So you’ve got your affiliates lined up for your next big product launch or promotion. Now what? Getting a certain number of affiliates to mail once or twice for your promotion is one thing, but getting them to send an extra two, three, or even FIVE more emails than they planned is what will take your affiliate program to the next level. Today I am going to share seven guaranteed ways to get your affiliates to promote more often, send more emails, and go ALL-IN promoting you.
1. Set Up One-on-One Personal Promotion Plans (But Don’t Call them “Promo Plans”)
One of the best things you can do to get your affiliates to mail more often is to create a personal promotion plan with them.
Below I have a video that walks you through how we do ours (this is some of our “Secret Sauce” when we run affiliate programs for clients), but here is the gist:
You meet with affiliates one-on-one before the promotion and craft a custom promotion plan that works with their calendar.
I have found that when I meet with a partner one-on-one, they tend to agree to at least a few extra emails more than they had previously planned on sending.
And as we know, the principles of commitment and consistency (Thanks, Robert Cialdini) means that what people commit to, they stick to.
So, jump on Zoom or Skype and go through the promotion plan spreadsheet (you can get the template here) with them. Work through each of the ideal situations and adjust their personal plan to meet their needs. Here’s a look inside what this plan could look like:
Then once you have their plan set, have them commit to it. Email them a copy of the spreadsheet, thanking them for their commitment to promote.
More often than not, they’ll stick to that plan. If anything, they will add to it during the promotion, but they will rarely if ever subtract from it.
I have personally done these plans with people whose products I’m promoting and when I have fallen short in the middle of a promotion, I have added extra emails to make up for it.
When I promise someone that I am going to mail eight times, then, by gosh, I’m going to mail eight times at a minimum!
THAT is the power of creating personalized promotion plans with your affiliates.
NEW FOR 2020: “Promo Plans” are great, but we don’t call them that anymore. In our last big affiliate launch, we learned something that completely changed the way we do these…and got us an average of 1.7 more emails from each affiliate. That is a HUGE gain!
I reveal exactly what we call them now (and why we call them that) in the video below that walks you through the whole process:
2. Give Your Smaller Affiliates Generic Mailing Plans
As much as you may want to meet with every single affiliate one-on-one, the reality is, you can’t.
So what can you do for them?
Well, typically in a launch, if we have 500 affiliates promoting, I will meet with between 15 and 25 one-on-one. For everyone else, you want to give them some generic mailing plans that they can use to plan their promotion.
We give them our “ABC Mailing Plans” and I covered them in-depth in an earlier post about what your affiliates REALLY need to be successful. In that post, I share a video walkthrough of how we put them together to get maximum results from our affiliates.
But here is a quick overview:
ABC stands for:
Here’s what it looks like in our affiliate portal:
CLICK HERE for a detailed walkthrough of the Mailing Plans page in our affiliate portals.
Our objective with these plans, much like with the personal promotion plans, is to get your affiliates to commit to some level of participation. You’re looking to get them to commit to a minimum number of emails like I mentioned above.
What we’ve found is that affiliates who commit to the Conservative level will often move up to the Balanced (or even the All-In) level as the launch progresses, the competition heats up, and prizes are on the line.
They want to “dip their toe in the water” and see “is this promotion going to work for me?” And then, if it looks like it’s working early on, they’ll get more aggressive as they go.
But the key here is to get them to commit to SOMETHING on the front end.
So make it VERY easy to commit to the Conservative level.
Typically the Conservative plan includes 2-4 emails to your entire list, 2-4 emails to unopens, and 2-4 emails to engaged contacts (usually optins).
This gets them to commit to between 6 and 8 emails total, which is a pretty easy commitment level, especially when as few as two of them are to their entire list.
3. Give Affiliates Their Optin List
As we mentioned in the mailing plans above, there comes a point during a launch when you want people only mailing their optin list.
Who are their optins?
These are the people who have opted in for free content (ebooks, video series, assessments, webinars, etc.).
The reason you want affiliates emailing only these people is that these are their most engaged contacts. They’re the people who have raised their hands and said: “I am interested in this subject matter.”
Once the cart is opened, generally speaking, these are the contacts that you want affiliates to focus on.
Giving affiliates their optin list allows them a chance to turn their focus toward engaged subscribers who asked for this content and prevent unsubscribes from their main list (although they shouldn’t really worry about unsubscribes!).
And if they mail their most engaged contacts more often, everybody wins.
4. Run Short, Frequent, and Exciting Contests
Nothing moves people like a deadline…but contests are pretty close!
To get your affiliates to mail more often, focus on frequent, very short (24-48 hour) contests that get them excited to promote.
This might be a contest just for webinar registrations, or a contest just for optins today, or a contest for sales on a day when sales are typically lower.
This encourages people to mail because often just one email is the difference between a very lucrative prize and nothing extra.
Here are some examples of actual contests that we have offered:
1st Place – Caribbean Cruise for 2
Drawing (1 entry/optin) – $1,000 or Macbook Air
Why it Works:
We knew with this client that the webinar converted. A Caribbean cruise for two costs about $3,000 if you splurge a bit and a webinar lead was worth $5 on average, so we’re paying the top partner (who generated 1,800 extra leads) about $1.65 per lead. Not bad!
We also gave every single affiliate a chance to win something they really wanted ($1,000 cash or a MacBook Air). Since it was a random drawing, anyone could win, but of course, the more optins you send, the better your chance. We saw a lot of affiliates who normally might only send 50 optins send 100-150, which multiplied by dozens of affiliates resulted in thousands more optins.
WEEKEND ASSESSMENT OPTINS
1st Place – $2,500
2nd Place – $1,000
3rd Place – $500
Drawing (Anyone with 25+ optins – 2 winners) – $250 each
Why it Works:
We ran this one for Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever launch. His assessment was going viral and converting really well, but weekends tend to suck for launches.
So we ran a weekend contest. We announced it at a very specific time (I share the when and why in the video below) and the contest was valid for Saturday and Sunday.
We saw a 57% lift in optins over the weekend compared to projections, which was easily worth the $4,250 we spent.
To learn how to run a weekend contest and when to announce them for maximum results, watch this quick video:
FIRST DAY SALES
1st Place – $1,000
Drawing (anyone with 1 sale) – $250
Why it Works:
Simply put, you want your affiliates coming out of the gates strong on open cart day.
Be willing to spend a bit of money here to get people energized.
THE “ANYONE CAN WIN IF YOU SEND MORE EMAILS” CONTEST
Anyone who sends an email during a specific period of time is entered into a drawing to win a prize (or cash).
Why it Works
This contest was open to everyone. All an affiliate had to do was send an email. Every email an affiliate sent entered them to win.
This encouraged smaller affiliates to mail an extra time or two.
To learn when to run this contest and how we ran this contest from a technical standpoint, here’s a quick video:
5. Educate Your Affiliates
Teach your affiliates why mailing more often works. Or, why emailing at a specific time works better.
When we’re running launches I often share why mailing on the weekend is a good idea. And I share this piece of information on a Friday so they are more likely to take action.
Remember, this is all about getting affiliates to add an extra email that they weren’t planning on sending.
Help your affiliates understand WHY you want them to mail more. When they know the WHY, they will take action.
Share data with them about how mailing more on cart close day will exponentially increase their sales (for example, mailing twice as much can increase sales by 120-200%), or how sending an email or two to unopens could drastically increase their commissions.
If you want to know more about educating your affiliates, make sure you register for The Affiliate Code UNLOCKED live event coming up. And make sure you attend LIVE as live attendees will get our Confidential Briefing sharing a previously secret strategy for training your affiliates.
6. Give Them Killer Swipe Copy
One of the most important things you can do to get your affiliates to mail more often is to provide them with killer swipe copy they can use for every step of your launch.
I’ve written before about my 5 tips for creating killer swipe copy, so I won’t go into a ton of detail here, but here’s the short version…
Hire a copywriter to write it
Yes, you could write the copy yourself, but a professional copywriter will be able to objectively create great copy that your affiliates (and their audience) will relate to.
You’re just too close to your product to be objective.
Be sure to include at least one graphic that your affiliates can send with their swipe copy. If you don’t, your affiliates will ask for it!
The easier you make it on them, the more they will promote.
My earlier post shows you what graphics affiliates need.
Write different versions for different audiences
Think about the different audiences who might buy your product and have swipe copy written for each of these audiences.
These different versions will probably be 85-90% the same, but a few tweaks will make it even more effective!
Write different lengths of swipe copy
Some of your affiliates will want to write emails that are 750 words are more, some will want a 300-word email and some will want just a short blurb for a newsletter.
Be sure to provide various lengths to make it easy for your affiliates. (We’ve found the top affiliates send emails that are less than 250 words, especially at cart close time…)
And remember swipe for email is going to be substantially different than swipe for Facebook or Twitter.
Make it CLEAR that the swipe copy is a guide only
The worst thing you can do is have 100 affiliates all send identical emails.
Tell them to make the emails personal and only use the swipe copy as a starting point.
7. Build Up Each Promo Milestone
Individually, with as many affiliates as possible (typically this will be your top 20-50 affiliates), you want to tell them where they stand.
This means sharing with them how many optins they have, how many sales they have, where they stand in relation to others, how far they are from 1st (or another position), how many sales they need to get to the next guaranteed prize level, etc.
The trick here is to find something that is practical for them to achieve.
So, let’s say first place has 100 sales, it’s 2 days until the end of the launch and the top affiliate has 100 sales and the affiliate in 14th place has 9 sales. It’s not practical that #14 is going to catch up to #1.
It is, however, very practical that they could catch up to #10. So focus on how far they are from being in the Top 10 and push them to get there.
If they aren’t going to achieve a leaderboard position, focus on the guaranteed prizes.
For example, “Hey, just wanted to let you know you are only 7 sales away from winning the 13″ MacBook Pro or $1,000!”
When you build up these milestones, remind people where they stand, and show how to get to the next level it’s VERY encouraging.
We have found that every time we send one of these emails, the response is quite often, “Awesome Matt, I’ve scheduled another email for later today!”
Wouldn’t you love to get an email like that?
So there you have it, 7 ways to get your affiliates to fully commit to your promotion and mail more often. Any single one of these strategies could significantly increase the number of times your affiliates mail, but when used together, you could see exponential and explosive growth.