My company, Laughlin Associates sends out nearly 2 million pieces of direct mail per year. However, I have noticed lately that our tried and true marketing approaches don’t seem to be getting the results they once did. Regardless of how many postcards or brochures we send via snail mail the approach that is getting increasingly successful results is coming from a new channel… our affinity partners. And if you haven’t yet used this marketing approach, you may be missing out.

We look for companies that we believe serve a similar client profile and provide excellent products or services. When we find one that seems like a fit, we contact with them about becoming an affinity partner.

The five key questions we ask when evaluating a prospective partner are:

  1. What does their client base look like?
  2. Do they have an effective method of communicating with their clients?
  3. Is their product line complimentary to ours?
  4. Is there enough financial opportunity to justify committing resources to the venture?
  5. Does introduction of there products/services to our clients dilute our overriding value proposition and messaging?

These partnerships provide new prospects for us to teach about our services and introduce new services that will serve our existing client base. When organized right they are a win-win for both companies and for the collective clients.

In today’s world buyers can scan hundreds of television stations and cruise dozens of web sites in minutes. There are literally millions of voices trying to convince your prospect to “BUY FROM US!”  In order to stand out, locking arms with high quality, established companies can be a huge competitive advantage as you work together to grow your small businesses.

Affinity partnerships are working for us. I invite you to share the strategies that are working for you in this ever shifting environment.  Feel free to make comments below or contact me directly ( I have a pair of free tickets and I’ll even buy you lunch at our March seminar in Las Vegas for whoever gives the best marketing idea.

Let’s hear from you!