Affiliate managers send some bad emails to their affiliates. These emails end up having the opposite effect of what was intended. And then, there is this email I’m sharing today…the WORST email I’ve ever seen from an affiliate program. 

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Links Mentioned in this Episode

How to Activate Inactive Affiliates in Launches

How to Activate Inactive Affiliates (Evergreen Programs)

Affiliate Activation Email Templates

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Transcript for “WORST Affiliate Email I’ve Ever Received”

Affiliate managers send some bad emails to their affiliates. These emails end up having the opposite effect of what was intended. And then there’s this email that I’m sharing today, the single worst email I have ever seen from an affiliate program.

I’m sharing it with you so that you don’t make this mistake. So imagine my surprise when I’m an affiliate for a company and I get this email that I’m about to share with you.

I’ve never seen one like it. I’ve seen some bad ones, but never one that was this bad. And this is a big company. They are at least at the low end. They’ve got to be a $50 million a year company. You’ve all heard of them, you’ve heard of them, you’ve probably used them.

And I get this email now I don’t remember the subject line. I went back and looked for it and I couldn’t find it. I think I just deleted it because it was so bad I didn’t even want it anywhere in my inbox works.

But I saved the bulk of the email or the text of the actual email. I wish I’d saved the subject line because I’m sure it was a doozy. I don’t even know how I happened to catch this one, but here’s what it said.

Dear affiliate all right, thanks for the personalized greeting there, what with that being a merge field and all. Dear affiliate, please advise that your affiliate account so I’m supposed to advise them? Please advise, not be advised.

Just please advise that your affiliate account is scheduled for cancellation due to inactivity for the past twelve months. To prevent this cancellation, we kindly thank you for being nice about it. I appreciate that.

Kindly request that you take action within the next 30 days by bringing activity to your account, such as visits, first time buyers, ftbs and registrations through your affiliate links. Please note simply logging into your account will not be sufficient. If no activity is taken within the specified time frame mentioned above, your account will be canceled.

For assistance or questions, contact our support team at name affiliates at their domain. All right, again, dear affiliate, it’s 2024. It’s a merge field.

Need help activating your affiliates? Use my proven email templates for getting inactive affiliates in the game and making sales! Get them here!

affiliate activation email templates

You can address me by name, right? But just the impersonalization and then the whole email is absolute garbage. So if you ever think of sending an email like this don’t do it.

Oh, you may be thinking this is like a really good way to get affiliates active. No, it’s a really good way of ticking people off and then actually causing them to do a podcast episode where they call you out on it. So here’s the thing.

Don’t send an email like this. Don’t cancel affiliate accounts. I’ve received similar emails. Don’t remove affiliates. It doesn’t cost you anything. People are what are you paying per affiliate in your system?

What system are you using where you’re paying per affiliate? We scrub our email list every quarter because number one, we pay per subscriber and there’s no reason having an extra 2000 people on there that are not active. And number two, it affects deliverability rates because if I send 15,000 emails instead of 20,000 but the same number of people open them, I have a 35% open rate instead of a 25% open rate.

And that makes me look good. That makes sense. But nobody’s paying per affiliate. And if they’re not active, just email them less. We always divide our affiliates into active and inactive. But here’s the thing, something may catch their eye.

I have activated accounts three years in, both as an affiliate, and I’ve even activated myself three years in. And then furthermore, notice it said inactivity for the past twelve months. This is actually a company I have referred business to.

I have made them money and they still want to remove me just because I haven’t referred anybody in a year. I’m busy. I have my own business to worry about. So do your affiliates. You are not their priority. You’re not their priority. Their businesses, their team is. I’ve been busy. We’ve been growing.

We’ve added new team members. Frankly, we’ve added expenses. We’re spending more as a business than we ever have. It was a crazy 2023. We had to let go of some people due to performance issues. We had all kinds of things that we were working on and growing as a business.

I’m not worried about your affiliate program. I will be again someday, but not if you kick me out. So this wins the award. Worst affiliate email ever that I’ve ever received. Don’t remove people. Get them active Now. First of all, you got to find out why they’re not active, why they are inactive. You got to find out.

You got to take an actual interest. Hey, what can I do to help you? Why are they inactive? Are they inactive because they’re promoting a competitor? And if so, why are your conversions not high enough are your commissions not competitive enough? Are there some tools that you’re missing?

Some graphics? Or is it just that they have better affiliate service than you do? Okay, well, then address those things. How about you have a better program, one that I want to promote? Maybe they just don’t know how to promote. So maybe you need to be training them.

Maybe you need to be recording videos to show them how to promote. Maybe you need to be getting on calls with them one on one. How about that? As a way to activate somebody, not the threat of removal. This is affiliate management 101. I’ve been in this game for literally, it’ll be 20 years next year.

And this is something I learned from multiple people back in 2005, 2006. This is one of the most basic things, and they somehow, like, you can google this, should I remove affiliates from my program? And all the stuff says no, and yet they still sent this email.

It’s mind boggling. Mind boggling. Help your affiliates. Help them get active. Because I have this document on the website. I have numerous activation campaigns.

We’ll link to these in the show notes. I have numerous activation campaigns where I talk about what’s worked for us to activate affiliates. And I’m going to tell you, the numbers don’t lie.

Get my #1 affiliate recruiting email (the one I’ve personally used to recruit thousands of affiliates in dozens of niches). Grab your copy here!

Affiliate Recruiting Email Template

Let me find this one. This will blow you away here. So, Shutterfly, Shutterfly, when I took that program over in 2013, we had more than 15,000 inactive affiliates.

With one push, we activated 1400 of the 15,000 who produced more than $430,000 in additional revenue. In the next year, you go 430,000. We took that program from 15 million to over 325,000,000 in about three, three and a half years. Was that 430,000 that big of a deal? Yes, it was in that first year. That’s just from that one activation campaign.

Total inactive affiliates from 2013 to 2014. Those people who are inactive when we took over in late 2013 that became active in 2014, produced over a million dollars in 2014. It was a substantial amount of revenue for us and helped us grow.

Michael Hyatt in a launch 2016, we had 944 affiliates who had not sent any traffic. After the first week, they’re completely inactive. Three days later, we had almost 300 of them sending traffic.

Those affiliates who previously would have been most people would have just abandoned them, ended up doing $104,000 in sales in that launch. And then all of a sudden, they made $100, $500, $1,000, and now they’re affiliates for life. I talk about learning master guitar.

We had 704 inactive affiliates when I took over within a month, we activated 261 of them. Combined, those affiliates helped us grow from $2. 2

million to over $6 million by the end of that year. Of the top ten affiliates we had, four of them were from that group of inactive affiliates, including two of the top three. If I just removed them, threatened them, ticked them off, we’d have lost two of her top three affiliates millions of dollars.

So don’t kick them out. They’re not costing you any money. It’s asinine. Get them active. That’s your job. I’m going to link to a couple of blog posts that’s got some information about that, how to reach out to them.

I’ve got some example emails in there. My favorite one is everything okay, first name? Hey, first name. Just checking to make sure everything was okay. Had you down to support such and such, but I haven’t seen any activity yet. There’s still plenty of time to join in.

Plenty of time. I always put that in all caps. Promotion is going well, but it’s not too late for you to get in. Let me know how I can help. That’s what I’m here for. Now think about this.

It has five elements. Number one, it grabs their attention. If I say everything okay and then your first name, that’s kind of cool. Stands out, right? That’s a good subject line. It reminds them of a commitment.

Hey, I have you down to support this, but I haven’t seen anything yet reminding you of a commitment. Robert Chialdini, his book influence, right, talks about this. Nothing is as powerful as the principle of commitment. Commitment. We have a natural desire to do what we said we would do, and I want to make sure to remind them of that commitment. And people ask me all the time, isn’t this a bit of a guilt trip?

And I’m like, yeah, it is a bit of a guilt trip, but I make a ton of money sending this email, so you bet I’m going to do it. It’s a little bit of a guilt trip. Like I’m reminding them of what they committed to, but it also encourages them.

I say there’s still plenty of time. There’s still plenty of time. It’s not too late. It encourages them. It has social proof. Because I talk about how the promotion is going well.

People want to be a part of something that’s going well. People want to be a part of something that’s exciting. And I want to make sure to point out that things are going great, but I want them to be a part of it. And it offers help.

Make it clear that you are there to answer questions. You need to get on the phone with them. Get on the phone with them. What a better thing to do. Get on a phone with affiliate rather than threaten to kick them out of the program if you don’t send traffic in the next 30. Do we hold the gun to my head.

It’s crazy. So I’ll link to these blog posts. They’ve got some cool information in there and why these work. Also, I’ve got a link put in the show notes. It’s some free templates, some activation email templates. These are my best email templates.

Okay? I’ve written probably 1000 of these over the years. I mean at least a few hundred. And I kept track of which ones actually worked. Some of the ones I’ve tried didn’t work. That one I just talked about is one of the best.

So I’ve got a link. You can get all my activation templates. That’s what you do. Use those templates. Write your own offer to help. Just how about sending an email?

If you are ready to take your business to the next level and start an affiliate program, start with my free report, Your First 100 Affiliates. This report takes nearly two decades of experience, trial and error, and lessons learned about finding top affiliates in nearly every conceivable niche and puts them all into one report. Grab your copy here!

Hey, haven’t seen anything from me. Happy to get on a call. Here’s a link to my calendar. How can I help you? That’s a better email than we’re going to remove. You. Please advise. I mean, come on, it’s ridiculous. So don’t be like this program.

Instead. Get them active. Get them active. Offer to help and get them active. All right, that said, excited for the next episode. Make sure as always that you hit subscribe so you don’t miss it in the next episode.

I’m going to talk about some more affiliate program mistakes. Now these are more common. This one’s not a super common one, although I have seen it enough.

But I’m going to talk about all the mistakes I’ve made over the years in the next episode. So these are mistakes that honestly could have taken my entire program down at any point. So I’m going to talk about the mistakes that I made and how to avoid them.

That’s the good news because I’m going to show you how not to make these mistakes. So with that said, make sure you hit subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And if you’ve got any questions or comments or anything you need anything as a result of this episode, text me at 260-217-4619 I’ll see you in the next episode.



Text me anytime at (260) 217-4619.

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

Find Your First 100 Affiliates

template for affiliate program terms and conditions

Affiliate Program Terms & Conditions Template

email for recruiting affiliates

Get My #1 Affiliate Recruiting Email

top mistakes to avoid with your affiliate program

Avoid The Top 20 Affiliate Program Mistakes

email templates for activating affiliates

Turn Inactive Affiliates into Your Best Affiliates

Affiliate email template for affiliate managers

Get My Template for Writing Affiliate Emails

Sales secrets of successful affiliate marketers

Affiliate Marketing Sales Secrets

Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing with a resources page

Learn How to Create a Resources Page

guide on how to write a product review with affiliate marketing

Learn How to Write a Product Review

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