34 min read

Top 11 Practical Methods to Get More One-Way Mailings Without Playing the Reciprocal Game

These top 11 practical methods to get more one-way mailings are based on the winning strategies and tools at AM Mastermind – Traffic Tribe.  Join our tribe to learn so we can grow together.

What is One-Way Mailing versus Two-Way Mailing? 


When working with affiliate partners, you need to understand what the other side wants. Typically, this tends to be two-way (or reciprocal) mailing where you mail each others’ offers to your respective  lists as a joint venture. However, this method may not suit your marketing goals, or even align with what your subscribers expect to receive. 

That leaves one-way mailing, a method where an affiliate mails for you without mailing in return. For this method to work, you’ll need to risk a little on your end; otherwise, the affiliate partner will not mail solely for you. Remember that every affiliate partner will be different, and you must cater to their needs. In this case, you can formulate a new affiliate deal without compromising your reputation or your subscribers. 


How to Succeed with One-Way Mailings 

1. Have a High Converting, Well-proven Offer


This may be obvious, but an affiliate will only take the risk of a one-way mailing if you are offering your best deal. You should only pitch high-quality converting offers that have been optimized and tested repeatedly. 


It is your job to create the most irresistible offer with the highest conversion rate to make them even consider risking mailing for you. You must prove to them that they can succeed with your offer, and if they do, then you have a partner who will be more than happy to mail for you again and again.


2. Pay Your Affiliates a Higher Commission than You Usually Would 


By increasing your affiliate partners’ commission dramatically, it can help to surge your one-way mailing deals. You can start with affiliates that have mailed for you in the past because you have already established a relationship. Simply explain to them that you need their support, but unfortunately, you cannot reciprocate the mailing. Whether this be from an already oversaturated mailing list, or their brand does not align with yours, you can promise to increase their commission instead. 


We suggest proposing to increase their commission by 10%-20% or $5-$10 if you are paying on a CPA. If they are a big partner, you may want to consider offering an even higher commission or CPA (20%+ or $10+ increase).


Be sure to run the numbers before promising anything to your potential partners. Knowing your numbers is essential when offering to pay higher commission, as you must be able to afford it and you MUST fulfill your end otherwise, your reputation for future deals will suffer.


3. Pay Faster than Other Affiliate Programs in Your Industry


After promising to raise your partner’s commission, let them know that you will also be paying them faster, within 24 hours to 7 days of each sale.


We recommend having a system to help follow through on your promise. For example, if an affiliate sends you more than $5,000 in sales a day, they are bumped up to receive a payout every 24 hours. If they send you between $1,000 and $4,999, they are paid once a week instead of every 2 weeks. It is always good to reward great work, and this system will incentivize your partner to not only accept the deal but also work harder to achieve your goals.


Bear in mind, however, that you should never promise something that you cannot follow through on. You must be a partner that your affiliates can depend upon; otherwise, they will not support you in further mailings. 



4. Introduce Affiliates to Your Connections


Another strategy that you can use to get more one-way mailings is to offer some of your connections to affiliates with whom you want to work with. Helping them expand their first-tier network is a good compromise to reciprocal mailing.

No one can have too many high-quality affiliates, especially when they’re first connections and you

don’t need to pay second-tier commissions for referrals.


There are many opportunities to introduce affiliates to your connections but be confident that you know how to make introductions properly. Offering exclusive events or referrals to media outlets, depending on the affiliate you are working with, can help sway them. Proposing the chance for your affiliate to boost their authority and exposure within the industry is an excellent negotiating point as a reciprocal mailing alternative.


5. Introduce Your Affiliate to Your Non-List Audience

This method may not apply to all, but if YOU have a large audience outside of your email list, you should consider offering to introduce your affiliates to your audience. Whether this is through podcasts, YouTube videos, blogs, or other media platforms, they will gain exposure that they may not achieve on their own. 


To gauge which source to make them a focal point, ask what their goals are and design your strategy around what they want. For example, you can invite your affiliates to be guest speakers at a conference and have them describe their route to success. Create a collaboration that will be a must-see partnership that will give your affiliate partner more reasons to work with you again.


Working within a market that is surrounded by individuals, striving to be more community-based will show others that you are willing to help them grow as much as yourself. If you give the impression that you are only interested in your success, affiliates will not risk their skin for you.  


6. Contribute to Affiliate’s Content Efforts


This strategy works around collaborating with your affiliate partner. It is up to you to brainstorm an idea that can help teach your partner’s audience through their medium. Because your affiliate is not gaining anything from a reciprocal mailing deal, you must come up with content that your affiliate can earn from. The content can be oriented around a specific product or list of products that your affiliate can link to when the content is published.


A simple way to achieve this strategy would be to make a tool roundup or review of one tool. For example, one of those “top tools to get the best results in your industry” or “What I Learned from Growing My Email List 3,418% (Nearly 200K) in Just 11 Days.” These links are affiliate links, and the affiliate is the guest poster. This can help your affiliate partner receive commissions on the links without extra money coming out of your pocket.


7. Contribute to Affiliates’ Product Creation 


There are many ways that you can help contribute to your affiliate’s product creation. If your products are selling better on your affiliates’ sites than their products are on yours, it is your responsibility to step in. 


For example, say you have a skiing apparel store, and your affiliate partner’s business is handmade jewelry. If your customers do not buy their jewelry, but your ski apparel is converting greatly on your affiliates’ site you need to step in and help.


There are plenty of opportunities to help your affiliate enjoy the same success as you. You could help make the jewelry or gather additional raw materials to reduce their costs and effort, and they click a button to send you more snowshoe sales and receive commissions.


For online exclusives, you can let the affiliate interview you for a virtual summit, present a module in their online course, write a chapter for their ebook, etc. Regardless of the method, they are gaining additional social exposure through your assistance, while also helping to reduce their workload.


8. Give Affiliates Audience Free Products or Massive Discounts on Your Products


Without having reciprocal mailing lists, you could consider giving your affiliate partners access to use your products promotionally. If your affiliate sells clothes and you sell closets and dressers, you could offer a selection of options for your affiliate to choose from. You could provide a few months for free or give a great discount whenever a customer buys a determined amount of your affiliate’s product.


This may not be a joint venture in the typical reciprocal mailing, but you will be helping your partner convert more of their own list because customers will be receiving double for the same price.


9. Take Affiliates Behind the Scenes of Your Unfair Advantages


Sometimes the best offer is a nonmaterial exchange. Say your affiliate partner is not an authority in the industry such as yourself. A great offer is to mentor your partners’ team for a few sessions. Advice from a super affiliate could be more valuable to a smaller fish than your mailing list, because if they do not know how to use the list, then it is useless to them. 


For example, say you work with a YouTuber who has a huge audience of raving fans, but no experience building a business or developing their own product line. Or maybe they are rocking Instagram for sales, but have no clue about LinkedIn, whereas your team knows how to use LinkedIn to sign super affiliates. 

Offering to help a smaller fish within the industry is a great way to establish a good relationship with potential affiliate partners, who will remember your generosity and work with you again.



10. Be Your Affiliates’ Case Study


First, you must realize that a case study should not be written as a sales pitch, as this destroys your strategy. You are trying to get people to buy your products, but in a way that does not feel forced. People are more inclined to do or buy things when they have an emotional connection, and this is why it is essential to keep the case study a narrative rather than a sales pitch.


Being your affiliate partner’s case study will help champion your partner’s product, and it can be done through writing, audio, or visual promotion. You will need to dig deep into your story to help explain how your partner’s product helped you overcome challenges and experiences that potential customers could be dealing with now.


However, if for whatever reason, you cannot be a case study because it does not align with your brand, then provide your partner with a testimonial while combining it with one of the other strategies mentioned above. 


11. Donate to Non-Profit Causes that Matter to Your Affiliate


Many of us want to make an impact in the world, and an excellent way to do this is through non-profit organizations. An affiliate partner’s brand may not align with your mailing list, yet you really want to work with them. 


If they have a nonprofit that is important to them or they are starting up, this can be a way to help show your support. You could donate in your own name, in their name, or promote their nonprofit efforts to get extra donations from your list (if their nonprofit efforts could potentially be on-brand). You could email your list directly or determine that a certain portion of your own sales go to this cause.


Keep in mind that this option can only be done in specific situations. We all need to keep on top of our finances, so this may be something that can be achieved when paired with the strategies mentioned above. If you cannot do this now, keep it in your toolbox ready to use when you need it.


Building Partnerships, Trust, and Audience Loyalty


Always remember that if you want to succeed, you cannot ceaselessly put yourself first. In this industry you need to work with other affiliate partners, and compromise endlessly to attain the goals you have set out for yourself. 


Here is some advice from us on how to move forward with your affiliate business: 


  • Never burn down trust for the sake of one deal, no matter how much you want that deal.  
  • Don’t walk away from affiliate marketing opportunities just because you don’t have a list. Instead, choose one of the options we covered here, and maybe even combine some of them together.  
  • Not everything is going to work for everyone, or for every situation, so test it out and see what works for you.  
  • Show your audience you have their back, and they’ll walk the distance with you–for as long as you are in business.


Need Support Creating And Scaling Your Affiliate Program?


Supercharge Your Affiliate Revenue with everything you need to know to grow your partnership marketing channel in a free mini-course Everflow of Partner Connections.


You’ll get 15 lessons and 7 actionable tools designed to meet you at any level (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and help you build a steady affiliate revenue coming month after month, year after year!







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