As affiliate marketing landscape evolves, the importance of gaining the immediate attention and trust of potential affiliates for your program is paramount.
According to the 2014 AffStat Report, one of the top three ways affiliate marketers discover new programs is through an affiliate manager reaching out to them directly.
As an affiliate manager, this makes that first email your one chance to make an impact.
In this article, I’ve compiled my top five tips for improving open rates, click-throughs, and, recruitment of new affiliates into your program.
1) Make it personal. According to Dale Carnegie, remembering “that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”. Therefore, it is crucial to use a potential affiliate marketer’s first name in your salutation and merge fields. Even better? Reference anything you draw from their website— company goals, traffic, current partners, and any other pertinent information that may be helpful. Doing your homework first helps to build trust from send to open.
2) Brand your email. With the prevalence of free email providers like Gmail and Yahoo!, you may think the email address you use to send recruiting emails is unimportant. Not so. Add professionalism and legitimacy to your emails by sending your emails from a corporate address.
3) Use anchoring techniques. Sometimes there is a disconnect between affiliate managers and marketers. Affiliate managers push their brand, what they can offer in terms of CPA (Cost Per Action) aggressively. The key to working with affiliate marketers is building personal, healthy relationships based on mutual trust. To do that, use anchoring to understand two points: what is their definition of success in terms of their affiliate marketing efforts as a whole, and how can they leverage you and your company’s offer to make that happen?
4) Keep it simple and personal. Your recruitment emails should be about building personal, authentic relationships with affiliate partners. Instead of creating a flashy HTML email, send a direct, plain-text email. Use the research you have gathered to show you have done your homework and express a personal interest.
5) Follow-up. Don’t underestimate the value of following up with your potential affiliate marketing partners. Provide gentle reminders to gauge their continued interest, but don’t be discouraged if he or she doesn’t answer your email the first or even the second time.
At the end of the day, quality affiliate recruitment is about a long tail, authentic approach to working with affiliate marketers. A great affiliate marketer can be an advocate and friend of your brand if you are patient and able to build a trustworthy relationship.