E-commerce Link: Mutual Benefit, Revisited
Step #3: Develop a standard legal agreement for cooperative marketing ventures.
Often, these deals are done with only a handshake. However, your legal department or your potential partner may require a formal agreement between parties. To increase your chances of getting a deal off the ground, I recommend these agreements be kept brief. Ideally, this means each party signs a standard nondisclosure agreement. If that is not enough, you also may want to include:
* an indemnification for use of ad units and ad copy;
* verification that the advertiser has permission to contact its business partner’s customer base; and
* Can Spam and do-not-call list compliance requirements.
Deal terms also can be plugged into the contract, for further support of the business agreement.
Step #4: Locate the appropriate contact.
Now that you have your target list of potential partners, you will need to get your proposal in front of the most receptive person. Since we are talking about online partnerships, the appropriate contact usually will be in the marketing or business development departments. Stay away from ad sales people because they usually are not receptive to these nonpaid deals, since there is no commission for them. To find the appropriate contact, search the company’s Web site. The easiest way to do this is to use a business networking software such as LinkedIn.com. Once a deal is made, this contact often is the point person with whom you will regularly communicate to measure performance on both sides of the deal.
Step #5: Make the deal.
Present your idea in the most succinct format possible. Many of these deals are structured in a very loose format in which inventory is estimated rather than set in stone. Don’t be surprised if your potential partner has never considered what you are proposing, because many have not. While these types of deals are commonplace in the offline world, they are still relatively rare in the online arena.