Email may not be the newest tool in the marketer’s arsenal, but it still has a seat at the head of the table. 54% of small business owners list email marketing as their most important tool for increasing sales.
This is especially the case for affiliate marketers. An early lesson in business school is that companies become profitable through volume, not one-time purchasers or conversions.
Sustained success through repeat customers is made possible through top-of-mind channels like email marketing. The Content Marketing Institute reports that 87% of marketers use email marketing to nurture an audience.
If companies generate 42 dollars for every one dollar they spend on email marketing, imagine what would happen if you focus on building high-quality email lists cultivated specifically to promote sales. The focus is on the quality of the email address and the offers that you send out.
The long-term returns are not in the first sale; it’s in the email addresses on your list. The list is 100% of your value; treat it as such through these best practices for affiliate marketers.
Get your reader to open your email
Every component of an email serves a purpose, and it starts with the subject line. The purpose of the subject line is simple: motivate the recipient to open the email. In practice, it can be difficult, but strive to add a sense of urgency. You want to convey the purpose of the email in no more than nine words and 60 characters.
What makes a great subject line? Invoke a strong call to action. What can the recipient gain by opening the email? Consider including the recipient’s name: emails with personalized subject lines get a 26% boost in open rates. Ask a question. Add humor or write a subject line that could be controversial. Numbers in headlines have been known to receive 80% more traffic.
To avoid emails landing in spam, limit the use of all CAPS, exclamation points and more than one emoji. You’ll also want to avoid overly salesy or marketing-driven subject lines.
Focus on click-thrus, not conversions
Keep the body of the email short. Four to five sentences are all you need to convey your message. A bonus to shorter emails is that when your recipient opens the email, whether on their desktop or mobile device, they should be able to read the entire email without scrolling.
That first sentence is key, because depending on the email server, the recipient may see a preview of the text that offers a peek into the body of the email.
The copy in your email should be vague enough that it doesn’t reveal any secrets to what you’re selling, but ends with an intriguing hook. The hook is that “lean in” moment convinces the reader to click-thru, not make a sale. The sales page sells the offer with a compelling story.
Just as you’re trying to personalize the subject line with a name, add words like “you” into the body of the email.
Send more emails
If every email sent represents the opportunity to convert additional sales, why wouldn’t you send more?
If you’re worried about unsubscribes, add an opt-out button at the beginning and end of your email list to make it easy for people to unsubscribe. Once you establish this cadence of sends, you will condition your list to expect this level of communication.
I recommend sending emails twice a day – in the morning and evening – for maximal results. The morning email can be more editorial-driven, providing content that educates the recipient about the topic of the end offer. You may include a few insert ads, but they’re subtle. The evening email send is dedicated content to your niche offer.
To grow your email list and keep them engaged, you’ll want to diversify your content. For instance, if your segment is in the health and nutrition arena, sell an online course about a fat-burning strength workout one day, and a keto salad dressing the next day. Tap into different products within your niche to keep your content relevant to consumers.
Content should add value
Content is still king. In the direct response industry, a high conversion offer often hinges on how you tell the story. You have limited copy, so make each word valuable to your readers.
Let’s say you follow the recommended drumbeat of two sends a day. The morning email educates the recipient about why they should care about your offer. Develop that content by doing your research: consider setting up Google Alerts for topics that revolve around your offer. Every day, you’ll get a curated email aggregating relevant articles about that topic, which can inspire you to come up with your educational copy.
You’re building on the earlier foundation on your evening email send, directing recipients to a solution, and sending them off to that sales page. Emotions like greed, fear, and curiosity tend to perform well. Play to them and test the tone of your content with click-thru metrics.
The stories that do best are the ones that hone into your customer’s desires, the role they want to play in life, and their belief system. Overall, a steady rotation of new copy will prolong an offer’s life by weeks or months.
As an affiliate marketer, the key to building a strong email list relies on killer copy. Remember that each part of your email serves as its own job. The best emails start with a short, concise subject line that convinces the recipient just to open the email. The body copy’s sole goal is to get the reader to click-thru, not convert. In this industry, to grow your list aim for consistency.
You can send up to two emails a day, with content that adds value to the recipient. By implementing these best practices, you’ll find over time your email list will contribute to your revenue.