They like to say print is dead but when’s the last time you stopped receiving all that junk mail? How many times have you found a flyer on the hood of your car? When’s the last time you decided not to accept a business card. Are you the type to turn down an interesting brochure?

There are various print-based techniques that make the cross over into affiliate marketing.

In our case it’s not about just pushing a brand but using it as a vehicle to generate some sales. There have been quite a few interesting tactics that have come up over the years. Here are some that I think are worth sharing.

1. The Oh-No Business Post Card

The scenario

You are a business owner that has a crappy website when suddenly you receive a post card that not only shows your current placement in the search engines but lists the top three problems of the website.

No doubt that is going to catch your attention because it’s detail to YOU and YOUR BUSINESS.

What’s happening?

It’s a cold-call in all essence but done so without a whole lot of time and energy outside of taking a few screen grabs of their listing and rounding up what you think are the worst parts of their site. All you need to do is piece it together, make sure that it directs the owner, and create a call to action.

Where the affiliate steps in

You’re not pushing your services.

You’re using the link on the post card to drive them to a business that offers web design services. A design service that you affiliate with and earn a healthy commission.

Once the person acts on the prospect it’s now out of your hands – no customer service, no follow up, and no heavy lifting. You get to sit back and earn a commission (or maybe even a recurring one).

2. Local Dating

The scenario

People want to meet others in their area because a lot of the big named dating sites are often overloaded with too many people and it becomes a pain to sort through it all.

The solution is in a local dating site which covers the town (or city) so that you’re likely to actually meet (and possibly know) these people from school, work, or just around in public.

What’s happening?

There are tons of dating site templates out there on template marketplaces so there’s really no need to develop one from scratch. Additionally, there are smaller dating sites that allow you to white label their database and design to match your area.

Where the affiliate steps in

There are plenty places to take this, from:

  • Simply using the local site link to actually point to a larger network that caters to a certain demographic or larger area within the distance of the smaller places
  • Adding links to affiliate products about love, romance, dating, and seduction
  • Using affiliate links to deals sites like Groupon or Living Social as part of giving people ways to meet up with one another

These sites are tricky but I’ve seen it done once where they branded each local city as “[City]” which all pointed to the same site but with a few tweaks based on the town.

3. A Good Ol’ Fashion Mini-zine

The scenario

There are plenty of newspapers that circulate your area. Think, now, about all those other mini magazines you receive in the mail like those penny savers.

There’s a reason why they’re out there and it’s generally because they’re earning on advertising.

But you can definitely take that one step further.

What’s happening?

You can find these mini-zines all across the States. They usually cater to a smaller niche such as a certain ethnic group, political group, music scene, or art initiative (it’s endless). The person gets together with local businesses to sponsor the zine and then peppers with a bit of content like reviews of events, restaurants, businesses, and the whatnot.

The printing is dirt cheap because there are never a lot of pages and it’s on the lightest stock (plus usually in black and white unless they’re selling a “premium” spot).

Where the affiliate steps in

How hard do you think it would be to create one of these zines and get them distributed?

  • Create an outline for a 20 page mini-zine
  • Create a few articles covering the topic
  • Get in touch with local businesses to see if they would like placement
  • Use those businesses that agreed to place them in their stores

And the affiliate income?

  • What if instead of charging for ads the link to the store was an affiliate one?
  • What if you did native advertising in the content to point to affiliated products?
  • What if you had your own one-page advertisement that acted like a sales page?

It all requires some extra effort but once they catch on a start showing up around businesses in your area you can certainly expect a trickle of interest and even some commissions. Not bad for something you could throw together in a week of hard work.


Print ain’t dead. It’s just that a lot of people are simply overly obsessed with using digital marketing as their means of driving leads and generating sales. Easy as it may be, with digital marketing, there is still a huge potential out there with print especially with your type of knowledge of affiliate marketing.

Crazy? Cool? Stupid? What do you think about these clever print-based marketing techniques?