Improving Your Affiliate Email Promotions

affiliate email promotions

This week, I want to take a quick moment to talk about "affiliate" promotions and how they impact deliverability and engagement, in particular.

First off, we need to define different "types" of affiliate promotions and what each type means.

1. Personalized endorsement
2. Industry-wide product launch
3. Straight up affiliate promotion from an affiliate network

Let's quickly go through each of these. We'll go in order of quality:

#1. Personalized endorsement
I define personalized endorsement as an email from you to your list promoting a product or service that you TRULY do endorse. It's something you have personal experience with and can speak from your own experiences rather than a simple swipe copy provided by an affiliate manager.

These will always outperform any other type of affiliate offer, assuming that you have built a relationship with your list in which they have a personal connection to YOU.

You can use the 'swipe copy' as a guideline to make sure you hit on some of the key points, but with these promotions, you want to include your own endorsement, story, or testimonial and write the email from your own voice.

Generally, these will not adversely impact deliverability because you're not simply copying and pasting a duplicate email and sending it out. You're actually writing a real email to your subscribers. The one thing you will want to check is that the URL is not on a blacklist of some sort, like URIBL, for example.

NOTE: There is one potential caveat regarding this: See #3 below.

Engagement (opens, clicks and actual conversions) will typically be much higher with these kinds of offers as well, assuming the sales sequence for the product owner converts. Complaints will also be much lower because you are still adding value...

#2. Product Launches
I realize that lots of people participate in these and they can be a huge source of income. However, if you're not careful, it can cause you problems with deliverability, inbox placement, blacklisting, and overall reputation.

Launch URLs are FAR more likely to wind up on blacklists, so you'll always want to check that first and foremost.

If you have a relationship with the product owner, see if you can place the video on your own website, include the bonus package under the sales video, and ask for an affiliate link that links directly to the order form.

If this is NOT possible, consider an intermediary page with a personal video from you explaining what they're about to see and why they should buy from you.

Both of these things will actually eliminate any URL problems since you won't be sending to the offer page (or redirecting via an affiliate link).

In addition, there are dozens (in some cases 100s+) people sending out the very same promotion. In many cases, people will leave the affiliate copy identical. MAYBE they'll add in their bonus pack...

The problem with this is that as people start to see these messages over and over again, they click the spam button. The ISPs then look at the content and determine the swipe copy is spam and relegate the messages to the junk folder, even IF YOUR subscribers aren't complaining about YOU. The fact that the content appears spammy and looks like other spam is going to impact you.

If it's worth promoting, it's worth taking a few minutes and writing your own emails using only the key points from the product owners swipe file to, again, make it your own. You will see higher inbox placement, open rates, and so on when you do because you're not getting lost in the spam folder OR generating complaints which can ultimately hurt your reputation.

#3. Straight up affiliate promotion from an affiliate network
While I typically don't advocate these, I realize they are a part of many of our clients' businesses, so it is important to at least address these types of offers and promotions.

Be careful with the links. Many affiliate network URLs are pretty much banned from the major ISPs. SO the URLs (even if they are redirects) CAN cause problems with deliverability.

These types of offers also generate the highest number of complaints, also affecting deliverability AND credibility with your list.

So, if you're going to promote these products, first make absolutely sure that they are a good product that matches your market. I would recommend even purchasing the product before you promote it and going through it to make sure it's quality worth of your promoting it. It's always worth a few dollars to do this.

THEN... use the ideas from #1 and #2 to help with the emails, links, etc. Results will be much better and complaints will be much lower. One or two sentences and "click here to buy" is simply not going to do any good for your email program and will hurt you in the long run.

Author: Heather Seitz

Attention Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, and Marketers: You may republish or syndicate this article without any charge. The only thing I ask is that you keep the newsletter article or blog post exactly as it was written and formatted, with no changes. You must also include full publication attribution and back links as indicated. This information has been provided by http://www.EmailDelivered.com and written by Heather Seitz.

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 affiliate promotions, click here http://www.emaildelivered.com/improving-affiliate-email-promotions/. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.

 

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June 30, 2014
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