Online Marketing Lesson 49: Email Powered Affiliate Marketing

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As we mentioned in the previous lesson, there are several ways to drive traffic and sales to the affiliate marketing offers you are promoting. Email lists, however, represent one of the most efficient ways, and in this lesson we’ll explain how you can use this strategy to increase your affiliate marketing profits.

The Advantages of Email Powered Affiliate Marketing

Using email lists as the main traffic source for your affiliate marketing offers has three main advantages:

1. You’ll build an asset over time

Suppose that you use PPC to drive traffic to the offers you are promoting. You might make good profits over time, but once you stop spending money on your PPC campaigns you’ll have nothing left. If you use email lists, on the other hand, you’ll be building an asset while making money with your affiliate offers. In other words, even if you decide or are forced to stop promoting these affiliate offers you’ll still have your email list, which is a very valuable asset. You could use it to launch your own product down the road, for example.

2. You’ll be pre-selling by default

As we explained before, pre-selling is technique that can drastically increase your affiliate marketing profits. If you rely on PPC or on your websites to generate traffic, however, you’ll need to create special landing pages to pre-sell the offers. With email lists, on the other hand, you won’t need that, because every message you send out to your list allows you to pre-sell your offer. Another benefit is the fact that you can send several messages over time, compounding the pre-sell effect.

3. You’ll be able to test different offers with the same group of customers

The last advantage of email lists is the fact that you can promote different affiliate offers to the same list. If you are promoting weight-loss products, for example, you’ll be able to plug different offers over time (say one every 15 days) and compare the results to understand your subscribers better. This kind of testing and tracking is harder to perform on PPC traffic, because you won’t be able to expose the same end user to two or more offers.

How to Get Started

Below is a step by step guide you can follow to get started with this affiliate marketing strategy.

1. Get the technical part ready

Before getting started you need to have the technical part ready to go. Under the Email Marketing Basics lesson you’ll find different solutions you can use to manage your email lists. Once you sign-up you’ll just need to name or create your email list, and get your web form ready (i.e., the code you’ll paste on your site to display the form where visitors can subscribe).

2. Identify the product or niche you’ll promote

At this point it is also important to identify the affiliate offer or niche you’ll be promoting. There is a website called OfferVault.com that lists the offers from all the different affiliate networks out there. Creating an account there is free, so check it out. Once you identify the offer or the niche you want to work with, sign-up for an affiliate account on the network that has the offer, and get your affiliate links ready to go.

3. Find or create a freebie to entice subscribers

In other to maximize the subscription rate to your email list you can create or find a freebie to give away to subscribers. The simplest freebie you can get is an ebook on a related topic. If you’ll be promoting weight-loss products, for example, you could write an ebook titled “20 Secret Weight-Loss Tips” and give it away to subscribers.

Alternatively you can try to find an ebook with Private Label Rights (PLR) license, which allows you to give it away. Other ideas for freebies include audio interviews, videos, templates and software.

4. Create your landing page

The next step is to create your landing page. Since you are not trying to sell anything, but rather to give something away in exchange for an email address, you should use a small and straight to the point template. We have designed one exactly for this purpose, called Email Squeeze Page. It is a CSS template, so you’ll just need a text editor to edit it. Make sure to include the cover of the ebook you are giving away, the subscription form to your email list, and then upload it to your server.

5. Drive traffic to the landing page

Once your landing page is up and running (test it a couple of times to make sure it works properly) you can start sending traffic there. Needless to say the more traffic you send there, the better. If you have online resources to leverage, like a website in a related niche, you should use them. Secondly, you can use social networks like Twitter and Facebook to send visitors to your landing page. Finally, you should also consider buying traffic to speed up the growth of your list (PPC traffic, PPV traffic and media buys are particularly effective for this purpose).

6. Create an autoresponder sequence

Next create your autoresponder sequence. This is basically the sequence of messages that will automatically be sent to each new subscriber. Your first message should obviously contain a link to download the freebie you promised. The second message should be scheduled to go one or two days after the initial one, to make sure the subscriber will remember you. The third message should go a couple of days after the second. Both the second and the third messages should contain useful content that your subscribers will love. Examples include tips, guides, resources they can use and so on. The purpose of these two messages is to start building trust with the subscribers. After that you can use a longer interval, say one message per week. You can also start plugging your affiliate offers. If you want to be aggressive, use the ratio of one affiliate plug for every message of useful content you send. If you want to be conservative send one affiliate plug for every two messages with useful content. Below you’ll find an example of the autoresponder schedule.

Day Message No. Content
Day 1 Message 1 Freebie Download
Day 2
Day 3 Message 2 Useful content
Day 4
Day 5 Message 3 Useful content
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12 Message 4 Affiliate plug
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 Message 5 Useful content
Day 20
Day 21
Day 22
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25
Day 26 Message 6 Useful content
Day 27
Day 28
Day 29
Day 30
Day 31
Day 32
Day 33 Message 7 Affiliate plug
Day 34
Day 35
Day 36
Day 37
Day 38
Day 39
Day 40 Message 8 Useful content

7. Track the performance of each offer, and adjust accordingly

Over time you should track the performance of each affiliate offer you are promoting, making the necessary adjustments to the autoresponder sequence. For example, offers that convert well should be moved to the beginning of the sequence, because they will produce more profits there. Offers that don’t convert well should be moved down the sequence, or even removed from it. It is also important to monitor the number of unsubscriptions over time, and tune your content to the taste of your subscribers.

Action Points

If you are planning to work with affiliate marketing, consider using email lists to fuel your offers. If nothing else you should compare the results you’ll get using this strategy with the other methods you might be using already (e.g., PPC).
Follow the steps listed in this lesson to get your email lists up and running.
Remember to test and track results extensively, as this is what will bring in the profits.

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