Sure, you can rely on luck when it comes to affiliate marketing. Sometimes a person will find your product review, being so ready to buy with her credit card in hand that just your picture of the product made her take a quick decision. Or rather, confirm a decision already made.
But if you’re going to build a successful affiliate marketing business, you shouldn’t rely on luck. It all starts with building personal connections.
Successful Affiliate Marketing Starts With Building Connections
How to Connect With Your Readers
You can connect with your readers and build rapport in several ways.
- You could write blog posts consistently and create loyal readers.
- You could build a list and post frequently and make the readers get to know and like you.
While the first way works, I highly recommend building a list, because it’s many times more efficient than just publishing content on your blog.
So the next question that pops up is, how do you build a list?
How to Build an E-mail List
Your first step should be to get an auto-responder. Why?
- Because with an auto-responder, you can write a mail sequence beforehand and drip feed it to your new subscribers. The more e-mails they’ll get from you, the better they’ll get to know you, and hopefully the better your relationship will be with them.
- You can send out mails with your mail client, of course. But most web hosts have an hourly limit of 200 or 500 mails. You’ll run into this limit very shortly.
- If you use an auto-responder, more of your e-mails will reach your subscribers. Using your own domain is risky, and you will end up in a lot of spam filters instead of mail-boxes.
There are plenty of auto-responders to choose from. Some have a bad reputation of being used for spam. Some of the free ones are expensive when you get over a certain limit. And some of them are good. Read what clients are saying about their auto-responders, before you make a choice.
After you’ve chosen an auto-responder, you’re ready to go. Create a list, and get the code for the form. You’ll need it so your visitors can sign up.
Single or Double Opt-In? What’s the Pros and Cons
When you ask your readers to sign up, you can choose between having them confirm their opt-in or just to accept it as it is.
This is called double opt-in or single opt-in. There are pros and cons of both methods.
Pros: When people have signed up and confirmed their sign-up, you are less likely to have your mails marked as spam. Unfortunately, you’ll meet people who’ve signed up, went through the double opt-in procedure and still mark your mail as spam. That’s just how it is.
When subscribers have gone through that extra step of confirming their opt-in, in theory they are also more responsive when you send out a mail to them, and your opening rate and click through rate should be higher.
Cons: A lot of prospects never confirm and thus don’t become subscribers to your list.
Pros: It makes it easier for your readers to become subscribers. And if they are customers, it can seem more polite not to bother them with the extra step of having to confirm an opt-in.
Cons: Lower opening rate and click through rate. Higher risk of having your mails marked as spam.
That being said, I use single opt-in and I have a pretty high opening rate, while my spam complaints are low.
Make Your Readers Want to Sign Up
Make it interesting for your blog readers to sign up for your list.
You can do that by adding a freebie (an e-book, an interview, a video or some software), or simply by offering great content that your readers would love to be reminded about.
You should have several opt-in forms on your blog. Every blog post could contain a small box with a sign-up option. You can have one in your top right corner.
And you can make a squeeze page which only purpose is to make people sign up for your content. You can send prospects to that squeeze page by buying ads, by writing articles and sharing them, or by doing guest posts, or by other means of getting targeted traffic.
Build Rapport With Your Readers
The most important purpose for your e-mails will be to build rapport with your readers. You need to create a relationship, so they’ll trust you and trust your recommendations, when you find products that are worth sharing with them.
You do that by writing frequent mails (some say daily, but I prefer 1-3 times per week), and by being personal in your mail. Share a bit about yourself in them.
And make sure you use a from-address that’s reachable. Your readers will start replying to your mails, and that’s a great way to build a really strong relationship and gain loyal readers.
Loyal readers will buy through your link, not through your competitors. So this step will be of immense help when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Autor bio: Sara Young is a mother of 7 kids, and a super affiliate. She’s been making money online since 1994, and she loves helping others do the same! Visit her blog at http://marketingwithsara.com/