This week, Lee-Ann welcomes industry OG, Declan Dunn, to the Affiliate Marketing Podcast to discuss AI and Affiliate Connections. Declan is a growth developer and the founder of the AI Optimist Podcast. There was so much to cover in this episode that we have decided to make it a two-parter! Let’s begin with Part One – join us at the same time, same place next week, to tune in to Part Two.
Listen in here for all of the insights:
“The job is not easy”
Lee-Ann mentions the huge pressure that is placed on affiliate managers to succeed and the fact that the job is not easy. She asks Declan about the difficulties faced by affiliate managers learning to craft the perfect pitch.
Declan says, “If I could say one thing, it’s nice to say ‘do it fast’, but what’s funny is if you’re building longer term relationships, you have to be able to spend time. I get pushback all the time. I’ve had a CEO buddy of mine always thinking, ‘you’re not doing anything’. I said: ‘they’re not responding yet. They’re a big company’. Now, you sort of have to hold your ground, but the other end is it’s a reality.
Instead of cold calling, I talk about cold listening. My goal is not to sell them on my program, because the odds of you getting a quick sale, I mean, somebody signing up – often if you do, they have way too much time and may not be a great performer. It’s hard, because it’s an indicator of time.”
Back to basics
Lee-Ann points out that a lot of what Declan mentions is kind of going against the grain of what most affiliate managers get taught, which is transactional selling. She says, “You’re basically telling us all to throw that out the window, go back to basics, think about the person that you’re speaking to and what’s relevant to them, and make that first two lines of your email pitch.”
Declan replies, “One of the biggest pet peeves is not realising that this channel is about communication. And so it’s really easy to sit down, write a quick sequence, put it into your CRM, what have you, and let it go. That’s just, I’m saying that’s what we used to do, because we didn’t have anything you have today. And so we used to have to use persuasion because we used to try to like control you.
So, instead of making it a grind, don’t pound people. Start realising that you can have a couple of pre-written messages at the beginning.”
There’s a place for funnels
Declan acknowledges the advantages and disadvantages of funnels, “Funnels are great once they know you and you’re onboarding them. That’s the other thing. Managers will close the deal and then it’s like, ‘okay, good luck, go to work’. That’s when you gotta get the affiliate to actually do something and giving them a sequence there is brilliant. See, they know you though. Okay, so now you’re not trying to open the door. The door is open. Guide me how to do it and to actually get them to take action because that is part two of getting them to take the next step.
So I don’t say that you don’t automate. I think that automation is really brilliant. But it’s that upfront, opening the door, being able to get in there.”
Don’t Forget! Tune in next Thursday to listen to the second part of this conversation with Declan. In the meantime, you can subscribe to Declan’s channel The AI Optimist, here
Listen to find out more about:
- Affiliate Gold and the importance of failing in order to succeed
- Epistemic Curiosity
- Pet peeves from affiliate managers that still resonate – this industry is about relationships!
Key segments of this podcast and where you can tune in to go direct:
[11:55]: Learning from a new generation
[14:24]: The importance of a good subject line
[21:23]: Time to go back to basics?
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