Emailing someone else’s database is one of the quickest and most effective way to bring in a lot of targeted leads.

The reason this is the case is fairly obvious. You get someone who already has access to and a relationship with a large audience, who then recommend your product. The combination of distribution and trust, two of the most critical factors for online success, makes this marketing method hard to beat.

The only thing that beats this is an internal promotion where you personally have distribution and trust, in which case the connection between you and the product itself is seamless – because it’s your product you are recommending. Unfortunately building your own audience and establishing trust with them takes time, so if you are in a hurry, using someone else’s email list is the quickest method to expand reach.

How Not To Approach People

I’m approached every week by people looking for me to promote their products. I’ve also been rejected more often than I’ve had success with my own approaches, so I know what works and what doesn’t from both sides of the relationship.

So what exactly does it take to convince someone to promote for you? Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts.

1. Keep It Personal

The first rule is an obvious one: Don’t use a template. Template emails that are clearly templates will not work and make sure you use the name of the person you are approaching. If the email begins with “Dear website owner” or something similar, you are not even going to get through the door.

2. Don’t Approach By Asking For Something

Here’s the biggest mistake I see. Many people assume that because they have a great product that could sell well and generate a lot of money in commissions, they are approaching a potential partner on equal footing. The truth is, when you ask someone to promote for you, you are asking for a favour. We all know the favour-bank begins with nothing inside of it. If you go in trying to make a withdrawal and you’ve never made a deposit, you are going to get rejected. Do not make your first approach an overt suggestion that the person promote your product, no matter how good you think your product is and how well suited it is to their audience.

3. Start by Making Friends

Every successful partnership I have been involved with included some kind of prior relationship. If you go in cold, you get a cold response, but if you go in knowing each other you are much more likely to have the person at least listen to what you have to say with sincerity. Time spent with people is the best way to get a personal connection. This is especially important if you have no existing stature in your market. Get on someone’s radar with a soft approach first. Get to know them, find out what is motivating them today, what projects they are working on, and then, as the next point talks about, find out what YOU can do FOR THEM.

4. Do Favours First To Pay It Forward

If you want people to consider emailing your offers to their database, you have to build some goodwill with them. Reciprocity is a HUGE motivator. One of the best ways to get someone to at least consider your offer is to promote their product to your database. Obviously that’s not easy, but if you are in the same market it’s the best way to get attention. Make them some money first. If you can’t realistically generate them any sales, think about other ways you can help. Maybe you can foster a relationship for that person with someone else. Being a connector is a great way to make friends. Write brief emails, get to know what they are doing and then see where they might need help.

5. How Good Is Your Offer?

You might feel that your offer is good, but test yourself against this simple checklist:

  • Are you on top of customer support?
  • Do you have a quality follow-up process to convert prospects into customers?
  • Is your sales page tested and converting well?
  • Do you have proof of your own results?
  • Do you have proof of results from the people you have helped?
  • Are you capable of presenting your ideas and over delivering value regardless of what you get in return?
  • Is your intention first to help others, not just to make more sales of your product?


Getting a great email partner is a result of you being on top of your game and understanding the nature of relationships. If you want to benefit from this superior form of marketing, you need to come from a place of strength and awareness of how things are done.

If you would like a free copy of our Email Campaign Checklist please click HERE

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