To-, through-, for-partner communications… In the world of channel marketing, there are so many ways to reach partners as a means of enabling engagement. 

You may already be familiar with some of these methods, but today we’re here to clarify what exactly to-partner communications means and why it matters. Better yet, keep reading for the recent ZiftONE features that can make improved to-partner comms as easy as pressing a button.

What Counts as To-Partner Communications?

To get started, let us clarify: to-partner communications is anything created and sent to sales partners. 

These can be created for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Sales recruitment
  • Sales enablement
  • Sales retention
  • Sales engagement

Remember that to-partner communications differ from through-partner communications with that one little word… “through.” Through-partner communications are designed to be passed through partners.

Typical to-partner communications include information like:

  • Training
  • Compensation and incentives
  • Partner program benefits
  • Industry updates
  • Product information
  • Partnership management meetings like channel program QBRs

To-Partner Communications: Why They Matter

To-partner communications matter because they are absolutely essential to engaging with channel partners. Yep, you heard that right: You can’t engage channel partners without adequate to-partner communications! You need to regularly be bringing partners to your portal for peak engagement.

To paint a clear picture, let’s consider the three biggest benefits of to-partner comms.

They build trust with your partners

As is true for all relationships, communication builds trust. You can’t create trust with your channel partners without communicating effectively. Effective to-partner communications should show that you understand your partners and the challenges they face, and are committed to helping them. Showing this, and actually backing it up in how you treat partners, is how you develop trusting relationships. 

They bridge the gap between partners, their organization, and yours

It’s likely that you already have plans in place to grow your partnerships. These plans depend on to-partner communications!

For example, say that you’re hosting a webinar for sales partners. Effective to-partner communications would close the gap between communicating when and where your webinar is being held, delivering content, and then following up afterward.

They generate revenue

Strong communication with channel partners means that you are more likely to successfully capture mindshare. By doing so, partnerships are more likely to be ROI positive.

Best Practices: To-Partner Communications

Remember, effective to-partner communications should follow nine general best practices:

  1. Focus to-partner communications on your partners. (This should be a no-brainer, but remember your audience!)
  2. Tailor to-partner communications specifically for partner types. The more granular, the better. Personalization in marketing typically pays off quite well.
  3. Make to-partner communications succinct and purposeful. Get to the point! Your partners’ time is valuable, as is yours.
  4. Consider the frequency of your communications. You don’t want to overwhelm partners with constant communication – but you want to give them enough to stay top of mind and ensure they have enough information to feel confident with your offerings.
  5. Timing matters most. Consider when the best time to reach partners is – then send!
  6. Play up the types of content you share. Variety is the spice of life.
  7. Try to use new channels for delivering your content.
  8. Measuring success is both an art and a science. This can be a hard won-battle that may need some finetuning.
  9. When it comes to hard metrics, consider the usual suspects. Open rates, replies, etc. 


Get Started with To-Partner Communications Today

Creating successful to-partner communications doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re a ZiftONE customer, we have a couple of recent product updates that you can make the most of starting today.

To-Partner Emails and Pop Ups

Customers can now create emails to partners and add pop-up messages within their existing portals. Use drag and drop functionality to build partner-facing messages. To get to this feature, click “Emails and Pop-ups” on the Partner Management menu.







Click on the communication type that you’d like to build, then click edit under “Content” to begin building your message. Messages can be filtered to specific partner groups, so you can reach specific audiences.


In these messages, customers can add images, content blocks, and much more. Pre-made templates mean that your logo and footer are already loaded into emails. (All of this can be edited; just click the three dots on the main Emails & Pop-Ups menu!)

More information on our to-partner emails and pop ups feature can be found on this Product Update page.

Partner Portal Posts

This latest Zift feature enables dynamic content (like blog posts and product articles) to be added directly to partner portals. Better yet, Portal Posts mean you can create a searchable collection of stories, updates, and news articles.

This important to-partner communication addition places content directly in partners’ hands so they can know what’s happening at your company. As we’ve said, to-partner communications should be purposeful. Partner Portal Posts shares only the most relevant and timely content

To create a post, go to “Posts” on the Partner Portal menu within ZiftONE. You can drag the feature page “Portal Posts” into your site structure, then add posts in an existing page.

If you have any questions on how to use Portal Posts, reach out to your Customer Success Manager or check out our training video on Customer ONE.

For more information on general best practices for to-partner communications, check out our takeaway video: