How NOT to Approach Joint Venture Partners

How Not to Approach JV Partners

Joint Ventures are without doubt one of the quickest, easiest ways of gaining new business, and unlike traditional advertising, it’s not speculative either.

If you’re running Pay Per Click ads on Google and Facebook, or running big adverts in expensive publications then you’re used to ‘spending your money and taking your chances.’

But with a ‘Commission-only’ Joint Venture, you only pay your J.V. partner when you win new business from the people they refer to you, and vice versa.

Now with this said, one of the most common types of JV request emails my office receives is from people asking me to promote their product to my list.

Unfortunately, I have to decline most offers.

Although the reply we send to people is always polite, I usually don’t reveal why I’ve said no. Interestingly, no one has asked me why I said no. I’d happily explain why if they asked.

However, as a reader of my blog, and possibly an active email subscriber of mine too, I want to explain what makes me say no, because sharing this with you will reveal some of the biggest secrets to successfully setting up Joint Ventures.

If you apply just one simple principle to how you approach potential Joint Venture partners, it could be the difference between them saying ‘Yes please!’ instead completely ignoring your email.

It’s this…

Make it ALL about THEM

When you approach a J.V. partner you’ve had in your sights for a while, yes you can start by introducing yourself, providing a brief summary and establish your authority. You can also quickly explain what you want to promote to their list.

But then quickly segue into explaining…

  • Which of THEIR products you think you could promote to your list (explain you’re open to suggestions.)
  • How much they can expect to earn, on average, for each person they send to your sales page. (PVV – Per Visitor Value).
  • Mention other people you’ve successfully Joint Ventured with, so they know you’ve got a proven track record. (And provide endorsements wherever possible.)
  • Reveal how big your email list is (and best to be up-front about how many active e-mail subscribers you have, not the total list size including hundreds or thousands of people who have unsubscribed, gone away, or not opened any of your emails in the last twelve months!)
  • The number of people who have already bought your product, and links to testimonials, endorsements and other types of social proof. So they know it’s not an untested, unproven product that you’ve only just started selling.

And most important of all, explain…

  • Why would their email subscribers would find it valuable, interesting, useful and relevant?

This last point is key.

The promotion itself—both the one you do to their list and the promotion they do to your list—should provide value to the target audience… even if they don’t buy the product being promoted.

If the promotion takes the form of a co-hosted webinar, then the webinar content shouldn’t just be a ‘pitch fest’. It should provide attendees with genuinely useful take-away value.

I would make a point of explaining that in your initial approach to your JV partner. They will realise you’re a professional marketer and someone worthy of their attention.

All of these things combine to make a strong initial approach to a JV partner, that tells them WII-FM (what’s in it for them), and why your proposal is a ‘no brainer’.

Failure to explain why the promotion would be great for the JV partner will usually result in rejection, or being completely ignored.

Also, from experience I can tell you it’s a lot easier to get other business owners to agree to a reciprocal joint venture Joint Venture.

If you can tell them that you also own a big list of active customers and e-mail subscribers, and that you are willing to promote them (the JV partner) to your list that will make all the difference.

(Note there are ways to get people to promote you to their big list of email subscribers, even if you don’t have a sizeable list yourself. I’ll cover those in a future article. Today’s article though is all about reciprocal Joint Ventures.)

New to Market?

If you’ve just developed a brand new product or service, my advice is to NOT instantly go out and try and get Joint Venture partners to promote it.


Because most potential partners won’t want to promote brand new untested and unproven products and services to their customers.

I instead recommend you sell it via other channels first. Make sure plenty of actual customers have used the product and are happy with it, before attempting to sell it your JV partner’s lists.

(In other words, don’t risk upsetting a great JV partner by inadvertently selling an untested product that you both later discover has defects and doesn’t live up to the customer’s expectations. That’s not good for either of you, and certainly isn’t the route to a long lasting and fruitful JV partnership.)

Also make sure your product sales page is achieving a ‘good to great’ conversion rate, before you ask JV partners to send their traffic on to it.

If not, and you manage to get a JV partner to promote for you and it produces very poor commissions… you may find the JV relationship to be very short lived!

Becoming a Successful JV Partner

Now I realise a lot of this advice is quite obvious, but you’d be amazed how many of the people who email me make some or even all of these mistakes… and then probably wonder why I didn’t agree to the ‘big money-making opportunity’ they’ve brought to me!

Ironically it’s easy to get it right. Just work through the above checklist and craft your ‘perfect JV email’. Once you’ve written it, you’ll have a template that you can quickly adapt every time you spot someone who you think would be an ideal JV partner.

Going a step further – write down your own internal checklist of who would make your ideal JV partner – then employ a Virtual Assistant to regularly search and make contact on your behalf. Automating it like this will put your business growth on steroids.

Anyway, if you’re considering going down the JV route to win new business I hope you found this article helpful?

Leave a comment below if you have any questions or feedback about setting up Joint Ventures.

Happy JV’ing,


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