How Often to Follow Up with Affiliates

A new affiliate program manager has emailed me the following question (about corresponding with affiliates):

How often should I follow up? I don’t want to seem like a stalker.

It’s a very good (and an important) question, as affiliates will frequently not reply to your very first email, and follow-ups really are extremely important.

I try to follow up 5 times:

  1. A week from original email
  2. One more week down the road
  3. Two months
  4. Half a year
  5. A year

The above pattern allows for persistence, but doesn’t make these follow-up attempts too annoying.

5 thoughts on “How Often to Follow Up with Affiliates”

  1. Good advice, Geno. I’ve analyzed my follow-up routine to no end and do mine at about the same pace you suggest (except the third one at 3 months instead of 2). On the second e-mail I say something like “I sent you the e-mail below but haven’t heard back yet”. Wondering if perhaps you missed it?” Affiliates tend to respond to that pretty well.

    If you’re contacting affiliates who are well positioned to promote your particular product or service, they most likely didn’t just ignore your first contact. There are so many possible reasons they could have missed it. As well, an affiliate who is not ready to promote your product now, could very well be 3 months later and be very happy you followed up.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject, Erin. Happy to find out that our follow-up routines match almost 100%. Interesting.

      Yes, the fact that they haven’t replied to you for a couple of times may not mean much. So, it doesn’t hurt to be persistent.

  2. Is this schedule for prospective affiliates or affiliates that have already signed up for the program but have not made any sales? For affiliates that have signed up for the program but not made any sales, I usually send an email once a month. Is this too much? What about a monthly newsletter- is it OK to send this out to the entire affiliate base, even those that are “inactive”?

  3. Tammy, this type of schedule is what I use for prospective affiliates.

    For affiliates that have already signed up for the program but have not made any sales we use a variety of encouragement/incentive strategies meant to help them get that first sale which in itself is a motivator. I post all kinds of help (tips, keyword lists, tutorials, holiday related promo ideas, etc) to our affiliate forums, Twitter, FB and in our affiliate zine. I also personally e-mail affiliates depending on what’s going on such as new launches, releases and so forth.

    We send out a weekly newsletter to all affiliates which includes those who are or seem to be “inactive”. If your program has tens of thousands of affiliates like ours does, I want to be sure we’re reaching affiliates who are trying hard and actively promoting but appear inactive due to lack of sales. Over time, you develop a feel for pacing your communications. And you can always ask your affiliates if it’s too much or too little contact too.

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