It goes without saying but nowadays, especially in affiliate marketing, email is one of the most common forms of communication, duh! Although this is quickly changing due to the emergence and eventual domination of social networking, email remains the biscuits and gravy (or bread and butter if you prefer) of worldwide B2B (business to business) communication. This being the case, I find it mind bottling, yes mind bottling, at how many emails I receive that display the personality of a dingy rug and the courtesy of Dick Cheney when he was a greeter at Wal-Mart (Family Guy, anyone? No? ok moving on). And I’m not talking about spam or scams from overseas, I’m talking about business related emails from professionals who represent a merchant or other organization. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of Affiliate Managers and other individuals I work with are awesome, but there are a few who need to learn how to act when it comes to B2B communications; email in particular.
Handling advertiser relations for CouponShack entails the receipt of hundreds of emails a week, so I understand how difficult it is to give every one your undivided attention. But I also know how effortless it is to take your time and address each message, giving them the necessary degree of attention and the appropriate response the sender deserves. Some of you might be thinking, ‘Duh’, and that’s great! But you’d be surprised (or maybe not) at how impersonal some individuals can be while working in this, or any interpersonal industry. By this I mean they make no distinction between themselves as a person and the screen name or email address you know them as; some barely acknowledge an existing partnership. This lack of interest in a more personal relationship by some has puzzled me ever since I started in this bizz; some partners just have such a cold shoulder when it comes to communication. Sure, automation and the generic, ‘to the point’ exchange of info get the job done, but our mutual courtesy and a sense of partnership can only lead to a more productive business relationship; optimal communication=an optimal relationship($$$). I know, broken record, but the song remains the same.
Maybe I’m just old skool and I’ll apologize in advance for the cliche I’m about to drop, but I believe in treating others the way I… that’s right, you know the rest. Now this classic reminder may be a bit of a stretch in pertaining to today’s topic, but what the hell, here goes. Anytime I have the opportunity to communicate with a program or affiliate manager, I do my best to develop as solid of a relationship as I can. I’m not talkin bout IM’n eachother everynight or exchanging birthdays. I display a genuine interest in the development of our partnership and I make it clear to them that they can reach out to me anytime with any questions, problems, or suggestions they may have; and I’ll always respond in a reasonable time frame with a direct response to their inquiry. I also make it clear that I’m interested in learning about their end of the business in order to create a mutual understanding. This, in turn encourages their willingness to do the same, creating an optimal business relationship and a partnership that can’t help but succeed. And bear in mind that ‘solid’ or ‘personal’ relationship should be synonymous with optimal business partnership in this scenario. You don’t need to be buddy buddy with everyone, but building a solid affiliate relationship can be jump started with something as simple as beginning your emails with ‘Hello, hope all is well’, or ‘Hope you had a good weekend’ etc. Just general, common courtesy. Add some personality to your emails and let them know you and the company you represent value their partnership.
Good communication and creating optimal relationships between affiliates, merchants, and managers can be an effective strategy in this industry, and it promotes a mutual respect among partners; no matter where you’re posted in the affiliate marketing network. Just because we work on computers doesn’t mean we have to communicate like them. Add some emotion and character to your messages and project a dedication to the partnership as a whole, not just your end of the network.
Until Next Time