Hi there affiliate marketer. Do you want email to work for you instead of against you? That’s easy, just apply these 5 affiliate email marketing best practices.
And note, these aren’t just 5 random guidelines for any old email marketer. These are the things that I find I have to advise the affiliate marketers when I coach them into higher profits. And I’ve coached hundreds of affiliate marketers for over a decade now.
This has brought me untold levels of experience and learning about what works and how. Do feel free to steal all of my hard-gained secrets from this article below.
1) Prioritize deliverability, stop bleeding profits
Let me make this as blunt as possible. Chances are that you’re bleeding profit, and you don’t even know it. How do I know this? Well, I have worked with tons of affiliate marketers over the years and I have helped them become more successful.
While we work on a lot of different things to accomplish this, one of the main things I find that I have to do is to educate them about deliverability rates. The fact is that an email which doesn’t land in the inbox will not generate profit for you. It cannot be profitable, by definition.
Seems obvious right? What is not as obvious to a lot of people is that sending an email isn’t the same thing as getting it delivered. Just because you’re paying an ESP to send your broadcasts and campaigns, it doesn’t mean they actually get delivered. They charge you for sending, not delivery.
Now, when I say this, a lot of affiliate marketers are blown away because they assumed that delivery is a given. It is not. In fact, most ESPs do not care whether you make profit when your emails get delivered. And the reason for this indifference is that most profit is made from email marketing novices.
That’s why email veterans with huge lists move to “deliverability-obsessed” platforms like Emercury. They know how much deliverability impacts your profits. If you’re curious at all, consider getting yourself a free account while we still give those out.
2) Be intelligent about the subscriber’s interests
It doesn’t matter if you are an affiliate marketer or not, making sure to give people a more personalized email experience is a huge secret to increased profits.
When it comes to affiliate marketing I would say it’s even more important to focus on this point, and that’s for two specific reasons.
The first reason is that as an affiliate marketer, everyone is biased against you. When inbox providers choose whether to deliver your email, they have stricter criteria for you than a business sending a newsletter to its customers.
In a word, you have to work harder to get inbox delivery and not be branded a bulk mailer. And the best way to accomplish this is to personalize the experience for different subscribers, as best as possible.
The second reason is that affiliate marketers do in fact tend to engage in more bulk-style email marketing than the average email marketer. Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that sending bulk-email is wrong. Au contraire, we offer some of the best broadcasting features where some of our users send millions of emails per broadcast.
The secret is that you want to learn how to make your emails not “feel like” bulk email
That is, it shouldn’t feel like you’re sending the exact same email to a million people and just playing the numbers game. The subscriber needs to feel there is at least some level of personalization and differentiation.
I find that I often have to push the idea of personalization on most affiliate marketers I coach. This is because I generally discover that they underutilize or fail to utilize personalization at all.
One of the main reasons for this is that when they think of “personalization” they think of the fancy stuff that SaaS marketers talk about. You know all that advanced stuff where every email is super-personalized to where no-two subscribers have the same experience.
While that higher-level of personalization looks cool, you might never need to get to that level of super-complicated and super-granular personalization.
You do however want to do at least the bare minimum of personalization, as a start. That alone will put you way ahead of most affiliate marketers who treat their entire list in the exact same way with no differentiation at all.
Get a head start in a simple way
All personalization is based on data. And there are basically 2 types of data when it comes to how they are gathered. The first kind is the type that we at Emercury gather for you automatically. The second type of data is the custom data that you decide to set up to meet the needs of your particular business.
Automatically gathered data are things like whether a person is opening your emails and clicking on your links. Custom data is things that you set up yourself. For example you might set up tags for people who have a specific interest. And then you might set up an automation that automatically tags anyone that visits a specific page related to that interest.
Personalization can itself also become more complex based on which of this data you utilize, and how. If you want to get really complex you can build super complex automations with a bunch of conditions that compare a bunch of data and send different emails to different people based on a lot of “if x, then y” conditions.
However, as an affiliate marketer, you can start off quite easily by doing two simple things
– First, you can build really simple automations based on very simple conditions. That is, you can start out by just keeping track of only a few tags or events, and do all of your personalization of those, to start.
– Secondly, you can start utilizing more intelligent broadcasting based on segmentation. But more on that in the next point.
3) Utilize intelligent broadcasting
When it comes to “email marketing best practices for affiliates”, this is probably the most important one to mention. Most affiliate marketers that I know utilize a lot of broadcasting, in fact they rely on broadcasting far more than most any other type of email marketer. So I generally find that I need to give them two main tips:
1) Utilize more advanced broadcasting techniques
2) Learn how automation can make your broadcasts better
“Advanced broadcasting techniques” are not as scary as they sound
When you send broadcasts with affiliate offers inside, you are really playing with the danger-line when it comes to deliverability. The bigger your list is, the more true this is.
Fortunately, getting on the good side of the inbox providers doesn’t have to be too complicated. One of the first things you want to do is to define at least some basic segmentation.
If you have some data on your subscribers such as tags or custom field values, you can build your segments off of that. However, if you don’t have this data yet, you want to at least utilize our auto-gathered data.
That is, you can define a segment of people interested in x by simply using our report segment builder and tell it to segment out the people who clicked on the links in a given email. This is a rather quick and easy way to segment people out.
Of course, the more granular you get, the better your results will be. You can for example get a lot more advanced with your segments. Additionally, as you learn more about deliverability and broadcasting, you may utilize our specialized ramp-up technology, filter by domain groups, utilize warm-up strategies for your broadcasts. Basically there are a lot of things you can do to improve your broadcasts.
But all of those topics are out of the scope of this article. If you want an example about how we can help you come up with such strategies and implement such strategies, consider requesting a free demo. We can have a chat about these topics and show you some of the cool things you can do and implement to improve your broadcasts.
Automations can make your broadcasts better
A huge problem that I see nowadays is that people tend to split themselves into either an “email automator” or “email broadcaster” camp. It is almost as if these are two different ways of doing email marketing, and you can do one or the other.
However, not only can you do both, but I want to go a step further and say that these two work in synergy. That is, you can use your broadcasts to make your automations stronger, and you can use your automations to make your broadcasting stronger.
If you’re an affiliate marketer and primarily focus on broadcasts, let me share a little secret with you right here. Remember how in order to get more profitable broadcasts and better delivery you want to have better segments?
Well, segments are based on data
And while you will do decently well by just utilizing the data we gather for you automatically, you will generally want to add some more of your own custom data.
Automations are the perfect way to gather data on autopilot. While automations can get pretty complex and advanced, it’s ok to start off simple. Just create a few drip-sequences using our automation builder that make sense for your list. Then, as people open certain emails, click on certain links or visit certain pages, have the automation assign a tag that denotes their interest.
You can make your automations more complex and advanced over time. But start off by just having a few different tags that make sense. This will allow you to build more intelligent segments that allow for more profitable broadcasts.
I realize I’m being a bit vague here. However, in order to give you more specific examples I would need to know about your specific needs, goals, list size etc. Consider booking a free demo so we can chat about how we can help you.
4) Don’t sell, engage
Do you want to know the one key secret to higher profits in email marketing? This one key is the secret behind all good profits made with email. This is true whatever your niches, and whatever your marketing type. And yes, this one thing makes affiliate marketing a lot more profitable as well.
This one special thing is a little something called engagement. And while it is a key secret that I have to teach most of the email marketers that I coach, I find that it is most lacking (as a concept or goal) among affiliate marketers.
In affiliate marketing a lot of the focus tends to be skewed towards finding the right offer and gathering more email addresses. But here’s the thing, engagement is this one key that improves all of your metrics.
When you improve your engagement, you get better open rates, more click throughs, and a lot better deliverability. In fact, if you did nothing else to improve your deliverability except to work on your engagement, you would see a substantial increase in your deliveries. And as you know, more emails landing in the inbox automatically means more profit.
This is because the inbox providers utilize engagement as their number one marker to decide whether people want to see your emails. And they don’t like delivering emails that people aren’t excited about getting.
So getting people excited about opening your emails is just a great idea all around. The benefits compound upon one another and just simply result in more profits, due to a variety of reasons. To learn more about this, see our hyper-popular article on email engagement.
5) Study more marketing best practices
In the previous 4 points we discussed the main marketing principles that affiliate marketers need. These are the main 4 things to pay special attention to in order to succeed with email marketing. We also discussed why and how they are important to affiliate marketers. But please, don’t stop there.
All of the general email marketing principles also relate to or can improve your results as an affiliate marketer as well. Some are more useful and relevant to affiliate marketing than others. However, you will not be worse-off for studying how to become a better email marketer in general. You will not be worse off when you learn how to produce better content and better marketing in general.
Don’t make the mistake of fencing yourself off as an “affiliate marketer”, and studying just “affiliate marketing” content. Knowledge is power, and expanding your horizons will put you way ahead of most affiliate marketers. And by that I mean you will find that you make more profits than most people in affiliate marketing.
Get an email service provider that cares about affiliates
As an affiliate you have a unique challenge when it comes to email marketing. Most platforms out there do not cater to your needs, or they cater to a very simplified caricature of an affiliate marketer. Emercury cares about helping you implement these email marketing best practices as an affiliate.
Let me explain what I mean. The vast majority of email marketing platforms are created for, and put most of their effort in small business users that aren’t too savvy about sending email.
They put most of their focus on fancy-sounding features and flashy interfaces (toys basically) that wow the inexperienced marketer. And in general their broadcasting or bulk mail features are pretty bad. Deliverability-related features are usually non-existent.
This is a dead-giveaway as to whom they are targeting. Experienced email veterans place a premium priority on email delivery. This is because they know that most profit relies on deliverability. And it’s also why you won’t find any experienced veterans on any of the fancy platforms.
On the other hand, you have “hardcore email sending services.” These are platforms where all of the focus is on just helping you send bulk email effectively. Automation features are either minimal or entirely non-existent.
What if there was a platform that does the best of both worlds?
Well, this platform exists and it is called Emercury.
We initially became famous among affiliates primarily due to our obsession with delivering email and having the best broadcasting features. However, we didn’t stop innovating there. We have worked very hard on implementing cutting-edge automation and 360 all-around marketing features.
We believe you don’t have to choose between the two extremes. And in fact, in this guide I showed you exactly how an affiliate marketer can get balance. You can move past raw bulk email and create a truly powerful list. But I can only share so much in an article without it becoming too large.