Email design matters in any successful email marketing campaign. If your emails look terrible, that reflects badly on you, and can make people stop reading. With more people than ever reading emails on mobile devices, it’s important to use a responsive email template so your email resizes automatically whether people are reading it on a phone, tablet, or desktop.
Promote your email sign-up on your website, blog, landing pages, “thank you” pages (after users have filled out a form), as well as at any live events. Most importantly, communicate what they are signing up for when they submit their email address. Building your subscriber lists the right way will ensure that email engagement remains high and your emails get in front of the eyes that matter.
Whether you are an affiliate marketer, or do affiliate email marketing as a side-business to complement your income and your current services, it is in your best interest to find the highest-converting programs to promote. Essentially, market research requires your investing time, energy and effort in discovering what is a win-win solution both for your client and your reputation, as well as your income.
Get familiar with the law – Laws on emailing people vary from one country to another so make sure that you are familiar with the legislation that governs electronic messages. For example, the CAN-SPAM act introduced in the US in 2003 dictates how businesses should follow certain protocols when sending emails to avoid prosecution. The FTC provides a good explanation of what it means for commercial email marketers, such as affiliates.
Set an expectation for frequency – The key with frequency is to strike a happy medium. With email frequency, this is more about setting expectations, rather than a particular interval. For example, if you offer a free six-day mini-course then obviously your subscribers will be expecting an email a day for the next six days. Beyond that, a weekly email might be the right frequency, particularly if your emails are short, relevant, and to the point. The other extreme is not emailing them for weeks, then surprising them (not in a good way) with something out of the blue. By that time, there’s every chance they will have forgotten they subscribed in the first place!
The content you create and share should engage people in ways that make them clients in the future. Start by asking, “Whose attention am I trying to keep and what would they be interested in seeing from me?” If it’s on brand for you, it’s also valuable to them. Do this, and people will love you for sharing your expertise with them and will ask for more (or, at least, stay subscribed long enough to get to know you and your business better until the the time is right for them to buy).
With affiliate marketing, payments are made based on the actual sales that you generate. The amount of money that you can make through affiliate marketing depends on a number of factors, including the size of your list, the relevance of the product or service to your list and the effectiveness of the marketing copy that you use to write a product. If you have a small list and are ineffectively promoting a product that’s not relevant to your list, you probably won’t make anything through affiliate marketing. If you have a larger list of highly-engaged subscribers that trust your recommendations and you can promote a product or service that’s very relevant to your audience, you can make tens of thousands of dollars per month through affiliate marketing. If you have a list of a few thousand subscribers, you will probably earn $100-$200 per month through affiliate marketing for the first several months. Your revenue will steadily grow from there overtime as your list grows and as you identify products and services to promote that are a good match for your list.
Buy Lists: While buying email lists might seem like a quick and easy way to expand your reach, you definitely do not get the bang for your buck for which you’re looking. Buying email lists can not only negatively impact the standing of your domain and the deliverability of your emails, but you’ll also find out that these are not quality lists. Email marketing is most effective when you deliver a relevant, helpful message to people who have at least some familiarity with your brand and have asked to receive that information. When you buy lists, the people you email likely don’t have any familiarity with your brand and have not asked for you to communicate with them. Additionally, because you likely know very little about them, it’s difficult to ensure you’re sending relevant communications.
Keep an eye on your stats. Most email newsletter services offer free reports that contain helpful information. Learn how to read and understand your reports, so you can use the stats to improve your campaigns going forward. Pay attention to your open and click rates, and identify any patterns that make those numbers go up or down. If a campaign receives a high number of unsubscribes, then try something different the next time.
These metrics will give you a high-level view of how your emails are reaching customers and how they are receiving different emails. And don’t be afraid to take a few chances! Especially as you’re building your email marketing strategy, try new things and if they don’t work just move on to the next idea. You never know what will hit your readers and make them want to get engaged further!
Whenever possible, add a personal element to your emails. Most email tools allow you to enter shortcodes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out. Emails from Treehouse Co-Founder Ryan are always fun and personal. The subject lines are creative, messages are sent "from" Ryan's email address, and the content is personalized. If you reply to the mail, you'll even get a prompt response from Ryan himself!
With that said, there is a right and a wrong way to set up your autoresponder sequence. If you think that this solution should be used to bombard a list of potential email contacts with one offer after another, you would only be abusing its ability without maximize its potential. Affiliate marketers often recognize the value of an email marketing campaign, but struggle to find a balance between providing value and promoting products. Common questions from affiliate marketers include:
Regarding spam, if your contact list consists of people who have subscribed to your newsletter, there’s nothing you need to worry about. Your subscribers have confirmed that they want to receive your emails, and that’s definitely not spam. If they do not want to receive your emails anymore, they can always unsubscribe. Email services make managing email lists much easier than attempting to do so on your own.
Provide interesting content. Avoid obvious sales pitches. Instead of immediately pitching your product, make the email about your readers. Instead of long-winded descriptions of your products and all the amazing services you provide, write about problems that might be afflicting your readers, then introduce solutions that include your products and services.
You’ll want your messages to be easy to read, no matter what device your readers are on, or how much time they have. Using bullets and subheadings makes your email easy to scan, even, for example, if someone’s quickly checking messages on their phone while taking the subway to work. Also, make sure to break up longer paragraphs into shorter ones to make your material more digestible.
Make it easy to unsubscribe – Sure you don’t want to actively encourage people to leave your list after you’ve worked so hard to sign them up, but if you make it difficult, complicated, or hide unsubscribe options, not only will you lose them mentally but instead of unsubscribing they’ll probably report you as spam. And make sure your process unsubscribes within a week (most email services do it automatically).
As you can see from the example above, emails following the model contain a succinct headline that highlights the key message of the campaign, as well as supporting information and visuals to help convince readers about the benefits of clicking-through. The reader is then presented with a prominent call to action button that makes it crystal clear what to do next.