3 Reasons Your Affiliate Program Should Have a Written Communication Plan

Posted September 27, 2010 in

Affiliate Program Communication PlanI tend to consider myself a bit of an entrepreneur, always have.  I can remember reading my dad’s business magazines growing up and dreaming of some grand adventure I’d have in the business world, running my own show.  I remember thumbing through quite a bit of franchise magazines, Entrepreneur Magazine, Money and others that the Old Man kept lying around.  I know, I know, a little odd for a boy of 7 or 8, but hey, my favorite sitcom star was Michael P Keaton, what would you expect.

I still read a lot of small business, entrepreneur type blogs and magazines.  Most of them you can feel that energy and enthusiasm that you try to feel when you go to work on your business.  One of them I found recently is The Entrepreneurial Mind, by Dr. Jeff Cornwall.

Reading through his archives this weekend, I stumbled on a blog post about planning and why we plan.  It’s appropriate for our MyAffiliateCoach members, our new employees and our whole team as we are finalizing our planning for Q4 and Q1 2011.  Our communications plans, specifically, are being put together, and his article I could really relate to.  It’s short and sweet and you can read it here.

So what are the top 3 reasons we should have a written communication plan for our affiliate programs?  Allow me to use Dr. Cornwall’s list as a starting point:

  • Communication planning helps us find out the things we don’t know about the details of how, why, and in what manner we should be communicating.  From a 30,000 foot level type of view, if you don’t lay out all the things you want to do, you aren’t going to be able to identify all the details of how to communicate with your partners, what method of communication (or mix of methods) is appropriate and what the content of each message will be when you need to communicate with your partners today.  Planning now will identify all those items so you can address them and plan for them.
  • Communication planning helps ensure that all the players in your plan know their roles and will be able to carry them out.  Who will be designing your email, creative etc.  Who will be sending, calling, IM’ing?  Do they know that you need certain things from them?  Planning allows your entire team to know what is expected of them in advance and in detail.
  • Communication planning will lay bare the holes in your strategy, plan and ability to execute them.  Have you ever had a great strategy or idea in your head, that only when you were 90% through it, you realized that you missed one or several glaring concepts/tools/deliverables, and now the entire strategy is garbage?  Give me a call, I have a number of those stories to share with you.  Planning helps you identify those holes and plug them, or allow you to adjust and pivot around them, before you hit them.

We are completing our communication plans as we speak for the remainder of the year and the first quarter of next year.  We are also leading our MyAffiliateCoach students through this process on Tuesday.  With all that going on, I thought this information may really help any affiliate managers out there get a little more motivated to put down their plans in writing, take a step back and see how they really will work, or won’t…

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About the author

  • Jamie Birch

    Jamie Birch


Jamie is the owner and principal of JEBCommerce. His extensive Internet marketing experience includes all facets of online marketing: email, paid search campaigns, customer retention programs, and much more. This wide range of disciplines has enabled Jamie to excel as a business leader and JEBCommerce to realize a great level of success for its clients. Jamie cut his “affiliate marketing teeth” managing affiliate programs for many well known companies before spending several years at Coldwater Creek, a Top 5 nationwide women’s clothing retailer. While at Coldwater Creek, Jamie established and managed affiliate campaigns, email campaigns, and SEO campaigns – an opportunity that allowed him to develop many of the proven processes JEBCommerce successfully employs today. In recognition of his professional leadership, the affiliate marketing industry has consistently nominated him for Annual Pinnacle Awards over the years. In addition to individual accolades, JEBCommerce is gaining momentum within the Internet marketing industry and is experiencing positive, exciting growth. This is a direct result of Jamie’s positive leadership, integrity, and earned respect – from his clients and industry peers. Need a speaker for your next event? I can do that, too!