If you are looking for a guide on how to format your next affiliate newsletter, you’ve come to the right place. I have been asked this question just today, and it occurred to me that this would make up a helpful blog post, especially for new affiliate managers.
There are many ways in which an affiliate program manager may choose communicate to its affiliates. Some affiliates will be happy with instant messaging (via Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger, etc). Others may even love an occasional phone chat. However, numerous surveys indicate the vast majority (84.12% to be exact) strongly prefers email to all other methods of communication.
Broadly speaking, email communication can be split into: (a) individual messages, and (b) mass e-mailings. The latter we know as “newsletters.”
As a brand, you are likely already employing this way of communicating, but do not confuse affiliate newsletters with the ones that you send to your customers or (other) subscribers. Affiliate newsletters are one of the ways you support the relationships with your affiliates. To make the most of these you want to make them (i) timely, (ii) relevant, (iii) motivating, (iv) personalized, and (v) helpful — in no particular order. Treat them as one of the instruments in your toolset — one that must be regularly put to work in order to facilitate success of your affiliate program.
There are many ways you can lay out your affiliate newsletter, but most of the time I personally stick to the following.
Formatting Affiliate Newsletters
Be concise here, but do reiterate how much you appreciate the work that your affiliates are doing for you.
Take a moment to share any relevant news on your affiliate program or your website, overall.
Without giving away any(one’s) sensitive information, share some of the encouraging performance stats. If there was a contest that you recently ran, incorporate the results of the same in this section as well.
Here you want to feature bonuses, contests, and/or any affiliate-geared promos for the current month. In order to make these truly motivating — set realistic and reachable goals.
Anything that can help them activate faster — from text links and banners to widgets and lists of bestsellers — include them here. Whenever possible, make them quickly deployable (including a cut-n-paste code under each).
6. Tip of the Month
To get their creative juices flowing, talk about a technique or a tool that they may want to consider. As always, do not disclose any specific affiliate’s sensitive information here.
Reinforce any key information, as well as the fact that you are there for your affiliates, reminding them how exactly you can be contacted.
You may also borrow 5 of the 6 rules of how to make your e-mail recruitment more effective, and make every newsletter of yours (i) personal, (ii) enticing, (iii) concrete, (iv) containing an incentive (or several) to make their partnership with you worth their while, and (v) watch your lexis, syntax and punctuation.
In every one of the above-quoted 7 points, you want to show your affiliates that you value them, and genuinely care. This will greatly multiply your newsletter’s chances of broader success.
Timing Affiliate Newsletters
Wrapping this post up, I feel that it is important to touch on the subject of timing. Three pointers to keep in mind here:
I. Don’t Overdo It
Our research shows that most affiliates want to hear from their affiliate program managers on a monthly basis, while 39% may be okay with once a week. Our recommendation is experiment with bi-weekly affiliate newsletters (which is what we do within the programs we manage) but be ready to switch to a monthly frequency.
II. Value Their Time
Thousands of affiliate managers compete for their attention. When your newsletters become predictable and (largely) useless, they tune out. If you don’t have something of value to share, better skip a newsletter than risk losing their attention.
III. Avoid Peak Dates
The very beginning, the very end, and the middle of the month are the times when their inboxes get bombarded the most. Stay away from these peak dates, timing your affiliate program’s newsletters differently.
So, there you have it… Good luck putting together timely, engaging, and motivating affiliate newsletters!
[Last updated: February 13, 2019]