Affiliate inactivity is a very common problem. In fact, in most affiliate programs, as much as 90 percent of activity is attributed as little as 10 percent of onboarded affiliates, if not less.
So, in managing an affiliate program it is imperative that you devote time to activation campaigns – motivational initiatives targeting the stagnant or non-producing affiliates in your program. In the past we had proposed the framework to employ, as well as the specific ways to do it.
In this write-up I’d like to focus on the structure of an effective activation email/newsletter. Too many of these fail miserably, because they are missing (either all or most of) the key components which each activation campaign must contain.
I propose a “3 Es” Approach:
1st E: Excite
So, the recipients of your email joined your affiliate program, but they aren’t active in it. Some may have been stagnant for months; and some may have even forgotten why they had joined you, in the first place!
Use the first paragraph of your email to (eloquently but contagiously) remind them of who you are and why they should re-visit the idea of to promoting your your brand and product(s) through your affiliate program. Be it your unique selling proposition, a perfect resonance of your product(s) with their audience, or anything else… excite them about the prospect of working with you!
Here’s how we do it for one of our clients:
We’re excited to see what www.AffiliateURLHere.com is doing in the eco beauty space and we’re honored to have you aboard as our affiliate!
From the very outset of this email, let me remind you how clean this merchant really is… Stowaway Cosmetics not only manufactures top-notch cosmetics, but they also guarantee that it is gluten free, cruelty free, EU compliant (i.e. free of dangerous ingredients banned in the EU but legal in the United States like parabens & phthalates), and mostly vegan.
2nd E: Encourage
In the second paragraph of your activation email, go a step further, and make them an offer that’s hard to turn down. Be it a substantial cash bonus upon reaching a certain sales threshold (within a set number of days after your newsletter) or a lifetime commission increase upon driving their first (non-self-referred) conversion, but convey something that would encourage them to prioritize their activation with your affiliate program beyond the other opportunities that they may have on their to-do list.
Here’s a good example where the payout is increased threefold (from $10 to $10+$20) upon activation:
3rd E: Equip
Finally, make it easy for them to activate!
Equip them with the ways to get going ASAP. Be it creatives with an easy access to the unique affiliate tracking code they should use, list(s) of your top sellers, upcoming seasonal promos, or anything else… but your goal is not to only get them excited (and encouraged), but also equipped to activate within a matter of minutes, if not seconds.
The example for this technique comes for a program we launched less than a week ago:
Good luck in this uneasy (but all-the-more fun) task!