13 Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing

Email Marketing

Aside from talking in person, email is the least expensive way we can communicate with others. It’s not surprising that marketers realized the benefits of email early on. Unfortunately, scammers and spammers also seized the opportunity to make contact with people at very little cost, and they haven’t let up since.

The prevalence of spam, along with Internet users’ dedication to avoiding it, has prompted some critics to conclude that email marketing is dead. But tell that to affiliates with large lists and equally large incomes, and they will laugh. They’ll tell you that as long as you play by the rules, email provides an unparalleled opportunity to stay in contact with your target market.

What are these rules? Here’s a summary.

Gain your audience’s trust. These days, people do not take giving up their email address lightly. Those, who have read your website or blog and found it useful and forthright, are most likely to sign up for your mailing list. Some of your subscribers will be people who just happened by your opt-in page, but the majority are usually people who are already familiar with what you do and know you’re on the up-and-up.

Don’t waste your subscribers’ time. Instead of just sending out emails to keep your name out there, provide them with something of value. It could be helpful tips, product recommendations or links to relevant news items. Whatever it is, put yourself in the reader’s shoes. If you wouldn’t be interested, neither would they. And disinterested subscribers quickly become former subscribers.

Keep it fairly short. Marketers often feel obligated to send out a long email with several articles. But few people are willing to wade through a long email any more, even if it’s on a subject they’re passionate about. A short note or a single article is much better received. If you have more than that to say to your readers, direct them to your website.

Avoid making every email a hard sell. Your objective is to make money, but if you pursue it too aggressively, you’ll turn your readers off. There’s nothing wrong with openly promoting products, just don’t do it every time you hit the “Send” button.

Take steps to avoid spam filters. Try to make sure that email subjects and content do not appear spammy, and remind subscribers to whitelist your email address.

Honor all unsubscribed requests. Sending out unwanted emails isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. If anything, it will make them more determined not to listen to anything you have to say. And it will also give you a bad reputation, making others who hear reports of unsolicited email wary of signing up for your list.

List Building

It’s a myth that marketers must have tons of subscribers in order for a mailing list to be worthwhile. Lists with thousands and thousands of addresses on them might sound impressive, but they’re often less effective than smaller lists. That’s because such large lists are rarely well targeted.

When building a list, it’s important to keep your target market in mind. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to appeal to a broad audience in order to get more subscribers, but that won’t help you make sales. If the products you’re promoting only appeal to a small market segment, having a lot of subscribers who don’t fit into that segment does you no good whatsoever.

Obviously, you need to get targeted traffic to your opt-in page if you want to build a targeted mailing list. That can be accomplished with good SEO, pay per click ads and other promotional efforts. But it’s also important to create a squeeze page that will persuade only the people who fit into your target market to sign up.

One way to accomplish this is to give away a digital product that will appeal to your niche to new subscribers. Free gifts will not only help you get subscribers, they will help ensure that those subscribers are interested in what you’re offering. If you were giving away a physical product you might get some takers that only wanted the freebie to give to someone else, but not many Internet users will sign up for a mailing list to get an eBook or audio that is of no interest to them. And if they’re not interested in the freebie, they’re probably not interested in your niche.

When it comes to mailing list subscribers, quality is far more important than quantity. So don’t spread yourself too thin and try to attract too broad of an audience. Stick close to your niche, and you’ll get the right kinds of subscribers.

Selling to Your List

Once you’ve started your mailing list, it’s time to think about what you’re going to do with it. Sure, you’re going to attempt to make sales, but how will you go about it? Will you discuss the products that  you’re promoting in your emails? Will you alert readers to site updates in an effort to get more repeat visits to your website? Or will you send informative articles and advice as a way to build trust with subscribers?

Affiliates frequently include references to products in their emails, along with an affiliate link. This gives the reader the opportunity to buy without having to go through your website. This could work for readers that are already considering the product, but for everyone else it’s important to make it easy to visit your website for more information. Link to a full product review if you’ve done one, or include a link to your site in your signature.

Some marketers update their sites frequently instead of sending a lot of content out to their mailing lists. They might add a new article or review every other week, and then send out an email announcing it to subscribers. This avoids wasting their time if they are not interested in the content, and gets them to pay a visit to your website if they are.

Even if you’re not trying to sell directly with your emails, you could include a link to a popular product in your signature line, along with a few words about it. Write the blurb with the same care you’d use when writing a pay per click ad, and try to pique the reader’s curiosity. This is a good way to make sales without being too pushy.

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