Q: I just started an affiliate program for a local service that I run but I am not sure how to go about getting affiliates since I am catering to a specific local market. I know which sites would be a nice fit to display my banner or link but I am not sure how to request this in an e-mail. Do you know of a e-mail template that could be used?
A: First of all, without knowing anything about the size of your local market, your company and the audience for your service, I would suggest that you think twice about whether an affiliate program is right for you.
If there are a limited number of Web sites in your market, and you already know whom you should contact to promote you, I’m inclined to think the best route for you would be to set up relationships with each site, rather than investing in a full blown affiliate program.
You’ll still need some tracking for the relationships. Since you are focusing on a limited area, I don’t think it makes sense for you to participate in an affiliate network. Rather, you should do just fine with the modestly priced Groundbreak Ultimate Affiliate software.
Back to your original question – as far as contacting these prospective affiliates, I would caution against using e-mail. Not only is it ineffective (compared with direct mail and telephone calls), but you’re going to have to put systems in place to comply with the CAN-SPAM law.
I would suggest sending out a direct mail piece first, and then trying to establish one on one contact with those local sites. It’s a more hands on approach, but you’ll see much better results in your recruiting efforts.