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What do you communicate to your affiliates? When do you communicate with them? And how do you communicate with them? Three critical questions…all answered in this episode!

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Previous Episodes of The Affiliate Guy

How to Use Leaderboards to Find Affiliates

How to Onboard Affiliates the Right Way

How to Sell Without Sounding Like a Used Car Salesman

How to Start 2022 Off the Right Way

2022 Affiliate Marketing Predictions

My Top 10 Lessons of 2021 and What They Mean for YOU!

What & How to Communicate to Your Affiliates

What do you communicate to your affiliates? And when do you communicate with them and how do you communicate with them? What are the methods you need to use? These are the three critical questions, and they’re all answered in this episode.

So a couple of episodes ago, I talked about onboarding your affiliates and we were focused on like, what does that first week or so look like the first couple of weeks because as I shared in that episode if you can get an affiliate to promote within the first couple of weeks, you stand a much better chance of having them be a large affiliate over time than you do if they don’t promote in the first couple of weeks.

Now, I shared in that episode, there are caveats and nuance to that. I almost got those words mixed up there, but you know, there are caveats and nuance, right?

If you’ve got a launch that’s four months away just because they don’t promote two weeks after signing up, doesn’t mean they’re not going to promote, clearly. If they sign up and they say “awesome”. It’s evergreen and they sign up and they say, you know, it’s January when they sign up and they’re like, “dude, I have got you on my calendar for March 14th.”

That’s six, seven weeks away, that’s fine. You know, we want to get on their calendar, but it’s really important to get them active quickly. But what about the long-term? I promised that I would share this in an upcoming episode and you only had to wait two weeks. So I’m going to share today about the regular updates. What do we do between launches? What do we do between big promotions? What do we do if it’s an evergreen program, right? What are those regular updates? So there’s a couple of nuances therein and of itself.

Again, there’s if you have a completely evergreen program, really, there’s not a whole lot that changes week to week and you’re not really all that seasonal. Maybe you have a little bit of an increase right before mother’s day and father’s day. Maybe you have 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. But you know, it’s still half your sales or the other nine months.

That’s kind of a pure evergreen. On the flip side of that is maybe you only launch once a year or you launch, you know, two products each once a year or you launch one product twice a year, something like that. You know, you have 2, 3, 4 launches a year and that’s it. Then in the middle is more of a, is a cyclical evergreen program or something where you’re doing special promos periodically. So maybe you have your products available 24/7 and 365, but you’re going to run big promotions, four weeks out of the year and 75, 80% of your entire year sales will come in those four weeks. So that’s kind of a hybrid between the two, right?

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There are other nuances that we’re not going to get into, but I’m going to talk about all of those. All of the things that you need to do, no matter what kind of a program you’re running. One of the biggest mistakes we see with launch affiliate programs when it’s pure launches is they go dark for 9 months, 10 months, 11 months out of the year between launches and that’s something we worked with one client recently, I was really excited. This ended up being they’ve done 16 or 17 launches. And one of the things that we really hammered home months in advance, and we worked with them was get them warmed up, get them fired up now.

It’s June and your launch is in November. Get them fired up now. It’s July and get them excited. We don’t want to get burned out, but we want to get them really pumped up to promote. That’s one of the things that we worked on with them is not going dark, not being dark in June, July, and August for a November launch. Let’s get them psyched up now.

So that’s a big mistake we see with the launch programs is just lack of communication. Like any communication is better than no communication whatsoever, but what are some of the things that you do need to communicate? There’s no particular order to anything I’m going to share today. All right, we’re going to probably bounce around a little bit.

I’m going to share some for pure evergreen, some for the evergreen hybrid, some for the launch-specific ones. But the one thing you got to do for all of them is you’ve got to educate them. If we’re talking about launches in the months, leading up to, you know, you probably don’t want to do this six months out, but in like the 90 days leading up to your launch, we want to educate them. Evergreen, you can do this year-round evergreen hybrid. You want to do this kind of leading into any big promotions, but educate them, share with them what’s working, what’s working for other partners, teach your affiliates, the strategies and the tactics that they need to use.

If you want a good example of that, go to Mattmcwilliams.com/affiliatetraining. I’ve got an example training there that we did. We did an affiliate training webinar for one of our clients. So then only the normal way to get access to this is only if you’re one of our, Your Affiliate Launch Coach clients. And this is the actual training that we shared with the affiliates of one of those clients.

You can download, you can actually watch the training, see how we do it, see how we train them. You can also download the slides. We’ve got keynote, PowerPoint version. Think we’ve got even got a PDF version and you can download those and use those as a guide for you to train your affiliates. But you need to teach them what works, teach them the strategy, teach them the tactics. And there are some statistics in there that’ll blow their minds. That’s going to help them to promote more.

Teach your affiliates, why mailing more works or why mailing at a specific time works. I think when we’re running launches, I often share why mailing on a weekend is a good idea. So what I do, it’s a little trickier. So the idea is to get them to send an email or two over the weekend. And a lot of times we’ll wrap that up in a contest. You know, there are all kinds of reasons, actually, I’ll share in a second, how you can get a template of this email. But what I don’t want to do is have them cancel their Friday email and then send it on Saturday because of this contest. So here’s what we’ll do:

On Friday about 2 o’clock, there’s a balance here, like 2:00 PM. Most people have sent their emails for the day by 2, 2:30, but it’s early enough in the day where they can pivot. Like I know for me, I’m recording this on a Friday at about 2:30. And if I’m doing an affiliate promotion right now and you emailed me at right now and said, “Hey, you should mail this weekend. You maybe you weren’t planning on emailing this weekend. We’re doing a special promotion, the top three affiliates, get this” or something like that.

I have the ability to go. “Hmm. I think I could pull that off. Let me type up some stuff. We’ll move on and get our team to load the email. Yada yada,” right? If you email me at 5, I can’t do that. I’m like, I’m a half-hour from leaving the office. I got my kids and I’m coaching my kid’s games tonight or whatever. That’s great. Somebody will win that contest it’s not going to be me, but if you email me like 10:30, maybe that’s just early enough. It probably wasn’t. But if you email me at like 9 o’clock, it was just early enough that I can go into convert kit, click pause on our email.

That was going out today. And instead of sending an email today and then, oh man, I’ll send one more over the weekend. Now I’ll just send two on the weekend. And maybe, when the contest is all about getting affiliates to add an extra email that they weren’t planning on sending, but I have to educate them. I have to educate them.

So I’ve got a template. If you want it, you can download the template. If you just go to Mattmcwilliams.com/weekendemail. But basically, this email teaches them why they should email this weekend. And it gives them the stats and it gives them the things like, well, email volume is pretty quiet and people have more time to interact with it, right?

Help your affiliates, understand why you want them to mail more. It’s not just, “Hey, if you mail more then you will make more money, you know, or you email more, it’s good for me.” No, help them understand that. Share with them the data about how mailing more on cart close day will exponentially increase their sales. Just share the data with them. I’ll include a post in the show notes here that you can download about why mailing more on cart closed days, is such a good idea.

Teach them how to send to their non clicks and their unopens right? Teach them those things. So, number one, you’ve got to educate your affiliates, whatever it is, if you’re running an evergreen program, teach them some of the things that are working, right? Teach them some of the strategies that are working for other affiliates. If you ask the affiliates, “Hey, do you mind if I share?” Some of them might say, “no, that’s a trade secret. I don’t want anybody to know.” Okay, fine. But many of them will say, “Yeah, go ahead. Happy if you share that, that’s fine.” If you’re doing launches, make sure you get them warmed up before the launch. I’ve done a couple of episodes on that. You can just look those up, just look them up on the podcast. Like warm-up and you’ll find numerous episodes.

That’s communication. That’s what you should be communicating. What should you be communicating? All of the things we’re going to talk about today, when should you communicate? You should be communicating weeks or months, and then weeks in advance. I recommend starting about six months out, about six months out, just once a month, up until about two months out, just four emails over the course of four months with some of the stuff that we’ll share today, then one Facebook post. So typically what I’ll do is I’ll send an email early in the month, then in the middle of the month, I’ll post to the Facebook group for the affiliates. And then repeat that cycle up until about two months out.

Then I start to ramp it up just a little bit here because there’s more stuff that you’ll see as we go along. The biggest thing is just to communicate a lot. The biggest mistake is not communicating enough, right? That’s the biggest mistake that we see is just not communicating enough. So what are some of the other things that you should be communicating?

Again, this applies to launch, applies evergreen, applies hybrid, whatever, give them behind the scenes access, give them access to what’s going on in your preparation for the launch. For example, one of my favorite videos that I always have clients do is if they’re recording, the prelaunch videos or they’re doing like a run-through of their live workshop, just get on and do a five-minute video. What you do is you set up, you’ve got your team, they’re setting up and you just, you’re on set and you just say, “Hey guys, 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.

And we’re just doing a test run-through, here’s what it looks like. Here’s some of the stuff we’re going to be doing, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” I might even include, if they’re doing the through, I might even include like a 10-minute little snippet of it or a blooper.

That’s always fun. Like I might even start off like, we’ve done this because I don’t want it to be too polished, but we’ll take a blooper or two at the beginning. And then “Hey partners, I’m here live, you know, boom, boom, boom”, three to five-minute message. And then at the end, finish up with a couple more bloopers. So it was like four or five bloopers, you know, two or three on either in book-ending the message. This just keeps it fun. Right?

Videos just going live in the Facebook group, for partners periodically, again, this doesn’t matter what kind of program you’re running, just going live or recording a quick five-minute video, “Hey partners. I was thinking of, you know, something, you know, such and such,” right? Sharing a lesson that you learned from another. Maybe you promoted something as an affiliate and sharing something that worked or didn’t work. Constantly hammering home those important dates. You’ve got to do that, right? You’ve got to constantly remind them of when does the promotion starts?

Promotion starts April 14th, April 14th, April 14th, April 14th, April 14th. Right? You’ve got to hammer that home. You got to give them plans. If this is a purely evergreen program, maybe there is some cyclical to it. They need to know what those dates are that are important and have a plan for building up to that.

Teach them going back to that, teach them how to warm their audience up, teach them 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, whatever it is, teach them specific things. How to do better with email, give them a specific lesson on social media, give them a specific lesson on a part of social media, Instagram, Facebook, whatever, give them a specific lesson on how to use DMS, how to use their Facebook groups, how to do lives. You know, all of those things, right?

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These are all the things that you can be given to your affiliates. Now it’s contests and prizes. That’s pretty popular, right? Give them the information they need to know about, “Hey guys, we just announced this, $250,000 contest, or it’s a $10,000 contest or everybody who makes five sales gets this, whatever it is, let them know those things.

If you know, what your contest is going to be eight weeks in advance announce it. You’ll remind them. But go ahead and announce it. Get some excitement about it. Give them updates on everything. “Oh my gosh, the webinar was amazing. Oh, you know, last week was our second biggest week in the past year, whatever it is, just give them updates, share success stories, testimonials. When you get a testimonial if you’re an affiliate manager, here’s what you do. You 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.”

One of the biggest things you can do with evergreen, every three, four months, is just reach out and ask if there’s anything they need, with a launch, ask if there’s anything they need, a couple of weeks out, then maybe a day or two in or the day before, just ask if there’s anything that they need.

Ask for referrals. “Hey, do you know anybody? Who’d be a good partner?” That should be your number one source of affiliates by the way. Once you get up and running, now, this is not true. If your first a hundred to 200, but once you hit a point where you have about 500 affiliates, your number one source of new affiliates should be your current affiliates.

So reach out periodically, you know, a couple of months out from a launch, “Hey, really excited. Remember April 14th, April 14th, you know, anybody who might be a good fit to promote this”. Fro evergreen, just maybe reach out, once a quarter, once every six months is probably enough.

So of course the next question is when do you communicate with them? If you have a pure evergreen program like there’s no cyclical illness whatsoever. If there’s any cyclical nature whatsoever, then naturally throughout the year, you’re going to ramp up leading into the high points, right? If you’re running periodic promotions, kind of that hybrid program, you’re going to center your communication around those high points. I mentioned earlier with the launch,

I would do monthly up until about two months out from the launch and then I would get a little bit more frequent. We’ll talk about that in a moment. But if you have no cyclical illness whatsoever to your affiliate program, and you’re not doing any promotions, there’s literally nothing that changes. Then I would send a once-a-month kind of newsletter type thing.

I’d include three of these elements, maybe a tip of strategy. You know, what’s working, maybe a good story, a testimonial or an update something like that. I would include, you know, things like that. And then one of the other things, right? You maybe announce a new contest for the next month.

Well, if you’re announcing a contest for the month of say March, then in March, you’re going to increase the frequency that you’re going to really start increasing the frequency 10 days out from March, you know, about February 18th or so. And now that almost becomes like a launch, it almost kind of becomes like a launch.

As far as the when, again, a consistent once a month email, and then I would, if you can track this in your system, I’d send to, you know, pop that out to the unopens roughly10 to 12 days later. And then I would post once a month or so on your Facebook, or maybe even twice a month in your Facebook group, the Facebook group is going to be one thing.

In fact, you can use your email to point back to the Facebook group. You post in the Facebook group, a tip and you post in the Facebook group, a really cool testimonial and you post in the Facebook group, you do a live where you answer some questions, then use the newsletter almost to point back to those pieces of content.

You can include something else as well. So they make sure to open your emails, but that would be the rhythm. I would get into it. That with the cyclical type thing, maybe you got like four big promos a year. So once every, roughly 90 days, you’re basically I have two months off and then a month where you’re ramping up and then two months off, I would follow the evergreen pattern, you know, for those two months. And then I would just ramp it up. In the midst of say a 10-day promotion. You know, you’re emailing every day, five days before through the promotion 15 days you’re posting on Facebook once or twice a day during that period.

And then for a launch – Again, the thing is once a month. So if your launch is on March 1st, then you got your follow-up emails, things like that we’ve talked about those before. That’s kind of like the week or two after the launch, but I would send an email that depends on the payments as well. If you have affiliates getting paid and let’s say you’ve got a four-month payment plan.

Well, that kind of takes care of that but what about the affiliates who didn’t get paid? So I would just send a once a month email or once a month, you know, Facebook posts, 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 out, then I’m going to go basically every other week. So I’m going to send an email at the beginning of the month, Facebook post in the middle vice-versa doesn’t matter. And then the next month I’m gonna repeat that. So it’s just starting to ramp up the frequency. And when I get about, six to eight weeks out, I start going roughly, every two weeks or so, about eight weeks out until about the two weeks out mark. And then I start really ramping it up from there.

So that’s the wind. 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. You can use email, how do we communicate, use email, use Facebook group, use telegram groups. If you know, if you want, communicate with them, however, they want to be communicated, especially for your bigger ones.

One of the things I highly recommend is to stop relying on email and Facebook. Periodically send them something in the mail. This was hugely popular. We haven’t done this with all of our clients, but we do like a, we’ll do like a quarterly physical newsletter. It’s basically if you can picture, it’s four pages. The one side is the mailing stuff. So there’s really nothing on there. So it’s actually three pages of printed stuff and it folds in half and then in half again and email it. Again, it costs 50 cents to print and like 89 cents to mail. Some, not even that, I don’t even know how much it costs. It’s pretty cheap though.

So it costs about a buck, 50 a person. You have a thousand affiliates, it cost you 1500 bucks. Send them something in the mail really gets people excited for your bigger affiliate you could do something special. The list is endless, just do something special for them. One of my favorite gifts I ever got was a custom-made Lego set.

And it was me. In fact, they, it was from Pete Vargas and they made two of them, one with glasses and one without, because I kind of go 50, 50. Everybody knows me like, from May through October, I tend to not wear my glasses. And then over the winter, I wear my glasses because of allergies.

So they sent me two versions of them, like a Batman and a Superman. It had my head, you know, custom-made Lego head and I’m like, that is so cool. So there are all types of things you can do as far as mailings that you can do that would really move the needle.

So the important thing is -Get creative, be consistent and break the mold. Again, communicate via physical mail periodically, you know, occasionally pop out a DM to somebody. Like here’s the thing. If you’ve got a thousand affiliates or I can’t DM a thousand people, well, for one you could have like a VA do it. Well, I don’t have a VA.

My company doesn’t provide one. You could pay for it yourself. I did that. 11 years ago, I worked for a company and I paid out of my pocket about 200 bucks a month for a virtual assistant because it was cheaper to pay them for 20 hours 200 bucks than it was to do some of the things myself and I got a 10 X ROI on their work.

I mean, I guarantee you the work they did like DM-ing affiliates within called DM-ing back then. I don’t even know what it was called. Instant messaging, sending in instant messaging affiliates on my behalf was worth what I got out of it. And I never could have found the time to do it. So don’t make the excuse. I don’t have the time to do it. You go hire somebody it’s super cheap. It really. Hire somebody overseas for less than $10 an hour.

So what I would do, I’ve done this periodically, so you got a thousand affiliates again, this isn’t if you’ve got a hundred thousand affiliates are different, but you take your top thousand and let’s just you say I post in the Facebook group or send an email, let’s just say, I send an email. And that email says, here’s your links and swipe copy for next week. Something like, I’m just making that up, right. Or there’s a really cool tip or something like that, or announcing a new contest doesn’t matter. But let’s just go with announcing a new contest. Then I’ll have my VA’s DM as many people as they can.

And what if they 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. Like, no I didn’t. “Hey cool then boom, boom, boom.” Make sure you’re checking. Here’s the subject line. And every now and again, I would say probably one out of 30, my VA will basically say, I don’t know how to respond to this. So can you handle it? But I mean, we get mass communication with a thousand affiliates and it doesn’t, I mean, it’s something that the VA and they’re doing, one every 20 seconds. So it takes them a few hours and they’ve knocked out a thousand. So just don’t let that be an excuse. Break them old, physical mail, DMS texts, whatever. Just break out of just emails and Facebook group emails and Facebook group boring, boring, boring.

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So lots to do. But now you have a plan. Go check out those links. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve got a link in the show notes for the affiliate training. So you want to know how to train your affiliates. I’ll show you I’ll even give you the slides. I’ve also got that weekend email template. So you can use that.

You can copy and paste the thing. I mean, you might want to tweak it a little bit. I think the one I have in there is specifically for a client, but you can tweak that. And I’ve got a link for you to share with your affiliates on why mailing more on cart close day is such a good idea. It’s actually got the stats that we broke down over the course of hundreds of launches that we ran. So make sure you go check those out, make sure you subscribe and share because, in the next episode, I’m going to be talking about donuts and actually just donut, singular, the affiliate donut. I’m going to be talking about the affiliate donut in the next episode. So you don’t want to miss that to make sure you hit that subscribe button.

Make sure you share this episode with somebody who could use it. You know, somebody who’s an affiliate manager and entrepreneur or aspiring affiliate manager. And they’re like, I don’t know what to communicate. I don’t know how to communicate. I don’t know when to communicate. Well, then I just shared it with you in less than a half-hour.

So go share this episode with them. If you’ve got any questions about this or anything at all, text me anytime at 2 6 0 2 1 7 4 6 1 9. And I’ll see you in the next episode.

Remember to check out all of our deep dives into affiliate marketing at theaffiliateguy.TV and if you have a question, ask it at, asktheaffiliateguy.com who knows maybe you even be featured on an upcoming episode. And lastly, if you haven’t yet make sure to leave a rating and review wherever you’re listening to this episode. See you soon.

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