There’s a concept in the philanthropic world that ‘people give to people’, which underscores the notion that when you want people to believe in and support your cause you need to approach them on a human level rather than on an organizational level. The same approach could theoretically be applied to building affiliate relationships – but in practice, it seldom is.
If you are a financial broker looking to build lucrative relationships with quality affiliates it is absolutely critical to build a personal connection and a regular stream of communication. It may seem time-consuming or difficult, but investing in your affiliates will undoubtedly be the best way to encourage their success. After all, you are competing with hundreds of other financial brokers, so it’s a good idea to be up front in a way that will get your brand noticed in a most positive way. Before you send out your next partnership proposal, decide what type of reputation you want to have and what type of relationships you want to build.
Then choose from the strategies below and decide which ones are worth investing in.
Mass mailers vs. personal notes
I have received hundreds of mass mailers over the years. They always include a few common points. For example, most start with forced excitement about their exciting new company or offering (usually punctuated with at least one exclamation point!), and end with a promise of the highest payouts in the industry. The more aggressive ones also make claims to be the best performing broker in the industry or to have the best creative materials on the web.
a mass mailer is akin to sending a generic message to every member of an online dating website
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Mass mailers also tend to include generic ‘flattery’ of the affiliate’s website, perhaps something like: “I’ve seen your website and I think it would be a great fit for our brokerage.” If an affiliate were to follow up on such a mailer he (or she) would likely discover that the broker is not at all familiar with the affiliate website and has probably never seen it, and that the payouts are certainly not the highest in the industry.
On the other hand, a mass mailer could be the right solution for you if you’re an affiliate manager whose sole goal is to sign on new affiliates regardless of the quality of their traffic. If you’re purely looking for numbers, a mass mailer can be a great way to entice novice webmasters who will relish the attention and be willing to test you out even if they’re not familiar with online trading or their site is completely irrelevant.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for quality affiliates, sending a mass mailer as a way to introduce yourself to potential affiliates is akin to sending a generic message to every member of an online dating website. Chances are high that most of these advances will be ignored and that those who do respond will not be the ones you’ll want to date. If you’re really looking for a long term relationship, make sure to take time and to paint yourself in a most attractive way so that you’ll entice an affiliate make a long-term commitment.
Staying in touch
The right affiliate relationship will require transferring of a lot of money and valuable website traffic between partners. Shouldn’t this transfer take place with someone you can rely on?
Send holiday cards, birthday cards or just a short note to check in
I have no doubts that being an affiliate manager is an extremely demanding job. In addition to juggling dozens of affiliates, most affiliate managers also serve as the intermediary between their sales team and their affiliates in order to reach demanding goals. And yet, when time is short, most affiliate managers don’t make the time to connect with their affiliates. They stop sending suggestions for new landing pages or CTAs or worse, they don’t reply to the affiliate’s inquiries at all.
Being available by Skype, email or even Linkedin is a great way to prove your dedication to your partnership and to reaching your mutual goals. Make sure to connect regularly with your affiliates and to cultivate those relationships in a personal way. Send holiday cards, birthday cards or just a short note to check in. Treating your affiliates like you care will go a long way in making them value the relationship. And this, in turn, will make the affiliation infinitely more successful.