This is part of a story about a successful affiliate marketer, which first appeared in a hosting company’s blog that I used to write for. It covers the basics of e-mail marketing for affiliates.
Day 24, 2:00 p.m.
Tom’s got mail
Tom knew he was on the right track to successfully monetizing his website. Persistency and patience got him to where he was now. He had a great bank of informative articles about the hosting industry, and he would constantly produce more to keep up with the increasing thirst for information of his audience.
Tom wanted to take the conversation to the next level, and knew he had to perk up his e-mail strategy. He had already started building an e-mail list, but he had not spent much time on it, since most of his efforts had been concentrated on content optimization.
An effective e-mail strategy would help Tom communicate better with his subscribers and engage them, and at the same time help him build an extensive e-mail list. Capturing his audiences e-mail addresses and building an e-mail list was beneficial in his efforts:
- To have a more personal approach towards his audience. Delivering information personally to his fans would help him strengthen their relationship. Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. (Adestra July 2012 Report).
- To have his audience everywhere: The e-mail list was his insurance policy. If anything happened to his site, for whatever reason, he would still be able to get in touch with his subscribers. Not to mention that he’d never have to worry about starting from scratch.
- To make money: By delivering the newest incentivized offers of the hosting company to his subscribers via affiliate links in his e-mails. After all, he remembered the famous expression that the‘Money is in the list’. 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. (Convinceandconvert.com)
Day 33, 16:00 p.m.
The newsletter which did not deliver news
So far, Tom had built a list of e-mail subscribers through an opt-in form on his site but for some reason newsletter seemed like quite a challenging job to do.
With the help of a close friend and … Google, Tom would understand the basics of the newsletter subscription process:
Source: Smart Passive Income
Before he moved towards implementing an e-mail strategy, he had to setup an account with an e-mail marketing service provider, such as MailChimp or AWeber. The benefits of using a designated e-mail service provider were many, some of which included not having to worry about e-mail deliverability, being able to create beautifully designed e-mail templates, automating the whole sending-receiving process, and being able to deliver measurable results.
Tom wanted to establish a lighter e-mail strategy at first, contacting his subscribers twice a month and making special personalized offers. He did not want to have his newsletter turn into a copy of his blog. Instead, he planned to make his subscribers feel really special by:
- Being first to be invited to special events he organized, such as webinars
- Being first to receive special discounts for those events
- Being first to receive any new freebies that he introduced, such as e-books
- Being first to receive the newest offers from the hosting company he was affiliated with
His ‘VIP’ approach to his subscribers helped shape and enhance their relationship even more. Of course, all of this helped him convert more, as he also kept in mind the following rules of mass e-mail:
- Avoid any punctual and grammar mistakes: Always proofread your e-mails.
- Test your e-mails before you send them out: Send a copy to yourself first.
- Avoid bulky e-mails: Keep your e-mail short and informative
- Include CTA (Call-to-Action), such as Sign Up, Register, Read more, Join: This helps direct your readers’ mind into a specific action that should be taken. For best results – have the CTA in a large button.
- Consider mobile and tablet users: 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices. (TopRankBlog). Offering a responsive and minimalistic design plays a crucial role if you want mobile and tablet users to consider your e-mail. Finger-friendly clickable product squares and larger text are just some of the options to improve the experience of mobile users.
- Test your links: Make sure you the links in your e-mail will really send your subscribers to the right URL.
- Include social sharing buttons in the e–mail: Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate. (GetResponse)
Starting his own newsletter was not an easy task for Tom. What helped him the most, in successfully launching his e-mail campaigns, was being persistent, asking his audience through social media and polls in his website for feedback and keeping himself constantly informed on the newest trends in e-mail marketing.
By Day 41, Tom had 300+ new subscribers to his newsletter and another 5% increase in his affiliate sales, solely from his e-mail campaigns.