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?