In case you have missed my weekend tweet, a really interesting situation has occurred to me on Saturday:
Paid USPS to deliver an underpaid envelope to find out it was an affiliate recruitment letter. NOT the way to introduce an affiliate program
— Geno Prussakov (@ePrussakov) April 21, 2012
Nearly two years ago I blogged about “regular mail” as “the most underused method” of affiliate recruitment, encouraging merchants to mail prospective affiliates “a postcard, or even a package with a little gift”, promising that it will “do wonders for your affiliate recruitment campaign”; hence “it’s well-worth the extra time spent on it.” A month ago Shawn Collins also posted an example of an “affiliate recruiting postcard”. And then a few weeks later I get an underpaid-mail-to-be-delivered notice from USPS. A bit confused, yet nonetheless intrigued I settle the difference (paying 150% more than what the sender paid), and receive an envelope with a well-put-together marketing booklet, explaining why I want to partner with their affiliate program.
I won’t call the merchant out. That’s not the purpose of this post. The point is to (a) once again emphasize this method of affiliate recruitment, and (b) warn merchants from committing the “underpaid mail” mistake.
I didn’t join the program (however interesting the educational course on CDs looked, it wasn’t a good fit for this blog); and I still don’t know why I ended up paying to find out about their affiliate program.
The Facebook convo that I had (with two affiliates, and an affiliate manager) summarized the irony of the situation extremely well:
By all means, do use regular mail to approach affiliates. But check the current postage prices before mailing your envelope off! After all, (i) you’re putting your money and effort into designing and producing the marketing material, (ii) you’re using a method very few competing affiliate programs would use, and (iii) you’re spending your time on it all… Why doom it all to the trash bin?!