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E-mail can be an excellent tool for affiliate recruitment if it is utilized the right way. Unfortunately, in many cases affiliate program managers are just multiplying the spam flow that is already bombarding our mailboxes. There are at least 5 mistakes that you can make when putting together an affiliate recruitment message.

An e-mail that I have received today illustrates all these mistakes in one place. Here is the text of it:

Affiliate e-mail mistakes

Mistake #1: Impersonal - The "Sender" field contains no name (just the company name and some generic e-mail address). Additionally, it is easy to tell that they haven't looked at my website, which does have my name that they could have used to make the above piece of correspondence really attract my attention.

Mistake #2: Unenticing - That "Subject" line doesn't make them stand out. Imagine how many recruitment e-mails an affiliate receives every day. Make yours special. Yes, it is a good idea to "brand" your subject line with the company name, but in my experience "become an affiliate" is not the most enticing phrase to use. Use words like "partnership", "business proposal" (after all, it is one), "private offer" (if you're making one, of course). You want your e-mail to stand out among the hundreds of others they receive.

Mistake #3: Inconcrete - How exactly is my website a good fit for this affiliate program? The www.amnavigator.com is simply not. They did not do their homework. It is apparent that I was sent a blanket e-mail -- impersonal and inconcrete.

Mistake #4: Intrusive - So now I have to opt-out for you to understand that I am not "a good candidate" and stop sending this to me? This may make things right from the CAN-SPAM Act perspective, but if you are an "affiliate manager" seeking to recruit me as your affiliate, it's not the "requirements for commercial emailers" that you should rely on. You should want to approach your prospects with respect, personal message, and something to really catch their attention with.

Mistake #5: Incentive-Free - This mistake may well be added to the point #2 above, but I have decided to make it into a separate one. The above text is not offering an affiliate anything on top of the default commission structure. There is neither an urgency, nor any additional attractiveness that would make an affiliate click that "details of our affiliate program" link, join it, and start sending the traffic their way.

Impersonal, unenticing and incentive-free, inconcrete and intrusive = ineffective.

Have I missed anything?

Geno Prussakov

Published 22 May, 2009 by Geno Prussakov

Geno Prussakov is the Founder & Chair of Affiliate Management Days conference, Founder & CEO at AM Navigator, author, internationally known speaker, and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can find Geno on Google+

27 more posts from this author

Comments (9)

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Evan

I have been recruiting affiliates for years via email and other methods. With email you have to go about it the right way. Here is what to do:
- You should really only ever email a site once to see if they are interested in being an affiliate. There you don't need an opt-out.
- Compliment their website.
- Propose a relavant affiliate offer for their site.
- Keep it very brief
- Point out something about their website to improve it (if you are capable of making that kind of suggestion). "Helpful suggestion"
- Contact sites that rank well in Google and Yahoo.

I can't give away all the secrets...hope this helps!

over 7 years ago

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James O'Brien

In order to be CAN-SPAM compliant, since it seems to be an unsolicited and definitely commercial email, there should also be the physical address of the company soliciting you. This would also be true under UK and EU law. It really bothers me when a company claims to be "in the business" and then messes up something so fundamental, but they want you to work with them.

You also might add since they sent to info@ that they possibly dictionary attacked or harvested your email address. Especially as you point out that your actual name is on your website.

over 7 years ago

Geno Prussakov

Geno Prussakov, Founder at AM Navigator LLC

They did have the physical address under the last line. I just cut it off from the screenshot.

Yes, the e-mail address may have been harvested too.

over 7 years ago

Geno Prussakov

Geno Prussakov, Founder at AM Navigator LLC

Another thing to note is:

--> Watch Your Lexis, Syntax & Punctuation

I've just looked through some 40 different affiliate recruitment e-mails, and they are so full of clichés, it isn't even funny. Flee from using words and phrases like "instantly", "ultimate", "perfect match", "X figures in X days/months", "make $X every day/month", "highest payouts", "best affiliate program", "number one affiliate program online",  etc. Also, forget about spelling words in uppercase, and drop those exclamation marks.

over 7 years ago

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seo specialist

Hum that really big spam mail keep track source from email sending that very bad way to promote business

over 7 years ago

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Helen

Thanks Geno for a concise article!  I think often we forget that it is quality not quantity in terms of finding and contacting potential partners.  I particularly liked the reminder to include the incentive - we just launched a great bonus offer which I haven't (but now will) work into more of my recruiting.

Best regards,

Helen
http://www.vendio.com

about 7 years ago

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Diana

Thanks for all the useful tips from blog post and comments

almost 7 years ago

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apartments for rent in Calgary

I really like this article. Can you guys check my website if it looks good because I added some Dynamic Drive content to enhance the look. I am not done yet but I am coming back on it during my chance.

almost 7 years ago

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Google Wave Forum

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almost 7 years ago

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