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One of the best ways to get affiliates to promote more is to give them a clear plan for how to do so. In other words, TELL them when, how, and what to promote…as well as who to promote to. We do these with two types of affiliate mailing plans that I share in this episode. These are guaranteed to get your affiliates to promote more often, send more emails, and go ALL-IN promoting you.

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

How to Hire an Affiliate Manager

Affiliate Marketing and Podcasts: How to Make Money, Get Affiliates, and Build a Brand Through Podcasting

The Surprising Thing That Might be Holding Your Business Back

This Affiliate Program Just Made a Fatal Mistake: Here’s What They Should Have Done Instead

How to Build Your Team: Working with Virtual Assistants, Contractors, and Full Time Employees to Scale Your Business

How to Work with An Affiliate Network: Q&A Lightning Round

How to Create Mailing Plans for Your Affiliates

One of the best ways to get affiliates to promote more is to give them a clear plan for how to do so. In other words, tell them when, how, and what to promote, as well as who to promote to. Now we do this with two types of affiliate mailing plans that I share in this episode. These are guaranteed to get your affiliates to promote more often, send more emails, and go all in promoting you.

So the idea of this episode is how do we take our affiliates? They’re ready to promote our launch, to promote our evergreen promotion. And how do we take them from sending two emails to five? How do we take them from five to twelve, from maybe seven or eight, up to 15 or 16? How do we get them to actually do that?

And the idea is to get them to commit to anything. It’s just to get them to dip their toe in the water. That will be the theme throughout. If we can commit them to do just a little bit, they’ll do a lot. And there are two ways that we’re going to do this. So we basically got let’s just say for argument’s sake, you’ve got 200 affiliates.

What are we going to do for our top 20 to 25 and what are we going to do for everybody else? Because of what I’m going to share, the first thing I’m going to share, you cannot do it for 200 people within a reasonable time frame. So for our top affiliates, we’re going to do a specific one-on-one promo plan.

Actually, we don’t call them promo plans anymore. And I’ll talk about that in a moment. But we used to call them promo plans. And when I say that, it immediately makes sense, right. It’s a plan for the promotion. One of the best things that you can do to get an affiliate to mail more often is to create a personal promotion plan with them.

And if I had to pick a secret sauce, there’s a lot of things we do. And to be clear, in any affiliate program, there’s nothing that we do that I would suggest is just 50% of our success. It’s just a lot of 2% and 4% here and 1% here and a half percent there. That adds up to massively successful affiliate programs that we run.

But if I had to pick the one thing that was like the secret sauce, this is it. It’s these personalized promotion plans. And so what you do is with as many affiliates as you reasonably can. Typically for us, it’s going to be between 20 and 30. There have been some smaller ones where it might have been only 15 or maybe on the high end 20.

But typically for a big launch, it’s going to be about 20 to 30 in that range, and you meet with them one on one. Now, I try to target roughly about 30 days out from the beginning of the promotion because that tends to be the area where it’s far enough ahead where they can take what we plan and actually execute it.

They can also have that flexibility. It’s far enough out where there’s some flexibility to know what’s going on with their schedule but not knowing too much. So we can get things in early enough but not be so early that it’s like, oh, wow, we ended up having something come up and we need to go completely back to the drawing board.

So somewhere in the neighborhood two weeks out to 45 days out is kind of the sweet spot. And we meet one on one with them for about a half-hour, and we craft a custom promotion plan that works with their calendar.

And what this means is if I’m looking at a launch and the first day and we’ll go through an example of this, but the first day of the promotion is January 10, and you can’t mail on January 10, but you can mail on January 11. Then we’ll work that into the calendar and you’ll promote it on January 11.

If let’s say you don’t typically mail on Mondays for whatever reason, or you have something else you’re mailing about on a Monday, then we’ll work something in maybe on Sunday or Tuesday, and we’ll work together to create a custom promotion plan. And this ultimately comes down to the principles of commitment and consistency.

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If you’ve ever read influenced by Robert Cialdini, highly recommend that book, I’ll put a link in the show notes there. I mean, I recommend this book so much, it’s MattMcwilliams.com/influence. It’s how often I recommend this book that I created a specific URL for it. But if you’ve ever read that book, you know that what people commit to, they stick to and they want to remain consistent with their commitments.

One of the dangers, so to speak, of any type of public commitment, is by gosh, you’re probably going to stick to it. It’s why, if you look at politics, for example, if the handlers of a politician, the people who run their campaigns recommend that they don’t have to make a commitment to an issue.

If there’s no reason to, they don’t because they’ll want to stick with it. And so the voters will expect them to stick to it. So what we do is we tap into those principles of commitment and consistency and we create this plan with them. So we jump on Zoom or Skype or Google Meet, whatever it’s called these days.

We go through the promo plan spreadsheet and you can get a copy of this. You can download it for free. MattMcwilliams.com/promoplan If you go there, we’ll put a link in the show notes as well. If you go there, you can download a copy of this to use for yourself. And then you work through the ideal situations for them.

So ideally, you would start the promotion on June 1, but that doesn’t work for you. So do we back up a day or do we go for today? Can you start on May 31? We’ll open things up on May 28. For those of you who need to get in early, what fits your needs? What fits your needs?

And so if you look at this spreadsheet, basically what this spreadsheet will allow you to do, this promo plan template goes through and put in what’s generally happening in the launch. What’s the thing that’s going on today? Well, today is the webinar. So okay, now we back up to what should they be doing on this day?

They should send two emails, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, blah, blah, blah. And then we have kind of a generic template that we give them. That’s like, here’s what you could do. And then we just move the pieces around. You can’t mail on the 15th.

Well, how about we do it on the 16th, we back it up to the 14th and we tell them who that email should go to. This one should go to your entire list. This one should go to the people who didn’t click. This one should go to your entire list.

This one should go to the people who did click. And the idea is, once they have their plan set, have them commit to it. So you’re co-creating the plan with them. They’re involved in the creation. This is not you just saying, here’s your plan, go do it.

It’s like, no, they’re involved in this. So that when you email them a copy of the spreadsheet, you thank them for their commitment. More often than not, they’re going to stick to that plan.

If anything, what we found is they’ll add to it during the promotion, but very rarely will they ever almost never take away from that. So whatever they commit to, they commit to nine emails. Here’s the list of things they committed to.

They’ll probably send ten or eleven. Very rarely will they send eight or less because they made a commitment? And we want to remain consistent with our commitments. Now I’ve personally made these plans. This is why they work.

I have done these plans with people who I’m promoting them and they’ve used this on me and I realized, oh shoot, we didn’t schedule that email. Oh man, I gotta make up for that.

I’ve added extra emails to make up for it because I’m going to remain consistent with my commitment. If I promise someone I’m going to mail ten times, then my gosh, I’m going to mail at least ten times.

I might add an 11th or 12th, but I’m definitely going to mail the ten that I said. That’s the power of creating these personalized promotion plans with your affiliates. Now, a couple of years ago I used to call them promo plans.

A couple of years ago we changed this. We did a big affiliate launch for a client and I just randomly started calling them commitment plans. And I found that we got an average of 1.7 more emails from the affiliates that we call commitment plans than when we call them promotion plans because we call them promo plans for about ten affiliates and then about ten more we did commitment plans.

And what I mean by 1.7 is I got 1.7 more emails than they committed to the number of emails that the average affiliate committed to out of the first ten and the last ten were almost identical. That wasn’t where the difference was.

It was just that when I followed up with them and I said here’s your commitment plan versus here’s your promo plan. I got 1.7 more emails above what they said they were going to do on average.

The promo plan folks sent basically, I think was like one more than they had said they were going to send total among the ten. The other group had sent 18 more emails than they had said they were going to send.

That’s a huge gain. 18 additional emails from basically, ten of our top 20 affiliates. If I had done that across the board I would have gained probably 36 emails over what we normally would have done. 34, 36 emails over what we normally would have done among our top 20 affiliates.

That is tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. So that’s what we do for the big ones. We meet with them, we just go through the calendar and talk about what might work for them. This doesn’t work. Okay, so do this.

Does this work better? Here’s this and then I send them an email that says here’s your commitment plan that’s got the spreadsheet attached to it and says if you have any questions, let me know if there’s anything else you need to talk about. Let me know.

So that’s our big dogs, right? Our top 20 to 30 affiliates. For everyone else, we use what we call our ABC plans. This is a mass email and I’m going to walk you through how to actually do that in a second it’s got the suggested promo plan but it’s got A, B, and C plans and the ABC stands for all in or Aggressive, Balanced and Conservative.

So on the two polls are the all-in and the conservative. So the all-in plan is for people who are in it to win it. They want to go all-in, all out. They want to be aggressive.

This is typically going to be like 15 to 20 emails and I’ll walk you through an example from our own stuff here in a second. On the flip side, on the conservative side, this is the plan for those who just want to dip their toe in the waters. They’re not 100% committed to a full promotion yet and that’s the key.

This one is like five to nine emails and then the balance plan is right in the middle, as you would imagine. That’s what we call it the Goldilocks plan sometimes because it’s not too hard, not too soft. It’s just right. So this is between the all-in, and the conservative typically you’ll find this at ten to 13 emails.

Now here’s the great thing about these plans. If you get someone to commit to the conservative plan they almost always bump up to more of a balanced plan.

If you get them to commit to a balanced plan they almost always bump up to their all-in plan especially when you announce prizes is what we found and so they might bump up to the balance plan from conservative five days into the launch.

So it’s not a full balance plan. Maybe if the conservative is seven emails and the balance is eleven all in 15 they don’t go all the way to eleven but they send ten. And if they go from balance to conservative, maybe they send 13 or 14. But still, at some point, they shift.

We find probably 70-80% of the shift. The key, though, is to get them to commit to something. I don’t care if it’s the C or the B or the A. I love them to commit to the all-in from the get-go. That’s great.

But if I can get them to commit even to the conservative plan, getting them to commit to something will bump them up to the next level. The reality is you just cannot meet with every single affiliate one on one. There’s just no possible way.

And so our objectives with these ABC plans are just to get them to commit to some level of participation, just to commit to a minimum number of emails. So we want to make it very easy to commit to the conservative plan if that’s where they’re at. Make it so easy.

It’s like three emails to your entire list, maybe three to unopen and three to engage contacts that will account for the nine emails. Very easy to get them to commit. So here’s an example from our stuff here. In our last launch, we did not do ABCs, we just did ACs.

And there’s a reason we had three focuses. This is another way you can do this. And again, the idea is to get them to commit to something. So we had three different focuses. We had an ebook focus, so we had an ebook opt-in, we had a video opt-in, so we had a video focus, and we had a webinar focus.

So depending upon who their audience is, like choose your own adventure. They can say, well, my audience is really into webinars, so great, you’re going to go down to webinar focus and you’re going to choose the all-in or conservative. We just felt like we had nine plans that were overkill. So we were all in and conservative.

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So that’s another way where you can kind of separate these plans is based on, oh, my gosh, my audience is really into videos. My audience is really into workshops. My audience is really into quizzes or assessments, you know, whatever your audience is into.

So in this example, if you click on, we’re going to go down to ebook focus, for example, 20 total emails. And we went heavy on the ebook/freereports. So these are written materials. They still promote it.

We still recommended sending a few emails to the videos and a few emails to the webinars. But it’s very different from the webinar focused on which only sent two emails to the ebooks or to the free reports. But it had 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 emails going to the webinar and only two to the Videos.

On the video, all in one, we had only one about the ebook or the PDFs, two about the webinars, and six about the videos. So just different focuses. Now, in that example, if I go back to the conservative one for the webinar, that one had one about the ebooks, none about the videos. Five about the Webinars.

Still more conservative though, on the ebook, conservative when it was like three about the ebooks, four about the ebook or free report, one about the video, and one about the webinar. So you get the idea if I were to do balance, if I were to not have the differentiation between ebook focus, webinar focus, and video focus, then I would just take that.

Basically, I always start with the most aggressive. Like here’s the ideal plan. And then I say, okay, what would I do if I stripped away basically 33% of that? That’s a really good way of thinking about it. Like you got 18 for all in great, twelve and six.

And then the other thing that I do is I typically will add back a little bit. So instead of going 18,12 and 6, the total number of emails would probably be about 18,12, would probably still be pretty accurate and it would probably be 8. But to the entire list.

So this is one I’m going to look at the ebook one, for example, the all-in ebook one, I’ve got eight to the entire list, three to unopen, and nine to engage contacts. Okay, so on the conservative one, there are only five to the entire list, two to unopen, and six to engage contacts. So not many less to the engaged contacts and unopens.

That’s a big deal, right? If I look at the video focus when there are only four to your entire list on the conservative one versus seven to the entire list for the all-in.

So the idea here is just to create your ideal plan and then strip away roughly two-thirds to maybe 18,13. And then I go all the way down as far as I can, usually about a third. And then I add a couple of unopenes or engaged contact emails back to the conservative ones. So we provide this ABC plans to everyone. But then we do the individual plans with the top people.

Now, as far as delivering the ABC plans to everybody is usually in the partner center or in a partner guide. But then we go one step further with the smaller affiliates and we actually send out a specific email. And what I do is I record about a 15 minutes video that’s like I was doing a commitment plan with an affiliate.

And I recorded in such a way that I go through this calendar and I say stuff like, hey, if this date doesn’t work, then you can move it here, you can move it there. And I don’t create the plan on the video. I just leave the video as it is. But I show them how I would change it.

So I would move stuff around and just show them what it would look like if I moved it. But I always come back to the way that it was. So I record this video again. It’s typically about 15 minutes or so and I walk them through the whole calendar, walk through how to create the plan, and show them how to download the templates so they can use the template.

And I encourage them to create the template and then send it to me so we can just keep track of when they are going to be promoting we can keep track of things for them. So we encourage them to send their commitment plan to us.

Out of 200 affiliates, usually, we’ll get like 60 to 80 that will actually do that. That’s fine. We got 2025 that we co-created plans with. We got another 75 that sent them to us. Great.! Half of our affiliates have made some level of commitment.

That’s about as good as you’re ever going to get. So we send this email, and one of the things that we do is some secret sauce here. We send this email out and we basically say, hey, your promo plan. And we say, hey, it’s a mail merge. “Hey, first name wanted to send this to you. I shot a video for you where I walk you through how to create a promotion plan, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

Now, just like we do with the big affiliates, we send this spreadsheet out and it’s a specific Google Doc for them, a Google sheet for them. So the Google sheet is already named. Let’s just say your name is Todd Smith. It says Todd Smith’s commitment plan for such and such.

Your name is in the title of the spreadsheet. Your name is in the spreadsheet itself. It says Todd’s commitment plan, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. In the video, we put a screenshot of the video that shows the spreadsheet, and we use a program called Nifty Images.

I’ll put a link to that just Niftyimages.com. We use a program called Nifty Images. And on that video, it says promo plan for Todd. I think it just says, like Todd Smith’s promo plan or commitment plan or something like that. So it says their name on the image.

So this video feels like it’s a personal video, even though of course it’s not. And they know it’s not, but it feels like it is. And then we give them a specific Google sheet that they can use to do this. We do the legwork on that. It’s something that takes a while.

You got to keep creating this. Clone this spreadsheet, clone this, rename it, rename it, rename it, rename it. And we create these for them as we’re going along. So they get a personalized sheet with a somewhat personalized video. But it’s pretty generic. And that program is called Nifty Images, and it basically uses mail merge fields to slap onto the image.

So it’s a pretty cool deal. And so we create those plans on that. I walk them through. Here’s what it would look like if you were all in. And then here’s what I would remove if you were going to go have these and here’s what I would do if I were going to go conservative or if certain things don’t work for you.

So we walk them through that and essentially give them the template for them there. So that’s how we get these mailing plans to our affiliates to get them to commit to something. It’s the reason why we typically don’t have more than a couple out of hundreds. It’s one of the biggest problems out here with affiliate managers. Only like 22% of my affiliates are doing anything.

We get like 80%. Most of our affiliates are active. Why are a few not active? Because life got in the way. That makes sense, right? I get it. There’s a reason why I have such a high activation percentage. Because we give them these plans. That’s it. That’s the secret sauce.

That’s how you go from having tons of affiliates and doing a half-million-dollar launch to having the same affiliates and doing a million and a half dollars. You can triple your results with this. That’s why I say if we have a secret sauce, it’s this one.

So hope this helped you put it into use and report back to me. Please let me know how this is working for you. I would love to hear from you. Please text me anytime. Just let me know how this is working for you. Can text me anytime at 260-217-4619.

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I would absolutely love to hear how this is working for you. And then make sure you hit subscribe. Hit subscribe so you don’t miss next week’s episode. Guys, we’re going to share some powerful lessons. Powerful, powerful lessons from a multi-million dollar affiliate launch that we just ran. And you do not want to miss this episode.

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