Affiliate marketing is one of the greatest business models ever invented if you ask me. Seriously. In what other model can someone start a business with no capital up front, no experience, no team, no product even, and still build a massive business empire?
Additionally, at least to me there is no other industry that can give someone a better chance at passive income. Every other business will come with headaches like shipping, network outages, employee turnover and support teams. With affiliate marketing none of that comes into play! You get rewarded for sending leads and your commitment ends right there.
Plus a lot of affiliate programs today give away things like free cars.
But I digress.
So now that I’ve raved about it enough, let’s talk about what literally is one of the most important parts of affiliate marketing - email. I write about this all the time because I feel like it is something most affiliates either don’t do, or they do so wrong that they come to believe email marketing doesn’t work for affiliates.
I want to break your email marketing efforts into two simple email sequences and then talk about how to set them up.
The big picture of email marketing is understanding that people don’t buy because of the product typically. Some do, but most will buy because of you. Your recommendation. Your stamp of approval.
That means the first thing you need to do with every email address you get is to build that foundation.
Imagine you put in an email address in someone’s contact form asking for updates or some free training. For the next seven days the affiliate emailing you sends you seven emails selling you seven different products.
First off, you barely even know who this person is! You signed up off a three-minute YouTube video, or a 500-word blog post. Who is this random person selling you stuff every day now? Why should you trust them? Is it even a real person? What qualifies them to know what products are best? What qualifies them to give advice period?
All these questions will be asked, whether consciously or subconsciously. But if you do your emailing right, those questions will be answered before a single attempt at an affiliate sale is made. And it’s done through what is called a soap opera sequence.
This is a series of emails that sets you up for massive success down the road when you start pushing affiliate offers. The goal of a soap opera sequence is to build trust in you and your abilities, turn you from a random name in their inbox to a real person, and build relatability.
Remember, these are the reasons someone buys. They relate, they trust, and they know.
The sequence does this with stories (hence the name, soap opera). The goal of a soap opera sequence is to take your audience on your own personal journey that brought you to where you are now.
In the first email it is all about relatability. You had weight issues, or money issues, or struggled achieving goals in life. Whatever it is, this email helps your audience see that you too struggled with what they struggle with. Your lowest moment goes in this email.
But the next email is about change. It’s about finding a renewed hope. Something that helped drag you out of the slump and got you going again.
Finally a third email shows them some of your successes. This email isn’t about bragging, but it is about setting you up as an authority figure. Someone that knows how to help them because not only have you been there, but you’ve overcome that. This email also explains what they can expect from you. They can expect future emails where you teach them and refer them to products that helped you along your journey.
This sequence is insanely powerful and sets up your future emails for dramatically higher successes. Now when you refer them to your first affiliate product they know you, they trust you, and they relate to you.
Think they are more likely to buy?
Many email marketers call this the Seinfeld sequence, but since I’m young and don’t understand the reference I call it a shotgun sequence.
Essentially this sequence is where you start making money (yay).
But it’s incredibly important to remember that your audience is still people. A relationship can end just as fast as it starts. If an affiliate marketer doesn’t maintain those same goals of relatability and trust the relationship can sour quickly.
And that’s why I call it the shotgun approach. If you are familiar with Shotguns, they shoot out dozens of tiny BBs simultaneously to hit their target. They only need one BB to hit and it’s considered a hit.
Similarly with the shotgun email approach you never know which story, motivational quote, or affiliate product will connect with them. So I like to make a nice mix of emails. Sometimes I just send out some motivational content, other times it’s training, and then of course there are the sales emails.
I’ll typically do a week or two of the training/motivational/random life story emails and then push an affiliate product. They are used to seeing emails from me, my emails show up in their inbox, and they like me. Don’t believe me? I get responses like these every day.
Responses like this make you enjoy what you are doing, but they also make selling affiliate products drastically easier.
The most important part of all of this to me is automation. I didn’t get into affiliate marketing to work 8-10 hour days for the rest of my life, and for that reason anything that can be automated is automated.
All of this can happen in virtually any autoresponder on autopilot. The lead comes in, they go through your soap opera and they move into your shotgun sequence. Your shotgun sequence can be as long as you want. For me my goal is a years worth of emails. This way I can be free to enjoy my life for a year or more and my affiliate business will just keep running. Emails will keep going out. Money will keep coming in.
For this to work your emails and your offers have to be evergreen. This just means they need to be offers that will still be valid a year from now, and the emails can’t say things like “Merry Christmas”.
I firmly believe every affiliate marketer should have an email automation set up that looks just like this. One set up yields massive results.
If you are just getting started as an affiliate marketer, email is obviously just one piece of the picture. I go much deeper into all the other aspects in my blog post about how to get started with affiliate marketing.
Email may just be one piece, but it is probably the most important piece as it is one of the few parts of your affiliate marketing business that you actually have control over.