Posted by: Simon Slade, Guest Blogger
Even though a lot of marketers are turning to social media to ‘tweet’ their message, email is still a powerful way to promote your ClickBank products. With over 100,000 subscribers on our mailing list, Affilorama has to wield the power of this medium carefully. Emails that are overly promotional quickly turn potential customers into irritated readers who won’t think twice about hitting the delete button or, worse, reporting it as spam.
By providing value to subscribers we’ve been able to prove the ‘money in the list’ axiom true (we can’t release exact figures but sales improve around 300% with a good email newsletter) and we’d like to share a few secrets we’ve learned along the way that you can use to market ClickBank products or create newsletter collateral for your affiliates.
Beware of these 3 dangers!
Before we talk about what you should be doing to promote products using email, here’s a little checklist of things which can help you avoid being tagged as a spammer. Sure, they might be common knowledge, but they are important enough to be repeated.
- Beware of honeypots – Honeypots are a form of spam traps. Spam traps are specifically set up with the aim of catching spammers. They are email addresses “hidden” on a web page, but which can be found by address harvesting programs, commonly used by spammers. Unfortunately it can affect legitimate email marketers, too. In one case, a prominent email marketer lost 100,000 email addresses after a honeypot email address was added to their list by a competitor. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, choose an email service that offers a double opt-in option. This way any email address has to be verified with a confirmation email before being added to your list.
- Get familiar with the law – Laws on emailing people vary from one country to another so make sure that you are familiar with the legislation that governs electronic messages. For example, the CAN-SPAM act introduced in the US in 2003 dictates how businesses should follow certain protocols when sending emails to avoid prosecution. The FTC provides a good explanation of what it means for commercial email marketers, such as affiliates.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe – Sure you don’t want to actively encourage people to leave your list after you’ve worked so hard to sign them up, but if you make it difficult, complicated, or hide unsubscribe options, not only will you lose them mentally but instead of unsubscribing they’ll probably report you as spam. And make sure your process unsubscribes within a week (most email services do it automatically).
Enough of the ‘shalt nots’, time to move on to some good ideas for getting ‘bang for your buck’ out of your email newsletter.
4 secrets of effective email marketing
I’ve picked 4 because it’s a nice even number, not because there are only 4. In fact, there are plenty more and I invite you to add your own in the comments, but for now here’s a quick rundown of four ideas that will get your email promotions off to a good start.
- Kick off with a fantastic subject line – Some people have to deal with so many emails that they often make a decision on whether to read an email based on the subject line – so think of it as your one shot at glory. Give them a great reason to read your email, such as “1-day 50% off sale” or “5 reasons why your dog doesn’t listen to you.” The better you know your audience, the more effective your subject lines will be.
- Remind them why they signed up – Sometimes people sign up in a moment of weakness. To keep them on your list, you’ll need to regularly remind them that it was a good choice. By listing reasons why it’s good to be a subscriber (exclusive offers, secret links to valuable resources, etc.) you’ll not only make them feel good about being a subscriber, they’ll actually look forward to your next newsletter and may even encourage their friends to sign up.
- Create valuable content – This point probably suffers from a bit of overuse but it can’t be stressed enough, particularly when you have a commercial overtone. Some successful email marketers will only send a sales email every 4th or 5th email – the rest will just be useful content that they give away for free. When promoting ClickBank products this should be easy, since you quite likely have good information on the niche from the merchant, PLR content, or your own research. This can easily be packaged into an email to give your readers value.
- Set an expectation for frequency – The key with frequency is to strike a happy medium. With email frequency, this is more about setting expectations, rather than a particular interval. For example, if you offer a free six-day mini-course then obviously your subscribers will be expecting an email a day for the next six days. Beyond that, a weekly email might be the right frequency, particularly if your emails are short, relevant, and to the point. The other extreme is not emailing them for weeks, then surprising them (not in a good way) with something out of the blue. By that time, there’s every chance they will have forgotten they subscribed in the first place!
Build, test and tweak!
As you spend time writing your emails, you may run into questions about whether to include direct links to the vendor or send people to your own website. Like other issues you may face with your emails, there’s often no right or wrong answer, and it may well depend on your audience. If they don’t click through to your website, then it may be better to try sending them direct to the vendor instead (remembering to track your HopLinks with a unique TID so you know how effective your emails are).
It’s all about testing to find out what works, and then tweaking so your emails hit their target.
Using email to promote ClickBank products is a great investment for times when organic traffic to your site drops off. This could be due to any number of reasons, from increased competition to poor ranking for an important keyword.
If you have a list to promote to, you won’t just be sitting back hoping buyer traffic will find your site – you will be proactively reaching out to them. Do it right and you’ll find it an effective way to increase your ClickBank sales.
So if you don’t already promote ClickBank products by email, what’s stopping you? Have you found a winning formula for writing effective emails that provide value to the reader but also promote your ClickBank products?
About the author
Simon Slade is the CEO of Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal that offers free video training, education, and affiliate tools to both beginning and advanced affiliate marketers. You can follow them on Twitter.