They say it takes two flints to make a fire.
Partnering with the right business owner for a joint venture launch puts you on the fast track to a hyper-targeted list. A proven mechanism of growth, co-promotion is predicated on the optimism that as a unit you’ll hit a goal that otherwise would have been out of reach.
Affiliate marketer Jeff Walker boasts that by launching with a partner you can expect to see six to 11 times what you would see launching solo. The best case scenario is a hearty helping of leads who vehemently trust you by proxy and become fast clients. As such, partnering serves as an exposure springboard, relegating cold marketing to an ancillary strategy.
But amid all that perceived value, many joint ventures regrettably crumble as a result of half-baked ideas and poor enrollment strategy.
Here are five all-too-common missteps capable of throwing a wrench in your co-promoted launch.
Would you put your credibility on the line with your entire marketing list solely based on someone’s word? Probably not. Mistake number one is offering partners a blank guarantee and asking them to take your word for it. For example, you wouldn’t want to partner on a promotional funnel or product that has yet to undergo a trial run.
Success for both parties — assuming there are two of you — boils down to numbers. Your partner puts a lot at stake by pitching your product or service. Instill them with confidence in your offer by sharing concrete sales and engagement metrics: conversion rate, CTR (click-thru rate), CPC (cost per click), customer lifetime value, and even commissions received if this joint venture isn’t your first.
Best Practice: Run a test audience or a control segment of your list through your offer funnel prior to pitching it to a JV affiliate or partner. With hard evidence to back your product, your odds of striking a deal are exponentially higher.
Swipe copy is a polarizing subject and is notoriously misused by partners and affiliates who rely on it heavily to hold up their side of a launch. It’s often copied directly from the source and mailed to an entire list. This presents a number of problems.
Failing to tailor launch copy to a specific audience renders it untargeted and, therefore, characteristic of spam. In skipping this critical step, you and your partners forego any rapport and trust you’ve built with your audience, opting to channel inauthenticity with cookie-cutter messaging.
Conversely, offering zero content does a disservice to your partners and indirectly to yourself. A JV with writer’s block is no more helpful than one with off-target copy. Give partners enough details and feature/benefit statements to get them started. Then strongly urge them to read it, use their voice, and tailor it to their audience, thus reinforcing their message and their authenticity.
Best Practice: Provide a framework and bullet points regarding your offer for your partners to tailor your promotional collateral to their audience.
Most JV partners don’t think up a product one day and launch the next; it’s a calculated process.
Start to identify potential JV partners the moment you plan to launch. People’s affiliate calendars typically fill up far in advance.
Wildly successful affiliate marketer Jeff Walker lives by the mantra, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.” His launch calendar books 90 days in advance — before which you have an opportunity to pitch him your product. This means you have to have tested your offer six months in advance and present him with a package with all of the details.Best Practice: Give yourself an ample window to promote your launch and round up JV partners. Start reaching out the moment a launch becomes reality.
As with any sales pitch, have a marketing plan to present to your affiliates. This starts by aligning their vision with yours. Exuding from them palpable passion for your ideas is the key to piquing their interest in the role as JV partner, followed by an airtight marketing plan to seal the deal.
Positioning is a key factor here. Your JV partners are going to endorse you as an expert — someone with whom they can confidently do business. That positioning is just as important as the ROI of your launch. It builds a foundation of trust for years to come.
Best Practice: Sell your affiliates just as if you’re selling your business to an investor — because in a sense, you are. Convince them to market you using a polished pitch complete with feature/benefit statements.
The more artillery you give your JV partners to promote your launch, the higher your sales are likely to be. It’s all about making it as easy as possible for someone to promote you.
Equip them with as much marketing collateral as possible. Affiliate links to your sales page and a direct line during your launch are a must. Be sure to keep an open dialogue in case any urgent questions arise.
Best Practice: Provide your JV partners with as much marketing collateral as you can muster: logos, files, details, affiliate links, a referral leaderboard, log-ins, etc.