Tips for launching an affiliate email marketing campaign
Affiliate email marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy. Here are the tips for affiliate marketers to boost their earnings.
Are you ready to take your affiliate marketing to the next level?
Email marketing is a natural extension of your on-site content and a proven way to increase affiliate commissions.
Use these tips to successfully launch an affiliate email marketing campaign that builds trust, increases brand visibility, and increases sales.
What is affiliate marketing?
As part of the affiliate marketing (Article on my blog) model, an affiliate (you) promotes a seller’s products or services.
The seller provides you with a unique identifying link which is followed every time a visitor clicks on it.
If the visitor takes a certain action, the seller pays you a commission.
Affiliates are typically paid for one of three things:
- The visitor makes a purchase
- The visitor becomes a prospect, for example when he subscribes to a mailing list
- The visitor clicks on the seller’s website
How to become an affiliate
Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative business model for anyone who can produce solid content and knows how to market it.
Once you grow your audience and gain their trust, you can embed product recommendations and affiliate links into your content.
It is best to join affiliate programs in your niche. For example, if you write about camping, you should become an affiliate of companies that sell camping equipment.
Amazon Associates is another popular affiliate program.
How to become a seller
If you sell products and services, you can start your affiliate program through networks such as Commission Junction and Share a Sale.
Or, you can use software like Tapfiliate. Starting your affiliate program is a great way to increase your reach – and your sales – exponentially.
Once your program is in place, you need to involve affiliate partners.
Email is a great way to reach bloggers, websites, and influencers in your niche to see if they want to join your affiliate program.
Integrate affiliate marketing into your emails
Content is at the heart of affiliate marketing and most affiliate marketers earn commissions from their websites and blogs.
However, these are not the only ways to make affiliate sales.
Some marketers promote affiliate links via video, some bury them deep in courses, and still, others are building product comparison and price aggregation tools, then, they promote their content through channels such as social media (Article on my blog) and email.
Successful affiliate marketers work hard to gain the trust of the public.
Rather than making explicit sales pitches, your emails should benefit your audience in some way.
Then recommend products that can help them. Remember: you are not marketing to your audience.
You have a conversation.
Lead magnets are incentives offered to customers in exchange for their email address.
The best lead magnets to help your audience solve their problems or achieve their goals.
Give your audience something useful and you can start building trust while also gaining permission to email them.
Autoresponder campaigns that are triggered upon subscription and deliver a sequence of scheduled emails to new subscribers.
You can still send unique emails to your list, but the automation will free up time to focus on growing the business.
Segment your lists
If you have multiple audience figures, or your content spans multiple areas of interest, it’s a good idea to segment your lists.
This can dramatically increase your open, and conversion rates.
For example, if you operate a building supply store, you might have one list for DIY customers and another for high value customers, like entrepreneurs.
Each audience is likely to be interested in different content and offers, so segmenting your lists makes it easier to get the right message to the right person at the right time.
Test your emails
Start with a “check” or the email you always send. Then create an alternate version. Send each version to an equal number of people on your list to see which one works best.
The winner becomes your new control, and you can continue to test alternatives against them until you are sure to send the best version.
Ready to make more money? Use these affiliate email marketing tips to develop a successful campaign that builds your audience and increases commissions.
Build an quality address file
The first essential step when embarking on the emailing adventure is to build an address file, that is to say, a database.
This is often what blocks a lot of people: it is easy to acquire huge quantities of email addresses, but it is much more complicated to acquire less but of better quality.
This is all the more of an issue since, as we will see later, the poor quality of email addresses will not only result in wasted time and unnecessary sending.
The first rule to respect: the famous opt-in. In other words, a ban on taking a consumer’s email address and using it without their explicit consent (often translated by a small box “I agree to …” that they will have checked). It is an excellent thing to constitute reliable bases.
There are many brokers and everyone will be free to use their data.
Be careful not to be fooled by tempting offers that offer poorly targeted bases and unbeatable quality/price ratios.
Things to look out for when buying email lists
And not to be fooled, here are the things to look out for when buying or renting a email list:
- How were the email addresses collected? By who?
- How many emails does this database consist of?
- Is targeting very sharp?
- What is the marketing pressure on these emails? In other words, is the database used by 10 advertisers or am I the only one?
- What actions are in place to keep this database up to date?
- Finally, is it possible to test a sample of the file?
By comparing the different answers, your choice will naturally be oriented towards the most professional broker.
Once this database is established, the next step will naturally be the constitution of the email message.
And there, there are several simple rules but it is essential to respect.
For example, the width of emails should not exceed 600 pixels. Quite simply because it is the size reserved by the main tools and email hosts (from Outlook through Gmail, Hotmail, or even Thunderbird) to previews of unopened emails.
Besides, it will be essential to always include a trigger for action. In other words, your Emailing campaign will always have a goal (sell, have a form filled out, etc.).
The action trigger will be the little extra that will serve to convince Internet users: sales, a special offer, a competition, etc.
Do not forget to add your contact details at the end of your emails, a sign of professionalism, but also an unsubscribe link which is not only compulsory by law but will also serve to reassure your readers.
One of the keys to a successful Emailing campaign is to work well with your header.
The header is made up of 3 elements: the sender’s title, the subject of the message, and the first two lines often displayed by many tools (Gmail, Outlook with the forecast activated).
These 3 elements are on average scanned in 2 seconds and will be decisive in your open rate.
We will see later some tests to set up to optimize it.
Body of the message
When it comes to the body of the message, always keep it simple and concise.
You have a goal to accomplish, which is a message to pass. No more than one message per Emailing campaign, otherwise you risk drowning your readers.
Display your brand in the message: you take responsibility for sending it and reinforce your legitimacy with your recipients.
Adding your details will be a plus since it will reassure Internet users.
Regarding the form of the email to send, there are no precise rules, just common sense. You have to know how to separate things and integrate little images and a little text.
Some tests to optimize your campaigns
There are many tests that you can perform very simple, here are a few examples.
Assume that you have a minimum comprehensive base, say over 5,000 addresses.
You want to improve the open rate of your emails, that is to say, the number of people who read the emails. For this, you know that the header is essential. You then decide to test two different subjects.
You send 10% of your base email with the 1’st subject then to 10 other percent of your base the same email with subject no. 2.
After ascertaining the open rate of the two emails, you will send the email with the subject that worked best to the remaining 80% of your database on D + 2.
Second test possible, you have a fairly general address database and want to segment it a little to better target your campaigns.
So you send an emailing campaign that includes 3 different action triggers: for example, if I sell dresses, one trigger will offer a special promotion on red dresses, a second on blue dresses, and a third on yellow dresses.
Depending on who clicks which trigger, I will be able to constitute 3 segments: buyers with a pronounced taste for red dresses, buyers with a preference for blue, or yellow.
Third possible test: you have a high click-through rate for a low conversion. You then decide to take matters into your own hands and while waiting to possibly review your landing page, decide to follow up by phone on all the people who clicked in the email.
Fourth test that you can set up: you have now been running campaigns for more than 100 days and have sent a dozen or so but some subscribers have never opened your emails.
You can then send a re-opt-in email to ask inactive people if they still wish to receive your promotional offers, for example.
From there, you can update part of your database and delete unnecessary emails.
Finally, the fifth and last opportunity, after 6 months of well-mastered campaigns, you can decide to reward some of your most loyal buyers by offering a special offer that you will only send to the top 10% buyers coming from your campaigns, which will be an excellent loyalty operation.
Mistakes not to make
The most common mistake is also the most dangerous that you can make: build your emailing campaigns with HTML which will be used to constitute web pages.
In other words, the typical error is to constitute emails in good and due form in the cleanest HTML, respecting all the recommendations of the W3C and to test it on the various browsers.
The email is displayed perfectly under IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc. and we, therefore, deduce that it will display perfectly in all software and email hosts.
However, once the sending is done, it turns out that a blank page empty of content appears on Gmail and that the email is considered to be fishing in Outlook.
The HTML that is used to build emails is very different from that used to build web pages and although the amalgamation is easy to do, it is a big mistake.
You should know that building emails that display perfectly under different programs is just as complicated as building an identical site in all browsers.
And bad luck, it’s like the web, it is Microsoft which dominates the sector with more than 50% of market share (with Outlook and Hotmail in particular). And as for the web, it is often Microsoft’s software that will make us lose some hair.
Practical tips to ensure well-constructed emails
HTML in emailing is like web HTML 5 years ago. CSS is never outsourced and everything must be specified before each tag.
Each time I put text, I specify its font and color. In the same way for the images, I favor as much as possible the solid colors and especially do not forget to inform the attribute ALT which will be useful in particular before opening the email.
If you have already done emailing with an image cut into several parts, then without a doubt have you already encountered the famous white lines that are embedded between these cuts.
The solution to getting rid of it is easy: use the attribute “style = ‘display: block'” in each of your images.
Never use emails made up only of images since these will not display before opening and your subscribers will only see a blank page, which will considerably reduce your open rate.
Forget the use of CSS by using layers since the rendering will ultimately be different on each software and therefore not very suitable.
In the end, and this is the most important thing: test your emails before sending them. It’s extremely simple: create a Gmail account and install Outlook with this same address.
Compare the two views directly in Gmail and then in Outlook. If both emails display correctly, then you will have a good chance that they will in most software.
There are also paid solutions to test your emails, but that would be money wasted.
A very important piece of data in emailing is what is called deliverability.
Deliverability is the number of emails that reach your recipients’ inbox.
A few years ago an unparalleled plague, spam, fell on the web.
Spam is everywhere and will be your biggest enemy in emailing since it is among other things that will make that many of your sent emails will not even be opened.
So how do you prevent these emails from being considered spam and thus improve their deliverability?
The problem here is that there are usually several levels of anti-spam: on the server-side (e.g. Microsoft anti-spam for Hotmail or Google anti-spam for Gmail) and the user side. (e.g. using a third-party interface such as Incredimail or Thunderbird, etc.).
Besides, there are several levels of spam: the blacklist and the greylist.
The blacklist is when after sending, you have a clear answer from the anti-spam: your emails have not been delivered and your IP address (or that of your sending server) has been blacklisted.
The greylist is a little more vicious since you will not have any indication from the servers and if you look at your statistics, all your emails will be marked as sent but in the end, none will have been delivered.
Prevent your emails from arriving in the junk mail of recipients
Here are a few tips:
First of all, we saw a little above that it was essential to have a minimum HTML optimized for Emailing.
Integrate ALT attributes in your images and specify the size with height and width tags.
Nesting tables more than 3 times will greatly increase your chances of being classified as spam.
Building your emails with a single image will probably automatically send you to the spam box (or even using too little content).
Do not use email to tags and do not hypertext links to domain names. For example, if I send an emailing campaign via the blog and that at the bottom of the page I include the text “http://www.yourdomain.com”, it will be automatically transformed into a link by the various software of messaging. If I manually embed this link with an HTML tag, then my chances of being listed as spammers will be increased.
Using external CSS will automatically earn you the spammer hat.
Integrating a video, script, form, or object in the email will 100% guarantee you a warm place in spam emails.
The use of certain words. We know the famous “get rich quick” etc.
Finally, your Emailing campaigns will automatically fail if your databases are poorly established. From 20% defective emails, your campaigns will automatically be considered spam. Be careful to update your databases.
Also, too repetitive sending of emails could be a cause: for example, Yahoo does not appreciate the too frequent sending of emails.
Last little advice, go through experienced routers as much as possible. Each router has its reputation and if you use software directly installed on your computer and therefore send it from your PC, you increase the chances of being considered spam.
How to assess the success of a campaign?
We mainly use 5 criteria:
The open rate: i.e. how many people opened the email and therefore consulted it (number of openings/number of emails).
The click-through rate: it is simply the number of people who clicked on the email compared to the total number of emails sent.
The reactivity rate: it corresponds to the open rate/click rate. It allows you to measure the interest of your target audience in your offer.
The unsubscribe rate: number of unsubscribed/number of emails sent. Allows you to measure your base’s interest in your mailings.
The conversion rate: quite simply the number of conversions compared to the number of emails sent.
In the end, how do I know if I’m ready to get started in Emailing?
It is never easy to start an emailing campaign with peace of mind.
The good questions to ask yourself before starting will therefore be:
- Is this the right time to launch my campaign?
- Can I stay consistent with my line of communication?
- What results can I expect from it?
- Will the ROI cover the costs?
- Do I have enough email addresses to get started?
- Am I able to assess the quality of an address?
- Can I collect new addresses? How? ‘Or’ What?
- Do I have a message to send and enough content to communicate to my recipients?
- Am I competent to produce an effective message?
- Is my website attractive enough to generate transformations?
Did I understand correctly how to measure the effectiveness of my campaign?
Emailing is ultimately more accessible than you think, you just have to prepare well and understand the factors of success.
One thing is certain, like many other traffic generation tools, Emailing does not create miracles and by optimizing your site can generate conversions.
What’s your experience with affiliate email marketing?
I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and questions in the comments below.