INside Performance Marketing
Musings on Affiliate Communication - One Affiliate Tells All

Musings on Affiliate Communication - One Affiliate Tells All

From our anonymous source!

In the run up to Christmas there was, obviously, an increase in the number of emails that poor lucky affiliates received.

At one point I think the numbers were more than 300 per day.

Of course, I could have opted out of receiving these emails, but as it’s an important time of year and I didn’t want to miss out on any special offerings.

The only way to get through these emails was to scan them first and then delve deeper if anything looked interesting. While doing this I came across some absolutely fundamental errors which is why I am writing this!

I’m not going to name names here as the main reason for compiling these communication errors is to get the point across that you might as well not bother sending ANYTHING out if you are not going to do it in a helpful and meaningful way for the affiliates. In fact, I probably missed some interesting ones while reading bad ones.

A message to the merchants/ networks/ agencies – it’s obvious, but the affiliates are not sitting in front of a PC waiting for your email.

Ok so that’s the gripe, let’s take a look at some of these emails;

I've got a great vouchercode for you to use XXXX

The code is live now until Monday 13th.

[sent very late on the 14th Dec. To be fair the merchant did reply, saying it was the networks fault – happy families!]

Today starts the XXX Sale at XXX, up to 50% discount on favorites brands. Check out below the new banners we have and also some great products to promote.

[this actually almost makes sense]

It's a quick email to let you know that XXX have made a change to their terms and conditions on the program. They now have a commission cap at £10. Details for the cap are:

XXX will pay 7% as standard on all orders received. Please note maximum commissions paid on total order will be capped at £10.00

Example order value after postage and vat equals £200.00 @ 7% commission equals £14.00. XXX will pay £10.00

[hmm so I sell more than one XXX and I won’t get paid? Good news indeed!]

confirmation of acceptance on campaign = from : do-no-reply subject (no subject) content : You have received a welcome message from. To read the full mess..

[what, who, where, when.]


Can you please ensure that all Christmas creative banners or any Christmas gift messaging is taken off your site(s) at 5pm on Sunday 19th December.

[sent out late on Friday 17th – thanks, a bit of weekend work then]

Voucher Code Code - FREE (Uppercase) Promotion - Free UK Shipping (or £3.99 off worldwide shipping) Expires - 01-01-1970

[cool – just need my time machine then]

No longer unwanted cats and dogs on your property** 1 minutes cranking for about 8-10 minutes of light. *These rubberized flashlights are very durable and water resistant and therefore suitable for the outdoor area. Experience brand-new navigation units, which know more than ever before. Whether active driving lane wizard, MyBest POI or approach sensor: The new models of NAVIGON have it in them! And with the new classification in Easy, Plus and Premium you can find your dream navigation unit even more quickly.*

[I’ve had emails selling Viagra from China that made more sense]

Firstly, we'd like to wish you a Happy New Year from all of us at XXX. All the best for 2011 - we hope it is successful, especially in your affiliate endeavors!

[I know it’s just a typo, but please just read it once before hitting send]

Thanks for all your hard work on our affiliate campaign. We have had a brilliant year, in part thanks to XXX affiliates.

Just a quick update that we are changing the cookie period to 30 days as of the 4th of February.

[great so tell me about the great year you had and then drop the cookie period from 90 days to 30 days. Even better year next year then!!]

The above is just a small sample of what I had to endure read.

As a minimum please, please(!);

  • Give me an affiliated link as early as possible in the email. I haven’t got time to read through the whole email and then have to work out where the email came from and which network the merchant is on.
  • If you have not bothered to approve me as an affiliate, please don’t send me emails asking me to promote you...then a week later send me the “declined” email.
  • Put the main thrust of the email in the subject line and somewhere near the start. Opening emails to see what the offer is about is really annoying. Remember, also, that not everyone works on a PC with huge resolution so please consider this when writing a massively long subject title.
Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Content Director for PerformanceIN. Based in Bristol & London.

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