The first time you set up your affiliate website, you were absolutely positive that it will rake in the results that you’re hoping for in only a matter of weeks.
But you’ve soon discovered that affiliate marketing is not that easy.
Months have already passed by and you’re still not getting the traction that you’ve been expecting.
You look at everything you’ve been doing and as far as you’re concerned, you’ve been doing everything right.
What could be the problem?
There are countless possible reasons your affiliate marketing is not taking off.
In this article, we will discuss what these common problems are, and how one form of marketing strategy can resolve them.
But before we get to that, we need to first go back to the basics in order to understand more clearly how exactly affiliate marketing works. This way, you can easily spot the loopholes in your process.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of online business in which you do not promote your own products.
Instead, you promote, market and sell the products of another person or company, and it is through this process that you earn a commission.
This has been proven by many as an effective means for generating regular income online.
How Does it Work?
To make it work for you, first you need to set up a blog or website, which you’ve probably already done.
Then, you have to join an affiliate network or program, and get your hands on affiliate products that are related to the niche that you’ve chosen.
Next, fill your website or blog with excellent content. By excellent we mean, high quality content that your target audience can relate to, and which can resolve their problems and struggles.
In this content, you can insert relevant and appropriate affiliate products.
Each time a customer clicks on the affiliate link to buy an affiliate product, you get to earn a certain amount of commission.
The commission rate is determined by several factors, but ultimately it’s the merchant or the owner of the product who decides how much the commission rate is.
What are Needed to Succeed?
There are several things that you need to succeed in affiliate marketing and these include:
- A high converting blog or website that performs efficiently and quickly.
- Consistent high quality content that meets the needs and solves the problems of your target audience.
- A comprehensive marketing campaign consisting of the most powerful marketing channels.
- An active community around your blog or website
- A positive online reputation that puts you in the position as a credible and trustworthy expert in the niche
Importance of Email Marketing
One of the most powerful marketing channels that you cannot afford to overlook is email marketing.
Contrary to what other people are saying, email is not dead.
Even with the boom of social media, email remains very much alive and active in doing what it does best—connect people with each other and serve as a direct channel for communication.
If you think that you can do affiliate marketing without an email list, you are wrong.
Studies have shown that in the United States, more than 80 percent of online consumers are more likely to buy a product because of email marketing strategy.
Up to 94 percent online marketers consider email marketing as an integral part of any digital marketing plan for any type of online business.
Nearly 90 percent of them are planning to boost email marketing spend in the coming year.
Here’s another stat that you simply cannot ignore as an email: more than 40 percent of the top affiliates confirm that email is the number one source of traffic to their site.
As you can see, email marketing is important for your affiliate marketing business and you cannot afford to ignore it.
But the problem is, many affiliates, especially the new ones, still do not make any effort in building their email lists.
Take note that email marketing is not just about driving traffic to your site, it could also help resolve some of the most common and biggest problems that affiliates face day in day out.
These problems can actually cost you a lot of money each year.
These problems can even cause your business to completely stop operating.
These problems can also cause great stress, anxiety and frustration, eventually leading you to give up and quit.
Don’t worry too much. Email can help solve these problems.
But of course, there’s a catch: you need to build your email list, and you need to do it the right way.
Building an Email List
So how do you build your email list the right way?
Before we get to the tips on how to do exactly that, you must first know what those that you absolutely cannot do are:
- Never buy an email list
- Never rent an email list
- Do not spam your email subscribers
- Do not only place an opt-in box on the sidebar of your blog and expect that your email list will grow by the minute
- Never offer a lead magnet that is completely irrelevant to your online business
- Never force to people to sign up to your list
- Do not collect random email addresses online and add them to your list
Always remember this: your email list should not just be a bunch of email addresses.
An email list will only serve its purpose if the people have given you their email addresses willingly and because they are interested in what you offer.
Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your time and effort.
To be able to build an email list the right way, you must first conduct extensive research about your target audience.
Find out what their needs and problems are.
And then, create an email lead magnet that is relevant to your affiliate products, niche and business.
So let’s say that you are promoting weight loss products, you can create a free ebook of low calorie and low fat recipes that can help your target audience lose weight.
After you’ve created the lead magnet, you should now promote it on various channels, including your blog and in the pop up signup box on your blog or website.
This is the way to build an email list the right way.
It’s not an overnight thing, as you can see. It’ll take you time before you can get to the point where you have plenty subscribers to send email messages to.
But if you are consistent in providing high quality content that engages your target audience, you’ll be able to achieve your goal in no time.
Problems that Can be Solved By Email Marketing
Problem # 1 – You are losing your visitors
Here are three metrics that you absolutely cannot ignore in your affiliate marketing business:
- Repeat traffic
- Percentage of returning website visitors
- Bounce rate
One-time traffic does not do anything good for your website unless the website visitor immediately converted into a customer.
But you should make sure that you work hard enough to keep your audience engaged so that they will come back for more.
Having a high bounce rate is actually harmful to your website’s search engine ranking.
When people leave your site right away without completing any call to action, it shows Google that your site is not credible enough or that it doesn’t give what your audience wants. This is why, it will perceive your website as low authority and drop your ranking in the SERPs.
Aside from finding out the reason why people are not returning to your site and resolving these right away (e.g. confusing navigation, slow loading website and so on), you can also use email marketing to reduce your website’s bounce rate.
Having an extensive email list has proven to work in reducing bounce rates as well as boosting the percent of repeat visitors.
Why? Because your email marketing strategies will allow your website visitors get to know you more.
They have willingly signed up for your email list because they are interested in your content.
And when you send them valuable email messages that they will find useful and practical, they are reminded by what your affiliate website is all about, and there’s a bigger chance that they will return to it.
Each time you publish a new post or product review in your blog or website, send your email subscribers a link to this, and you can see that many of them would actually click the link and go to your site.
Problem # 2 – You are not getting any sales with your affiliate products
Your affiliate marketing business will not take off if you are not able to make any sale.
After all, this is how you will earn money.
Each time you get to sell an affiliate product, the merchant will compensate you with an amount pre-determined in the affiliate program.
But if you’re not getting any products sold, you won’t be earning money. It’s as simple as that.
One problem that many affiliates face is not getting enough clicks on their affiliate links.
Did you know that email marketing can also solve this problem?
It does so effectively through a number of ways.
First, email marketing can help your subscribers get to know you more. It makes it easier to establish and build trust among your target customers. As you know, online consumers are more likely to buy a product from a person they know and trust than from a total stranger. It should not come as a surprise that email marketing has an extremely high ROI of $44 for every $1 that you spend. Even social media does not have an ROI this high.
According to research, the average email clickthrough rate (CTR) is 4.19 percent. This means that if you have an email list consisting of 1,000 people, more than 40 people are likely to click your link.
If you put all your efforts in building your email list, it doesn’t have to take you a very long time to get to a list of 10,000 subscribers. This should get you at least 400 clicks.
Problem # 3 – You don’t know what your audience wants
This is a bigger problem than you realize.
If you do not know your audience, you will not be able to provide them with what they need and resolve their current problems and pain points.
If you are not able to do these two things, you are not going to earn your customer’s trust, and you will not able to make a sale.
See how it all connects?
It’s imperative that you are able to do enough research about your target audience to know their needs, wants, expectations and struggles.
You can do this with the help of email.
How can email let you know more about your customers?
Simple! You simply have to ask them.
Send them email messages asking them questions about their interests and pain points. You can even provide them with polls and questionnaires that will allow you to understand them more.
Beyond the polls and surveys, you can simply strike a casual conversation with your email subscribers.
Once you’re able to find out what they need, then it will be easier for you to align your offers with their needs.
You’ll be happy to know that many email marketing services provide survey features. These include but are not limited to Aweber, Mail Chimp and Get Response. If the platform you’re using doesn’t have a survey feature, you can make use of tools like Survey Monkey.
Problem # 4 – Your audience does not trust you
This is another huge problem that many affiliates face.
Nowadays, people no longer buy from strangers.
Instead, they buy from people they know and trust, especially online.
Online consumers have become very cautious to the point of paranoid. And you can’t blame them. It’s due to the high prevalence of online scams.
So how do you earn the trust of your target customers?
Most affiliates rely on publishing unbiased and comprehensive product reviews, but as proven in research, you can get results more quickly if you use email.
Email is a direct and professional mode of communication that makes it easier for you to earn the trust of your customers and establish your credibility.
It makes your customers connected to you on a personal level when you send them personalized emails that contain vital information about the things that they need.
Use email to regularly reach out to your target customers, share them with free valuable content, give them actionable strategies and advice, help them resolve their problems, or just be an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on when they can no longer bear their struggles.
Problem # 5 – You rely too much on search engine traffic
Search engine optimization is important—there’s no way to deny this.
SEO is the set of practices and methods that you use to get your blog or site to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The importance of SEO can be traced down to the online user’s behavior and mindset.
Most online users today no longer have the time or patience to search beyond the first few pages of the search engine results. If your site does not rank high for the keywords you’re targeting, you’re not going to get the exposure and traffic that you need to sustain your business.
Now it’s a must for any new affiliate to know that optimizing your site for the search engines can take a tremendous time and effort. Before you’ll get a top rank on the SERPs, it will take you a very long time.
This is why, you need a backup, an alternative traffic source that will help things get rolling with your business a lot more quickly.
And this is what email can do for you.
It can help you generate traffic to your site more quickly than SEO. But that is, if you’re able to build a huge following, which is doable given the right strategies to implement.
Problem # 6 – Your customers do not return for repeat purchases
Studies have proven that it is a lot easier to get an old customer to buy your products than to convince a new customer.
This is why, many experts consider repeat customers as the true lifeline of affiliate marketing business.
This does not mean that you should not work hard in getting fresh leads. But you should also invest time and effort nurturing the customers that you already have.
There is already the trust that has been established which serves as a connection between you and the customer.
Now the problem is when customers that you have no longer go back to your site to make repeat purchases.
Don’t worry. Email can resolve this problem as well.
Sending regular emails to your customers will keep on remind them that your business exists and that your website is worth checking out once more.
Many people say that affiliate marketing is easy. But the word “easy” gets thrown around a lot that you don’t really know what it means anymore. With this type of online business, easy means more convenient because you will no longer have to create your own products to sell.
But it does not mean that affiliate marketing is purely bed of roses. There are many problems, issues and challenges that you will encounter along the way. But you’ll be happy to know that you can make use of email to resolve many of these.