Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools in every affiliate marketer’s arsenal. It’s cost-effective, versatile, and it allows you to move the conversation to a more personal level.
It’s also one of the best ways to establish a connection with new leads and help convert them into long-term customers.
However, creating an effective email marketing campaign is anything but simple. There are a lot of elements you need to consider, to ensure your messages grab the readers’ attention and motivate them to take the desired action.
That said, here are a few tips that will help you write amazing emails that get opened and read, and have a high click-through rate.
1. Make Sure They Get Delivered
Regardless of how amazing the copy of your email or the content you want to share with the subscribers is, all your efforts would be in vain if the email never makes it past the spam filters.
There are a couple of ways to avoid having your emails flagged as spam, the most obvious one being refraining from using the words that automatically trigger spam.
Although there is no comprehensive list of these words, the general rule of thumb is to limit the use of “sales-y” or “hype-y” words like prize, buy, promo, bonus, extra cash, dollar signs, and so on… You get the idea.
Another great way to make sure your emails end up where they ought to be is by simply asking your new subscribers to add your email address to their address books.
By indicating that they actually want to receive your messages, they allow you completely bypass the spam filter (you still shouldn’t spam them).
This is simple, and it takes just one extra sentence in your first email. And yet, it’s surprising how many affiliates don’t practice it, or haven’t even heard about it.
Also, you need to make sure that the ‘unsubscribe’ link is present in every email you send out. If someone doesn’t want to see your emails, there’s really no reason to keep sending them, since they’re never going to read them, let alone click the links inside.
And if they can’t find the ‘unsubscribe’ button, you risk having them mark your emails as spam. Having as little as 1% of your list mark your emails as spam can cause everything you send in the future to go straight to the spam folder, regardless of who you’re sending it to.
2. Write Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines
Getting people to subscribe to your mailing list is one thing, but getting them to actually open the emails is a whole different story.
In order to maximize your open rates, you need to come up with creative, witty, and intriguing subject lines. They need to be well-thought out and well-written, if they are to stand out from the heap of emails your readers find in their inbox every day.
In fact, most marketers argue that you should spend as much time on writing your subject line, as you do on the rest of the email.
Your subjects should be short, compelling, and unique. The readers usually scan the subject lines in their inbox and decide which emails to read and which to trash, or never touch.
That’s why it shouldn’t take them more than a quick glance to read your subject and get an idea about the content they can expect to find inside the email.
If your subject line is long and confusing, and not really related to the content in the email, chances are the recipients will simply skip past the email.
On the other hand, it should be too straightforward and dull. It needs to pique their interest just enough to make them open the email and read through the content.
A good strategy is to attempt and elicit an emotional response in the readers using the words you know they’ll react strongly to.
Depending on your niche, these will vary, but the general idea is to focus on their goals or pain points and hint at the useful information they’ll find inside.
3. Short, Simple, And To The Point
Considering the speed at which our lives are going and the fact that we’re used to getting pretty much everything we want right away, it should come as no surprise that we’ve grown so impatient.
So, regardless how amazing the content in your emails is, you can bet that the readers aren’t going to stick around and read it, if it takes them 15 minutes to do so.
In fact, you only have about a minute or two to make your point within an email. That’s 150 to 200 words at best. Not a lot, I know.
But you have to understand that your email is just one of many they received that day. And no one is going to spend an hour, or even 30 minutes an hour reading through all the emails in their inbox.
Besides, people nowadays have short attention spans and most will immediately be turned away if they see a huge chunk of text.
That’s why you want to make your emails short and to the point. Don’t beat around the bush. Tell them what they want to know with as little words as possible.
Use short sentences, preferably one-liners. Break the email off into several paragraphs, and make it easily scannable. You can always use bullet points and lists instead of trying to explain everything through plain text.
4. Build A Relationship With Your Subscribers
As tempting as it might be, pushing your products on subscribers as soon as they join your list is the fastest way to spell the end of your affiliate business.
Instead, you should aim to establish a connection based on trust first, before you even think about sending out those promotional emails. You’ll do that by providing value.
Remember, when they first opt-in and give you their email address, you’re still a complete stranger to them. You need to earn their trust and show them that you know what you’re talking about, if you hope to sell anything to them in the future.
Provide them with useful, relevant information that pertains to what you’re selling. Give them tips and guidelines they can follow, answer their burning questions, and talk about possible solutions to their problems.
In other words, be helpful. If your customers perceive you as someone who knows a lot about the topic, and is genuinely out to help them, they’ll be more inclined to trust you and actually buy the affiliate products you recommend.
Once you start promoting, don’t overhype your affiliate products. Be truthful to your customers, and clearly explain what it is they’re getting. Don’t exaggerate. Focus on the benefits of using the product, but don’t exaggerate.
A couple of good reviews and referrals can go a long way, whereas it only takes a handful of negative comments on your website to put you out of business for good.
5. Use Active Voice
The easiest way to lose your readers’ interest is to write your emails in a boring, passive voice. Passive voice adds unnecessary words to your sentences, and we’ve already established that shorter email copy is better.
Your emails need to be engaging and motivating. You need to inspire the reader to take action after reading your content.
See what I did there? I could’ve said that “in order to keep the reader focused and increase the chances of them taking action after reading your emails, the copy should be written in an engaging and motivating manner…”
Instead, I’m using an active voice that makes the sentences shorter and easier to understand.
The message is still the same, but the second style is simply boring and it doesn’t encourage action. It’s like reading a college textbook, and the readers will get lost midway through the sentence.
Your emails also need to be personal. Although you’re sending them to thousands of people at once, write them as if you were talking to a single person. Use the word “you” to address them directly, instead of relying on general terms.
You don’t want your emails to have that standardized, “robotic” corporate voice. The more personality you add to the copy, the easier it will be to reach the reader with your message and get them to click that link in the email.
6. Optimize For Mobile
A thing most affiliates never even consider when creating their email marketing campaigns is the need to optimize for different devices.
However, various studies have confirmed that the majority of people check their emails on their phones. So, if you’re not optimizing your emails for mobile, you’re losing more than half of your potential customers.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if people have trouble reading your message. If you want to maximize click-through rates, you need to make sure that your emails are responsive and easy to read on all devices.
Emails designed with only the desktop in mind have a fixed width that simply shrinks the font to fit the much smaller phone screen. So, instead of adapting to a new device, these emails keep the initial layout and simply make everything a lot smaller.
For example, if your email looks really good with a 16-point when viewed on desktop, it will be pretty much unreadable once the font shrinks down to 8 on the mobile.
Sure, the reader can always zoom in, but they’ll have to swipe back and forth just to read a single sentence. It’s tedious, and unless they’re super-interested in what you have to say, nobody’s going to do it.
Even if they do, they’ll be annoyed – meaning less likely to click that call to action at the end of the email.
On the other hand, a responsive layout will shift the elements of the email on the reader’s phone, in order to adjust the design to the smaller screen, and make the email much easier to read.
7. Make It Easy To Share The Content
Let’s say you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into researching and putting together an email that is filled with useful tips and amazing content.
And you have great click-through rate, so you know that your subscribers love the stuff you’ve shared with them.
Why not make it easy for them to share your content with other people on social media? All you need to do is simply include social media share button at the end of the email.
This way, you can get more traffic to your website, for no extra cost. Of course, provided that you’ve built a good relationship with your audience, and are delivering valuable, relevant content.
And it doesn’t take a ton of time, either. Most autoresponders allow you to use a simple drag and drop feature to add the social media share buttons to your emails.
However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t put them in every single email, but rather when it’s natural to have one. It largely depends on the type of email you’re sending, but it’s pretty intuitive, in my opinion.
For example, you wouldn’t use them in a welcome email or promotional emails, but should include them when you’re sharing some useful tips.
Another thing to note is that they count as links, and having a ton of links in a single email can trigger the spam filters we talked about. So, don’t go overboard. Instead, use only the buttons for social media that are relevant to your business.