How to Work With Merchants

Getting in touch with the merchant who offers an affiliate program you are interested in can maximize your sales, as well as save you a lot of time and trouble. When you contact the merchant, tell them what you are doing to promote their product or service and don’t be shy about asking their advice to advance your marketing campaign.

Naturally, no one knows the product better than does the merchant themselves; they will have a lot of knowledge to share on the marketing strategies which other affiliates are using to get sales. Contacting the merchant also displays your interest and dedication to making the affiliate campaign a successful one.

This lets them know that you are enthusiastic about their product – and merchants know that in an affiliate program, more than 90% of their sales are made by less than 5% of the affiliates. A merchant who knows a motivated affiliate when he or she sees one will give you the information and tools you’ll need to build more success for your business and may even give you a higher commission!

Dealing with merchants

If you try to contact a merchant via email and get no response, send them another email. If they still don’t respond, it may be time to rethink this program. If they are less than communicative, it may also indicate that they will be slow about payments as well.

Remember that merchants are prone to making big promises to affiliates and offer a high payout limit, knowing that most affiliates won’t be able to meet the requirements. This is not a good business model for you as an affiliate and you should probably avoid doing business with these merchants.


Always use a professional tone when you communicate with merchants; if you have some suggestions for them, convey this. A lot of merchants like getting feedback from their affiliates and know that they can improve their programs by implementing these suggestions.

A merchant who knows affiliate marketing knows that it is hard to find good affiliates and will treat them well by helping them out with information and other resources, as well as being prompt about payments.

Smart affiliates have much the same mindset and know that merchants want good promotion and strong sales from their affiliates.

To maximize the potential earnings to be had in these partnerships, be professional and understanding when dealing with the merchant. Remember that a successful merchant is often very busy; but will make a point of answering your questions and responding to email – though it may not be instant.

The longer you have a partnership with a merchant, the more you will learn about how they do things; if you are new to affiliate marketing, the merchant can often help you learn the ropes. If you listen to the merchant and are dedicated to the affiliate program, you’ll have a good start towards success.


  • Paul Livingston

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Good tips all, Reed. How does one get “inside the loop?” That is, become an affiliate prior to launch?

    Paul Livingstons last blog post..21 Simple Ways to Make More with any size list!

  • Timothy Watson

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Excellent information as always Reed. Definitely drop that merchant if your emails go unanswered. Chances are that you will not be paid either.

  • Pat Gunning

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Think of it as a joint venture. You really are partnering with the merchant. You’re depending on their professionalism, integrity and sound business practices and they are relying on your sales skills and integrity as well.

    You obviously have an interest in the product or you wouldn’t be marketing it.

    Remember if they are not a click bank merchant or the like, then they are responsible to pay you directly. You need that direct communication to know if this is a good fit for both of you.

    Creating that direct relationship with the merchant should be an integral part of your affiliate business plan.

  • tmobil8

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Greetings Reed, Thomas Richmond here, very good info, so i guess this makes me a merchant? Hope you and your family have great weekend my friend. 🙂 God_bless you

  • Roy Fielding

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    When’s Your Next Giveaways Launchning

    Roy Fielding

  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Good point Reed, the problems sustain if we as affiliate may have overlook the merchants probability in market, what we should do is still doing our homework research the merchants whether it is marketable or not.After taking these steps into consideration we may engage business communications with them and start implementing pre sales application.That’s all

    Ari Lestarionos last blog post..Home Remedies for Sore Throat

  • Vikki Gigante

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    The personal touch works very well!

    Vikki G

  • normz2

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Another good post. It does take a while to get to know the merchants. Some are only interested in selling you more of teir own products. If they are not making you any money, you might have to rethink your relationship. It should be a two way street.

  • David

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    I have had several who never answered and never paid. A personal relationship always helps in any business and eventually leads to special invitations from the merchant.

    Davids last blog post..You Have Been LIED To About SEO …..

  • Zach Kong

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Choosing to do business with the established merchants is a really a good business strategy. You have indeed pointed out some important things to take note when one associates with a merchant, for the quality of the merchant’s product and service will impact on the affiliate’s credibility as well.

  • Tim Ackley

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008


    absolutely agree with you ……
    communication is always key, whether dealing with
    merchants, affiliates or subscribers. Lasting relationships are built on open and honest communication.

  • Melody Baker

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008


    Thank You so very much. This is the first time someone has given me clear direction about doing Affiliate work.

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hey Reed, Being “out in the crowd” is a good way to be in this business, It doesn’t cost anything to ask a question or just say hello. Conversation is free and you never know what may come up.A big part of this business is communication so you better get used to it now.
    Have A Wonderful Day, Timothy Millar

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Emillions-Mark Joyner Grilled for 50 minutes

  • taofeek

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    the informations i’ve just read on this site concerning how to work with merchants opens my knowledge to a new awareness concerning affiliate marketing.wioth reed floren, i’m optimistic of getting the right info.thanks alot reed.

    taofeeks last blog post..

  • taofeek

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    is it possible to get an autopilot based survey handling program at affordable price that will guarantee my ability to withdrw fund any time while using the program?

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Great information.

    Building relationships with the merchant is important. He can give you tips, advice and tools to help you promote better.

    You can reciprocate giving him feedback about the product and of course selling more.

    This relationship should be based on trust on both sides… you and the merchant will benefit a lot from this.

    ^PV Reymond

    PV Reymonds last blog post..Internet Marketing For Newbies… The First Step

  • Frankie Teo

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    It’s true on what you mentioned. It’s not as easy as it is to find good Affiliates & a Merchant to work with.

    Like you said, we need to ask & follow-up. We learn from trail & errors “Seek & We Shall Find, Ask & We Shall Get.”

    So, be persistant & don’t give-up. Take ACTION.

    Frankie Teo

    Frankie Teos last blog post..Learn The Secrets On Traffic Tactics !

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Reed, Good points. I find if I communicate closely and almost personally with a Merchant’s affiliate manager, I get tips and data and info that really help me perform better.
    Also, they’ll offer the affiliate a better commission rate once you’ve shown some good sales volumes. Communication everywhere is KEY to business success!

    Geoff D.

  • bob rettman

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    I don’t know? I think I made one of the super affiliate’s mad as hell. I made him a proposal that I think he may have taken offense to. Reed,Remind me to tell you what I did to Frank! Either he is laughing too hard to get back to me,or as I suspect, he is pissed off, and won’t answer me! Anyway, I just wanted to give the little “G” bots something to do so your ratings will improve!Alright Big Daddy, Now go and change a diaper and make some money! Baby needs a new pair of shoes! Hey, who takes the complex down to it’s essence for ya baby? That’s right! Good old Quasimodo and he is outta here! See ya! am

  • John Bandy

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    That is good advice. Contacting the owner of the product and getting his advice will usually generate much needed help. I have found that they will give you everything you need to sell their item. Thanks for another great article. Talk with you later.

  • Terence

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    To be honest, relationships with most merchants is positive, as they supply everything necessary to promote their product.

    These merchants are professional and are in frequent contact with you about their latest promotional material.

    With others though I have had,on occasion, to email them personally to tell them what I think about their product and landing page. Up to now they have responded positively to my feedback and have implemented my suggestions.

    Terences last blog post..Join The IM Dream Team And Help Improve Childrens Lives.

  • Lea Burke

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Thanks for the heads up..We use this advice in our everyday lives; business should be no different. I don’t think the negative side should surface very often, but thanks for letting everyone know it is possible.

  • Emmanuel Mba

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    Excellent information. I get very frustrated when I write to a marketer and no response. Normally I loose interest in his products.

    Emmanuel Mbas last blog post..Regular Weight Management Patterns

  • Rebecca Beasley

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    I’m starting a traffic exchange that will bring traffic to tangible products sites and I’d like to know what I can do to get in touch with lots of site owners who need a way to get more traffic and real visitors who will buy their products. I’m planning to have it set up where the surfers will get a discount from the merchant and offer them a way to use their account cash to buy the products and transfer it to the merchant after the sale.
    Do you think this will fly?


  • Great points. Everybody in business is looking for sales so they will be open to new ways of promoting their products or services. As you say they may be busy but once they know the power of the internet and share your plans they will be happy to allow you to promote for a commission

  • michael

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Those are great points, to take in consideration before one takes the leap!

    michaels last blog post..The Affiliate Experience

  • Joyce

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Reed that was very good information.
    I never would have thought to do that.
    As always you are right on the money.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Ernie Carroll

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    I’d like to add that when communicating with the merchant, ask if they will put your tracking code on their site so you can see what keywords are making sales. This can save you a lot of money! If not, don’t quit because their are other ways to get the same information.

  • admin

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    @Paul one of my sites can help with that

    @Timothy yep

    @Pat completely agree

    @Thomas anyone with their own product can be a merchant

    @Roy I may have some in December but I will have one in January for sure

    @Ari it takes research

    @Vikki agreed

    @normz2 agreed it should be 2-way

    @David agreed I’ve had the same problems as well 🙁

    @Zach completely agree

    @Tim relationships are everything

    @Melody you’re welcome

    @Timothy agreed

    @taofeek not sure what you are referring to

    @PV that’s how I built my business – relationships

    @Frankie Action is key

    @Geoff agreed

    @bob tell me more sounds like another fun bob adventure

    @John you’re welcome

    @Terence that always feels good to see them try your suggestions

    @Lea you’re welcome

    @Emmanuel I do too but I will say it is hard to keep up with all the emails that we get

    @Becky I’d suggest contacting the various internet marketers you follow and see if they’d be interested in it

    @Luca thanks

    @Michael thanks

    @Joyce thanks

    @Ernie great tip

  • Christine Imamshah

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Nice to read a post about the Merchant’s side of the coin. Have tried promoting for Merchants who offered very little to no support and figured out it is mush easier to work with those who provide help and support as it shows a level of commitment to their affiliates.

    This helps the relationship tremendously and benefits both the merchant and the affiliate.

    Surprising that all merchants don’t seem to see it that way.


  • admin

    Reply Reply December 6, 2008

    @Chris agreed I highly recommend only working with those who will actually make an effort and get it that affiliates can really boost their businesses

  • Shawn Horwood

    Reply Reply December 13, 2008

    I personally try to always contact the merchants whose products I plan on promoting. Generally they are very helpful, and they will offer some good advice if they actually do care. If they don’t respond to my emails, then I never endorse their products.
    On the other hand, if merchants are very helpful, then I endorse their products heavily, and it is often possible to get higher commissions from the merchant

    Shawn Horwoods last blog post..Membership Site

  • admin

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    @Shawn that’s a very good thing to do.

  • You must receive a great amount of traffic since your site is so great. Can you tell me who designed your site? Feel free to email me.

  • You must receive a great amount of traffic since your site is so great. Can anyone tell me who designed this site?

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