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Tips & Guides — 12 Sep 2023

Partnership outreach best practices

6 Partnership Outreach Best Practices to Get More Replies

Partner marketing is a powerful channel. But you’re competing with thousands of brands for partnerships with the best affiliates.

To get the best results, you need to dial in your strategy so that affiliates and other partners want to work with your brand instead of competitors.

In this guide, we will look at partner outreach best practices you can use to build better relationships with affiliates and get the best results from your outreach strategy.

You’ll learn how to identify qualified affiliates, how to send personalized messages, the best ways to show value upfront, and how to continue the relationship. Let’s dive in.

What is partnership outreach?

Partnership outreach is the process of reaching out to potential affiliates or partners for your business to start conversations.

You can introduce your brand and see if there’s potential for you to work together. It’s a channel worth investing in, considering the affiliate marketing industry is with.

Why use outreach to connect with affiliates and partners?

There are several benefits to running proactive affiliate outreach rather than waiting for potential partners to discover your brand and affiliate program organically.

Firstly, you can specifically choose whom you reach out to and work with if that is the case. For example, if you identify an influencer in your niche with a large following, you can proactively reach out and start a conversation with them about working together. 

Second, you’re actively setting your new affiliate partner up for success. All too often, affiliates sign up for your program, but neither party pursues the relationship further. With outreach, you’re making a clear effort to connect with that affiliate and provide them with the resources they need to successfully promote your brand to their audience.

Finally, it gives you a competitive advantage over brands you’re competing with for a share of affiliate voice across different platforms. If the affiliates on your program feel like you’re working with them and helping them generate sales, they’ll want to continue to promote your brand and mutually succeed.

6 affiliate outreach best practices to secure more partnerships

1. Focus on niche partners with relevant audiences

The more suited your affiliate marketing partners are for your brand, the better the results you’ll both see.

You’ll see more sales, and your affiliates get more commissions. It’s a win-win scenario.

The easiest way to identify relevant affiliates is through affiliate partnership software like Affise. You can access a community of affiliates and influencers actively looking for new partners to work with. You can easily identify the best affiliates using search filters and see key details on each one.

As well as that, you can use tools like BuzzSumoSparkToro, or even LinkedIn Sales Navigator to complement your affiliate search strategy.

When you find an affiliate who is a good fit, you can save their details to your list or reach out directly on Affise.

It’s better to have a smaller list of potential partners who are an excellent fit for your product than a larger list with a higher percentage of people who aren’t a good fit.

Analyze your list of potential partners with a critical lens, and ensure every person you contact will want to say yes to your offer.

When you reach out to them to strike up a deal, you’ll get more replies, build better relationships, and ultimately, get more sales.

2. Find verified contact details before reaching out

To complement your strategy on Affise, you can use cold email to connect with new potential affiliates.

If you have someone’s email, it’s easy to get in touch to start a conversation and invite them to your program on Affise. To find their business email address, use an email-finding tool like Anymail Finder or FindThatLead.

6 Partnership Outreach Best Practices to Get More Replies - Affise

Once you have an email address, you’ll need to verify it to make sure it’s the correct one.

Then, send an email inviting them to join your program or start a conversation to judge fit.

3. Add unique personalization to every email and stand out

Personalizing your outreach is a critical best practice to ensure your messages stand out in each affiliate’s busy inbox.

You’ll instantly show them that you’re invested in the relationship from the first interaction and aren’t just looking to hit an arbitrary target of adding more affiliates to your program.

When it comes to personalizing your outreach, you need to show affiliates that you’re not just pretending to add personalization.

Several elements make up a personalized email:

  • Using their first name and company name
  • Making your offer highly relevant
  • Including a personalized opening line

Adding a personalized opening line instantly shows you’re specifically reaching out to that affiliate.

You need to go beyond the surface-level personalization that most outreach teams use.

For example, if you opened your email with the sentence: “Loved your latest post!”, it wouldn’t come across as authentic because it could be sent to almost anyone on your list.

However, if you say something like: “Found your latest video on eCommerce trends to watch in Q1 very insightful, particularly the part about [topic]”, it’s immediately clear that you’re only reaching out to them.

This sets the relationship up for success, because your affiliate partners will trust you and see that you value their time. They’ll be more likely to want to work with you, and more inclined to promote your products in their content.

To do this at scale, use a cold email tool like QuickMail. It enables you to add attributes to your email templates that change for every recipient and send fully personalized emails.

Partnership Outreach - Email Example- Affise
Click to see the image 🔍

It’s a powerful way to stand out from other agencies or brand managers trying to recruit the best affiliates.

4. Make the value to affiliates clear in your outreach

Your affiliate partners aren’t exclusively working with your brand. They’ll already have a roster of brands and products they promote, and they know to perform well with their audience.

If you want to stand out either over email on Affise, show them value in your first message.

You need to prove why it’s worth their time to work with you in your outreach message.

The best way to do this is by adding social proof, such as past success stories or reviews, to your template. Always try to link these back to metrics that your future affiliate cares about, such as revenue, commissions, or conversion rate.

You can add a sentence like:

  • “We recently worked with [similar affiliate] and they’ve generated $2,300+ in commissions this month by promoting our product.”
  • “Our products typically see a conversion rate of 10-15% above the market average.”
  • “We have over 1 million happy customers and would love to help you too.”

For example, in this template from AppSumo, they mention that they have an audience of 850,000+ potential customers:

Make the value to affiliates clear in your outreach - Affise
Click to see the image 🔍

When a message like that lands in their inbox, your affiliate will instantly be interested in your offer.

By adding examples and numbers that reflect the benefits of working together, you’ll encourage replies and show them why it’s worth their time to reply.

5. Follow-up if your affiliate doesn’t reply to have more conversations

The best affiliates are busy. They’re launching campaigns, sourcing new brands to work with, and managing their team.

This means they won’t always respond to your first affiliate outreach message. In fact, 55% of replies to outreach come from a follow-up.

In an outreach tool like QuickMail, adding a follow-up is simple. Choose your delay (three to five days is enough) and schedule your next email.

Follow-up if your affiliate doesn’t reply to have more conversations - Affise

After that, you’ll add a friendly reminder email. This gives you another chance to catch your affiliate’s attention and get a response.

In Affise, you’ll be able to send as many messages as you need to your potential affiliates, and you’ll easily be able to use the partnership tracking platform to see who has and hasn’t responded to your messages.

Affise Performance harnesses the power of data to maximize your marketing spend

6. Continue the relationship with a partnership tracking platform

If you want your affiliate partners to deliver results for your brand, you need to invest time into the relationship.

Keep them updated on new releases, share new creatives they can test, or even give them access to new products to promote.

The easiest way to manage this process is with a partnership tracking platform like Affise.

Affise Performance is ideal for companies looking to properly create, manage, and track their own affiliate and partner programs. With this solution, you will have access to:

  • Conversion-based plans and tools;
  • CPAPI: a tool to automatically migrate campaigns in just a few clicks;
  • Easy integration via API, postback, and pixel;
  • Customizable dashboard and reports, smartlinks;
  • Smart targeting, anti-fraud and automation tools, and more.

It gives you a bird’s eye view of which affiliates are performing well, so you can proactively reach out to them to offer them new opportunities for earning commission and generating sales for your brand.

Affise gives you access to detailed data, such as how many conversions they generate, whether or not some conversions are declined, the total impressions they generate, and more.

It will ensure that you are always aware of whether or not the crucial KPIs associated with your affiliate strategy are being hit. If not, you can easily identify ways to improve performance and hit your goals.

Wrapping up

Your affiliate outreach strategy can help you recruit new affiliates who can drive sales and growth for your brand.

From niching down to focusing on your ideal affiliates to improving how you personalize your outreach, there are multiple ways to improve your affiliate recruitment process. The best practices we’ve looked at will help you improve your outreach process and get more replies. 

When you’re ready to optimize how you manage your affiliate marketing efforts, try Affise’s partnership tracking platform to boost your results.

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Jeremy Chatelaine

Written by

Jeremy is the founder of QuickMail.io, a SaaS company that enables personal one-to-one conversations at scale through automation – for outbound outreach, inbound leads, trial/onboarding, customer communication, and more. Before founding QuickMail, he worked for more than 15 years as a developer in the video game industry and in finance.

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