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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager CreditFirm's Avatar
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    Pending Affiliate Applications
    Hello ABWers,

    I'm still polishing up a few things in our program and need your advise. We seem to be getting some applications to join our program from affiliates with non-relevant websites. This is probably nothing new to you veteran AMs and OPMs, but I don't want to decline an affiliate which has 30 websites and may have only listed one on their SAS profile.

    So, I'm creating an email to send to affiliates before they are declined, basically asking for more information about how they plan on promoting our brand.
    ( Special Thank You to Geno Prussakov, for writing "A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing." )

    So, this is what I have so far...

    We have received your application to join our affiliate program.

    We will need to further investigate your application before it is approved.

    Please clarify how you are planning on promoting our brand on the website mentioned in the application.

    Sincerely,
    What do you guys think?

    Too short? Too vague? Please let me know.

  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    No - just about right. You may hear back from 2 or 3 percent of them. SAS has a great feature that is right "up front" in the application process - a form field to describe, or annotate, how your program would be promoted. If that has been left blank the chance are pretty good that the applicant didn't even read the program info you posted. They are likely a cookie-cutter site that is just using a "shotgun" approach to adding merchants.

    If they have 30 websites (we have more than that) and they are serious about what it is that they do - they will know to include more specific info for you with their application.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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  4. #3
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Second email should say that you would like a response but understand that affiliates get 100's of email. You are going to decline them but if they want another consideration or to further discuss working together here is my email and phone number.

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  6. #4
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    It looks a little generic to me.. maybe you need more of a personal touch, along the lines of what you told us..?

    First of all, thank them for the application (not "we have received") - I would respond to that quickly. And then mention the reason the application is pending.. something like the following:

    "In order to approve your application, can you please provide the relevant website that will be used to promote our brand"

    Publishers that are a good fit just need to send the URL - if anyone asks me "how do you plan promote our brand", I send them a link, and let them figure it out. Don't have time to explain "how".. and I would walk away if the merchant pushed.

  7. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I agree with Teezone's ideas here:
    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    It looks a little generic to me.. maybe you need more of a personal touch, along the lines of what you told us..?

    First of all, thank them for the application (not "we have received") - I would respond to that quickly. And then mention the reason the application is pending.. something like the following:

    "In order to approve your application, can you please provide the relevant website that will be used to promote our brand"
    I don't agree with Teezone's statement fully below because I believe the OPM/AM/Merchant has a right to see a sentence or two.
    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    Publishers that are a good fit just need to send the URL - if anyone asks me "how do you plan promote our brand", I send them a link, and let them figure it out. Don't have time to explain "how".. and I would walk away if the merchant pushed.
    I give a little summary. I explain that I create/manage websites and I specify which ones they are/which ones will promote MerchantXYZ.
    If blogs are applicable I list them.
    I rely on organic search methods.
    I do not engage in PPC and I say so but if I did engage in PPC, I could figure out how to summarize a campaign by finding articles on Google with "PPC campaign[s]" as search keywords. Read an article or 2 and that will help you create a 2 sentence or so summary of a possible PPC campaign.

    If I want to give myself an edge, I would say I am on Twitter, I have close to 6 thousand followers with little volatility and I would use my Twitter account to promote sections of my sites/my blogs. (I have not promoted my sites in that way yet but I have used my Twitter account to promote a friend's Heavy Metal Band twice in 2 national contests. I did that for fun without any remuneration except for a band logo's t-shirt and gratitude from metal band members. I had tons of fun and really enjoyed the experience).
    When you promote on Twitter, remember that "Silence is a Rhythm Too" - that was (maybe still is) a blog title about music I used to follow. Don't cram promotional messages, people will unfollow you. Create a relaxing rhythm of tweets so that people want to follow you.

    A polite, short yet meaningful summary of promotion is a good thing to share with a Merchant. I find myself writing general paragraphs that I save with notepad and then I send them to the merchant I want to promote (i.e. Sharasale has a contact form for this purpose).
    It's like writing a pitch to the merchant. Create a general one, save it in notepad and then when you go to SAS it will be a cut & paste with some alterations/additions depending on which merchant you are applying to.
    Last edited by Rhia7; October 24th, 2013 at 01:41 AM.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  9. #6
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    Yup, definitely a more meaningful approach..

    I suppose I've only ever applied to merchants that fit my specific niche - also, there is a full description in my publisher account with each network. The only time I have ever been asked is when the merchant couldn't access the URL (or didn't click).

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  11. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone View Post
    Yup, definitely a more meaningful approach..

    I suppose I've only ever applied to merchants that fit my specific niche
    Well CreditFirm said: "We seem to be getting some applications to join our program from affiliates with non-relevant websites."

    So if this is an affiliate's chance to get accepted, the affiliate should make a good impression
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  12. #8
    Affiliate Manager CreditFirm's Avatar
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    So much great info, thank you all for your input.

  13. #9
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    If it's not relevant, I decline them, but in that decline email I give them a second chance. I usually get 1% replies, but they are the ones I was looking for and missed in the first place.

    This program is professionally managed and we are looking for the right set of affiliate partners to work with on our promotions. There could be a simple reason why you were declined so if you feel we missed a great opportunity, please hit reply and let's talk. Here are some easy tips to get approved:

    Update your profile with your newest niche sites

    Tell us how you will promote our specific products

    Respond to any negative feedback on your profile

    If you were part of this program and have been removed for a violation of our terms of service, please hit reply so we can discuss the issue.

    For more tips on why you were declined, please visit the Marketing Gorilla Blog.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

  14. #10
    OPM/Moderator Hectic GHC's Avatar
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    Shoot, I thought this was a new thread.
    Greg Hoffman
    Affiliate Marketing Advocate of the Year 2016; Best OPM/Agency - 2014; Best OPM/Agency, Five Years in a Row - ABestWeb.
    Visit Greg Hoffman Consulting

  15. #11
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akagorilla View Post
    Shoot, I thought this was a new thread.
    Still relevant info. (...and it's not "that" old...)
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

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