In the 2011 Affiliate Summit AffStat Report, where over fourteen-hundred affiliates were surveyed, we asked, “How do you most often find out about an affiliate program and then join?”, and 15% responded with “Affiliate Manager contacts you.”
This method could include a variety of techniques for contact, such as direct mail, email, phone, and IM.
The favored techniques will vary with each affiliate program, as will the effectiveness.
As an affiliate, I prefer to not be interrupted, so contacts by phone and IM aren't typically welcomed. Both are certainly good if you want to ask a lot of questions, but I don't often want conversations when I select affiliate programs – I just want to test first and talk later.
Email works for me if it's an individual pitch, based on how a given affiliate program can benefit me and my site(s).
Mass email with general attributes of an affiliate program usually gets a quick delete from me.
I prefer direct mail as an affiliate, too, but rarely get anything in the mail from an affiliate manager.