Below, I’m going to give you a list of MY personal Top 10 Email Marketing Best Practices for affiliate marketers.
A little Background on me, first.
As most of you know, I’ve been working with Internet Marketing Superstar, Anik Singal, for a few years now as his head coach.
(2018 Update: I was Anik’s Head Coach from 2011 – 2015, and have an open invite to work with him whenever I like at his high ticket events in Washington DC)
Doing so has allowed me to work with THOUSANDS of students over the years via live webinars, in person events in Las Vegas, Washington DC, the Caribbean etc., and get a REAL nice understanding of what they’re succeeding with and what they’re struggling with.
Email Marketing has been the primary focus of his past two products, Inbox Blueprint, and of course Lurn Insider.
Anyways, my point is – I know what I’m talking about – so while this post is a bit on the long side, I truly hope you read through it and apply what you learn today. Now, let’s get started…
What Email Marketing is NOT
Believe it or not, email marketing is NOT just buying a list of 100,000 random emails and spamming them day after day with affiliate offers! (It’s about building a relationship with your list, but we’ll get to that below).
You’d be surprised how many people (usually new or inexperienced email marketers) ask me how to spam, or assume that’s the ONLY way to build up a “qualified” list of prospects.
Of course – these are the people looking for the EASY way to do things with no work required, and are generally a few clowns short of a circus if you know what I mean!
- They tend to be a few fries short of a happy meal.
- They’re a few feathers short of a duck.
- They’re all foam, and no beer.
- They’re….okay sorry, I’ll stop!
Anyways, when I was in Washington DC in November, 2014 for a high ticket coaching event I met one student that did just that – he was bragging that his “email list” was over 100,000 and he got it for only $200!
In fact, he wasn’t just bragging – he was really freaking proud of that fact and was GLOATING like he had the biggest advantage over ANYBODY there. He was swearing up and down that he was going to make thousands with this “list”…
Why is this a bad Idea you may ask?
Simply put, you have NO idea who these people are, you don’t know where they live, you don’t know their interests or buying habbits – they’re just random people who are NOT expecting an email from you.
They did NOT subscribe to your news letter, they most likely HATE spam (don’t you?), and they did NOT give you consent to email them.
A few things can happen as a result of using a purchased list to
- Your emails will get marked as spam – because they really have NO idea who you are, or why you’re emailing them.
- Your auto responder account can be banned if you get too many complaints.
- You’re NOT marketing to your target audience – they have ABSOLUTELY no idea who you are, or why you’re emailing them – so if by some miraculous event your emails DO make it past their spam filter and into their main inbox – you’re going to find that your open rates AND sales are still quite….low.
Anyways, back on topic – after 3 of us spent 30 minutes explaining to him in DETAIL why that was a BAD idea – his only words were a smug “we’ll see“.
He was still DETERMINED to make it work and insisted that he was going to be successful with that ‘method’.
(Super nice guy, don’t get me wrong, just would not listen to the voices of reason)
Sorry folks, it does NOT work that way – and if you’re a student or frequent reader of my blog – I sincerely hope you know and understand this!
Anyways, enough qualifying myself for you, lol, let’s cut to the chase!
Email marketing is about a few things, and spamming people is NOT one of them – so what IS it about?
Below are my TOP 10 Email Marketing Best Practices for Affiliate & Internet Marketers.
1. Build a Relationship with your list
People will throw around the phrase “the money is in the list”, in fact if you do a GOOGLE SEARCH for this phrase – you’ll find 1,6000,000,000 results. I hate to go against popular Google results, LOL, but I’m going to have to say “bullshit” on this.
The money is NOT in the list. But rather, are you ready for something profound? The money is in the RELATIONSHIP you build with your list!
What a concept right?
Before you try to flat out sell something to your list, you need to:
- Earn their trust.
- Understand what they want, what they struggle with.
- LISTEN to them when they email you – and *gasp* RESPOND to their emails, even if it takes you a fwe days to get back to them.
- Offer them valuable information (like this bad ass blog post) and don’t just promote to them every single day over and over and over and over again. I’ll probably have people sign up for my list just BECAUSE they read this blog post, and saw that I had a lot more to offer than just an affiliate link. 😉
Yes, you’ll be sending out promotional emails too – but keep in mind they signed up for your free report and super duper high quality content – not to buy a bunch of products from you. 🙂
Think of it this way – if YOU wanted to lose weight, for example, and opted-in to somebody’s email list because they promised you some amazing weight loss tips, that’s probably what you’d be hoping for after you signed up, right?
It’s ALSO a safe bet, that if that person behind the newsletter CONTINUED to send out amazing content, that if they sent out the occasional promotion you probably would not mind and possibly might even buy something they’re promoting?
Damn Straight it is – THIS is the foundation for building a solid relationship with your list. Simple – send quality content and the occasional promotion, they’ll love you – and you’ll make more sales. 🙂
Generally speaking, I send out 3 or 4 SPECIFIC types of emails to my list, and this goes for any niche.
I learned this particular method from Anik, so gotta give props where props are due!
- Content Emails – these consist of short, informative emails that offer a few tips, or advice they can use. You can also share OTHER people’s content that you find helpful (blog posts, videos, etc)
- Relationship Building Emails – Videos of yourself or that you filmed. Social Media is great too, invite your list to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus!
- Sales & Promotional Emails – self explanatory 🙂
- Emails (Broadcasts) to promote product launches – again, self explanatory – these are emails you’ll send to your entire list at ONCE when promoting a product launch.
I’m SUPER Serious you guys, if you just send a promotional email every 2 or 3 emails – you’re going to make A-LOT more money and your list will LOVE you because of the cool quality content you’re sending them!
Here’s how MOST (not all) of my auto responder sequences are set up:
- Email 1 – link to my download/thank you page so they can download the free item they signed up for
- Email 2 – a reminder to download their free product, AND an offer to help if they should need any assistance or have any questions
- Email 3 – My First Promotion – I promote Product A to my list, using one of their pre-written swipe emails from their JV Page. (Sales & Promotional Email)
- Email 4 – a Motivational Video related to the niche that I found on youtube (Content Email)
- Email 5 – Promotion again, Product A 2nd email (Sales & Promotional email)
- Email 6 – another motivational Video related to the niche that I found on youtube (Content Email)
- Email 7 – Promotion, 3rd email promoting Product A to my list (Sales & Promotion Email)
- Email 8 – Helpful content, linking to valuable/helpful content on a 3rd party blog (content email)
- Email 9 – Promotion, Product B
- Email 10 – Sharing helpful information on how they can accomplish *niche relevant item* (content email)
- Email 11 – Motivational Video…
As you can see – I do NOT simply send promotion after promotion, I don’t even PROMOTE a product to my list until the third 3mail – so the 1st AND 2nd impression they get of me is that I’m HELPFUL and NOT spamming! 🙂
I usually set up a series like this about 15 emails long or so – then try to send out broadcasts to my list a few times a week so they don’t forget about me.
2. Invite Readers to contact you with questions!
As simple as it sounds, simply adding my email address or contact information to the end of emails lets people know that I’m real, and they can reach out to me at any time they like.
They’re so used to NOT getting responses from big gurus, that my responses are refreshing – and usually met with “wow, I didn’t think you’d email me back!” type of responses
I USUALLY close my emails like this:
Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions!
It’s simple right? But the impressive thing about this is – I’m OPENING myself up to be contacted, not only saying “reply to this email” but flat out listing my personal email address for them to use any time they like.
I seriously get a few responses a DAY from people so happy to get a response from me – AND know what else? I take the time to give a GOOD response, and not just a canned cookie-cutter one.
Here’s an example of a response I got from a member of my list in 2014:
As you can see, people on my list LOVE ME – because I take the time to care, and I get to know many of them. Invite your list to reach out to you – you’ll be surprised how they react!
3. Be Real
Honestly, when I say “be real” – I mean it. Don’t be afraid to talk about your failures with people (on your list). They want to know that you weren’t BORN rich, or one of those naturally fit people that was just made to be a fitness model. They want to hear your story, they want to hear your struggles, they went to know that you were in the SAME PLACE AS THEY ARE RIGHT NOW, DAMMIT!
Connect with them on an emotional level, reassure them that you KNOW what it’s like to be in their shoes.
Let me put it this way, coming from a customers perspective:
Nobody wants to hear a from guy who was born into a trust fund tell you how to make money online – they want to hear about the former drunk homeless pizza delivery guy who was down on his luck but discovered these 3 secret tricks…
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration – but I REALLY hope you get the point. Be REAL, and don’t be afraid to tell people about your past failures that helped you get to where you are today.
If you used to be so fat that you once sat on an iPhone and turned it into an iPad , if you used to be SO fat that you went to KFC to get a bucket of chicken and asked for the one on the ROOF – then guess what – you’ve got a story and you’re able to connect with your readers!
Would you rather buy a fitness/weight loss product from:
- A former fat guy (or girl) that was able to lose weight and get in AMAZING physical shape after struggling with being fat their entire life & overcoming it?
- A high school/college athlete that’s been fit their entire childhood and adult life and NEVER had to worry about it, or struggle with it, or care about how they looked…
‘Nuff Said – tell your story, CONNECT with your readers on a PERSONAL level – and you’re gonna make some moolah!
4. Email Every Day
When I first started learning more about email marketing, I used to send emails to my lists just a few times a week. I didn’t want to annoy my subscribers, so I would take the time to truly make my emails PHENOMENAL and not bother them with daily emails.
I figured it was a win win, I get higher open rates, they love my content AND they don’t get annoyed by seeing my name in their inbox every day.
Anyways, a few years back – Anik Singal told me “Email your list every day”
“You want me to WHAT?!” I said
“I was making a point of NOT doing this -how could this possibly be BETTER?!” I asked him.
He again restated his comment, and challenged me to do it. I was just challenged by a SUPER affiliate to email my list every day for just 10 days. Chances are, there was a reason for it so I agreed.
Well you know what happened?
After a few days of doing this, I noticed that my open rate actually went UP, my unsubscribe rate went DOWN – and I was actually making MORE sales from the products I was promoting.
What happened was this: After a few days of daily emails, my subscribers got USED to seeing emails from me every day.
They got USED to me sharing awesome content every day, as I had been doing before – but on a weekly basis.
Yes, It took me a little more time to get my emails set up to go out daily (and write a few more), but it was worth the small amount of time that it took.
The Key is this: you want to get your readers into the HABIT of opening your emails daily, and as long as you’re sharing quality content like I spoke up above – you’ll find you get BETTER results than if you just email 2 or 3 times a week.
Oh, and before you get scared remember, you’re going to be sending different types of emails as I explained in Step #1 (remember, the 4 types of emails I listed?)
5. Don’t Promote EVERY SINGLE DAY
Honestly, this goes along with Steps #1 and #4 – but I want to remind you the IMPORTANCE of not emailing promotions every single day, and never providing any real value to your list.
If you want a reminder of the types of emails you SHOULD be sending, please re-read step #1 (or read it now, if you’re just skimming down this list).
6. Share Cool Stuff!
Yeah, that’s my fancy headline for step 6 – “Share Cool Stuff” – but you know what, deal with it! LOL
Let’s say you’re in the Personal Development niche, and you come across an AMAZING Motivational Video by, I dunno – Bob Proctor on youtube that just moved and motivated you like nothing else.
As I already explained in step #1, a VIDEO could be a great example of something you could send as part of a “Content Email”.
You don’t have to take any time to create it, edit it, modify or optimize it. You simply put a link in your email, write a quick paragraph about it and hit “send”.
It’s pretty damn easy to do the same thing with a great article you want to share as well. I do this all the time and send traffic to people like Neil Patel because they post good content – and I want my own list to see it!
And you know what?
People LOVE me for sharing OTHER people’s content, AND it shows them that I actually care about sharing QUALITY content with them – even if it’s not my own!
7. A/B Test Different Subject Lines
It’s ALWAYS important to see what your lists responds to, or doesn’t…
What I’ll sometimes do is use awebers A/B/ split test feature (GetResponse has this too) and send out two IDENTICAL emails with different subject lines.
It’s pretty easy to do, you can choose to have your email sent randomly to 50% (or 33%, etc) of your list – each with a different subject line.
This is HELPFUL because it shows you which subject lines are getting the most opens – which is FFD – Fucking Fantastic Data! LOL (I just made that up, feel free to use it….or not)
Anyways, the idea here is simple: you get to see which subject lines your list responds to better. Silly ones, funny ones, serious ones, long ones, short ones etc. You get the drift – but as SIMPLE as this sounds it’s well worth doing.
Let’s say I use the two following subject lines in a test:
- Hey! 🙂
- Did you get your free download yet?
Both are good honestly, both will get the attention of readers, but which will get the better open rates? Does my list go more for the personal and open “hey!” or do they respond better to a more informative subject line?
Sometimes it’s good to use a mix of the two, but try this for yourself – you’ll see how powerful it is.
8. K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
Let’s be honest here, THIS blog post is quite long – bordering on 3,000 words now and I’m not even done. While this is informative and (i like to think) DAMNED good content, it’s NOT a great example of an email.
Try to keep your emails UNDER 200-300 words – keep them short, and to the point.
Here’s an example of an email I might send out to promote Anik’s Free Book, The Circle of Profit:
Subject: Step By Step Book – How To Generate 1 Million
Just wanted to make sure you got my email yesterday
about the FREE book by Anik Singal, The Circle of Profit
In the book, Anik shows you step by step models that will shock you:
- Find a profitable passion
- Convert passion into a BUSINESS
- Hit your first 1 Million using copy and paste steps!
No matter what you do, go here and claim your copy immediately.
>>> Step By Step Book – How To Generate 1 Million
I’m going to go back and keep reading!
Jeff(at)JeffLenney.com <— I’m real, email me!
Short, Sweet and to the point!
Did the subject line grab your attention? Did it make you want to click? Well It did for about 25% of my list! 🙂
Which goes into my next point…
9. What the click?
This one’s easy – make your email links MATCH your subject line content.
Using the above email as an example, notice that my clickable link (anchor text)MATCHES my subject line?
Subject: Step By Step Book – How To Generate 1 Million
Link: >>> Step By Step Book – How To Generate 1 Million
I actually learned this trick just last year (in 2014) by Mark Ling, of Affilorama. He was speaking at Anik’s Inbox Blueprint Live event in Las Vegas and gave some LIVE stats on different emails he’s tested.
Not surprisingly, links that MATCHED the subject lines were getting a higher CTR in his tests.
I’ve been doing this myself now since Vegas, and have noticed an improvement as well.
People OPENED your email because of that subject line, and that’s generally what they’ll click on.
Nothing more needed here, this is easy – make sure your anchor text (clickable link) matches your subject line – I GUARANTEE you’ll get a higher CTR if you test this.
(Note: because I KNOW this is going to get brought up, ONLY do this when it’s applicable to what you’re offering. If you’re using “Hey!” as your subject line (Like Frank Kern often does), you want to make sure your link is about what you’re offering, not simply “Hey”, as I’ve seen some people do before!)
Bonus Tip: Use Hunter.io to track who opens your emails on Gmail!
10. Space things out – please! LOL
Simply put, don’t cram everything into one long paragraph. That makes it REALLY hard to read, and not so easy on the eyes.
Try to space things out like this:
How are things?
I wanted to talk about something super
duper neato cool that I came across the other day.
It’s a FREE book, given away by my super duper fantastic friend Jeff Lenney
In it, you’ll learn:
- Cool Benefit
- Cool Benefit
- Cool Benefit
Make sure you download it NOW,
before the evil space goblins take it down forever!
Notice how I spaced things out and made it easy to read?
Feel free to use this format, it works wonders and keeps people engaged, and clicking on your links.
So I guess that’s about it…
Anyways, I spent about a week on this post – it’s actually my longest post to date so PLEASE take the time to read it, study it and put into action what you learn!
I promise you’ll be a better email marketer if you do!
One last thing – If you found it useful, like it and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter – I’d REALLY appreciate that.
If you have ANY questions, let me know via the comments below. I DO read and respond to each comment! 🙂
P.S. If you REALLY want to take your List Building to the next level, there are a few things you can do:
- Check out Inbox Blueprint, by Anik Singal
- See Step #1 🙂
P.S. Want to know some LEGIT Affiliate Programs you can start with?
Thanks, this was great info
Nice informative post. I’ll use a few of these tips for sure.
By the way… where is your email optin? Do you have optins on this site? I want to sign up.
Thanks Kyle, you should see a sidebar with an optin, and a optin box at the end of this page – i ALSO have an exit popup when you leave 🙂
Hopefully one of those worked 😀
Thanks, glad you found this useful! 🙂
Great Content, Thanks Jeff!
Sure thing, thank YOU, Nnamdi! 🙂
great content. thanks Jeff!
Thank YOU David! 🙂
You say “I usually set up a series like this about 15 email long or so – then try to send out broadcasts to my list as few times a week…”.
Does this mean you send one email per day (as Anik Singal suggests) for the first 15 days and then revert to 2-3 emails per week?
Hi Colin, yes sir you nailed it 🙂
Awesome – your style of writing makes me want to read. Honest and down to earth. Super helpful
Thanks so much Paulina, I really appreciate that and am glad to hear you’re enjoying my content 🙂
Awesome content of email marketing this is very helpful to me. I’ve been following your post websites and updates about money making..but I’m not stalker please let you know haha xd..
LOL thanks i really appreciate that 🙂
Hi Jeff, thank you. you’re my role model on creating an amazing content like this! keep up the good work
Thank you Rian – appreciate your kind words. 🙂
Jeff- Thanks for the amazing post. The information is spot on and helpful. I sent you an email a few days ago regarding an offer I signed up for from one of your BuildMyList offer emails. Any chance you can send along the freebies you offeres? Thanks
Hey thanks Bryan and sorry for the delayed comment HERE
I already sent you the bonus info – let me know if you didnt get it 🙂
That is an oustanding Article Jeff! When I went through Profit Academy 2 I had 2 passion Niches that i have followed, Personal Development ( TheGannonProject) and Golf (GannonGolf) which is my day Job, I have found a new love and Passion for IM. Do you think I should keep the other 2 going or in the words of the great Jimmy Russell ” Do 1 thing, do it well, do it all the way!” ( Sorry I’m a Bourbon fan). Im going to a 3 day event here in Sydney that Mal Emery is putting on and one of the “Big Names” attending the event is Russell Brunson, pretty excited about that 🙂 I’m hoping to cement my future driven works their, but would love your advice brother, as we say over here, your about as Fair Dinkum as it gets and I love you work. Thanks
LOL Thanks Steve – I appreciate that man! 🙂
Wow, Jeff! Fantastic article. Lots of great info to refer back on. You first came to my attention through the Profit Academy coaching & I sought your website from there. I love your very personal writing style. It is obvious that you are passionate about your work and care about people. You share top grade knowledge without the fluff. It is a powerful combination and why I listen when you speak. Thank you for gifting us the benefit of your insight.
Wow, well thank you Teresa. I genuinely appreciate your kind words & am so happy you found this article useful. Thanks for making my morning 🙂
Dude you had me at “10 email best marketing practices for affiliate marketers”.
Love your content mate. Keep it coming.
LOL Thanks man!
Great post Jeff. I was on the fence about the e-mail frequency thing but what you say about mailing your list every day makes sense (familiarity). True about the warning not to promote in every e-mail. That is a sure way to get me personally to unsubscribe. Thanks for the great post. Keep ’em coming.
Just do it – trust me you’ll see great results! 🙂
Thanks for your feedback!
Really helpful content jeff. I love your blog. I was actually thinking of doing a weightloss blog as I have struggled with losing for a long time, and now eventually have diabetics. So I will add things. I might let you look at it and perhaps you would give me your opinion. Another thing, I was promoting an offer over facebook, unfortunatly I never got sales. but this has fired me up. I must use an opt page next time. Then at least I will collect emails.
This building a relationship with people is important because people are more likely to buy I know if I have promoted products online, I have done this more successfully through chatting and building some sort of relationship with them.
Thanks very much I am enjoying the blog.Will make a notebook with notes in it and study.
My goal in life is to make serious money on the internet, and enrol for profit academy.
Hey Thank you so much Linda, and good luck on YOUR journey as well! 🙂
You should do that blog, sounds like you’ve got the passion and right mindset for it!!
You are like a dad providing excellent quality advise for a newbie, who is an introvert that is currently bogged down in information gathering and trying to learn as much as possible. Your mails are truly motivating, encourages me to stay the course, be creative, and transparent. I hear you saying just hang in there, with my help you can make it; I have been there so just try this. Will be saving this in my archived. A matter of fact I haven’t deleted any. Thank you so much. I will definitely transfer the connection I experience with you to my subscribers. Thanks again.
Hah – my pleasure K, thanks so much for your kind words. But Dad? Common, i’m not THAT old yet 😛
Great post 🙂
Are you still using the pre-written swipe emails from JV pages or do you re-write them? I was thinking the email services were starting to look at content and mark messages as spam that are sent out by multiple people, like JV promos.
I USUALLY try to re-write them and put my own spin on them! Great question, and you’re right they DO look at the emails 🙂
Dude you never seem to stop amazing me with all of your wonderful content and suggestions. Keep it up Brother and thanks for what you do!!!
Thanks Sam – you’re too kind 🙂
Great stuff Jeff ! Glad I visited your blog. Thanks for the amazing content. You rock !
Thanks Louise – I do what I can 🙂
Thank you! This is excellent content in so many ways! This was actually very inspirational for me as I have been stuck fighting with what I truly want to do. Reading this seriously brought tears to my eyes and made me come to the realization that it is okay to be REAL because people need to hear true life experiences as they will relate. You also helped me clarify that my purpose is to help people lose weight and get in fabulous shape because I’ve been fat a few times in my life and I’m 20#s overweight now and I’m done with that! It’s full force ahead – I’m ready! Thanks for the inspiration!
BTW – I totally love ‘the dancers’! 🙂
Wow, thanks so much Michele. I’m happy that you enjoyed the content and THRILLED that it motivated you like it did. I have no words for this, so thank you 🙂
Great content Jeff. You always make it sound so simple and more importantly so achievable.
You are also a brilliant example of ‘how to treat your list’ as you actually reply to questions and posts….i don’t want your head to out grow your hat…but dare I say…inspirational?
Yes I do!
LOL – thanks so much Marianne. I really appreciate it. 🙂
I’ve got more posts coming – so stay tuned!
Thanks Jeff…Great content…need to hear it again and again! Learned some new stuff too…like the sample emails!! I need that.
Happy to hear it Vince, and glad you found some useful tidbits 🙂
Great post man! If anyone knows about building relationships with customers it’s Jeff. I am not just saying that because that is also my name. But is sounds good, just rolls off the tongue… Jeff.
In all seriousness, Jeff knows his marketing. He is one of the best kept secrets in the industry. That is why he works with so many high profile people. Get his time now before he figures out how valuable it is. 🙂
LOL Thank you JD – that’s awesome, and yes the name “Jeff” certainly is one of greatness 🙂
Wonderful. wonderful Jeff, Thanks heaps for this blog. This is sooo helpful for me with regards to my own email marketing business. Step by step written instruction is my favourite mode of learning. Like Cindy, I always open your emails….. with glee. Thanks again. Sharron from Western Australia.
Great content – as always!! Thank you!!
Aww thank you Kathryn – that means alot coming from you! 🙂
I have to agree with you 110%, build the relationship with your list like you have done, when I get an email from you I always stop what I’m doing and read it completely. If it comes from you its important and always offers something of importance.
Wow, thank you so much Cindy! I may have to quote you on this later! LOL
Take care 🙂
Nice post dude! Super helpful!!
Thank you Brian! I put a lot of time into it, appreciate the feedback! 🙂