Affiliate Email Marketing
Many online marketers have participated in affiliate launches in some capacity or another. The main problem marketers face is that they are either too busy or too lazy to adapt the marketing to their own audience. As a result, not only does this hurt the relationship with their subscribers, but it can also have a significant impact on deliverability.
There are a few reasons this happens.
Marketers are busy people and simply don’t have the time to write their own promotions. This is the reason, after all, that the promoters write swipe copy in the first place.
The affiliates that are promoting the product don’t have first hand experience WITH the product so they can’t come up with their own copy.
Affiliates are all directed to send traffic to the same landing page.
So, if everyone does it, what’s the big deal?
The problem is that it impacts YOUR relationship with your list AND potentially your deliverability. In fact, it could cause your entire email program to get shut down with no notice. (I’ve actually seen, on more than one occasion, a well-known email service provider shut down accounts for people that are emailing for product launches).
How it impacts your relationship with your list
There’s a good chance that a percentage of the people on your list are also on other people’s lists within your market. As a result, when lots of people within an industry are participating in a launch, individual subscribers will likely receive the same email more than once.
Put yourself in the shoes of your subscriber. Imagine getting 2, 3, 5, or even 25+ identical emails from all different people. You’re bound to get annoyed. ESPECIALLY during launches when you’re getting the same 4 or 5 emails day in and day out for a week straight. You realize there’s a new product coming out, but it also quickly starts to feel like you’re just a dollar bill that everyone is fighting to capture.
Eventually, you decide to opt out of one or more of these lists and/or hit the spam button in your email client simply because you’re sick and tired of getting email after email about the same product launch that’s going on and whose link you should buy through so you can get their bonus package instead of someone else’s.
Sure… there are some great deals to be had, but the average subscriber doesn’t really care about the launch formula nor do they want to have to sift through 30 bonus offers to figure out which link to actually order through, if they’re even interested in the first place.
How it hurts your deliverability
Let’s say a product launch has 50 affiliates promoting for it and each affiliate has an average of 50,000 subscribers on their list. Each of those affiliates are sending 1-2 emails a day for a week. That’s millions and millions of identical emails being sent to the ISPs each and every day, likely all of which have a somewhat higher complaint rate. The ISPs see that this content is generating higher complaints.
As a result, the ISPs may automatically filter the content to the junk folder because it’s “It's similar to messages that were detected by our spam filters.”
The deliverability issue actually goes a little further as it’s not always related 100% to the content, but may also pass through to the destination URL. In other words, if lots of people are getting these emails and clicking on the spam button, there’s a good chance the landing page is causing some issues within the content.
NOTE: Even if you use a tracking link or a URL shortener, the ISPs are smart enough to see through that!
Well There’s A Lot of Money In Product Launches… What Do You Suggest We Do?
The good news is that I’m not suggesting that you stop participating in product launches or affiliate offers. It’s just that you’ve got to be smarter about it. And you’ve got to always keep in mind that you’ve got a relationship with individual subscribers that you need to maintain.
So, in order to maximize your success when it comes to product launches and affiliate promotions, there are a few things that you can do.
1. Always write original email copy. Ideally, you’ve actually reviewed the product and can write your own copy based on your personal experience with it. A REAL, personal, endorsement is always better than a generic email.
The swipe copy should be used to highlight the key ideas that the product owner wants to convey such as the main features and benefits, how to access the “freebies”, when the product goes on sale, and when the special launch promotion ends, to name a few. But the actual email copy itself should be in your own voice and should ABSOLUTELY speak to your subscribers as if you were speaking to them one on one.
This will not only preserve the relationship with the list, but it will reduce the chances the ISPs lump your email in with all the other people sending emails about the exact same offer/launch.
This covers the “content” piece of the puzzle, but it’s also important to consider the landing page URL as well. (This goes for any kind of affiliate offer, not just product launches. If you’re promoting products from affiliate networks, many of them have bad reputations and high spam complaints, so you’ll absolutely want to implement the next suggestion to protect yourself).
2. Consider asking the product owner for a special link directly to the sales form. If that’s not possible due to the launch sequence or just straight mechanics, then consider placing a “presell” page between your email and the offer.
Not only does this give you the opportunity to pre frame the reader before getting to the optin page or content sequence, further strengthening YOUR connection with the list, but it also insulates you from any negative reputation that the domain may have due to high complaints from other recipients.
So, your email would send clicks to your own page with a short video about what they’re going to expect, why you’re getting behind the product, and how it applies to them based on the relationship that you have with your list.
From YOUR landing page, you can then have a continue button that simply uses your affiliate link to send them to the promoter's intended landing page.
While this may sound like a bit more work, the results speak for themselves.
First of all, you won’t damage your relationship with your list. And second, you won’t run the risk of hurting your email reputation and/or getting your account banned from your email service provider.
At the end of the day, if it’s worth promoting, then it should be worth taking a few minutes to do it right.
So, in a nutshell, when you’re participating in product launches,
1. Always write your own email copy. Don’t simply “spin” the swipe copy. Rewrite it to reflect your voice, your relationship with your subscribers, and the message you want to convey.
2. Consider using an intermediate page between your email and the actual offer/landing page content to pre-frame the reader and to insulate your email from potential problems with the launch domain due to other senders.
Author: Heather Seitz
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