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  1. #1
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    An excellent "welcome new affiliate" email
    I'd like to take a moment to applaud a new merchant who seems to be "doing it right," at least in their welcoming email to new affiliates. This merchant launched its affiliate program on December 10, and after I applied to the program, today they sent me the following email (I've replaced specific merchant-identifying information with <bracketed tags>):

    A message from one of your merchants: <merchant name>

    Hello Mark!

    As the inventor of <product name> I am VERY pleased to welcome you to our Team of Safety Minded, Money Making Drivers.

    Now YOU can get paid and save lives too with the <product name>.

    I can personally guarantee your success with <merchant name>. Simply use our stock marketing tools, banners, live testimonials video, live demo video, or we can custom make a special banner JUST for you.

    A free <product name> is available to all affiliates after visual review of your website where<merchant name> marketing tools have been placed.

    Don't hesitate to call me with questions about our 30 year history or what makes <merchant name> the Worlds Best.

    Call my office at <phone number> 9A to 5P PST, or e-mail our online expert, <expert's name>, at anytime.

    Our #1 Priority is Affiliates!

    Sincere Thanks,

    <founder's name>
    Founder
    What did this merchant do right?

    (1) Gave a genuine welcome.
    (2) Clearly identified the company and its products.
    (3) Demonstrated both interest and confidence in the company and its products.
    (4) Offered to create custom banners for affiliate sites.
    (5) Offered a free sample of the product to active affiliates.
    (6) Provided a direct phone number and the names of TWO people who can be contacted for help.
    (7) Clarified that affiliates are important to, and valued by, the company.

  2. #2
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Very nice!

    If I got a welcome email like that, I'd be excited to promote his product. The merchant (IMO) is smart to send a sample to all affiliates who show good faith by placing a banner and/or link. Once the aff plays with (eats or works with - whatever! LOL) the product, the aff will be able to rave about and refer it with sincerity. The guy really believes in his product which says a lot.

    Great that he's affiliate friendly, too. :-)
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  3. #3
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Great email. Like the upbeat chime too.

    What about the thought of appending a few links (LS/CJ/SAS) in there (text link and a banner image link)? I personally like it as it makes it easier for affiliates without logging into the interface of CJ/LS/SAS.

  4. #4
    http and a telephoto
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    That is a great email, but it isn't realistic to expect most merchants to offer a free product for review. Although I do encourage some of my merchants to do just that
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    Who's the merchant? What's the product?
    SomethingStore.com - Surprise and Delight!

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    they miss to attach some affiliate links in email

  7. #7
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    That is a great email, but it isn't realistic to expect most merchants to offer a free product for review. Although I do encourage some of my merchants to do just that

    I don't expect a free product but I've received e-mails from merchants welcoming to the program with such scant details that in a few months I might forget what it is that they sell. I would like a sentence summarizing their business and products in the welcome e-mail.

    Not every business has a title that indicates the products they sell.

    The title of the business could be "Arthur's Domain" [I'm creating what I hope is a fictional business title]. A welcome e-mail from "Arthur's Domain" that only says: "you're approved" doesn't help me very much.

    I[probably like many other affiliates] promote hundreds of affiliate merchant businesses. Sometimes I apply to a program and it goes on my "backburner" with the intention of working with it at some future date. Sometimes I'll just feel like applying to programs especially since many "applications" are an easy one click process -- the affiliate merely needs to click on a button and affirm the TOS with another button click and that's the application. Sometimes I'm in an "application mood" and I click fifty programs at once from the same network [the reason I do this is to guarantee that I'll have some merchants to work with since there is a possibility that some may reject me].

    At the time of joining I may or may not immediately put up urls but a month or 2 later when I look at the e-mail I'm going to wonder what "Arthur's Domain" sells.

    This example may be fictional but I've come across real examples similar to it.

    I would appreciate at least one sentence with information about the AM's program, the products the AM wants to sell, what the company I'm promoting actually does, and instructions on how to reach/e-mail the contact person.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
    Twitter me

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager AffiliateBuddha's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this, Mark. Huge realization here, and it makes a lot of sense too - for a merchant to actually tell their affiliates that their contribution to the program matters, and that the merchants is willing to go to any extent possible to assist their affiliates make the most out of the affiliate program.
    Gift Shopping Zone Affiliate Program on SAS - 10% per sale with unlimited cookie duration, over 10,000 products.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Julia_Shoeboxed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    That is a great email, but it isn't realistic to expect most merchants to offer a free product for review. Although I do encourage some of my merchants to do just that
    I think this is a great idea -- We looked at this thread when shaping our affiliate program and we decided to offer a free subscription worth $110 dollars to our new affiliates. I think from the merchant standpoint this would go a long way towards getting the affiliate excited about your product, getting them to understand your product, and get crazy about it

    -Julia

  10. #10
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julia_Shoeboxed
    I think this is a great idea -- We looked at this thread when shaping our affiliate program and we decided to offer a free subscription worth $110 dollars to our new affiliates. I think from the merchant standpoint this would go a long way towards getting the affiliate excited about your product, getting them to understand your product, and get crazy about it

    -Julia
    Exactly.

    If I was a merchant with a product, I'd want my affiliates to know it, understand it and be able to sell it with authority and enthusiasm. Knowing the product gives an affiliate a huge advantage in recommending and selling it.

    If it's not a big ticket item or one that the merchant can easily justify sending as a freebie to help their affiliates understand the product, I'd think this would be an ideal way to get affiliates motivated to promote and give them an understanding of the product.

    Case in Mrs. Prindables - look up the thread in the Schaaf Consulting forum here. Affiliates who got free caramel apples went nuts over the product and promoted them like crazy. Good will and creating an understanding of the product generated hundreds of sales over the holiday season that otherwise would not have happened for that merchant. Not to mention continued promotion throughout the year and "acquired new customers" who will become repeat buyers outside the affiliate channel, plus the affiliates who will become loyal customers as well.

    Obviously, a merchant with a high ticket product can't do this and sending samples out to every affiliate who joins the program isn't necessarily the answer. In the case of Mrs Prindable's apples, the promotion was "the first 20 affiliates who added banners or links to their sites." IMO, it was a brilliant move.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  11. #11
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexanne
    Exactly.

    If I was a merchant with a product, I'd want my affiliates to know it, understand it and be able to sell it with authority and enthusiasm. Knowing the product gives an affiliate a huge advantage in recommending and selling it.

    If it's not a big ticket item or one that the merchant can easily justify sending as a freebie to help their affiliates understand the product, I'd think this would be an ideal way to get affiliates motivated to promote and give them an understanding of the product.

    Case in Mrs. Prindables - look up the thread in the
    Rexanne, while I can agree with the part I bolded in black, there can be a big problem with the part I bolded in red.

    One example:

    Case in Rexanne - Just search ABW for some programs that offer free web hosting to their affiliates, in order to get them motivated to promote them, and to give them an understanding of the product.

    If after a little while those affiliates start to have problem themselves with that free incentive product, how much can those same affiliates feel that confident, about promoting that same program to their visitors?

    I know that many "life things" can happens to anyone at any time, buy I think that before any merchant decides to give away any free product as a sample of what they sell, they should make sure that those products won't fail on the way to be an example, of the quality of those products.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager bcwaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrindavan
    they miss to attach some affiliate links in email
    I agree. Even if you don't have a basic affiliate link you can use, the welcome email should have the login information.

    Something on the order of "File this email for future reference" and the URL, ID and maybe even the password so that the affiliate can go to the Web site and actually get started immediately.
    Brad Waller | VP, Business and Affiliate Development
    EPage.com

  13. #13
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    General question to those around - would you rather a welcome email like this or a good welcome email and then a follow up call? I'm getting mixed reviews from publishers on whether or not a call is welcome.

  14. #14
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    I would much prefer the e-mail only. Calls usually aren't welcome as they are an immediate interruption. With e-mail I can control the interruption.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  15. #15
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    I agree with rematt.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  16. #16
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    I agree with rematt.
    Me too
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  17. #17
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    ditto - no call
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    Rexanne, while I can agree with the part I bolded in black, there can be a big problem with the part I bolded in red.

    One example:

    Case in Rexanne - Just search ABW for some programs that offer free web hosting to their affiliates, in order to get them motivated to promote them, and to give them an understanding of the product.

    If after a little while those affiliates start to have problem themselves with that free incentive product, how much can those same affiliates feel that confident, about promoting that same program to their visitors?

    I know that many "life things" can happens to anyone at any time, buy I think that before any merchant decides to give away any free product as a sample of what they sell, they should make sure that those products won't fail on the way to be an example, of the quality of those products.
    We in the past haven't provided free hosting to our affiliates, but it's something I think I'll start - You're right. It's an extra security blanket for the affiliates, if they are happy with the hosting, they should be happy promoting it to their visitors. As long as you're confident in your product, the affiliate is long going to pay for that free product, regardless of what it is.

  19. #19
    Affiliate Network Rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishaLyn
    General question to those around - would you rather a welcome email like this or a good welcome email and then a follow up call? I'm getting mixed reviews from publishers on whether or not a call is welcome.
    I think a call with an offer of scheduling a phone call works best. If they want to hear you in person (which many do) they have the option, it's up to them.

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