Things That Should Always Be In Your Affiliate Newsletters

There are a ton of ways to write a newsletters to your Affiliates, but there are also a ton of common errors that I see.  Managers get caught up in their own company and forget that Affiliates work with a ton of merchants and don’t have time to read everything, remember everything about your program or want to open something that is just fluff.  Although you don’t want your newsletter to be too long, you do want to have certain things in every newsletter, and skip certain things for others.  Here are some of the most important things to remember when you are prepping your next newsletter for your Affiliates.

One important thing to remember when writing your Newsletter is that your Affiliates are not your customers so don’t try to sell them.  Instead, talk to them about how to sell your products and services, that is their job.  They joined your program because they like your product, it is your job to teach them how to sell it.

The network you are on – Even though you know which network your program is on, you are one Merchant of possibly thousands.  Make sure to always say within the first paragraph which network you are on.  This makes it easier for your Affiliates to be able to go in and get links, make changes, etc…  If you don’t do this, you may not get as good of a response if they have to log into multiple networks to find where your program is.  If you’re on multiple networks and they find you on another and see they aren’t approved or in the program, you could also create confusion and a bad impression on them.  This could cause them to drop you as well.

Your contact information – Don’t assume that your Affiliates know how to get in contact with you.  Provide them with a phone number, an email address, a Skype name to call, etc…  This way if they have a question they can get a hold of you easily.  Also, if they have a way to contact you and you are responsive, you can build a better relationship and they’ll like the fact that there is someone there to offer them support.

Copy and paste code if you have new creatives or deals – If you talk about deals, specials or new creatives, make sure to include some samples of them in the newsletter and provide them with copy and paste code.  You can use dynamic inserts to place their Affiliate ID within the code so it is ready to go when they get the newsletter.  One thing to make sure you do is test the newsletter first to make sure the code doesn’t turn into links automatically.

Tips on how to promote your program – Saying bid on this term, and giving them a generic term is not helpful.  Providing ten or 15 long tail terms and explaining why they are good is.  You can also say that you have a larger list available and send it to them if they write to you.

Here are some things you can do to help your Affiliates:

  • Provide a non generic keyword list
  • Give them non generic article ideas and even articles you custom write for them
  • Provide SEO tips and advice that isn’t basic or generic that they already know
  • Supply ideas for how to use the product in different niches.  This is especially good if you have your Affiliate list broken out into categories
  • Send them email subject lines and body copy ideas

Your Affiliates will appreciate how you took the time to make their lives easier by helping them think of ways to promote your business or products.

Offer specials on other services – Many newer Affiliates don’t know about tools like Viewbix or Popshops.  You should contact the Affiliate Managers or Marketing departments and work out a deal for your partners.  Most tools are happy to negotiate because they will hopefully get sales and your Affiliates will get a discount on a service that could potentially benefit them.

Formatting for easy skimming and reading – One thing that drives me crazy is when I get a huge newsletter and there is something important or relevant to me in it, but I have to read the whole thing to find it.  Other times I might save it so I can go back to one section, and then I have to re-read the newsletter just to find it.  Find an easy to read and navigate format for your Affiliates so that they can go directly to the sections that they want to read.

Mention what shows or events you are going to – If you are going to Affiliate Summit, Pubcon or any of the other great shows out there, let your Affiliates know so that they could schedule a time to meet with you and work on a custom strategy.  Putting a name with a face and program makes a huge difference on your relationships with your Affiliates.

There are a ton of other things you can include in your Affiliate newsletters, but these are some of the most important.  I highly recommend you look through your past ones and see what was in it, what wasn’t and try to remember which ones got the best responses.  If all you are doing is sending out fluff, top ten products or coupon codes, you aren’t adding a ton of value.  In fact, if you are just sending out coupon codes you may anger your content Affiliates and lose some of their loyalty to you.  Think about your newsletter, think about how you can add value to your partners and then test to see what is working.  You may also want to write a different Affiliate newsletter for each group of Affiliates in your program.

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Comments

  1. There is maybe nothing less useful than getting the same email that gets sent to customers, full of non affiliate links. If I need to go and create my own links, I don’t need the newsletter, it has not served any purpose other than to waste time and bandwidth…and aggravate your affiliates. Of course we learn which emails do this and auto-route them to the trash.

  2. You’ve forgotten the unbelievably obvious… so painfully obvious that I’ve seen affiliate newsletters without it: merchant name.

    The emails with “We’re having a big sale and you can earn bonuses until Friday” are no good if I don’t know who you’re working with.

  3. Thanks Eric. =0) #HeadToDesk

  4. I wish I had a comment like button for your comment Nancy. Thanks for commenting. =0)

  5. You’re welcome Adam – I had just finished setting up rules to route another one that way so it hit me. Besides your article is great at pointing out these things, so hopefully there will be fewer at some point. I’ve seen the ones that Eric is mentioning, too – they make me wonder..and then delete. Those emails that are dated from last Friday and get sent out on a Monday to tell us all about last weekend’s big specials are another one for the list. I am convinced that most merchants who opt for a do-it-yourself management plan for their affiliate program are their own worst enemies. If it was so simple, there would not be any successful OPMs…lol.

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