I’ve conducted an experiment whereby a newly opened affiliate account, which had one website listed, applied into 4 affiliate programs. All of these programs were in the niche absolutely unrelated to the niche that the affiliate website was listed in. The first three responses were:
So, two pending applications, and one automatic approval.
The response from the fourth merchant was:
Thanks for applying as an affiliate with [name of the program here]!
Before we can approve your application, I would like to get a brief idea of how you plan to promote our site.
We would love to have you on board. Just reply to this email with a quick overview … nothing fancy.
If you have any questions or just want to chat, my contact information is below.
Reactions 1, 2 and 4 were excellent. The 4th one was especially great, because the affiliate manager reviewed and responded to my application within just half an hour (and, truth be known, I’ve been waiting for responses from the first two affiliate managers for over 48 hours already | most affiliates want to hear back from you within 3 days).
Response number 3 wasn’t so good. “You were approved immediately! What’s your problem then?” — you may be thinking… Well, the problem is that automatic approvals into affiliate programs can actually be more dangerous than automatic declines. Why? Because you have no clue who you’re partnering with, entrusting the representation of your brand without even having a look at my website (which, let me remind you, wasn’t even remotely related to the vertical these merchants operate in). It’s just another manifestation of merchant naivete, which can lead to deadly results.