Yeah, sucks, doesn't it? I got you. I've been there. Getting that email with a big fat "Your application has been DECLINED" ... and yes, normally in all caps, just to make you feel worse than you already do. Jerks.
But are they? Maybe ... maybe not. Merchants get tons of applications into their programs on the regs, and often have the apps filtered out based on certain criteria. If you're one one of the unfortunate few in a Nexus state, you may have been auto-declined based on that. Or you may be based in a country the brand doesn't want to work with.
Whatever the case, that doesn't mean your chance with that merchant is done and dusted. So what can you do?
Contact the affiliate manager for the program. Ask if you were declined in error. Oftentimes, this may be the case, and in the situation of those living in a Nexus state, you may have to simply sign a non-solicitation waiver to clear the hurdle. If it's because a brand doesn't think you'd be a good fit, find out why and then tell them your thinking: You have a great idea regarding their products or you really love the brand and you feel like your love will help your readers love it, too, thus driving conversions. A brand may well be swayed by a great pitch, but it's up to you to make that great pitch.
Don't let "DECLINED" be the last word.