essential to figure out what changes you need around your mailing communications to drive more traffic to your affiliate offer.
1. Framing Question: What is going to be the question that your team asks? This question is very important because you want your whole team to speak the same language to affiliates. Inconsistency will cause confusion or potential problems where the affiliate may not want to work with you again.
- What is the definition of a good mailing for you?
- How can I make this experience delightful for you?
- What are your expectations?
2. Where does this information live? You need to create a document for all the information: what is their expectation for good mailing, what is your history with them, what are comments they have had? You need to have a place for all the affiliate mailing information and who can access this information.
- Google Doc / Spreadsheet
- Sales Force
3. Triggers and Levers: What are you allowed to do to make your target goals, or if you are not even close to making the target? How do you reward a good mailing? What do you do with a bad mailing?
- If someone had a bad mailing, what are you going to do?
- If they had a great mailing, what are you going to do to incentivize them to mail for you more?
4. Follow-up sequence: After someone does a mailing with you, what is the follow-up sequence if they had a good or bad mailing?
- Good -> send to un-opens, re-book, thank you pages, auto-responders
- Bad -> negotiate new terms?
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