Affiliate recruitment is a form of direct marketing
Yesterday I have received the following piece of correspondence from the American Home Shield, a home warranty company I’ve used for a year, and parted ways with about a year ago:
I’m not gonna go into the reasons why I do not miss them as much as they miss me, and I’ll give them a credit for a nice “subject line” (speaking in email marketing language) that made me open their letter. “We Miss You!” was a good one. The rest in the above piece of mail is just a blanket that is neither enticing, nor motivating for me to take the step they want me to take.
Among the advantages of direct marketing an acclaimed expert in the field, Edward Nash, mentions concentration (or precise prospect targeting), personalization, and immediacy (see his “Direct Marketing: Strategy, Planning, Execution” 4th ed. volume, pp. 6-9). The first two are fulfilled fairly well, while “the third and most vital element of direct marketing” is just flunked! While comparing direct marketing to conventional advertising, the above-quoted author says that the difference between the two is that the latter can establish a desire, but can’t fulfill it immediately, while direct marketing messages can. Speaking in John Kotter’s language, their purpose is to create a “sense of urgency” that moves one to action. Advertising is about creating awareness + attitude, while direct marketing is about generating action.
As I look through the above text from the American Home Shield, I see neither a unique selling point (everything remained the same; only the prices have gone up), nor an explicit motivator for the recipient to call them or mail in his/her credit card information.
I wrote about the importance of writing up enticing and motivating affiliate recruitment emails in my Econsultancy’s post on the subject; but I still see multiple affiliate program managers committing the same errors that ACH has committed above. Take another look at the text of your affiliate recruitment message, and make sure it’s not just another blanket email that you’re sending around.