I have affiliate accounts with a number of affiliate networks through which I both monitor what my competition is doing, and analyze different things. I seldomly check the email account to which these affiliate-geared emails come, but yesterday when I did, I was stunned by how many affiliate program managers do not use their names in correspondence with their affiliates.
Out of 100 randomly selected emails only two (obvious below) used their full names in the “From” field. The rest had either their company name in that “From” field, or something like “[Merchant Name] Affiliate Team” in there:
Also, out of 100 emails that I have analyzed, only 31 were signed by real names (19 of which were OPMs, and 12 in-house affiliate program managers), while the rest (or nearly 70%) were signed either as “Your Dedicated Affiliate Team”, “Affiliate Manager”, or again followed the format of “[Merchant Name] Affiliate Team”.
While I firmly believe that de-personalization of affiliate program management — which starts with “Dear Valued Partner” type of addresses that open emails to affiliates, and ends with “Your Affiliate Team” type signatures at the end of them — negatively affects manager-affiliate relationship, I don’t know what to say about that “From” field. There is an opinion that in traditional email marketing personalization of “From” fields “with a person’s name” is recommended “only if that person is well known and closely associated with the type of message you’re sending”. But since in the affiliate program management context we’re not only trying to communicate something, but also build a relationship, using your real name in that “From” field may be a sensible extension of this effort.
What I do with the programs I manage is (a) use my full name in the “From” field, (b) use the merchant’s name in the “Subject” field, and (c) always use my full name and all ways to contact me in the signature of the email.
Now, I can talk all I want about what I think; however, the only way to find out what affiliates think is to ask affiliates. So, here’s a poll that I’d really appreciate affiliate participation in. As you can see, there’s also an “Other” option. If none of the suggested options work well for you, please choose “Other”, keying in your brief reasoning in the poll, and elaborating on the details in the “Comments” under this post.
Many thanks in advance for helping us (merchants and affiliate program managers) understand what works best for you.