You’re six months from launch date. What do you do to keep your affiliate partners warm before your launch? Here’s the exact strategy we use for our clients.
The post was originally published in April 2016. It has since been updated with new (and awesome) information and resources. Enjoy!
The “Normal” Way to Warm Up Your Partners
Unfortunately, the “normal” way we usually see people warming up their partners is “not at all.”
Here’s a typical pre-launch calendar:
1 month out: Email announcing the launch.
Day before launch: Here’s what you need for tomorrow.
Not exactly warming them up.
Think of Your Own List
With your own email list, you would never go months without communicating and then suddenly show up in their inbox and attempt to sell them something.
Yet, that is exactly what we see most people doing in advance of their launches. They have no communication with their affiliate partners for the entire year and then expect them to promote.
Here’s how to fix that. It’s the exact strategy we use starting at the end of the previous launch. For purposes of this example, we are assuming 6 months between launches.
6 Months Out
Immediately following your launch, it’s time to announce the next launch.
The key here is to go ahead and get commitments for the next launch. Spend the next week or so locking down your top partners for the next one.
5 Months Out
5 months from the next launch is the time to ask for referrals.
Ask your partners if they know anyone who would be a good fit to promote the next launch. If they refer someone, set them up as a 2nd tier affiliate.
Here’s an example of an email we sent out to get referrals recently for Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10,000 Readers Launch:
4 Months Out
Now is the time to begin sharing what we call “Pre-pre-launch content.”
This is content that is published on your site (podcasts, blog posts, videos) that isn’t a pre-launch piece of content. But you share it as though it is.
Here’s how that works:
- You set the URL up as an affiliate link
- You send it out to your partners and encourage them to share it.
All of the optins from that link are cookied for the next launch. Your partners benefit by sharing good content and by getting an early start on the launch.
You can continue to share content like this as often as it makes sense.
3 Months Out
Now is the time to invite your partners to join your partner community.
The best way to do this is through a private Facebook group.
Continue to share content with them via email, but you can share more frequently on Facebook.
2 Months Out
Typically two months out we send two emails, one about eight weeks from launch and another six weeks out. Here’s what we send in those emails:
- Customer testimonials from last launch
- Backstage look at the pre-launch content shoot or other materials
- Announce the exact launch sequence
- Launch tips
- Continued sharing of pre-pre-launch content
- Preview of coming attractions (see below)
You can include any or all of those in these emails.
1 Month Out
Now we move to much more frequent communication. Here’s the breakdown for the last month before launch:
Approximately 4 weeks out announce your contest and prizes. You can certainly announce them sooner, but now is the time ot make a big deal out of it.
We always hold back some of the prizes such as daily prizes, but now is the time to announce your big ones.
Send Promo Plans
3 weeks out, send a promo plan to your partners.
This is a detailed breakdown of each day of the launch with suggested mailing times.
BONUS: For your top 20-30 partners offer to get on a Skype call with each of them to discuss the plan and create a custom plan for them.
2 Week Reminder
2 weeks out, we send a simple email that reminds them that there are 2 weeks to launch.
Nothing more, nothing less on this one.
Partner Center Login
10 days out we send the partner center login.
The partner center has everything our partners need for a successful launch.
NOTE: One of our services is done-for-you partner centers. We offer these for clients and non-clients. If you are interested in learning more about these, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hold an Event
Approximately one week out, announce a training event for your partners.
This can be a webinar or a live video. In it, share best practices for the launch, how to maximize their commissions, go through the launch calendar, and give them a tour of your partner center.
Get Them Resources Early
At least three days prior to the launch, send out the swipe copy for the first day.
Make it clear when it is to be sent, what it is for, etc.
Include a link (or attachment) to the ebook or video they are promoting so they can read/watch it.
Remind, Remind, Remind
The most important thing we have learned over the years doing this is that you cannot over-communicate with your partners.
In each email, remind them of something you’ve already said. Include their login to the partner center in each email. Remind them of the training. Remind them of the contest. Remind them of the promo plans. Remind them that they can refer someone.
What strategies have you personally used or seen others use to warm up partners before a launch?
You can get access to our pre-launch timeline PLUS an example of the promo calendar we give to our partners from a recent launch.
The pre-launch timeline allows you to plug in one date (open cart) and it shows you when to mail every other piece of content to your partners.
The promo plan calendar is the EXACT plan we shared with partners in Ray Edwards’ recent launch.