Affiliate managers, are you getting the most out of your relationships with affiliates? Affiliates, are you taking advantage of your relationships with affiliate managers? Odds are you aren’t and it’s costing you a lot of money. That’s why I invited a special guest to come and share how she leverages affiliate manager relationships to help make her and the programs she promotes a lot more money.

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

Does This Break the First Rule of Affiliate Marketing?

How to Measure Affiliate Program Success: Key Metrics to Track

How to Get Your Affiliates to Promote on a Short Timeframe

How to Motivate Your Affiliates to Sell More

How to Double Your Affiliate Program in 90 Days

How to Leverage Affiliate Manager Relationships with Jessica Turner

Affiliate managers, Are you getting the most out of your relationships with your affiliates? And affiliates, are you taking advantage of your relationships with your affiliate managers?

Odds are that you aren’t, and it is costing you a lot of money. That’s why I invited a special guest to come on today and share how she leverages affiliate manager relationships to help make her and the program she promotes a lot more money.

So I’ve got a super special guest today, my friend Jessica Turner. And we’re going to be talking about one of my favorite topics that I have never really talked about on the podcast. This is episode 565. That’s mind-blowing. Over 300 hours of content just on the podcast. But this is a topic I’ve never talked about, which is working with, in my opinion, the coolest people on earth affiliate managers.

So I’m excited today because of what Jessica is going to share today and trust me, I have seen her do this. I’ve seen her do this working with me. I’ve been an affiliate manager for some stuff that she’s promoted, and she’s done exactly what she talks about in this episode. I have seen her do it with me. She’s going to talk about how to leverage relationships with affiliate managers.

One of the things you have to remember is that affiliate managers are your friends. In fact, I hate the term affiliate manager. I did a podcast about that a while back because they’re not like what it kind of implies, that term affiliate manager. It’s like a dude sitting in a cubicle like Lundberg from office space. I can’t stand that. That’s not what an affiliate manager is.

An affiliate manager is really just someone who’s there to help you if you’re an affiliate. And of course, it goes without saying that the more money that you make that the affiliate makes, the more money that they make the affiliate manager. So they are there for very selfish reasons, but they’re there to help you.

So Jessica is going to share some tips today, some specific examples of how she worked with an affiliate manager to help make everybody a lot more money. So as you’re listening, I want you to listen from both perspectives. Listen from the perspective of an affiliate, but also from the perspective of an affiliate manager.

Now, I was a good, pretty good affiliate manager for my first six or seven years. And about my fifth year, I won affiliate manager of the year. I won it one time. I was pretty good. I think the next year I finished in second or third. I was one of the finalists, and I was pretty good at this. You don’t win that without being above average, but I honestly didn’t feel like I was great. When I became great was when I became an affiliate, when I started promoting things myself. And of course, I started promoting things.

And at first, I was kind of your typical affiliate. I finished like, 40th on the leaderboard, and I made $588, my first one, and then I made like, $800, and then $1000. And I wasn’t a big-name affiliate, but then all of a sudden, I started appearing on Leaderboards. I finished in 8th place. I finished in first place. I finished in third place.

I started making 25, 30, 50, $75,000 doing affiliate promotions. And I started to see things. I started to see what other affiliate managers were doing, and I copied some of them, the good things. And then I saw what I hated, and I went, okay, if I hate that, but I’m doing the same thing, I need to stop doing that. If I hate that, maybe I can solve that. I’m not really doing that, but maybe I could address that.

And I shared it a few episodes ago, and I’ve shared it before that, even. But just one example was I hated as an affiliate having to go two days without getting a leaderboard update. I wanted to know where I stood. Were the things that I was doing moving me up the leaderboard, or was I moving down? Did I need to step on it? Did I need to put my pedal on the gas? I wanted to finish top ten. And I was in 8th place two days ago. Where am I today? And this was really frustrating.

So we created Live Leaderboards. That came as a result of frustration from seeing what other people were doing. Other times, we have copied exactly what other people do. Many years ago, I first saw I want to give credit to where credit is due, but I don’t know where I first saw it, but I first saw somebody doing a strategy call with their affiliates. Like, we would send out tips, and we would kind of go back and forth via email, but we never scheduled calls.

And part of that was the technology wasn’t there to do, like, zoom calls and to go over how they did them. So I would do, like, phone calls, but we got on Zoom and we copied exactly how this other that was Danny Innny. Danny Inny did it. Danny got on the strategy call, and he shared a spreadsheet, and we filled out the promotion plan together. And then he sent me the promotion plan. Years later, we tweaked that process. But at first, I copied exactly what he did.

So I’ve copied and I’ve addressed a problem. And then the middle ground was, years ago, somebody sent me an email and said, hey, we’ll give you $1,000 as an advance on your commission to run Facebook ads. And I went, that’s a really cool idea. What if we took that and put it on steroids? And we sent them a check in the mail and said, this check is for $1,000. This is an advance on your commission if you run Facebook ads. And it wasn’t a real check. We called them a fake book check because it was a pretend check.

But you get the idea that those are the things I learned by being an affiliate. That’s when I became great, and part of it was seeing things from the affiliate’s perspectives and learning about what Jessica is sharing today. So I want you to listen to know if you’re only an affiliate, listen with your affiliate-only ears. If you’re only an affiliate manager, well, then you need to become an affiliate, too. But listen with your affiliate managers if you’re listening from both perspectives. Sometimes it even helps to listen twice but to listen from those different perspectives.

I know there are books that I have reread, the E Myth being one of them, trying to think of some other books. E myth, Good to Great. Gosh. Let me just think here. There’s a bunch of them that I can’t even think of right now. Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. Those are just three that come to mind. I have read them about eight years apart. Eight years ago, we had a four-person company. Then all of a sudden, I had a 15 – 16-person company. A very different perspective.

When I first read Good to Great in 2005, we had about a three or four-person company at my first big company. When I reread it about six years later, we were in a very different place. We had 52 people, but we had gone down right after the economy crashed. We’re in, like, the high 30s. So I wanted to read that from that perspective. So the same is true with this episode. You can listen to it from both perspectives, and you’ll hear things differently. So if you need to listen twice, listen twice.

It’ll deepen the impression. Anyway, so, with all that said, let’s dive right into my interview with Jessica Turner.


Matt: Jessica, welcome.

Jessica: Hey, there. Glad to be here.

Matt: So I’m going to let you kind of dive right in. I want to just maybe have you tell about a recent experience that you had working with an affiliate manager, I know you have multiple examples, but I love just to dive right in and kind of talk about one of those examples where was this something where you reached out to them or they reached out to you and kind of fill us in on how that went, what that looked like and what the results were.

Jessica: Sure. And should I give a little background to what I do online? Would that be helpful?

Matt: Absolutely. Yeah. I’m a terrible interviewer. Let’s talk about you for a minute. Actually, it’s funny because we did a Facebook Live the other, so I’m like, everybody knows who you.

Jessica: Well, just in case someone missed it.

Matt: Yeah.

Jessica: So my name is Jessica Turner, and I am a best-selling author and have written two books and have been lifestyle blogging since 2006.

I’m a bit of a dinosaur, and I’ve been doing affiliate marketing since 2009. That’s really been my bread and butter since 2009 it’s a huge income vertical for me now.

And I also teach affiliates and affiliate marketing at blogging conferences across the country and have a course dedicated to affiliate marketing called Affiliate Marketing for Influencers, which is all about how to do affiliates really well in the influencer space. So very specific to that space.

Matt: So what you’re saying is you really like affiliate marketing.

Jessica: I do really like affiliate marketing. You know, what I love about it is that there is no ceiling to how much money you can make. And it kind of feels like a game to me, and that excites me.

I share this example in the course of getting offers for hundreds of dollars for a sponsored post, and then I’ll turn that around and make thousands of dollars as an affiliate. I’m like, Why would I say yes to this when I can make so much more as an affiliate? So, yes, I really love it, and I think that it’s such a huge missed opportunity for a lot of people.

Matt: That’s awesome. So actually, before we get into that example, I do want to ask you, so you now have your own products, you have your own stuff that you can sell that’s just direct income to you. How long did you do affiliate marketing before you had your first product of your own?

Jessica: Do you mean the course or a book?

Matt: Anything that was yours that you could sell that wasn’t commission-based? Because I know your first book was 2015, The Fringe Hours. Roughly.

Jessica: Yeah, The Fringe Hours came out in 2015. So that was the first thing that was mine. And then I did a course that was called the Fringe Hours. That was a pilot for the book in 2013, early 2014. So that was my first product. It was really my only product. I was doing it for a long time. Yeah, I’m noticing this weird sun ray that’s happening to me right now. Sorry about that.

I’m just glowing as I talk about affiliates. But anyway, it was a while and then now the course, people have been asking me to create it for as long as I’ve been teaching at conferences. I started in 2013 because there are so few influencers who are doing affiliates really well, and there are a lot of influencers who do Amazon affiliates and that’s it. And that’s just for most people. Not going to bring you thousands, tens of thousands of dollars.

Matt: Bring you in tens of dollars, right?

Jessica: Yeah, exactly. But now I do campaigns where I make $5,000 $10,000 $20,000 $30,000 on a campaign, which is just mind-blowing to me and something that I never could have imagined.

Matt: The best part, as we know, is you don’t have to do any of the product fulfillment, any of the R and D, you’re not doing any of that stuff. You don’t have to do any of the customer service. You do what you do best, which is promoting it, and then you’re done that’s it right? Yeah, that’s the best part.

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So let’s look at one of those recent examples where you leveraged an affiliate manager to really do some cool stuff and I’ll just let you take over. And I’ll probably ask some questions as we go, but I’m going to let you tell it.

Jessica: Yeah, so I found a new clothing subscription service. I won’t say who the brand is, I don’t think that matters for this example, but it was a clothing subscription service, sort of like a Stitch Fixer Trunk club where they have stylists sending you clothing, you try it on at home, you pay for only what you keep and you send it back. So I applied to their affiliate program, and I got accepted to it, I didn’t do anything special on the application.

I then got an email from their affiliate manager that their program is a bit of a hybrid where they’re using their affiliate program as an influencer program as well. And so they said, we’re so excited, fill out this form, blah blah, blah, do all of this stuff, tag us, yada yada. Frankly, I felt like it was over asking for a new affiliate relationship where you don’t know this person.

It kind of felt like it could even border on taking advantage of an influencer, particularly an influencer with my size. Somebody who was a micro-influencer just starting out, 5000 followers or something like that. They probably wouldn’t bat an eye at it, but I was like, this seems strange. And maybe there’s some opportunity here because obviously they’ve got people who are working this program and who maybe do have some understanding of this and they’re just trying to see what they can get from affiliate.

So I reached out to this person and somebody else on the team who had reached out, who I could tell was the more senior manager of their team. And I introduced myself. I provided my media kit. I shared that I had already promoted them. I signed up because they were doing a promotion, and so I went running and promoted it before I even got my first box. And I think it’s really important that you buy the products you’re promoting. So I had ordered a box of clothes for myself and hadn’t come yet. I’d shared that with my audience, but I said my conversion rate was I’m going off the top of my head, I think it was like 3. 8%.

My average conversion rate for subscription boxes is between 6 and 20%, depending on the box. And I really felt like they should be in that 12 to 15% range. So it seemed low to me, which I think is because their website is a little clunky, landing page may have some opportunity. So I said, Just want to see how I can increase my conversions, and work with you all more intentionally. Also, I have an affiliate course on teaching influencers, how to be an affiliate. I don’t know if that’s something that would be of interest to you, because I really think that a lot of brands could take my course, buy it in bulk, and I’ve got bulk discounting available, and then give it as a gift to their influencers or their affiliates.

And what’s going to happen is their affiliates are going to be better affiliates, and it’s going to be worth a couple of hundred dollars they spent per affiliate on this training. And so they said, Gosh, this is really interesting. Let’s hop on a call and talk further about what you can do and how we can partner together. So we hopped on a Zoom call very much like this, and it was on video. I shared a bit of my background. I felt like their commission was a little low compared to some of their competitors.

I felt like there was maybe an opportunity for referral bonuses for me bringing other influencers to them. And that’s something that I’ve started to do. When I find a really great program, I love to refer my friends to it. I love to refer people in my classes to those programs, but I want to be compensated for bringing them really great influencers. And so I said, Would there be any opportunity for that? Do you have an interest in looking at my course? I think it could help with some of your training. And they were really excited about everything.

And so what happened because of that call? They gave me $400 a month to use on clothes, to get boxes every month, and to keep clothes every month so that I could create content and be a better affiliate for them rather than they had already comped me a $200 credit for one box. Well, let me tell you, $200 got me about two shirts which wasn’t enough.

And so then I’ve got how much do I have to sell to make that back before I’m making anything, right? And then I’m using the same darn pictures every single time because I don’t need endless clothes. So they’re going to give me $400 credit. They doubled my commission rate from $25 a box to $50. So now I’m getting a $50 commission on every conversion. They also negotiated a commission rate for me for every influencer, where I would get a flat fee for every influencer I brought them. And then I would also get a percent commission on every conversion that the affiliate made. And that is motivating to me.

So there are two ways of doing that, right? And you know this, Matt, some people will or brands will just give you that flat commission. They’ll give you a flat $50 or $100 for bringing them an influencer. Well, I can bring them names all day long, but what’s going to really be valuable is if I’m talking to my friends and I’m like, here’s how I sold this. Here is the email that did really well. You should really try this. They’ve got two different types of styles of clothing that you can get.

Look for this one instead of this one. I saw a lot more conversions with it, photograph that. That sort of coaching. I need to be compensated for that. And so I’m motivated to coach my affiliate referrals because their success is my success, right? So I negotiated that. And then they’re also looking at the course to potentially give that course to some of their affiliates as well. So, just tremendous. I went from an affiliate partnership that didn’t know me, which was giving me a $25 commission to now getting $400 in clothes a month, $50 commissions.

They’re also looking at increasing the offer that I can give my audience. So they give a $25 credit to everybody who buys through my link. I said, $25 isn’t enough. Your clothes are fifty dollars to seventy-five dollars apiece. I want to be able to say to my audience, you’re going to get something for free when you do this and you’re going to love it. So you’re basically going to be able to get two pieces of clothing for the price of one. Right? And they are considering that. I think that’s probably going to happen next week. But all of that happened because I took 30 minutes for a phone call and I spent 30 minutes crafting a follow-up email, selling myself as not their ordinary affiliate in their program. That was a lot.

Matt: Yeah. And all of that from a single, just email that you sent out, reaching out. You said that you reached out, you provided your media kit, and you made the case for why it’s going to benefit them for them to get on the phone with you. I’m curious. Certainly, this was a lot easier in 2020 because you’re at a certain level. So I want to go back to maybe 2012. That’s eight years back.

Your audience was a fraction of the size that it is now. What would you tell Jessica in 2012, going back all the way to then? If that affiliate program accepted you and you wanted all those things? You wanted a higher commission. Clearly. Who doesn’t want a higher commission? You wanted more credit. You wanted to be able to do a second-tier referral, and you wanted a better offer for your audience. What would you recommend when you’re smaller? Maybe not completely, like, totally newbie because it’s a little bit harder. What would you recommend to people in that position?

Jessica: Well, I think those are two different questions.

What I would recommend to myself is, Jessica, start an email list. Why do you not have an email list? That’s what I would say.

Matt: But you didn’t have one back then.

Jessica: No.

Matt: Oh, wow. When did you start an email list?

Jessica: So I work full time in addition to my blog. That’s something that always surprises people. So I’m kind of like the Cobbler’s kid who doesn’t have shoes. I’m very scrappy. And it was just something that I never dedicated time to. I went to Nam’s affiliate conference in, I think, 2012. Heard all these people talking about an email list. Didn’t do it. That’s what I would tell myself.

But if we’re talking about and honestly, my traffic was a lot higher in 2012. I was getting over 100,000 page views back then, and I don’t get that now on my site, but my social presence is huge now compared to then. But what I would tell somebody with a smaller platform is to buy the product, which I was doing, then shoot original photography and create really authentic content. And what’s going to happen is you’re going to make your first $1000 or your 1st $2,000, and then even if you aren’t making the $5, $10, $15,000, your conversion rate is going to be so high because of your authenticity that that’s still going to be appealing to those managers.

They’re going to give you credit, they’re still going to want to work with you because you’re going to be genuinely excited. And I think that’s something that I’ve really learned, that it is important to really love whatever you’re promoting, and it’s important to spend the money on the products so that you can, at any given time, promote on the fly and you’ve got samples or you’ve got experience using that product, that makes a huge difference in terms of how well you’re going to be able to sell.

Matt: That’s powerful. One thing that I know as an affiliate manager, I just recorded a podcast episode about this the other day where I talked about when an affiliate asks me for an exclusive code. Now, it doesn’t have to be the best of web, it’s just they want Jessica 20 for 20% off, or yours would be like TMC for the mom creative, something like that. Something that’s not just like Nov. 1220. What does that mean? That’s nothing.

It’s easier for me to just give the exclusive code takes 90 seconds in our system. It’s easier for me to just do it than to be like, okay, wait, how much did they make in commissions last year? How big is their Facebook prep? What’s their Instagram following? If I give them this code, is it actually going to be worth it? No, it’s quicker for me just to be like, yeah, here you go, code, tell me what you want. What do you want it to say? Dave Ten. Great. Here you go, Dave. Ten. And in any case, when you’re smaller, they’re so excited to talk to somebody, and who’s willing to go out, who will convert better, who will grow with them.

And I know I as an affiliate manager, I look at that and go, okay, Jessica came to me. Jessica has, notwithstanding the fact that your traffic was higher, but a smaller social presence at that time because we don’t know. It’s not like I can look in your Google Analytics. I don’t know how much traffic you’re getting. I’m like, well, it’s easier for me to just give you what you want and hope that it works out than it is to try to do all the research to see if it’s going to be worth my time, because I always reserve the right three months later, Jessica, you’re not really making any sales. We’re not giving you any more money, and your commission is back to $25.

So just remember that, guys, what you got out of this. The biggest thing that I took away from what you said in this one example is you asked. You asked.

Jessica: And I knew my worth. And I think that’s important too, to be firm in your worth. And sometimes that’s scary. And so I think that’s one of the things that’s beneficial about a group like we’re in right now, where you’ve got the community, where other people can tell you what you’re worth. Or in my lifestyle affiliate group, where we’re talking about what we’re promoting, what we’re seeing, having that community, who could say, no, you are actually worth more than this. Ask for more money. They said yes without batting an eye. Sometimes you need to stand on the confidence of others to know your worth. But either way, coming across as confident, some of that will bleed through and it will make a difference in terms of your relationships and your revenue.

Matt: That’s a great point. They don’t need to know all the details. And if you come across as confident and make the ask, I think it would surprise people how much US affiliate managers will give, just to quite frankly, because it’s just easier sometimes, and it’s not worth the effort to jump through hoops to save a couple of $100 every month, if we could.

All right, so let’s look at another example. I think that’s a great one. Again, you got more credits two times a commission, second tier commission, probably a better offer for your audience. I mean, that’s four wins, which, again, the cool thing about it is it’s four wins for you, but it’s also four wins for them, because here you are talking about it, and my guess is you’re probably going to promote them more, especially if they fix that conversion thing.

I’m curious to hear about that, but what’s another example where you’ve worked with an affiliate manager and just come out on the other side? Better off. And they’ve come out better off.

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Jessica: Yeah. So I have a different subscription service entirely. It’s a wine subscription service.

And I think the funniest part about this is I don’t drink wine. I don’t have a problem with it. I just don’t like it.

So I found this offer for a wine subscription service on Prime Day, and the deal was 2999 for six bottles of wine shipped. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Lots of people like their wine, and the wine bottles were valued at bottle.

So essentially, you were getting one bottle of wine and you’re getting six. And so it was great for I bought it for cooking, I bought it for teacher gifts, whatever, and I promoted the heck out of it and had a nearly 13% conversion rate, and the commission was $44 a conversion. So I was over the mood, made tens of thousands of dollars on this offer, and I keep that here privately just with you all and found out a week later that another affiliate management company also had this wine company as one of their clients.

And instead of $44 the commission rate, there was $70.

Matt: That’s a significant difference.

Jessica: Imagine how I just wanted to throw up right now. What I don’t know is that other company, I don’t know if they had the 2999 deal, they might not have. I don’t know.

Matt: That’s an important distinction there, because if it was three times the cost in a $70.

Jessica: But their regular deal is 3999, the one that has a $70 commission is 3999. Okay, good deal. Yeah. And after that 2999 deal, the company I worked with went from a $44 commission to a $35 commission for the day in, day out, and the $35 commission was the same offer, the 3999.

So both had the 3999. One is paying 71 is paying 35. The company that I work with, with $35 deal, I have a great relationship with the manager there.

I mean, I email him multiple times a week. We’ve had zoom calls before. We’ve talked on Christmas Eve before.

On a Christmas campaign. We are tight, and I would most often prefer to even make a little less money to work with him over this other company that I don’t have a relationship with, they have a support@suchandsuch.com. I can’t get a real person half the time. It takes sometimes five days to get a response to my emails, and I’m brand new to them, so they don’t know what I can do.

But I said, Listen, these guys have it for $70. I’m going to start promoting with their link unless you can get me a higher commission. Why?

How are you $35 in their 70? Like, what in the world? It’s a huge discrepancy.

And he’s like, I don’t know how they’re paying $70. Let me see what I can do. And we’re working on the assumption that this 2999 deal is going to come back for Black Friday.

So I’m like, I’m going to promote this with somebody, and I would like it to be you. And the company that I have the relationship with, they also offer me a commission for referring affiliates to them. So it’s also in my best interest financially to refer to them.

But I’m not going to refer my friends to a $40 deal when I could be referring them to a $70 deal. I care more about my friends bottom line than I do my own, right? So anyway, he’s been negotiating, and I got an email from him yesterday, and he said, Great news.

We’re going to have the 2999 deal back with free shipping. We can give you a $60 commission. I was like, well, that’s awesome.

That’s a lot better than 44. These other guys still have 70, so thank you. But I am going with 600 conversions that I have last time.

That’s $6,000 more money with the other guys, right? I said, and what about my people? You’re giving me this exclusive, which is nice, but I can’t refer my friend to make $44 if I could tell them, hey, go over here and you’re going to make 70. It’s not worth it for the couple of percent commission for me.

And so he went back to them again and is fighting for it again to get that higher rate, which I think says a lot about his trust in me, the relationship that we’ve cultivated.

Now, what I don’t know is the $70 company, I emailed them two days ago. I have not heard back saying, hey, are you going to have this offer for Black Friday? Because my rep says that they’re not.

He says we’re the only ones that are going to have 29 99 in free shipping. But I don’t know that they would tell him, oh, yeah, we’re also working with this other company who we happen to be paying more. And how does he know? He wants to get me as an affiliate.

He wants that 12-13 percent conversion rate and hundreds of orders. So that’s another great example, and I could give others with that same rep, but of your rep becoming your champion with the brands that they’re working with. And I think those are also really different examples because this wine example is with a middleman company with lots of affiliates.

It’s not ShareAsale, but like a ShareAsale. Whereas the other one, I was working direct with the brand, and so those relationships matter in both cases. I really do wish I could find a contact for the wine company. I wish I could go write to them.

Matt: Two very good examples and the two very different examples. But the common thing is the rep has a self interest as well. He wants your traffic for the wine company to go through his network.

I don’t know where he’s at on the totem pole and what that’ll make him, but if I know the industry well enough, you promoting versus not promoting could be hundreds, potentially close to $1,000 in bonuses for him. It’s a substantial amount of money, so it makes sense for him. And of course, he knows that if he wins this battle for you, let’s say it’s true that nobody else has the 2995 in free shipping, and he gets you $65 like you said.

Now we’re talking $5. And for a better deal, that’s a go, right? You’re going to remember that when he comes to you with an offer that you’re kind of going not 100% sure that’s the best offer, but because it’s you, I’ll give it a try, I’ll give it a go, and we’ll make the best of this.

And then you develop that relationship over the time where you know he’s looking out for you, you’re looking out for them, and hopefully eventually you can form that kind of bond where it’s like he’s coming to you with stuff. He’s reaching out to you and saying, do you want to promote this? And you’re like, Heck yeah. Stuff that you wouldn’t have found on your own.

Jessica: Totally. And that’s honestly what this wine deal was. And it was a prime day deal. And I was like, oh, it was 05:00. And after I’d worked all I’d started at four in the morning on Prime Day, I think, and I thought, oh, I said that I would post that thing for him.

Guys, I don’t even drink wine, but this is a good offer. It’s like the same price as Aldi, and it’s expensive wine. Go check it out.

And I made an obscene amount of money that night, and I was, oh. Like, I literally did that as a favor for him because exactly what you’re saying? He’s brought me other great things before, and he asked me to try, so it is very true.

Matt: I love that. I’m just curious. Any other examples of just you can think of? Maybe one final example where you’ve worked with an affiliate manager, a network to kind of same kind of thing, where you reached out and asked for help, and they gave it to you and had good results. Anything else you can think of there?

Jessica: Sure. So one of my favorite examples is Grove Collaborative. Are you familiar with them? They sell eco friendly home products at a discount sent right to your…

Matt: Heard of them, yeah.

Jessica: So I was their very first affiliate.

Matt: Oh, wow.

Jessica: They used to be called Eat Pantry, and they had on their site a $20 credit when you would refer new customers. So it wasn’t cash. They didn’t have an affiliate program. And I got pitched by a publicist about this new company, and I just happened to have a hot minute, and I tried it, and I liked it.

And with the $20 credit and what the pricing was, it worked out to where you could really save some money on dish soap and toilet paper that you were buying anyway. And my niche is all about helping busy moms save money and live fully. And I thought, this service makes a lot of sense.

This really is right in my niche. And so I started doing these $20 credits and made a couple of $1,000. Like, I was not having to buy soap for years.

I spent all this money. Well, I referred a friend of mine who she has over a million followers on Facebook, and it went bananas with this $20 credit. And they had a woman who wasn’t she was not their affiliate manager at the time.

She was just a VP or something like that reached out to me and said, what else can we do to work together? And we started talking, and they created their affiliate program, and we did these programs where they still do this today. I think it’s probably been, gosh, five, six years now where you get a free Mrs. Meyers kit. It’s like $25 in Mrs. Meyers product that you get free with your first order of $10 or more or $20 or more.

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And we rolled out this promotion, and it did so well. And that led to me introducing other affiliates to them, having a bounty program on every commission that they made, I made money on. And I was coaching other influencers.

I was doing the campaigns right along with them. We were sharing photography. We’re talking to this affiliate manager at Grove about, hey, I think the landing page should look like this.

Let’s Pilot doing this offer. Let’s Pilot putting our photos on there. What are the conversions like?

I mean, texting morning, noon, and night. Like, I had her cell phone number. I flew out to San Francisco and went to their headquarters, planned an extra day on my trip to California just so I could be with them and spend time with them in person.

It far and away is one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done and something that I’ll always be proud of. I had dinner with the founder, and he looked me in the eye and said, Jessica, if it were not for you and our affiliates, grove would not be in business today. That affiliates took them to the next level and allowed them to just grow so exponentially.

And it was because of a $20 credit and me seeing a little opportunity and then a network that I had, and it really revolutionized their business. And I don’t say that I’m saying that wrong.

Matt: First of all, I love Mrs. Meyers. They’re cleaning stuff. Yeah, smells good. Doesn’t have that weird chemically smell because there’s no weird chemicals in it. That’s actually why that is super awesome. So, I mean, just again, to share the takeaways, number one, ask.

Way back like 2000 years ago, somebody said, ask not and you will receive not. And that’s a powerful lesson. You are not going to get anything if you don’t ask.

As an affiliate manager, I’m not just going to volunteer and reach out to you and be like, I’m going to give you double your commissions for no reason. But if you ask, I probably will. Or I’ll go up 10%.

Kind of depends on where the margins are, of course. But ask another thing is just really one of the things I hear in all three of these stories, especially the last one, is there’s a reason why we often call affiliates partners with that one in particular?

Well, actually, the first one and the third one, especially you’re partnering with them, hearing that story, it’s like you and your affiliates that you referred are almost like your own little startup within the startup. Right? It’s so cool to hear that.

It sounds like, I think back to my first startup back in 2005, not too far from where you’re at down in Franklin, Tennessee, and I still remember just the whole that atmosphere and the leftover Chinese food boxes that nobody would clean up because we were all dudes. But I kind of missed those days. Like that energy, like we’re doing something amazing.

That’s what I got from that and I love that. So I commend you on that and thank you so much for sharing these. What I’m hoping everyone got out of this insider is I’m hoping that you got some inspiration.

And my challenge to you would be just reach out to one affiliate manager, pick any of the programs you promote. Doesn’t matter. Could be something you’re having trouble with or something that you have success with really doesn’t matter. Just reach out to one and ask for help. Ask one of the best questions to ask is, hey, what are some tips you can give me. I’m struggling with getting conversions higher. What can we do?

One of the things that you mentioned was offer help. Hey. I really think if you change this language on your landing page, we’d get better conversions.

They’re going to love you for that, because they’re going to thank you with a higher commission to you, but they’re going to make more money from all the other affiliates. And so just be a good human and reach out to those affiliate managers. Any last words, Jessica, as we finish up that you would leave people with as they go out to start doing what I’ve challenged them to do?

Jessica: I think just have the tenacity to follow up. And again, know your worth and know that you are bringing value to programs. And so don’t be afraid to speak boldly and maybe ask even a little more than what you think, and then you’ll be surprised, I think, how often you get that.

Yes. Or what comes back to you is still better than what you thought originally.

Matt: Yeah. Take one of my best friends, I’ll never forget what he said when I got into consulting. He said, take what you think you’re worth and double or triple it.

Jessica: Yes.

Matt: So if you think you’re worth a 10% commission, ask for 20. If you’re getting five and you think you should be ten, ask for 20. Why not?

You’re probably not going to make I might laugh behind the scenes, I’m not going to laugh at you, but what if I come back and say, I’ll tell you what, I’ll double your commission. Well, you got what you were going to ask for in the first place, but maybe I’ll say, I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you ten, but if you hit 20,000 in sales, I’ll give you 15. Now. You just got three times more if you hit 20.

There’s always something there that you can ask for if you ask for more than you think you should. So great lesson there, Jessica, and thank you for this has been awesome, guys. This has been one of my favorite insider profiles.

Hope you take a lot out of this, rewatch it if need be and start reaching out. We’ll see you next month.

Jessica: All right, bye.


All right, I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Jessica there, and I hope that you got some tips that are going to help you as an affiliate to have a better relationship with your affiliate manager and vice versa. Again, this is all about making everybody a lot more money.

So I’d love to hear from you what your biggest takeaway was. Text me anytime at 260-217-4619. I would love to hear what your biggest takeaway was. You can also just anytime text me questions or anything else.

Again, 260-217-4619. We will put that number in the show notes for you. And lastly, but not leastly, make sure you hit subscribe, because, guys, we’re getting into that time of year.

It is Q 4 for some of you. And so in the next episode, we’re going to start our holiday series. This has been an annual tradition for the last six years. Wow. Holy crap. It’s been an annual tradition for the last six years.

I’ve got some new stuff this year, though, as a part of our ultimate guide to holiday affiliate promotions. So we’ll have some oldies book goodies that we’ll link to, and you can always go back and listen to the old stuff. But this year we got some new stuff.

And so next episode, we’re going to talk about how to crush your Black Friday and Cyber Monday affiliate promotions. We’re going to talk about that from both perspectives. Again, we’re going to talk about how to get your affiliate program ready for the holidays, how to make this your best holiday season ever with your affiliate program, and we’re going to talk about how to create high converting affiliate graphics for the holidays.

Plus, in our last episode in the series, we’re going to talk about how to use the holidays to recruit more affiliates. So we got five episodes coming up, and we’re getting ready for the holidays, right? Why are you doing this in October?

Because you need to be getting ready now for that rush in November and December. So we’re going to be talking about this over the next five weeks. So make sure you hit subscribe.

You do not want to miss that. We’ve got so much good stuff coming up to finish off the year. So with that said, I’ll see you in the next episode.

We’re going to talk about how to crush those Black Friday and Cyber Monday affiliate promos. I’ll see you then.


Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

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

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