Considering Email Marketing? Guidelines for Getting Started
As affiliates, there are several ways to promote programs other than a simple website with banners and text links.
If you’re an affiliate with a segmented email list, email marketing can be a lucrative marketing method, given that you follow certain guidelines. Many of the active affiliates in our affiliate forum use email marketing as one of their main sources of promotion.
How to build your list
The first question to ask yourself before your first email marketing campaign is how you’re gathering email addresses – after all, without any email addresses, there are no email marketing campaigns! If you’re buying non-segmented, non-targeted lists from unverified sources, you’re likely wasting your money. There’s no use in marketing a specific product to an audience you know nothing about; your efforts will be much less likely to convert. Your best plan of action is to gather addresses from targeted areas. For example, if you’re looking to launch an email marketing campaign for KooKooBear Kids, a premium children’s furniture and gifts merchant, you’ll likely want to pull your addresses from a site that targets parents. Offer parents a monthly newsletter full of parenting tips to incite them to submit their address.
How to ensure you’re not spamming
Now that we’ve reached the point of email address acquisition, it’s essential to take inventory of the specific methods you’re using to add these emails to your list. Your best bet is to have users go through what’s known as the double-opt in process. Once they’ve submitted their address (single opt-in) they’ll receive an automated email asking them to verify their desire to be added to your list, often by clicking on a link. This process ensures your list is verified and compliant with Can Spam laws. More information on Can Spam laws can be found here. While we’re mentioning Can-Spam, it’s just as important to remember to offer your users an equally easy way to unsubscribe from your list as it is to ensure you’ve added their addresses in a compliant way. Be sure to include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email you send.
Segmentation = Conversion
We’ve covered the basics of email address acquisition – but why stop there? The key to email marketing is audience targeting, and the more you know about your audience, the more you can segment your lists. Ask your users 3 or 4 optional questions at the same time as gathering their address – for example gender, age, and interests. These responses can go far in sending the right person the right promotional message, and your conversions will be much higher than the typical dice-roll of a non-segmented list.
Your Affiliate Managers Can Help
So you’ve got your segmented list – time to craft the perfect message! This is where your affiliate managers come in. Contact them to find out as much as you can about which merchants convert well with email marketing, and what creatives they have to offer. Keep in mind that not all merchants allow email marketing by their affiliates, while others embrace it. Also, merchants that do allow email marketing will often have what’s known as suppression list, which is a list of email addresses that have previously opted-out of their in-house email marketing campaigns. You’ll need to scrub your email list against this list to ensure you’re not contacting anyone that doesn’t want to be contacted.
Your affiliate manager will be able to show you which email marketing creatives that have converted well for the merchant in question. Email marketing creatives generally consist of HTML mailers that are graphic and promotional in nature. They are made in sizes that can be quickly and easily read by potential consumers in their email inboxes. KooKoo Bear Kids, eLearners, Warm Biscuit and Zazzle are all affiliate programs that offer high-converting email marketing creatives. Their affiliate managers are ready to assist you in launching your email marketing campaign.
Join our affiliate community today and learn about email marketing from other successful internet marketers.