Rejection is unpleasant. For an affiliate, getting declined for a merchant’s program can feel like a personal affront. As with any setback, there is a right way and a wrong way to respond. This article outlines best practices for responding to a merchant when your application to their affiliate program is declined.
Review Your Profile
After receiving an email informing you that your application was declined, your first impulse might be to immediately reach out and ask why. The best course of action is to resist that urge. Instead, review the email and see if a reason for the decision was given. This can help provide valuable guidance before following up.
Next, take a moment to review your network profile to see if it contains missing or improperly formatted information. Make sure to review details such as your business name, URL(s), state or country, and earnings rank. Your application may have been declined for clerical reasons, such as not listing a working URL, the domain of your email does not match your site, or being located in nexus tax state.
Be Professional and Succinct
When following up with a merchant, it is important to be professional above all else. Remember, this is a business relationship you’re looking to establish and your response here will set the tone.
An appropriate way to respond would be to thank the merchant for reviewing your application and ask if there if is any additional information you could provide that might help them reconsider your application. You can further bolster your case by succinctly describing how you plan on promoting their brand, and providing specific examples of previous work you’ve done. A good affiliate manager will appreciate a thoughtfully crafted explanation how you can be an asset to their program.
Don’t Threaten the Merchant
Under no circumstances should an affiliate ever respond to a declined application by threatening a merchant. By applying to a merchant’s affiliate program you are asking to be their partner. Ask yourself if you would want to do business with someone if the first interaction you had with them was being threatened? Regardless if it’s a threat to send business elsewhere, write a bad review, or something else, threats are counterproductive and always inappropriate.
How to Follow Up if the Answer is Still “No”
If a merchant is still reluctant to approve you for their program, try your best to be understanding. For example, if a merchant says they simply can’t work with sites utilizing your promotional model, respect their decision and understand that it may not be the agency or affiliate manager’s personal decision.
Don’t respond by spamming the merchant with constant applications. That will just lead to your applications being blocked and create the impression that you are sloppy and inattentive.
Instead, a productive way to keep things open is to ask for permission to reapply at a later date. An affiliate manager should appreciate your professionalism and it will serve you well in the future.
Adam is the Director of Performance Marketing at iAffiliate Management
This article appeared in issue 38 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2017. https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-38