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How to Standout from All the Other Affiliates with Your Email Marketing

stand out with email marketing

Affiliate marketing offers many attractive benefits because you can promote another company’s product and receive a commission for sales without having to develop the product, provide customers support, or hire employees to do those things for you.

However, because affiliate marketing offers these benefits you may find that it is hard to stand out among all the competition.  You need to standout  from all the other affiliates with your email marketing .

Here are 7 ways to use your email marketing to crush your competition and bring in consistent revenue from affiliate marketing.

1) Write your own emails: Most affiliate programs provide ad copy and email swipe files for use in promoting their products.  While you can certainly get some copy points from these materials, you don’t want to fall in the trap that many affiliates do by mailing affiliate swipe to their lists.

There are many reasons why mailing out affiliate ‘copy and paste’ swipe emails can hurt your conversions.  The biggest reason is that your readers expect emails from you and when you mail someone else’s copy and sign your name at the bottom, you’re potentially saying the same thing as all the other affiliates.  That’s no way to stand out.  Besides, your subscribers may well notice that the wording of the affiliate swipe is different from what you normally say and that can harm your conversions by annoying your subscribers.

By mailing your own email copy, even if it was written by your staff copywriter, at least your email still has a shot at standing out from all the other competitors.

2) Add value:  At the most basic level, an affiliate promotions says “I recommend this product, you should buy it” to your subscriber.  In some cases, that may be sufficient.  But if all your competitors do that, you have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd by offering genuine value.

For example, if you are in the fitness niche, you could use the affiliate product you are promoting and share the details of your experience.  Many affiliates won’t take the time to do this, so if you do your promotions will stand out.  Another benefit of using the product and reviewing it is that is the most valuable form of affiliate marketing.

The reason the vendor is paying you a commission is for your referral, but the power of your referral will increase if your word means a lot to your subscriber.  And the best way to have your recommendation carry weight is to provide your own user experience with a product as the basis of your recommendation.

In other words, never promote something you don’t endorse.  If you never use the product, you don’t really know if you can endorse it, can you?

Authenticity is at a premium and your subscribers will likely reward an honest review better than plain old affiliate swipe copy.  And the trust that follows from that authenticity can lead to higher conversions.

3) Zig When They Zag: In many marketers you’ll find there is a group of leading affiliates.  By human nature, the odds are the most of them will mimic each other and follow the path of least resistance when it comes time to promotions.  They’ll blindly copy and paste the affiliate swipe emails from the vendor and move on to the next promotion.

If you want to impress your subscribers and stand out in a competitive field, particularly during coordinated product launch periods, go above and beyond what the others are doing.

As such, you want to point out benefits that the others do not (or overlook).  For example, if you are an affiliate for the iPhone 6 and your competition is talking about its sleek looks, you could take a different approach.  You could talk about how you used the built in camera and video recorder to tape a Vegas wedding on last minute notice.  You could show clips of video and tell the story of how glad you were that you had bought the iPhone 6 because our friend dragged you to Vegas and all you had time to grab was your phone.  Even though your competing affiliates have the same phone to promote, your story could help you stand out and make the purchase more compelling to your subscribers.

4) Add a Bonus:  Many successful affiliates use added bonuses to entice subscribers to buy through their affiliate link.  To continue the iPhone 6 example, you might have an ebook or video of how you shot the wedding with your iPhone.  Or maybe you have 10 tips and tricks for how to get the best apps or add ons for iPhones.  As long as your bonus adds value, it can be used to  increase sales.  Two things to remember when it comes to bonuses.  They must have a high perceived value to your target marketing AND you should consider restricting the number of bonuses by time or quantity.  By having scarcity, you can motivate your buyers to choose your link and to do it quickly instead of procrastinating.

5) Mail More Often: The lazy affiliate will just blast out one email and move on to the next offer.  If you mail more frequently you have the potential to capture more sales, especially if the vendor is launching the product and a lot of affiliates are mailing at the same time.

Mailing more often doesn’t mean sending the same message more frequently.  Instead, by mapping out a sequence of promotional emails for an affiliate offer, you could build an informative narrative and go deeper in your reasons why someone should buy the product through your affiliate link.

For example, with the iPhone 6 you could do a series on the improvements over the previous version, how the iPhone 6 is better than the Samsung Galaxy competitor, and why the iPhone is easier to use, etc.  If you focus your sequence of emails to address common objections to buying iPhones, you can do quite well with this approach because you are essentially laying a solid foundation for a buying decision.  At the very least, you are going above and beyond what your competitors are doing with their promotions so once again, you stand out.

6) Address Flaws: Let’s say that you happen to know there are some things about the iPhone 6 that you don’t like. Maybe the phone is so slick and sleek that it’s slippery and easy to drop.  Or maybe the screen is so big that you find yourself watching too many YouTube videos on it instead of working.  These kinds of minor flaws do several things when you point them out.

First, you build credibility because you are not just a cheerleader for the product but rather an honest consumer.  Second, you allow your subscribes to imagine what it is like to own the product by sharing a real user experience.  This authenticity can help them make the buying decision if they relate to what you’ve shared.

Don’t worry about spooking them from buying.  The reality is they had doubts of their own, at least now they know you’re an honest broker. And, it’s not like you’re going to be citing major flaws that would be deal breakers… otherwise you shouldn’t be promoting the product.

7) Add a Guarantee: In certain circumstances where you really believe in a product and want to go all out, you could offer some kind of guarantee that goes over and above what the vendor offers.  Maybe you’ll give them one of your products if they don’t like the one you are recommending.  Or maybe you could guarantee that if they return their purchase and the vendor doesn’t provide a refund as promised, then YOU will give them a refund.  Obviously, such guarantees are situation dependent and require that you have a high degree of trust in the vendor and their product.

In today’s hectic world consumers are looking for help in deciding what to buy because they don’t have time to personally evaluate everything and they want opinions they can trust.  Therefore there is a real niche for the affiliate email marketer who offers value over and above what the competition is doing.

Since the affiliate doesn’t have product development, customer support, and many other burdens that a product vendor does, it pays to put in the extra effort to stand out from all the other affiliates. After all, you’ve got to give your subscribers a reason to buy from you and not another affiliate because the product is the same.


For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability.  Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.

For more information on how to use email marketing to crush your competition,  click here http://www.emaildelivered.com/standout-with-email-marketing . Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.

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April 8, 2015

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