Effectively communicating with affiliates is the key to a successful affiliate program. The challenge? Figuring out WHAT to communicate, and HOW. Today’s post lays out a “what and how” plan you can use to make sure your affiliate communications are designed to maximize your sales results.

How to Communicate With Affiliates

Affiliate marketers often ask me about how to create an effective communication system with affiliates. They want to know WHEN to communicate. WHAT to communicate. Along with HOW to do it.

These are the three critical questions, and they’re all answered in this post.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit…affiliate communication can be a bit of a moving target. There is no “one size fits all” strategy to follow because affiliate programs vary.

But there ARE some best practices.

I’ve broken things into “mini” explanations depending on the type of affiliate program you’re offering.

What might apply to a standard launch might not be relevant to an evergreen launch.

There are often nuances and caveats you need to take into consideration.

The Golden Rule of Affiliate Communication

Regardless of what type of affiliate program you’re running, you need to make sure you keep your affiliates informed and engaged.

That means providing them with regular updates.

For example, share what’s going on between launches or big promotions.

But what about evergreen programs?

If you’re running an evergreen program, how do you build in regular updates when affiliates are coming on board at different times?

Like I said…you need to understand the nuances.

For example, say you have a completely evergreen program. There’s not a whole lot that changes from week to week.

But maybe you have a little bit of an increase right before Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Or, you might see a little bit of a bump in Q4. Maybe you sell more or you sell an equal amount from June through August, as you do the other nine months.

Make sure to communicate this seasonality with your affiliates. And give them special swipe copy and graphics to help them promote.

My point is you need to create an affiliate communication program that MATCHES your business.

I’m going to cover all of the things that you need to do to keep your affiliates informed and motivated…no matter what kind of a program you’re running.

One Of The Biggest Affiliate Communication Mistakes I See

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘outta sight, outta mind’?

In the world of affiliate marketing, that’s a real danger. One that can cost you LOTS of money!

For some reason, affiliate managers will disappear for nine, ten or eleven months of the year.

Their affiliates hear crickets up until it’s showtime.

We worked with a client previously and one of the things that we hammered home was the importance of getting affiliates “warmed up”…MONTHS in advance!

If it’s June and your launch is in November, start getting them fired up in July.

Get them excited!

You don’t want to inundate them with messages but you DO want to get them pumped up to promote.

That’s a common mistake we see with the launch programs…a general lack of communication.

What Your Affiliates Need To Know

So, what are some of the things that you do need to communicate?

There’s no particular order to anything I’m going to share here.

But I can guarantee…after reading this post, you’ll be well equipped to create a killer affiliate communication program.

And the strategies I cover can be used for…

  • Pure Evergreen
  • Evergreen Hybrid
  • Launch-Specific

Regardless of the type of program you’re running, there is one thing you have to do for all of them…make sure you educate your affiliates.

You probably don’t want to start your education process six months out.

But during the 90 days leading up to your launch? Rev up your education machine!

If you’re running an Evergreen program, you can educate year-round on an ongoing basis.

During the lead-up to any big promotions, share what’s working for other partners.

Teach your affiliates the strategies and the tactics that they need to use.

We regularly do affiliate training webinars for our clients. In this training we go over the launch calendar, winning strategies, contests, and more.

Normally, the only way to get access to this training is to be one of our Your Affiliate Launch Coach clients or their affiliates, but you can get the affiliate training webinar here (including the slides) so you can train your own affiliates.

Get the EXACT Templates We Use to Train Affiliates PLUS a Behind-the-Scenes Look at One of Our Trainings! Click Here to Access it Now (100% FREE)!

Affiliate Training Templates

Affiliate Email Hacks You NEED To Know

It’s important to teach your affiliates WHY emailing more works or why mailing at a specific time is critical.

When we’re running launches, I often explain to clients why mailing on a weekend is a good idea.

The idea is to get affiliates to send an email or two over the weekend. A lot of times, we’ll wrap that up in a weekend email contest. (I’ll share in a second how you can get our “weekend” email template)

Here’s what we do to get affiliates to mail on the weekend:

What happens if you email me about the contest too early…

If you email me at 9am, it is just early enough that I can go into ConvertKit and pause our email that WAS going out today. And, instead of sending an email today and then one more over the weekend, I’ll just send two on the weekend.

Your program just missed out on a precious extra email to my list.

Friday around 2:00 PM is the key time.

Most affiliates have sent out their emails for the day. But it’s still early enough in the day when they can pivot and add an extra email.

For example, let’s say I’m writing this on a Friday at about 2:30. If you emailed me right now and said,

“Hey, you should mail this weekend. We’re doing a special promotion, the top three affiliates, get this awesome prize.”

I have the flexibility to go… “Hmm….I think I could pull that off. Let me type up an extra email. We’ll move on and get our team to load it.”

If you email me at 5, I can’t do that.

  • I’m a half-hour from leaving the office.
  • I’ve got my kids and I’m coaching their games tonight, or whatever.
  • Oh well. Somebody will win that contest but it’s not going to be me.

DOWNLOAD: Click here to grab my weekend email template.

Take Affiliates Behind The Scenes

Taking affiliates behind the scenes is a GREAT way to engage affiliates and, it can be used with annual, evergreen, or evergreen hybrid launches.

Give them access to what’s going on in your preparation for the launch.

For example, there’s one video I always recommend clients create. IF they’re recording pre-launch videos or a run-through of their LIVE workshop…take an extra five minutes to record a behind-the-scenes video for your affiliates.

Here’s the script: “Hey partners, I’m on set here. We’re three days from the start of the LIVE workshop, or we’re a week away from the LIVE workshop (or whatever it is), we’re just doing a test run-through and here’s what it looks like.”

Then, go on to explain some of the stuff you’re going to be doing.

Affiliates LOVE this insider access!

I might even include a 10-minute snippet that includes a few bloopers.

Don’t Forget To Constantly Hammer Home Important Dates

Make it a point to constantly remind your affiliates of important dates that surround your promotion.

Let’s say your promotion starts April 14th. You’ve got to hammer that home!

And, be ready to provide them with a plan for building up to your launch date.

Some will need more coaching than others on things like…

  • how to warm the audience up
  • how to promote the webinar
  • how to promote the ebook
  • how to promote the free report
  • how to promote the quiz
  • how to promote the assessment
  • how to promote the workshop
  • how to promote sales
  • how to do better with email,

You can also do special trainings by providing them with:

  • a specific lesson on social media,
  • a specific lesson on a specific tactic for social media, Instagram, Facebook, whatever,
  • a specific lesson on how to use DMS, how to use their Facebook groups, how to do LIVES.

Whatever it is, teach them specific things.

These are all the things that you can provide to your affiliates to help them increase their sales! (and YOUR commissions!)

Build Excitement Around Contests And Prizes

It’s YOUR job to pump your affiliates’ tires…and keep them pumped!

Give them the information they need to know about…

“Hey guys, we just announced this, $250,000 contest,” or “everybody who makes five sales gets this…” Whatever it is, let them know!

And, if you’ve nailed down your contest eight weeks in advance, make sure to get an early start on letting affiliates know about it.

Start building BUZZ.

Get some excitement going about it.

To learn more about how to create great affiliate contests, check out this podcast episode: “How to Run Affiliate Contests Without Breaking the Bank.”

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Updating Affiliates

Give them updates on EVERYTHING!

…“Oh my gosh, the webinar was amazing.”

…”Last week was our second biggest week in the past year!

Tell them about success stories. Share testimonials.

If you’re an affiliate manager and you get a testimonial, here’s what to do:

Tell your customer service team…”Anytime somebody sends an email with a really cool story, do me a favor, take a screenshot, send it to me, or let’s start a channel in slack or whatever. But I want to know any time somebody says something nice about our product so I can tell it to affiliates.”

So…WHEN Do You Communicate with Them?

In the case of a launch, just ask if there’s anything they need a couple of weeks out and then maybe a day or two in or the day before. For evergreen, reach out AT LEAST once a quarter.

Whenever you choose to communicate, I’d include three of these elements,

  • A tip or strategy
  • What’s working, maybe a good story
  • A testimonial or an update

But try to aim for a consistent once-a-month email. Then, track this in your system. Maybe re-contact “unopens” 10 to 12 days later.

Post once or maybe even twice a month in your Facebook group.

In fact, you can use your email to point affiliates back to the Facebook group so you have more ways to contact them when it’s promo time.

Inside the Facebook group, you can post a tip and a really cool testimonial. Jump in and do a LIVESTREAM where you answer some questions. Then, use a monthly newsletter that can point back to the other content.

If you have a cyclical evergreen program where you have 4 big promos a year, roughly every 90 days, follow the pattern above.

After a launch – Again, try to stick to at least once a month. Send an email to them when you pay them…If you are paying affiliates on a four-month payment plan, well, that kind of takes care of their updates.

But what about the affiliates who didn’t get paid? Just send a once a month email or  Facebook post, you don’t really need to get too hyperactive about it. You can alternate between Facebook and email for about five months or so until you hit about, six months before the next promo.

Then you’re going to want to ramp up to every other week.

Send an email at the beginning of the month, Facebook post in the middle of the month vice-versa. And then the next month, repeat that.

The biggest thing is just having some level of consistency so that they’re never going more than about 30 days without hearing from you in some manner, just keep them somewhere in their brain.

And if you give value, then they’re going to love it.

Don’t Just Rely On Email and Facebook

Periodically send your affiliates something in the mail.

We haven’t done this with all of our clients, but we do send a quarterly physical newsletter. It’s four pages. One side is the mailing information. stuff. So it’s actually three pages of printed stuff and it folds in half and then in half again.

It costs 50 cents to print and something like 89 cents to mail. So it costs right around $1.50 a person. You have a thousand affiliates, it cost you $1,500.

Sending something in the mail really gets people excited.

For your bigger affiliates you could do something special.

The list is endless, just do something special for them.

The important thing is…get creative, be consistent, and break the mold.

Periodically, you can pop out a DM to somebody. If you have 1,000 affiliates, hire a virtual assistant to do it.

Here’s how I work with a Virtual Assistant to announce a new contest.

I’ll have my VA DM as many people as she can.

Maybe she can only get to 274? Okay, well 274 people who just got a DM.

“Hey, just want to make sure. Did you see the email I sent out announcing the contest?”

Super simple right?

But it stands out, breaks the mold and I get a lot of responses.

When you’re in constant contact with your affiliates, it makes it easy to ask for referrals.

“Hey, do you know anybody? Who’d be a good partner?” Your #1 source of new affiliates should be your CURRENT affiliates.

So lots to do.

But NOW…you have a plan!

Speaking of plans, did you know that giving your affiliates a simple promo plan has been proven to increase affiliate sales by as much as 25%? My affiliate promo plans will help you get your affiliates to promote more and need a lot less hand-holding.

Get the EXACT Template We Give to Our Affiliates to Get Them to Promote More and Generate More Sales! Click Here to Download it Now!

Promo plan for affiliates



Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

Or…check out some of my free reports to help you get on the right track:

Find Your First 100 Affiliates

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Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Template

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Get My Template for Writing Affiliate Emails

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Affiliate Marketing Sales Secrets

Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing with a resources page

Learn How to Create a Resources Page

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Learn How to Write a Product Review

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