Affiliate marketing has been relatively simple over the past decade.
You find a great offer, master one traffic source, and you find the right combination of creatives to run. You keep testing until profitability and scale it until the campaign dies.
That’s the theory, but these days, we all know that it’s a lot harder to execute than it sounds.
Stricter rules and regulations have made it harder to do non-compliant strategies. And the vast amount of spy tools almost makes the industry feel like a race to the bottom sometimes.
With any industry, change is constant – success depends on how well you adapt.
So how are affiliates adapting?
I have a simple theory – the harder it is, then the better it is in the long run.
Yes, we’d all love to rip a landing page from Adplexity and make 200% ROI immediately. But that same “ease” is the same reason why as soon as you get something profitable, a dozen other competitors will do the same thing.
An offer isn’t a competitive advantage if everyone else gets the same payout and cap. But imagine working closely with an advertiser and developing your own “offer page” with them that’s exclusive to you. It’s more work, but that work serves as a defensive moat because most affiliates won’t go the extra mile.
Another idea is to start owning some assets in this entire process.
Imagine owning a list of several thousand contacts using push notifications or an email list – it’s your own traffic source that no one else can tap into. (It’s the main focus of what we teach in the Lead Gen Engine).
One problem I’ve seen with people adopting this strategy is that they’re building an email list, but they have no idea what they’re supposed to write in the emails.
- How long are the emails are supposed to be?
- How can you promote an offer without upsetting the email subscribers?
- How do you keep their interest and keep them opening up your emails over the course of a week?
Your email list can be a powerful asset, but it’s useless if no one’s opening or engaging with them.
The good news is that it’s not that difficult to write great examples.
I’m going to show you how you can write emails in a way that generates value for your subscribers while profiting for you.
The Piggybank of an Email List
Before we begin, we need to understand the relationship at stake here.
It’s a big deal when someone gives you their email address. They’re trusting that you’re not going to spam them with dick pill offers.
And why are they sharing their email? It’s because they have a problem and they want you to help them overcome it.
The mistake that most marketers make is that they’re too thirsty to make sales. I get it – you’ve spent some money to acquire the email opt-in, and you want to make your money back.
But if you’re too aggressive, they’re going to unsubscribe and you lose the relationship forever.
(It’s kinda like going on a date and immediately trying to get her back to your place. Don’t be so thirsty man!)
I want you to think of your relationship with each email subscriber like a piggy bank.
Every time you entertain or deliver value to them, you add some goodwill to this piggy bank. Every time you “promote” or try to make a sale, you make a withdrawal from this bank.
If you try to “withdraw” too much from the bank, you’ve overspent and the person unsubscribes. If you keep delivering goodwill and NOT cashing out, then you’re leaving money on the table.
It’s a delicate balance.
The good news is there are ways to give the person value and promote the offer in a way that doesn’t harm the relationship.
The Three Types of Emails You Should Write
What kind of emails deliver value to the person? And how can we transition this email into a conversion?
Let’s use an example:
Niche: Become a Videogame Designer
There are people out there who love playing video games and might consider a career designing video games. There are different for-profit universities out there that will pay big bucks for their names and email addresses (also known as leads).
The first thing you should always do is some market research in order to understand your audience.
I don’t need to do too much market research for this niche because I love video games, and I’m familiar with the market.
(But if I were to promote an HVAC repair offer, I’d probably need to spend five times longer doing market research since I’m not familiar)
Let’s get into the type of emails you should write.
1. Answer Their Objections
There’s always a reason why someone won’t buy.
It’s better to directly answer their objection rather than ignore it. It’s a way for you to directly control the frame and narrative.
You experience this all the time.
Me: I like the car, but it’s white. I prefer black cars.
Car Salesman: Well, we have a black version of this car over there. Let me show you.
Me: I’m not sure if I want to buy this car. I like it, but there’s another car that I wanted to take a look at tomorrow.
Car Salesman: I completely understand. But I have to warn you that someone saw this car yesterday and is in the middle of getting some financing now. I also have two more appointments for people coming to take a look at this car.
I can’t make any guarantees that this car will still be available by the time you come back. If you like it, get it. Your time is valuable and you won’t want to waste the next few months trying to find a car that you won’t like as much as this one.
It’s a back and forth battle where they object and you answer. Hopefully, they’ll buy after you’ve killed all their objections.
So let’s bring it back to becoming a video game designer. What are some obstacles in the way of them signing up?
You start with market research.
A quick google search shows me that one of the top objections would be money. They want to attend the video game school, but they can’t afford the tuition.
Problem: I can’t afford Video Game Designer School.
Your goal should be to do some research on this problem, and show them why it’s not that much of an issue.
Solution: Tuition isn’t as expensive as they think, there are multiple scholarships, and some of the schools provide financial aid.
Then you do the transition…
“One school that doesn’t have high tuition and provides financial aid to 40% of their students is X. Apply here”
2. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
What are people asking about your niche?
These are the easiest emails to write because you can type into Google niche + frequently asked questions.
I found this page:
This by itself could be an entire email sequence. You want to start off with the strongest questions.
I think “Do you need to know how to code to design video games?” is a fantastic one.
Here’s a quick email as an example:
Subject: Do you need to know how to code to design video games?
Hey [First Name],
You might be wondering if you need to learn how to code to design video games.
While it can definitely help, coding is NOT necessary to design.
- You can hire people to code for you. Understanding what makes a great video game and handling the vision is just as important.
- There are also game engines that let you develop games without knowing any code.
Scott Cawthon is the developer behind Five Nights at Freddy, one of the most successful games on the iPhone. In 2014, he was a cashier at Dollar General. He developed the game using ClickTeam Fusion and used zero coding.
He’s proof that you don’t need coding to develop a successful game. However, you do need game design skills to know how to make a fun and addictive game.
The best university for game design is X. Apply now.
Video Game Dude
I took the question and expanded on the answers given by this website.
While doing some research about the video game design industry, I found an interesting tidbit about Scott Cawthon. I inserted it into this email as more “proof.”
Someone might have been interested in joining the video game design industry, but they’re hesitating because they believe that their lack of coding skills will hold them back.
I’m changing the frame and showing “proof” that you don’t need coding to be successful.
This is why emailing can be so powerful.
In a typical campaign, we only get one shot at converting someone by using our landing page. Sometimes it’s not enough – people need more time, and people need more of their questions answered.
Having them on your email list gives you more opportunity to convert them.
3. Share Statistics
People love statistics – it makes anything you say sound factual.
I always love writing about and sharing relevant statistics that would help me convert the sale.
What are some statistics about the video game design industry that will help them convert? Well, I know that the cost of tuition is a concern.
What if we share the pot at the end of the rainbow? What if we show that becoming a game designer is worth it?
I googled some statistics about how much game designers earn.
Hey [First Name],
Do you know how much video game designers earn for a living?
We’ve found some statistics from the top gaming development companies in the world.
The best game design companies & their average game designer salary:
- BioWare – $56,917 ($54,751 – $61,000)
- Zynga – $78,858 ($56,718 – $97,793)
- Electronic Arts – $66,891 ($42,116 – $98,155)
- Valve Corporation – $121K – $130K ($119,735 – $131,205)
- Gameloft – $57,829 ($50,000 – $65,195)
- Rockstar Games – $83,811 ($51,000 – $103,000)
- Microsoft Corporation – $110,901 ($101,078 – $119,525)
- Naughty Dog Inc – $90,817 ($60,960 – $147,320)
- Activision Blizzard – $71,717 ($58,438 – $97,479)
- Ubisoft – $82,616 ($75,848 – $87,000
There is one video game design school that we recommend that has several alumni at these corporations.
Apply to become a Videogame Designer –>
Are you seeing the power of adding in email funnels to your campaigns?
People have a ton of concerns and questions before they’re willing to sign up. Sometimes a simple landing page isn’t enough to get someone to sign up. Having an email funnel allows you to address and solve each of their objections for not signing up.
And one of the most powerful aspects is that no one applies to just one college.
You’re probably interested in multiple colleges so now you’re getting multiple conversions from the same user.
A higher lifetime customer value means you have a huge advantage over your typical affiliate marketer.
Deliver Value to Make More Money
It’s easy to view your campaigns as simply numbers and data.
But there’s a real person behind each email address you collect. They have a problem and they’re hoping that you can help them solve it.
That’s what our job is: we research to understand their problems, and we provide solutions to it with our offers.
Featured Image by Darknula