If I had a dollar for every time, someone said – “The money is in the list,” I would have been a millionaire already.
However clichéd it may sound, it Is the truth.
Why is it that some (read: ALL) of the most successful Affiliate Marketers recommend that you start building your E-Mail List?
In one word, Audience. Your list comprises of super-awesome people who trust you enough to provide their E-Mail in exchange. These are people that you could reach out to when you have something of worth.
Think of it this way. Say, you have a blog which promotes an Affiliate Program that gives you 50% commissions on a $99 sale. You write a very helpful review which is seen by 1000 visitors. 40% of the visitors leave to the Sales Page. 1% of the people convert. That means 4 sales worth $198. That’s Great! Congrats!
However, what if you had an E-Mail list and 10% of the people signed up for the E-Mail list. This means about 40 subscribers, what if you get ~ 5% conversion rate for this promotion itself. An additional $96! Think about it – what happened to the people who you sent to the Sales Page? GONE! And what of the people who signed up for your list – they could go on to become rabid fans and could buy multiple times over a lifetime. A few 1000 (at times 100) subscribers could actually bring 80% of your revenue! That’s the power of an E-Mail list!
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of building an E-Mail list, we need to get into the right mindset. You see, tons of people get into Affiliate Marketing in the hopes of making a “Quick Buck” (which is partly why it’s gotten a bad rap over the years). When you are thinking Quick Buck – you are thinking short term (read: scam). And that reflects in your E-Mails, Opt-in, Blog Posts, Sales Pages and pretty much any content you produce. So, let’s get that straightened first!
What I’d like you to do instead is:
Think of the most valuable/useful service you can offer to your target audience
And how are you going to know that? Glad you asked. Research.
If you have been trying to break into a niche without any sort of research at all, the chances are that you are not making much of income. Why? Because you need to know what your audience wants.
Think about it for a second. If you have no ideas what the hopes, fears, and dreams are for your crowd – how can you address them?
The sad part is that most people will spend tons of time trying to figure out the best auto-responder, opt-in design and will consume blog post after blog post on E-Mail Marketing tactics. But they won’t spend 1/5th of the time trying to understand their audience.
If you’re wondering how you should be doing the research, I have one deceptively simple strategy for you: “Hang out with your audience.”
Sounds simple, right? It is! But it is definitely NOT easy. If you’re wondering how to do it, here is a simple 2 step approach:
Email Marketing Secrets
1. Conduct Lateral Keyword Research/Suggestion Research: As affiliate marketers, we are used to conducting keyword research for SEO. Usually, as affiliate marketers, we hunt for keywords that have a decent search volume and that we could rank for.
However, this time, go through the keyword suggestions vertically (as shown). It will give you pointers to look out for during step 2.
For example, this one definitely tells me that a few key things that people are looking for are – a few examples of affiliate websites, what average income you could expect, which companies you can work with, which software to use, etc.
2. Hear ’em talk at Forums/Quora/Reddit: For the most part, any or all of these sources will be good enough to get you started. All of them have your target customers interacting in real-time so, if you even listen – you will know more about your audience than most of your competitors.
Pro Tip: Ask without Selling. People love to talk about their problems. If you take a service mindset and ask questions (genuinely) without trying to sell anything – people will give you tons of responses. The words they use will help you connect deeply on E-Mails, your opt-in page heck, even your sales pages!
Now that you have the right mindset, let’s proceed with the nuts and bolts of list building:
- Create a Lead Magnet
- Capture the Opt-In
- Write Compelling E-Mails
- Drive Consistent Traffic
Sign up with an Auto-Responder
An auto responder is a service that enables you to add a simple form or pop-up to your website and collect information. It stores collected names and e-mail addresses and puts them into lists that you can manage. For our recommendations, check out the article on the 10 Best E-Mail Marketing Services.
Create a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is the enticing “something” that you offer your prospects in exchange for their E-Mail address. The #1 mistake that most affiliate marketers make is that instead of putting in the requisite time and effort, they use an outdated report or worse, a rehashed report that they bought resell rights for. STOP.
Not only do you need to create something value – you should actively test what works best for you! In fact, the more relevant the lead magnet, the higher your opt-in rate should be – in fact you can even test varying your lead magnet based on which post the visitor is currently on!
Capture the Opt-In
For your opt-ins, make sure you have the following:
- Attention capturing headline
- Benefit-laden sub-head
- Strong Call to Action
Over-deliver on your promise
Getting a subscriber to sign up is NOT the goal. Instead, you should take this as an opportunity to WOW your subscribers. Not only should you deliver on the promise you made, but you should also figure out what else their needs are – and fulfill them over time.
Write Compelling E-Mails
Travis Sago likes to call it – “Don’t be the bearer of bad news.” People have enough stress in their lives as it is (ironic, isn’t it?) – Your job as an E-Mail Marketer is NOT to coerce them to make purchases but to build a relationship. How do you do that? Tell Stories. People love stories, they find them entertaining and honestly, we can never really have out fill of stories. So, make sure that you send a few relevant ones every once in a while. The idea is to become that guy who’s E-Mails your customers look forward to!
What else can you send? Anything and everything that a friend sends you! Cool links, stuff you found online, deals they would love – as long as it’s with their best interests at heart, send it!
That’s all! Once you have the fundamentals in place and you can drive traffic consistently, you pretty much ensure that you crack the Affiliate Marketing code!