Email is currently one of the most popular methods of recruiting affiliates. But, this can be both positive and negative both for the website and for the site’s owner. If the email is sent out in a random fashion, it may not be compliant with the recent CAN-SPAM laws, making the site’s owner vulnerable to lawsuits and legal action. In addition, because many site owners rely on their network of affiliates to further recruit affiliates, those affiliates may recruit through email that is not CAN-SPAM complaint, further causing potential trouble for the site owner. The site owner is legally responsible for their affiliate network’s recruiting tactics and can be prosecuted by the FTC for any violations that their affiliates commit. There are many other ways of recruiting affiliates than sending mass emails or allowing the affiliate network to do so.
Emails are a good way to recruit affiliates, but they must be used deliberately- targeting specific people with a legitimate offer to join the affiliate network. Contacting webmasters of websites that have a similar content to your site is a good first step to finding affiliates. The emails should contain all of the information that an affiliate needs to make the decision to visit the site and join the network. Sketchy details in an email will read like spam and not the legitimate opportunity with your network that it really is.
When sending recruiting email, think about questions you would ask if you were learning about your network, and answer all of those questions. Include contact information to further separate yourself from the spammers.
Effective affiliate recruiting can also be done through targeted telephone calls. Directly calling those who may be interested in an affiliate relationship is likely to be just as effective as or even more so than mass emails, as they are not filtered out as spam and it is possible to speak directly to the potential affiliate. A strong business relationship can be made from speaking directly over the phone in a way that is more difficult to establish through email alone. A business relationship that begins with phone contact is more akin to a business relationship in the real world, rather than something only conducted through email. People do respond to a personal touch.