What Do We Really Want

by Melanie on July 10, 2014

If you manage an affiliate program you’ve probably wondered how you can connect to an affiliate you’ve never met. Not identify them but connect to them – get them actively into your program. What in the world do we want? Is it the percentage? Is it an extra incentive? Is it great metrics?

There are many factors we consider when joining and beginning to promote a program. It starts with a product or service- can we market it? After that, the decision process differs; some affiliates promote everything and some are more defined. Some larger affiliates can take more chances with adding new program/products but smaller affiliates are more challenging, they have to pick and choose. It is those affiliates that can really help expand your program. If you manage multiple programs, those are the affiliates that can help grow all of your programs. How can you get them to try your program out? For some affiliates, the network the program is on is an important criteria; the network can impact whether we  move further into the decision factor.  The closing rate, reversal rate and commission are also deciding factors but often the deciding factors  are two that are often underrated.

Time and Trust.

Its quite simple really- time and ease of promotion is the first factor. Depending on the affiliate’s approach it may simply be a matter of time.  If the program (or the network it is on) makes it difficult to  promote you will drop down on the to do list.  If your data feed is a mess or incomplete, will an affiliate have the time to clean it up so it is usable or tweak it to make it more productive?

Do you (or your network) provide tools or make it easy to promote? Do you limit links?  Do you have variety of banners? I could go on but it comes down to the basics of if you make it faster and easier to promote you move up the list. Make it cumbersome you move down.

Trust is complex.  We need to trust the network, the manager, the website and for some, trust the product or service. We have a lot at stake and need to be able to trust.

Gaining trust is straight forward.

Keeping trust is simple.

Regaining trust is very difficult.

 

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Mean What You Say

by Melanie on July 8, 2014

Over the past few months, I placed some of my affiliate marketing on a back burner while I dealt with other concerns. As could be expected, emails  became my primary source of information. Like most affiliates I had to wade through hundreds or even thousands of emails.  Some emails I read right away and others I deleted. Still others I left in my mailbox pretending that one day I would open and read. Then, there are the emails that I opened, started to read and then deleted.

Hundreds of emails that were ineffective because although I opened the email to read it, I stopped after a line or two. How did they manage to lose me as soon as I opened the email? Simple – the lack of  sincerity, otherwise known as The Fake Personal Email, and lack of content. While I understand the need to stand out and the struggle to get your email read, it would beneficial to examine the validity of your email.  What is the credibility of the fake personal email?  What makes an effective affiliate email? How can a manager make sure their email stands out and then, how can they make sure it gets read?

  1. Getting your emails  read doesn’t just start or end with great subject lines; content matters.
  2. Keep it real, if it’s not a genuine personalized email be cautious in trying to make it sound personalized. I received a couple of emails that started by congratulating me for being one of their top affiliates. Strange thing is, I’ve yet to promote or have any meaningful sales. One merchant congratulated me as being their top performer- I only generated one sale and haven’t earned enough for a cup of coffee. If the email is accurate, the program is in very bad shape. If the congratulations are just empty words you are damaging your credibility.
  3. Real content, not fluff. If you are writing an email or newsletter to keep your affiliates informed then inform.
  4. If the purpose of your email is just to stay in touch, keep it brief and don’t fill it with a summary of your vacation.  Time is precious.
  5. If you manage multiple programs realize that your emails and programs will blur together if the content and subject lines are too similar. At least a few times a month I  receive virtually identical “newsletters ‘. I am less likely to open future emails if it is so obvious that the writer just copies and only substitutes names of programs.
  6. Always include your current contact information (unless of course you don’t want to be contacted).
  7. Consider including a short bullet list because many people scan. A bullet list will get my attention and is always read.
  8. Preview your email to check spelling, punctuation and formatting; if it is too hard to read we will delete and move on.
  9. Sign off as a professional. A business email should never be signed off with hugs and kisses.Yes, this really happens.
  10. Finally, read your newsletter one last time to make sure it says what you need it to say and has the proper tone.

While one bad email doesn’t mean I will not read the next you send, over time, the lack of value and low credibility of your emails will reduce the likelihood of my even opening the email. Read your own email with an objective eye or have someone else review it for you, you just might be surprised.

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