One of the best ways to practice affiliate marketing is by building relationships with product creators. When you do that, you open up doors to all kinds of different ways to create affiliate income – from JVs, to private deals, to exclusive coupons.
But, there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about building these relationships and asking for special favors for your list. And today I’m going to show you both using something that happened to me as an example.
The Back Story: How NOT To Build a Relationship with Product Creators
A few days ago I received a request from a newsletter publisher asking for a coupon to promote my products outside of launch windows. Now, that’s not an unusual request – I get those all the time and usually I’m happy to give my affiliates coupons for just about anything when they ask.
But this time, I was so insulted by the email that I haven’t even replied yet. And it’s a prime example of how not to build a relationship with someone you want to promote or partner with.
So, what did this person do that upset me so much? They sent me a form letter!
This was a person that I have included in more than one of my bundle sales – including the most recent one that just ended. I’ve also been part of several different groups and zoom meeting with them, and have answered questions and helped them with their business by answering questions.
And there was no acknowledgement of any of that or that we even had a past relationship.
They also included an invitation to be their affiliate an earn commissions… when their latest product had been in my newsletter several days last week!
That says a few things to me…
1. They couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to who they were writing to.
2. They couldn’t be bothered to take the time to acknowledge any of the things that I have already done to help them grow their business. Which kinda goes hand in hand with the point above, but is a real slap in the face to me when I go out of my way to be helpful to new sellers and new newsletter publishers.
3. They either don’t read my newsletter or don’t care about the fact that I give up valuable real estate in my newsletter to promote their products already.
4. And unfortunately, it says to me that maybe I shouldn’t care so much about helping new people in our niche or that I should definitely be more picky about who I help.
But they had no problem asking me for a very personal favour – an exclusive coupon for their list.
So, what should this person have done instead?
How To Build a Relationship with Product Creators
Asking for exclusive coupons is a common practice between affiliates and product creators. Most of the time it’s a win-win situation because the product creator makes sales and the affiliate makes commissions.
When you use amember, there is an option to code each coupon to a specific affiliate, so that for their one promotion using that coupon overrides all other cookies and links to ensure that the affiliate with the coupon gets the credit.
And most people – including me – are happy to do this for their affiliates.
But, there is a proper way to go about it and sending a form letter without taking a minute or two to personalize the request is NOT the way to go about it.
So, here’s what you do instead to build a relationship with the product creator you want to promote…
Decide Who To Reach Out To
If you have a history as a successful affiliate it’s easy to talk to product creators about what you need and the things your audience will jump on. Many product owners and creators will be happy to create special deals, promotions, and bonuses for high-selling affiliates.
But even if you’re brand new to affiliate marketing, don’t be afraid to reach out to product creators you have a relationship with. There are product owners out there who love helping new affiliates get started, you just have to figure out who they are in the market you serve.
One way to do this is look at the product creators whose newsletters you subscribe to and the products they offer.
Have you purchased their products? If so, you have the beginnings of a relationship with them.
Have you subscribed to their newsletters and engaged with their content? That’s a relationship.
Do they have a Facebook group that you post regularly in? That’s another way to build a relationship with a product creator.
Do Your Research Before You Reach Out
How you approach each product creator will depend on what you can find out by researching them online. Regardless of how you contact them and approach them about this, you’ll need to ensure that you give enough information about your audience and your business so that they know it’s not a waste of time to provide the added incentives to you and your audience.
Product creators often put a lot of time and effort (and expense) into creating the products so if they spend extra time helping you promote, while it will pay off for them, they’re going to want to assess your situation to see if it’s a good fit for both of you.
How You Ask Is Important
How you ask a product creator for special deals, promotions, or bonuses is important. Make sure they understand what’s in it for them and how hard you’re going to work. The first step is to contact the product owner in a way that you know they’ll see your message and respond to you.
For some product creators, this is going to be via your back office or affiliate dashboard. For some product creators this may be via email, and yet others, it may be best to set up an appointment with them to talk to them personally.
Whatever you do, DO NOT send a form letter without personalizing it first. You want the person you’re asking for a favor to know that you’ve taken the time to learn about them and their business. At the very least you should know whether or not they are an affiliate for your products (if you have them) and whether you’ve spoken to them in the past.
If You’re a New Affiliate Do This First
If you’re a new affiliate who is just starting out, be sure you’ve already applied for and been accepted into their affiliate program first. You’ll want to be sure you’ve given them all the information they’ve asked for, especially if the application includes questions about how and where you will promote.
Product creators want to know you have a plan for their products and that your site is a good fit for them too because just as your reputation is affected by the quality and integrity of the products you promote, their reputation rests on the quality and integrity of the people who promote them.
Tip – Always Fill Out Your Profile
Some sales platforms such as Warrior Plus offer affiliates a space to create a profile. If you have that option, always fill it out as best you can. Any information you can give product creators about you and your business is going to make their decision to help you easier.
Above all, Be Professional
Be professional about your approach and make sure you already have a plan in place so that they don’t have to do much extra work. Thank them for their awesome product that you want to promote. Explain what you like about it. Tell them why you want to promote it to your audience and why and how the bonus or special deal or benefit you want from them will help them make more sales to your audience. Show your joy and excitement about everything to do with their awesome product so that they get excited about working more directly with you.
Finding ways to treat your audience special by getting them discounts, bonuses, and more can be very helpful for them and you. Your fans will start seeing you as an expert and come to you first before buying the same thing from someone else because you might have the discount or bonus or webinar to help them understand how to use the product better. Anything you can do to stand out will help.
Don’t give up!
Don’t be discouraged if a product creator says no. Instead, especially if you respect the creator (and you should not be promoting products if you don’t like and respect the creator), you’ll want to promote harder and prove to them that you’re worth the added benefits that you asked for such as for them to appear on a webinar with you, or by offering an extra discount for your audience, and so forth. Prove to them your sales ability, and they’ll be knocking on your door next time they launch something new.
*Note: This post includes affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase.