Your email list can be your most powerful marketing tool. It’s a way to connect directly with your audience. You do not have to worry about changes in social media algorithms or whether Facebook will even show your posts. You can access the inboxes of people who love to hear from you. Your subscribers are your most loyal followers. They are the people most likely to click on your affiliate links and make a purchase.
It’s a privilege to be in someone’s inbox, so please do not take it lightly. Do not flood people with emails or conversely, do not send emails for months and then send three in one day. Consistency is key. If you want to email every day, then do it. If once a week or twice a month is enough, stick to that schedule.
What you do not want is to burn out your customers. In this article, we will go over seven things you need to know before you publish affiliate links in your email newsletters. We will also provide you with some sample emails that you can use as inspiration for your own emails.
Tip #1: Always Disclose
As with other forms of sharing, you must disclose affiliate links in your emails. Your disclosure must be simple to understand and appear before the reader can click on a link. Also make sure you are following the laws regarding email marketing.
There are some regulations that are specific to email and others that apply to all channels. There are other rules you must abide by when building an email list, regardless of whether you’re an affiliate marketer. For example, subscribers need a simple way to unsubscribe.
You must also include your business address in the email (this can be a PO Box). When you sign up with an email service provider (for example, ConvertKit or MailerLite), you can easily configure these within the platform.
Tip #2: No Amazon Links in Emails
At the time of writing, Amazon doesn’t allow their links to be used in offline manners, which includes emails, eBooks, and print materials. There may be other affiliate marketing programs that have a similar rule, so make sure you aren’t violating any terms.
Tip #3: Provide Value
This is important, and it’s worth repeating. Your emails to your audience must be valuable. These are your most loyal followers. Don’t waste their time, and never drop a few links and run. Aim to teach, inspire, or entertain in every email you send. Share something they’ll appreciate. And don’t be afraid to get personal.
People buy from people they like. It takes time, but you can build “know, like, and trust” factors with your email subscribers. Tell stories to engage your subscribers and let them get to know you. The best stories are personal.
Share a little about your life and your own struggles or successes. You can also use stories from books, movies, or clients. If you share client stories, make sure you ask permission first. Stories engage because humans want to hear the ending.
We stick around for the punch line. Here is one last tip. Imagine you are writing to a friend. Have a specific person in mind who is your ideal reader. This strategy helps you create more meaningful and valuable content.
Tip #4: Watch Your Subject Lines
Your subject line is much like the headline for a blog post. It either encourages people to open your email – or it doesn’t. Consider your own behavior. What emails do you open? Which ones do you delete straightaway?
The subject line likely has something to do with your decision. You want your subject lines to be compelling to your tribe. So use their language. Don’t use clickbait, but do give them a reason to open. To help you get started, here are five subject lines that are proven to work. For each example there is a simple template you can use to construct your email subject lines.
1). The curiosity subject line. This works by presenting a question that begs for an answer. For example: “The surprising truth about [topic].”
2). A solution to an urgent problem. If your subscribers are experiencing this problem, they want to read your answer. For example: “How to achieve [benefit] without [something tedious].”
3). How to avoid a fear. Similar to number two, your subscribers want to hear your solution. For example: “Five reasons why [fear] and what you can do about it.”
4). The controversial subject line. This one uses surprise to grab the reader’s attention. For example: “Why [common belief] is not true.”
5). Lists and numbers. Lists are eye catching and promise a quick and easy read. For example: “Ten ways to do [something your audience cares about].”
Tip #5: Include Multiple Links
Don’t link once to your affiliate product and call it good. Instead, experiment with different link methods and placements. Include a link in anchor text. Have another one written out in full so your readers can see the complete URL.
Try having a resources section in your newsletter where you share products you love. For more ideas on what to include in this, refer to the discussion on resource pages in the previous chapter. Your audience is made up of different people.
What resonates with one person will not with another. Thus, it makes sense to try different things.
Tip #6: Get Your Audience Used To Links
Don’t wait until your list is a certain size to use affiliate links in your emails. Doing this will surprise (and maybe annoy or anger) readers who have been with you since the beginning. Instead, start now. Train your audience to get used to seeing and clicking on links.
Don’t be obnoxious. Don’t spam them. But do include links from the beginning. Also use different types of links, not just affiliate links. Begin with small calls to action and build up to stronger ones. Ask for things that are quick and easy to do. Actions may include:
- Click to read a blog post.
- Reply to a question, for example, “What Are You Struggling With?”
- Comment on a blog post.
- Forward this email to friends.
- Take a survey.
- Visit a sales page.
- Click on an affiliate link.
When you ask people to take action on a regular basis, you get them accustomed to responding to you. And if you also ask them to reply to questions, you build a deeper relationship and learn how you can help them. This is valuable information when planning future affiliate campaigns.
Tip #7: Give an Opt-Out
Are you going to be participating in an email-heavy promotion? Always provide a way for your readers to opt out of this specific email campaign. That way they will still get your normal emails, but they won’t have to hear from you about a product they aren’t going to buy right now.
You can do this at the end of an email, for example, by saying: “Click here if you don’t want to receive any more emails about this promotion.” When someone clicks on this statement, they are flagged in your email system as not interested. You will have to check with your email service provider to see exactly how to implement this.