In fact, as your audience grows, people will probably approach you to be an affiliate in hopes that you’ll co-promote their program.
Now, this post isn’t going to teach you about affiliate marketing. So if you have no idea what Affiliate Marketing is I suggest you take a break from reading this and check out my friend Pat Flynn’s Smart Affiliate Marketing Strategies.
What we’re here to talk about today, is how you can promote affiliate programs to your email list while not losing subscribers in the process.
Are you Down With OPP?
So, if you ARE planning on promoting other People’s Programs (OPP) then you want to make sure you’re doing two things.
- Make sure the topic will be well received by most of your list.
- The program compliments your product or service offering.
For example, we have a course we’re building on the sales funnels behind a product launch.
We know good email copy is a key part of that process so it might make sense for us to promote someone else’s product that focuses on email copy.
Something like that would fill a gap in what we offer so it ends up being complementary.
In some cases, whether it’s complimentary or not, you’re likely to have some people opt-out when you start promoting someone else’s program.
“Why would I lose subscribers by promoting affiliate offers?” you may be asking.
Well, there are a lot of factors involved and everyone’s list will respond differently. The program you plan to promote may require you send a lot of emails to your list.
Let’s say you already send one email a week to your list.
Now, you’re also going to be promoting a friends product launch as an affiliate.
As an affiliate, you were given a series for 10-20 emails to send over the course of the next 14-21 days.
If you only email your list once a week and they start getting multiple emails a week about another program that you want them to check out you might upset a few people and lose subscribers.
It might look like this:
Three emails, only a few days apart, that are promoting someone else’s program.
If your list doesn’t normally receive that many emails from you, you may lose some subscribers.
Now, nobody really wants that right?
Some will argue that if they opt-out they probably weren’t a “good subscriber” anyway but, that just may mean that they weren’t interested in the affiliate offer you were promoting.
So, because you got all aggressive with your emails about the affiliate promotion, they chose to opt out.
Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.
Before I share how to promote affiliate product launches and not compromise your email list, let’s look at how you’re probably doing things now.
Here’s What You’re Likely Doing Now
Let’s say the next 5 emails you were going to send looked like this.
If you’re like most people you are using an email marketing tool that requires you to have an opt-out link at the bottom of your email something like this.
So, if all of your emails have this “Unsubscribe” link, and someone clicks it, they opt out of your master list.
You can’t email them again.
It doesn’t matter which email it is. That link will unsubscribe them. See below.
Now, let’s look back at our first example…
Let’s say your third email is where you mention the affiliate and someone clicks unsubscribe, you’ve lost them and they won’t get any of your emails anymore.
Since they opted out at email three, they won’t get four or five. Make sense?
What Not To Do When Promoting Affiliate Offers Via Email
If you’re going to promote other people’s programs, don’t make the MASTER opt-out the only option they have; if they aren’t interested in hearing about it. It’s a bad idea.
Here’s How To Promote Other People’s Products While Not Losing Subscribers
Step 1 – Let them opt-out of this topic
Give your subscribers the chance to tell you they aren’t interested in hearing about this topic moving forward.
That means you can send the first one. But, when you do, give them the option to opt-out of future communications on that topic.
You could incorporate some simple language like this right after your signature in your P.S.
Step 2 – Apply a tag that removes them from hearing about this topic in the future
In many cases, we’ll build a whole campaign that promotes this affiliate program. So when someone opts-out of an affiliate promotion, we remove them from the campaign that continues to promote that topic. But they stay on our master list for our person topic.
The Language that you see in Step 1, is actually subtly in every email for this promotion; so someone can opt-out at any time.
In the example from Step 1, if someone clicks “Click Here”; since they are not interested in Facebook ads then they get pulled out of that campaign alone. NOT your entire list.
If you’re not one to build a campaign for each affiliate promotion, and you just send broadcasts you’ll want to leverage your tags to exclude those that said they weren’t interested.
Most marketing automation tools ( like Infusionsoft) allow you to send a broadcast to contacts that HAVE certain tags and DON’T HAVE others.
If you’re sending broadcasts (vs building a campaign) to promote an affiliate program, make sure the list you’re sending to excludes people with the tag for those uninterested in the topic.
What To Do When Promoting Affiliate Offers Via Email
By leveraging the two steps from above, you now give your list an option to essentially stop hearing about any particular topic, without unsubscribing from your content and other future promotions.
Just Rinse and Repeat
Once you’ve dialed in this process, promoting future affiliate programs will be a breeze.
This process will let you sleep well at night. You won’t have to worry that you’re going to lose subscribers by promoting other people’s products.
The subscribers that aren’t interested can simply opt out at any time.
Has This Been Hurting Your Email List?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Have you lost subscribers when promoting affiliate programs and topics?
Are you going to try this new process so you can give your subscribers the options they deserve?