The following is a guest post by my friend Malan Darras. You can find him on twitter and he blogs regularly at malandarras.com
As an affiliate marketer, part of your job is to constantly upgrade your skills and adapt with the times. You probably read some blogs, some books and emails to stay up to date on what’s working best right now.
But what you may not realize, is that one of the best resources for finding new marketing tricks (that actually work) is in your own experience online every day and even right now. Yes… You can learn marketing for free.
At this moment, the web is filled with powerful marketing tricks and tactics. You encounter them all day long. If you pay close attention to your personal experience online, you can capture these tactics and use them in your own campaigns.
Websites, apps and games are getting really good at messing with our heads. They’re so good at it that we spend all day checking for new emails and refreshing social network feeds hoping to see any new information.
Why? Because it’s exciting. And at this point, it’s as addictive as a drug.
Example: Doesn’t your heart jump when you see that red circle pop up with new activity on Facebook?
Mine does too.
That’s why 1000s of affiliates use that exact graphic in their ads. For some reason that little red circle with a number in it makes people go nuts and click like crazy.
Not so long ago I started paying attention to my reactions to these kinds of things. Any time something made me react in any way, I wrote it down or saved it to a swipe file.
Swipe File: A folder on your computer used to save and catalog ideas found on the web
My thinking was that if these things make me react, then there is a pretty good chance I could use the same tactics, verbatim on other people for my own gain.
So I started saving everything that made me react and testing it on my own campaigns.
The results of these experiments have been pretty shocking.
Results From The Last Few Weeks
#1 ‘Urgency’ Spam
I was checking email and saw a spam message with the subject line: “Urgency: This offer may expire in the next 24 hours”. I knew it was spam. But the word urgency made my heart jump and I clicked the email hard and fast anyway.
I had to see what was inside.
After I read the email, I realized what happened, took a screen shot of the subject line, stuck in my swipe file and decided to test it for myself.
I added the words from the email verbatim: “Urgency: This offer may expire in the next 24 hours” directly beneath my landing page’s main call to action (CTA) button. I had tried other phrases below the CTA but nothing had made any real impact.
CTR went up about 20% and ROI went up by 15%.
It wasn’t just me. The word Urgency makes people flip out.
#2 I Love This Guy!
I am subscribed to a handful of email lists. A few of them are really good and others are just selling their services. I mainly stay subscribed to find ideas.
One day a blogger sent out an email that gave out an insane amount of detailed information about getting more traffic. He gave away so much great content that I couldn’t believe it. When I got to the end of the email I said, out loud in a room by myself:
“I F#cking LOVE This Guy”
Right after the words came out of my mouth I stopped and realized what had just happened. If you give away so much value that it’s almost unreal, people will love you.
I said out loud that I loved the guy.
For an email marketer, that is the DREAM reaction you want from your readers. If you can get your email list subscribers to say, out loud that they love you… You can probably sell them anything you want for the rest of your life.
I’ve been experimenting with adding email opt-in boxes to my affiliate campaigns and I have a few small a lists. I initially created a really weak 10-day auto-responder series to see if I could get some extra sales. The content was terrible and it wasn’t making money at all.
I spent an entire evening re-writing the auto responder series. This time I provided an overwhelming amount of value. Some of the emails went from 100 words to 1000 words.
On day one I got my first sale. Within a week subscribers were sending me personal emails to thank me for all the help I was giving them. Instead of reporting me for spam, they started forwarding my emails to their friends.
Now, sales are starting to trickle in and I think I can turn it into something.
If you provide an overwhelming amount of value to your email list. They will love you. If they love you, they’ll buy your stuff.
#3 Amazon Scarcity
I was looking at something on Amazon. It was something I was interested in, but didn’t really need… and I was on the fence about whether or not to order it, until…
I saw this red text that said “Hurry! Only 3 Remain”.
My hand jerked and I clicked the Add to Cart button so fast I didn’t know what happened.
After my purchase was complete I looked back at the events that led me to buy. It was that red text that said “Hurry! Only 3 Remain” that pushed me over the edge.
I added the exact same text under the product image for a campaign I’m running. The only thing I changed was adding the single line of scarcity text verbatim from Amazon.
Sure enough, CTR and Conversion rate went through the roof. Just like my experience on Amazon, many of my visitors saw the text, freaked out and decided to buy.
Well isn’t this obvious?
I know, I know… Everybody knows that scarcity text increases sales and providing lots of value for your email list is a no brainer.
But… this is different.
Scarcity text is a theory, (it works “in theory”). To make it work you have to put in the time and effort to split test copy and find the right scarcity text that will cause people to react and increases your profits.
That’s not what I’m doing. I’m not testing theories.
I am taking copy and images directly from other sites and using them verbatim on my pages. There is no testing required because if it worked on me… the test is over.
How to Do It:
If you’re an affiliate you probably spend 6–15 hours a day online. All you have to do is pick up cues as they happen to you throughout the day and write them down.
Pay close attention to anything that makes you react. When it happens save it or write it down and try it on your own campaign.
Fill your swipe file with ideas:
- Copy / Headlines / Text
- Graphics / Ads
If something online makes you to react, there is a pretty good chance you can use it on others for your own gain.
Keep an eye out for any marketing tactic, design or text that causes you to take notice. In time, you become a vessel for more new tricks and ideas than you ever thought possible.
It’s free, it’s fun and all you have to do is Pay Attention.
About the Author:
Hello. I’m Malan. I live in Hollywood, CA.
I am a musician, fitness enthusiast and one of the top affiliate marketers in the world.
On my site I write about:
- How to use online marketing to escape the 9-5 world forever
- How to use simple nutrition and workout tweaks to get into peak physical condition
- How to replace negative habits with healthy rituals that help us live better lives
I don’t have all the answers, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned so far. And I’m always looking for new ideas, which you can share with me via comments and email anytime you wish.
You can find me at @malandarras or at my site: malandarras.com
I’ll see you there,