When it comes to affiliate marketing, it is important to look beyond the confines of banners and text advertising. Developing email marketing campaigns can be a great way to market, as long as you follow the rules.
Before you get started, you need to ensure that you are gathering as many email addresses as possible. Without a hefty list of addresses, your chances of success are low. However, don't waste money on unsegmented and unverified lists from unknown or trusted sources. Marketing a targeted product to a mystery list will not lead to conversions. Do whatever it takes to match your email gathering techniques with your target market. Let's take kids merchant KooKoo Bear Kids, for example. If you are considering launching an email marketing campaign for this brand, try requesting email addresses on a site targeting parents and parenting. By distributing a newsletter with parenting tips in exchange for an email address, you'll have lots of targeted prospects signing up.
So you have a list of email addresses. Before you proceed with your campaign, there are certain steps that will be necessary to take. It will be crucial to ensure that all users subscribing to your newsletter follow a double opt-in procedure. The first step (single opt-in) is the address submission itself, where the user will receive an email asking them to confirm their subscription by clicking on a link (double opt-in). By confirming their subscription twice, you will be complying with the all important Can Spam laws. Another important Can Spam practice is to include an unsubscribe or opt-out link in any of your mailers.
In order to really be able to know your audience and sell them just the right product, it helps to include 3 or 4 optional questions during the sign-up process. Basic information like age, gender and hobbies can help you segment your list, which will help you increase conversions.
You have a segmented email list and a product to sell. Now is the time to get in touch with your affiliate managers to have them help you prepare the best possible sales message. They'll likely have creatives and tips to help you optimize your campaign. They may also be able to provide something called a suppression list, which is a list of addresses that have already opted-out of any in-house email marketing campaigns. However, it is also important to contact your affiliate managers to ensure you are following your merchant terms. Some merchants do not allow their affiliates to run email marketing campaigns.
Nicky Senyard is CEO of Share Results. Share Results provides top-level affiliate management, support and reporting to leading global brands such as American Medical ID, KooKoo Bear Kids, and Real Networks. Share Results prides itself on its vibrant, personalized, relationship-focused model of affiliate marketing and works closely with affiliates and merchants alike to achieve results.