We’re back with another Q&A from the newsletter archives. Like the others we’ve featured here, this is timeless advice that can benefit any entrepreneur.
Let’s get right to it!
QUESTION: “I’m trying to get more affiliates to promote for me; however, most of them won’t send for me unless I send for them first. What are your thoughts on that?”
This is a great question.
Back before the internet, joint ventures and affiliate marketing was an additional way to provide your customers and prospects with a greater advantage, benefit, value, and convenience.
You’d meticulously select and negotiate a preferred arrangement on behalf of your clients…
…Sort of like when I owned a real estate development company, and pre-negotiated discounts for my clients to purchase furniture, driveway sealing, televisions, home theaters, alarm systems, etc.
I refused to just promote “anyone” because my reputation was on the line. People associate you with the people you associate yourself with…
Then came the internet…
Suddenly, everyone with an email list promoted everything and anything because, after all, it was as simple as sending an email.
And the “personal” nature of face-to-face business became far more “Impersonal.”
In the beginning, consumers trusted business owners who sent emails touting the “next best thing,” and the affiliate marketing industry boomed.
But a dark shadow was quickly cast upon the industry by short-sighted entrepreneurs saying anything and everything (truthful or not) to get people to buy… They created fake reviews… They made false claims.
The government got involved in an attempt to regulate…
And Google was one of the first big players to start purging the nonsense by banning thousands of affiliate marketing accounts, introducing a “promotions” folder to Gmail inboxes, and operating a more aggressive spam policy.
Nearly all of these affiliate marketers took a revenue hit, with most going completely out of business.
They stormed in with flaming torches and pitchforks, blaming Google for their “ridiculous” practices…
However, they missed the point.
Google penalized everyone for “spamming” people with messages that were not relevant, authentic, or wanted by their viewers.
Affiliate marketers threw up their arms, proclaiming that yet another technique was now dead – but they weren’t reading the writing on the wall.
Make your messages RELEVANT, AUTHENTIC, and WANTED by your prospects and customers.
And now that I gave you my rant – let me answer your question…
Yes, of course affiliate marketers want you to email your list – they want to make sales too. However, be strategic in your approach.
- Segment your list – Send promotions to prospects who have a low probability of purchasing from you (you’ll get this data by understanding your customers buying cycle).
- Offer an advantage – Send promotions to your customers/prospects that offer an extra advantage, convenience, or value.
- Consider options – You don’t need to send an email for everyone – be creative. Offer a banner on your blog, insert in a bill, direct mail piece, or a “this email has been sponsored by:” piece.
- Know who you’re associating with – Don’t promote just anyone. Familiarize yourself with their products/services/customer support. If your customers have a bad experience with your affiliate partner, they’ll begin to mistrust you and your word. Reputation is everything today… Don’t risk it on a shoddy partner.
- Convert – The better you convert, the more money your affiliate partner will make, and the more likely they’ll want to promote for you.
Hope that helps!
In your corner,