An affiliate manager, who has recently finished studying my latest book, has contacted me with a request to critique his freshly-baked 700-words-long affiliate recruitment letter. Having removed all sensitive information (and having received his approval to do this in public) today I’d like to post my recommendations in my blog (as, I am confident, this will help many other affiliate managers avoid the same mistakes).
First of all, here’s the core of the text:
My name is _________ and I manage _________ affiliate program on _________ affiliate network, which already shows some amazing results:
- EPC data
- AOV info
- Conversion stats
I’ve come across your web-site on the Internet and it’s great! As far as I see it has been up and running since 1997. And since it appears that it caters to the highly targeted traffic, I am sure you will take the opportunity to earn a fortune with our product just adding it to your website. The good news is that you don’t need to do a huge job as you have everything ready to start earning with us.
The commission earnings start from XX percent and go up to XX percent per sale (depending on your performance with our affiliate program). And as you have a well-designed and fully functioning web-site, I find it mutually beneficial for us to partner together.
Let me show you an example of how you can earn with us. For promoting and selling a X-month subscription to our product, you would be getting a commission of XX.XX USD. Thus selling as least as three such subscriptions a day, you could get a commission of X,XXX.XX USD a month. Also, for every rebill/reorder made by the customer you referred to us within X days after initial purchase, you will get a XX% commission regardless if the reorder was placed on your or our default web-site.
Having said all that, I would also like to get you up on a special and exclusive offer right off the bat: If you join our affiliate program, and refer any sales by [date here], your commission level for every order or rebill will be increased from XX percent to XX percent until [same date here].
Exclusive offer especially for you: We will create a web-page, featuring our product, designed to fit your web-site (including necessary images, descriptions, links and buttons).
About Our Company
[150+ words here]
Market Niche Potential
[167 words here]
If, for some reason, you are not quite ready to sign up with our affiliate program, I will also be glad to answer any questions you may have, or see how our two websites could still work together. Many thanks in advance for your reply.
Now, overall, this is a very good affiliate recruitment letter. However, there are things to improve; and here are my 7 criticisms (in no particular order):
Mistake #1: Text’s Length — You want to value your prospective affiliate’s time, and not make them read 700 words to get to your main point. Stay serious, concise, and to-the-point. The sweet spot is really between 150 and 200 words.
Mistake #2: Lack of Personalization — When you talk about their website, do mention its URL (they may own many more than one). When you have the name of the website’s owner (which can often be pulled from the WHOIS database), do address them by their name.
Mistake #3: Clichés — Delete “which already shows some amazing results” and re-phrase this to sound more serious. Cliches devalue your proposition. On the same reason, avoid “…and it’s great!” (and exclamation marks in general), “opportunity to earn a fortune”, etc.
Mistake #4: Less-than-attractive Incentive(s) — The second incentive to join (the offer to create a co-branded landing page) is great. However, it is weakened by the first one. I wouldn’t recommend limiting the commission increase to such a short period only (if you cannot offer a lifetime bump, give them an increase for at least a couple of months – so that they have the time to fully enjoy it).
Mistake #5: Calculations of Unearned Riches — On a reason as in my very first point above, avoid clichés, avoid calculating the money for them. Just underscore your strengths (such as conversion rate, low/no reversals, recurring nature of subscriptions/sales for which they will be compensated, etc… and they’ll do their math themselves).
Mistake #6: Mispositioning of Important Data — Do include “about the niche potential” and “about company” info, but not at the end. Introduce your company where you introduce yourself (and make sure you link the company’s name to its website, so that they could check it out, should they want to), and list your “niche potential” info where you talk about your program’s strengths. Again, be eloquent here. Value their time.
Mistake #7: Missing Call(s)-to-Action — Your primary goal is to generate a sign-up. Your secondary goal (unless the primary one is met) is to make your program known (so that they know where to go when they’re looking for an affiliate program in your niche). Do include respective CTAs throughout the email. The maximum number of sign-up links I’d including is two.
What else have I missed? Your feedback is appreciated as always; and that’s what the “Comments” section under this post is for.