It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.
If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>
Last week I asked our panel of experts…
What's the #1 thing someone can do to get your attention so that you'd consider promoting them as an affiliate?
Here are their awesome, honestly wonderful answers.
Seriously, if you sell your own products and have an affiliate program – you will want to bookmark this page and come back often.
Terry Dean of My Marketing Coach says:
A lot of times people like to “give a system” here, but I'm going to tell you the last couple that got my attention for a first promotion.
Step one is to reply to one of my email newsletters. (You can get on my list here: Terry Dean's email newsletter.) That guarantees your message will get opened in my office. That's more likely to get my own attention than even a direct message through social media.
Get to the point quickly. Why does your product and offer fit my audience and what I normally share? If you quickly quote something I've recently said you'll probably get promoted past the gatekeepers to me.
Then you let me know why your product is a unique offer my customers will appreciate. This is more important to me than the EPC or numbers you claim. Simply put, if I don't know you yet, I don't believe the income per visitor claims you would make anyway.
Include a link to the download of the product or username/password to access it. I'm not going to waste time playing email tag with you. And then the product better fulfill what you promised. If I'm interested I'm likely to look at it when I get the time.
Have a unique offer. Seriously. Since I'm in internet marketing, so much new stuff is just routine and exactly like what everyone else is offering. Don't send another here's how to make your first $100 online or another “blind bus opp” offer.
Specialized products with a story behind them are required.
Thinking back to the ones that got me to actually promote, they either already had a relationship with me in some way or they had someone else promote already that I knew.
A relationship would mean they're a customer, commented on an article of mine, promoted me, sent a testimonial, or I hired them for a project (such as a VA, designer, writer, etc.). There's a reason I recognize their name beyond just their email asking me to promote.
If we haven't done business, then early in their contact they'll need to mention someone else I know and trust who promoted for them. For example, they could say, “Nicole Dean promoted for me two weeks ago and had excellent results.”
They've now passed that hurdle for me to read more.
During the contact, be direct and to the point. Don't try any tricks. Don't use a “teaser” at all…trying to get me curious to ask you more. I won't. I'll delete it if the whole “short” 5 W's story (Who, What, When, Where, Why) isn't in just a few paragraphs like the intro of a press release.
Long emails are deleted on sight (defined as a page or more).
The concise pitch should include what their unique promise is for their offer and either a link to check out the product immediately or ask me to simply reply for a copy.
I've received gifts in the mail, and they have grabbed attention but they still had these 3 major items.
You asked for the #1 thing, but it's not really one thing.
These are all required:
1) A unique, specialized promise that I haven't received 3+ pitches for in the past month.
2) A previous business relationship OR a relationship with someone I respect.
3) Concise email spelling out the 5 W's with an offer to try out a copy.
Terry Dean is pretty awesome! Check out his stuff at – My Marketing Coach.
Kristen Eckstein of Self Publish on Demand says:
First of all, please don't just assume I'm going to promote you. I've spent time and money to build my list, and I've built a level of trust with them that I don't wish to violate.
Here's how you can properly get my attention:
1. Learn about me.
Read my profile, my bio, and become my friend on Facebook. Interact with me, get to know me, and see if there's any sort of synergy in our relationship.
2. Understand I paid for my list.
This doesn't mean I bought the list from somewhere else. It means I paid blood, sweat, tears, advertising dollars, and hours of my and my staff's time to maintain my list. I care about them, so if you ask me to promote your stuff for free I'm not going to do it. If it's an affiliate product, make sure it's a good fit for my list. A great way to do that is to join my list & see what kinds of things I send them.
3. If you get through #1 & #2, approach me through proper channels.
Email me through my website to contact my business manager. She maintains a spreadsheet of potential JVs and will know instantly if you're a good fit to speak with me further.
4. I don't promote anything without either knowing the person who created it or trying it myself.
So either give me the product to try out, or let me get to know and trust you. My business is built on relationship, not sales. If all you want to do is JV with me to sell something or get me to sell your affiliate product, I'm going to say, “Syanara.” If we click and build a relationship, you have a great chance of me promoting you to my list. If I don't know you, a cold email isn't going to get you anywhere.
5. Honor your word.
If you say you'll do a guest blog post or have promotional emails ready for me, have them on time. We plan out our promotions calendar months in advance and need to make sure yours is going where it's planned to go. I understand “stuff” happens, so if you feel there will be a delay please let me know asap so we can move your promotion to a later date and fill it with something else. My team doesn't appreciate having to constantly deal with things last minute.
If you have any products that would benefit entrepreneurs in the speaking, coaching or consulting realm, we may be a good fit. I look forward to hearing from you!
Kristen is my Book Coach. Check out her program at Self Publish on Demand
Jeanette S. Cates, PhD of Organize Your Online Business says:
In order for me to promote someone as an affiliate, I generally have three criteria:
1. I need to be impressed with your product.
I generally buy a product myself first – to check out the product and the process.
2. I need to be comfortable with your sales process.
Too many upsells and inundating me with emails and offers after the sale turn me off.
3. I need to know you.
I may not have met you face-to-face (although in 90% of the cases I have), but I generally want to have been on your list long
enough that I know you're not going to pull any surprises. Another way I get to know people is by their being MY customer. Then we build a relationship where I am more open to promoting your product.
When all three of those criteria have been met, then I will generally ask YOU for an affiliate link.
I can count on one hand the number of times someone I didn't know approached me to promote a product I hadn't bought and it turned out well for my subscribers. So I am very careful and protective of my list.
Let Jeanette help you organize your business with her free tips -> Organize Your Online Business
Kelly McCausey of Solo Smarts says:
Demonstrate knowledge about who I am and who I reach, then offer me a full version of the product to evaluate. Offer to walk me through it personally if it's a big resource.
If you go above and beyond and offer to prepare unique content for my blog or be an interesting guest on my podcast I'm going to give it genuine attention.
By going above and beyond I mean …
1. Write me a terrific guest blog post, format it nicely, provide a unique image and send it WordPress ready.
2. Think up a list of ten or twelve great questions I could ask you in an interview and give me a blurb's worth of answers. This helps me to immediately see if you'd be a great fit for my audience. Really want to ‘Wow me'? Write up show notes in my voice to go with your interview! The more time you save me, the more likely I am to act quickly.
Be sure to check out Kelly's coaching program here. Solo Masterminds – it's where I got started!
David Perdew of NAMS says:
When I looked at Nicole Dean's affiliate account a few days ago, I pinged her and asked, “Nicole, did you know that you've made money every day with MyNAMS since May 1, 2012 except for 5?”
That was 5 days out of 139 days when Nicole didn't make a commission by promoting MyNAMS membership, workshop (our live event in Atlanta), and other products. That's a powerful story!
First, her response was “Holy Cow!”
And second, she said that's an e-mail… and a blog post.
Numbers don't lie.
I look at my numbers too.
I received this offer this morning:
“X (Big Name Marketer) has a new webinar that's killing it – we're doing $150-$170 per attendee that shows up…converting 15% up to 27% on the webinar.”
That's was part of a much longer message. Usually, I wouldn't have considered it because I don't have the relationship with the marketer, but…
…the numbers stopped me. Those are good numbers. He had my attention.
Now, I ask the other questions:
- What's the topic?
- Is the product any good?
- Does this conflict with anything that my current NAMS instructor base teaches?
The answer to the last question stopped me. Yes, it did conflict with a good relationship that I already have and promote. I won't screw that up.
But the numbers got my attention and I'll respond back honestly.
When you, the product owner, have numbers that reinforce the truth, and enhances the potential reward on my effort, I'll pay attention, ESPECIALLY if we have a prior relationship.
When I can click on a report that shows me exactly how much money I can expect if I drive a certain number of clicks using the average historical conversion for my interaction, I can plan my business accordingly.
The example above is from Nicole's affiliate report at MyNAMS.com. Notice the key numbers are there: Unique Clicks, Conversion, Click Value, and Value Per Transaction.
With this kind of data, you can decide to drive enough traffic to generate the kind of money you want each month.That's the way the corporate world conducts business too.
McDonalds doesn't build a new store on an untried location without knowing how much traffic they will have on the first day, and making projections for the first-day totals and follow-up growth based on their historical data.
That data, combined with the location specific market research, allows the McDonalds corporate office and the franchise owner to know if they're making money when they open the doors.
I'm in business too. If I can't plan my income based on historical data, I can't set realistic income expectations.
You can give me special content and lot of promises, you can have celebrity endorsements and big marketers behind you, but if you can't show me average numbers, then I can't do business with you.
Numbers are the affiliates best friend. That's why I show them and talk to affiliates all the time about their numbers.
It gets their attention.
From Nik: Obviously I love NAMS – or I wouldn't promote it so much. My favorite part is the Workshop in Atlanta twice annually. If you would like to tell your readers about free webinars and get paid over and over and over again, sign up to become an affiliate here.
Alice Seba of Step-by-Step PLR Guides says:
I'll start by telling you what repels my interest. Someone who approaches me with a high dollar value product, tells me the huge commissions I'll make per sale and then proceeds to give me a list of all their awesome, well-known JV rock star partners who have already promoted them.
First of all, I don't believe we need high ticket products to make great money through affiliate programs. Therefore, products that are inflated in price for the sole purpose of big commissions are of no interest to me.
Second of all, one's list of JV partners really doesn't amount to hill a beans on the reputation front for me. I know that JV rock stars are lured by dollar signs and will sometimes promote just about anything. I also know that just because someone was your affiliate, it doesn't mean that they are happy about it. I need to know your REAL personal reputation first and the reputation of your products and customer service first.
So now that we know what I don't like, let's get into specifics about what I do like…
In the Internet Marketing niche, the individual would probably have to be my friend who produces awesome stuff or possibly be introduced by a friend…and they still have to produce awesome stuff. It sounds cliquey, but it's not. I want to make sure I can trust that person, that they've been around for a while and I can vouch for their quality. If they're not my friends, I probably can't do that.
In other niches, I would be hard-pressed to figure out the #1 thing. Reputation is so important and I am more likely to seek out a reputable merchant than to be romanced by an individual or company I don't know. I usually seek out my own offers to promote and if I happen to know individuals in those niches and know they are solid, I will probably promote their stuff too.
That said though, in every market, if you have a product that is such an amazing fit for what I do for my audience, I will often take a look at it. Targeting is definitely important too and if you have just the right product, I might investigate further.
Alice has some really cool visual step-by-step PLR here -> Step-by-Step PLR Guides
Ronnie Nijmeh of PLR.me (< -click for a special free offer from Ronnie) says:
Do a personal video 🙂 Say my name, get to know me and my stuff, and record a genuine personalized video just for me. That'll REALLY make you stand out.
Simple, yet incredibly effective!
Shannon Cherry of Quick Tweaks for More Profit sent in this video:
Check out Shannon’s Cool program (and get a special discount here: Quick Tweaks for More Profit
Lain Ehmann of Business Love Potion says:
Buy my product and send me a testimonial! 🙂
I often get pleas for attention, for mentoring, for “lunch,” etc., from people who haven't even taken the time to buy one of my products, read my blog, or understand my audience. For instance, I just got several emails from someone who wanted me to push a crochet tool. I'm sure it's a great tool – but my audience is scrapbookers! Ummm… no thanks.
Show you've done your homework and invested in my business before you ask me to invest in yours.
Is your Blog just not getting the results you wanted? Sign up for a Blog Critique from Lain Here
Nancy Marmolejo of Viva Visibility Blog says:
RELEVANCE. If their offer is not relevant to my list, then it really has no place. If it is relevant and provides a non-competing, complementary solution then I'm all ears.
Revenue is also important, a big commission will always turn my head, but first and foremost it has to speak to the needs of my list and provide a solution I'm not already offering. If I'm being asked to tie my list up for 2 weeks and the payoff is miniscule, then that's not a go.
Recognition is also a factor, meaning I like to partner with people who I either have heard of, heard good things about, or who have some visibility already in the industry.
And yes, I technically gave you three answers when you asked for one, but they all tie in together!
A great resource I created for prospective JV partners is an exclusive page talking about what I'm looking for. So let's add a 4th R: READ because I pretty much have it all spelled out on JVwithNancy.com
Need more clients? Check out Nancy's resource – How to Get Clients to Find You, Follow You and Buy From You
Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
My answer is simple.
My #1 Rule that can not be broken is the “What's in it for Them” rule – where “THEM” is my readers.
What RESULTS will my readers get if they purchase your product and take action?
Don't come at me with the “X Marketer promoted and had $X per click.” I don't care one iota.
I want to know how my readers will benefit from buying and using your product.
That about sums it up for me.
However, having been an Affiliate Manager for years and coaching infoproduct sellers as my main focus, I'd better share a bit more than that, right? I don't want you all throwing tomatoes at me, thinking I'm holding out on you. 😉
So, in addition to having a super-awesome product that I know will give my readers RESULTS, the following are requested, as well. In no particular order…
1. Show interest in my business before asking me for favors. (*Helpful, but not Required.)
While this should be common sense, unfortunately, it isn't. Relationships are all the same. You can't leap ahead in them too far or you just look creepy.
For instance, it doesn't really work to go up to a beautiful lady in a bar and say “Hi, my name is Bob. Will you marry me and bear my children?” You've got to take it a bit slower.
So, start by getting to know me and let me get to recognize your name, a bit, too.
A few ways you can do that are:
- By signing up for my newsletters. (read my stuff)
- Leaving comments on my blog. (comment on my stuff)
- Being a customer. (buying my stuff)
- Sharing my content on social media. (share my stuff)
- Being one of my affiliate. (promote my stuff)
All of these get my attention more than a random email.
The Law of Reciprocity is stronger, young Padawan. So, when I get “Will you mail for my product” emails from strangers … BIG TURNOFF. But, if I get them from loyal customers, or from my affiliates, I actually read them. I may or may not promote (see reasons below) – but I may have a tip or a connection that I can share with you.
2. Respect my time. (*Very helpful.)
Please respect my time. It's my most valuable resource (as it should be yours, as well). Don't email, phone or Facebook me constantly if I don't know you. While your product may, in fact, be the bees knees, I also have a life and other priorities. It doesn't mean that I will never promote you. Just maybe not right now. (Refer back to #1)
3. Make it EASY to promote you. (*Very helpful.)
Do not send me a big long email where I have to jump through hoops to sign up for your affiliate program.
Affiliates are three things.
- Greedy (said tongue in cheek)
And, we have every right to be all three. So, if you make it EASY for me to promote a great product that will help my people… you'll stand a better chance than if you come to me and ask me to host a webinar with you – which takes effort on my part.
Example: If you're selling on Clickbank, then take the time to find my Clickbank ID and include my link to your product inside the email you send to me. That way I don't have to run in circles to figure it out.
4. Tell me What Makes your Product Unique. (*Very helpful.)
I may get 5 JV requests for a similar topic each week like Pinterest, Kindle Publishing, or Getting more Traffic.
So… If your course is unique, specifically if it is about you personally or includes a unique angle, then you have a much better chance at getting my attention.
Which sounds more interesting?
- “How to Guest Blog”
- “How I Did a 15 Week Blog Tour and Had a Waiting List of People Begging Me to Steal their Traffic“
To me, the second is much more interesting. Well, I mean other than because it's my course. 🙂
Plus, if your course is tied to a true case study, then I know it's an original product and that the author is uniquely qualified to teach my folks.
5. Be the “Obvious Expert”. (*Very helpful.)
I had a gal at NAMS in August ask me why I promoted another Social Media Course and not hers. (She said that in a much sweeter way than it just came out.) 🙂
My response was that the two ladies who I promoted were totally and uniquely Rock Stars in the field – with huge clients. Whenever Facebook made changes, they went into their labs and played with the changes until they had data that they could share with their customers. They, to me, were two of the “Obvious Experts” when I think of Social Media. They get results. And, they have the proof to back it.
* Elsom Eldridge coined the term “Obvious Experts“. <- That's the link to his book on Amazon.
6. Price vs. Value. (*Required.)
Like Alice, I have to really be convinced to promote a high price product. Personally, I don't buy high priced products, so I can't expect my people to.
The exception is this. If the product is high priced, I won't promote – UNLESS the product has additional pieces and parts, like a Live Event, Software, One-on-One coaching, or an Element of “Done for You” involved. Then, it's worth it.
Why don't I buy high-price products?
If I see a $797-1997 product that tempts me, the first thing I will do is to see if that person has either a Coaching Program or a “Done-for-You” option. I know there's no way on earth that I will ever consume a 16 Hour Audio or Video course, so it's wasted money for me. I might as well take the wad of cash and flush it right down the toilet.
However… I will easily pay someone $797 or more to be able to have them personally walk through a process with me or answer my questions. And, if I can pay them to handle the whole process for me? Even better.
So, would I promote a $797 video or audio series to my people? Nah. I can't. If I won't put my own money on the line, I won't ask them to.
7. The Buying Experience. (*Required.)
I'm a little different than a few of my friends above. I don't like to get review copies of courses.
Well, let me step back for a sec. I won't typically promote someone even if they send a review copy anyway if I don't know them. It's too risky. The stars would have to align in order for me to share their product. It would have to be THAT good.
However, if it's an interesting product from someone who I know – I don't want a review copy either. I want to buy it with my own money for two reasons.
1. I do not feel right in asking my people to pay for it if I'm getting it free.
2. I want to see the ordering process to make sure it runs smoothly, the product gets delivered, and that customer support info is easy to access.
In fact, if I'm promoting for someone new, I have on a few occasions made up a problem and submitted a support ticket into their help desk – just to make sure that it gets answered in a timely fashion. If not, no promo from me. My people need to be able to get their questions answered, well and fast.
Now in all honesty, on occasion, when I purchase these review copies, the product seller may see my order come through and refund me without my asking. But, that's not something I request.
8. Your Reputation. (*Very helpful.)
Alice touched on this a bit. Do you take care of your customers? Do people speak highly of you? Are you, in fact, making the web and the world a better place?
If not, I'm not sending my people your way.
9. Got Freebies? (*Very helpful.)
Kelly mentioned content. If you have a great product that meets the criteria above, and also are willing to write a guest blog post for me or you have a free training video that is high quality that I can share with my people, it makes it a lot easier to promote you. I love giving away great stuff to my people.
Make it easy for me to share great content, and make me money at the same time, and you've just figured out how this all works. 😉
Example: The minute I released this free Blog Brainstorming Printout (top of the page after you click) – I had a bunch of affiliates mailings for me.
10. The Sales Page. (*Very helpful.)
Even if the product is awesome, if the sales page doesn't pass inspection, I may not promote. Several people have asked me to promote lately and they've all had big warning signs on their sales pages.
A few had big links saying “Sign up for my affiliate program” right under the buy button. Others, the code was messed up and looked terrible.
Rookie mistakes like that can undermine my initial confidence in your product and systems.
11. Your Bonuses. (*Very helpful.)
I have promoted items where the course was ok, but where the bonuses were AMAZING for the price. If your bonuses are totally relevant and high value, that may sway a potential affiliate towards you. So, think of how you can add more value to your existing product.
Example: If you look at the sales page for Blog CPR – you'll see there are several bonuses that I think are worth way more than the price of the course.
12. Your Cart. (*Very helpful.)
I hate to even mention this one, but I'm going to, because it's important.
There are a few shopping carts that people use that are, in my opinion, really poor choices. I do not like to promote products on those two platforms, because I find them … (looking for a nice word)… distasteful.
But, all is not lost. 🙂 If you've got a killer product that I know will help my people, we can make side arrangements to run a promo through my cart or to just set up an alternate payment method.
Here's a blog post about which carts I do like: Which Payment Methods are Best for an Infoproduct Business?
All right, my friends. I'd better cut this thing off as we are now nearly at 4500 words.
Please ask your questions below. I would love to know what you think about this topic.