Do you want to start making more affiliate sales?
If so, you need to start sending cold emails. A cold email is a message that you send to someone who doesn’t know you, and it’s one of the best ways to get in touch with potential affiliates.
In this blog post, we will teach you how to write a cold email for affiliate marketing that will help you make more sales!
Let’s start with the basics.
Cold Affiliate Marketing Campaign
- Adopt a website trigger technology
- Personalize your emails
- Use email marketing tools
- Create a cold emailing follow-up sequence
- Set a follow-up frequency
- Execute a value-value offer formula
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- What is Affiliate Email Marketing?
- Benefits of Email Affiliate Marketing to affiliates
- What makes cold email marketing effective?
- 8 steps to crafting a profitable cold email strategy
- How can I use Cold Emails for Affiliate Marketing?
- How are affiliate marketers paid for their marketing?
- Types of Affiliate Marketing Channels
- What is a cold email template?
- 8 Cold Email Templates to Test in
- Topics & Questions
What is Affiliate Marketing?
I know you quite understand what affiliate marketing is, but let’s define it properly to differentiate it from other forms of marketing. Essentially, it is a form of marketing where someone – an affiliate – promotes an affiliate product to make a commission from the sale.
That means almost any sort of promotion you see on the internet intending to make a sale is some form of affiliate marketing. You shouldn’t confuse it with influencer marketing, though.
Affiliates earn money purely on commission basics, while influencers are paid based on their influence and not necessarily sales.
Most e-commerce stores, such as Amazon and online businesses like Legendary Marketer, have opted to undertake affiliate marketing because it is risk-free and results-based.
That means a business will only pay based on the sales that the affiliate sends their way. It’s also free to sign up for most affiliate networks. So, you only need to sign up and list your products as a merchant.
What is Affiliate Email Marketing?
Now that you know what is affiliate marketing, how about if you combine that with email marketing? The result is you will be marketing your affiliate products through emails and hence affiliate email marketing.
I know most affiliate marketers have blogs and undertake search engine optimization to acquire organic leads, but some couple that with email marketing and make huge returns. The thing is, email marketing acts as a bottom-of-funnel conversion technique.
It’s only through emails that you can develop two-way communication with your audience, develop a stronger bond, and increase their customer lifetime value (CLV).
And since emails tend to be personalized and targeted at a specific interest, marketers achieve higher conversion rates.
You can run SEO, Facebook ads, or market on social media, but the endpoint is the lead will convert after a compelling lead-nurturing email sequence.
Benefits of Email Affiliate Marketing to affiliates
Any affiliate who has tried his hand at email affiliate marketing has reported great success with it. Here are some benefits of this marketing technique:
Easier to track
You can track your email marketing efforts right on the dashboard of your email marketing tool. They will be right there if you want to check the emails open rate, click-through rate, and even sales. Some tools even have in-depth analytics.
It is cost-effective
You don’t need a lot to of capital get started with email marketing for your affiliate marketing business. Just select a tool like GetResponse, sign up for their free-forever plan, create a squeeze page right on the platform, and begin collecting the email addresses of your prospects.
You can learn from your audience
You can learn a great deal from your subscribers based on the clicks that your subscribers make, the open rate, and the replies you get from them.
Yes, even from the products they end up purchasing. You can gauge their purchase behavior, favourite products, time zones, and others. All these will help you to optimize your products for better conversions.
It has higher returns
Email marketing has higher returns than other forms of marketing, such as paid ads. Since it’s personalized and tends to target the emotions of your audience, it delivers more leads and sales. It also has a higher profit margin since it costs less to begin.
What makes cold email marketing effective?
Cold email is not different from a typical cold call. Have you ever been in sales? If yes, then that makes it easier to explain since someone in sales will always have to make a ton of cold calls to prospects before making sales.
Cold emailing is merely an email sent to someone who still doesn’t know about you or your affiliate products. Email marketing is meant to bring people into your sales pipeline by offering value and introducing a sale down in the funnel.
This marketing technique is effective because it is personalized and targeted at a particular interest. If you are targeting marketing managers of digital marketing firms, it’s easier to target their interests and hence convert them to sales.
If you offer a lead magnet to them in exchange for their emails, then you are building your list – and the money is on the list. It is also cost-effective and delivers instant results.
8 steps to crafting a profitable cold email strategy
Would you want to try your hand at cold emailing? It is not rocket science. With just a few steps, you should be up and running.
Here is how to write a cold email for affiliate marketing:
- Register Another Domain
Since cold emailing is all about sending emails to an unknown audience, your domain name could easily get banned as a result. People don’t like just any other person emailing them without their consent. So, they often choose to mark the email as spam.
And once several people report you as spam, your domain name will most likely get banned by the email partners such as Gmail or Yahoo. To avoid that, come up with a unique domain name that’s related to what you are promoting.
You can visit domain hosting companies like Namecheap to purchase a domain name for as low as $10. GoDaddy is another excellent option. However, I recently came across a site offering domains and one year of email hosting for $1. You can check the offer at IONOS.
- Verify Your Authenticity
The next thing is to verify that you are who you say you are. You need to verify your authenticity to avoid getting banned and make people trust you. It helps to keep your emails out of the spam folder and improve your deliverability.
You need to set up SPF and DKIM on your server to do this. Once your set them up on your DNS server, it helps to authenticate your emails and hence reduces your chances of landing on the spam or promotions folder in your subscriber’s device.
- Collect Email Addresses
You now have a domain name and have verified your authenticity; the next thing is to collect email addresses if you already don’t have them.
You can do that by using various lead-generation tools available online. Go for the paid ones, such as Apollo or Helios. These two are the best when it comes to collecting quality contacts.
Segment the emails and put them into different lists based on their attributes – you should have already crafted these attributes before generating them. If you have the emails saved in a CSV file, prepare to clean them since not all of them are currently in use.
You can also use the emails of people already in your network. It can be people in your LinkedIn profile or who recently joined your private Facebook group. These can act as your first few contacts before you build up an email list.
- Verify The Emailing Process
Not all emails are authentic. Even though the lead generation tool you use will do its best to deliver quality emails, not all of them are authentic.
It may be that the user no longer has access to it, or they changed it. That means you need to verify both the emails and the emailing process to identify flaws before launching your emails.
Use tools like Mail Tester to identify the flaws in your authentication process. Your emailing process needs to be flawless to enhance the success of your cold emails. If there is a flaw, emails could be marked as spam, and you may never get the results you want.
Tools like Bouncer can also help you verify the email addresses before you send them. It can test and validate the email address and mark it as valid. Don’t send emails to invalid customers since that can reduce the chances of getting opens and clicks.
- Write Compelling Email Copy And Sequence
With the emails in place, it is time to craft compelling emails that will serve as your marketing message and warm up your cold audience.
You can either do this alone or hire a copywriter to do the job on Fiverr or Upwork. Most charge about $1k to craft a compelling cold email sequence.
Take note of the copywriting rules. Start with the attention line, spur interest with either a story or experience, trigger their desire by giving a personalized offer to solve their challenges, and close off with a call-to-action.
It should be a sequence, too. Not all cold lead converts on a single email. That means you need several email sequences based on the subscribers’ actions.
For example, if they click on the link and fail to purchase, trigger a follow-up sequence. Read this post to understand more about email automation rules [link].
- Choose An Effective Email Marketing Tool
All these will only work if you select an effective email marketing tool. There are a couple of email marketing tools I would recommend, but if you choose one, look for one with the following essential attributes:
- Undertake A/B Testing
A/B testing is essential in cold emailing a great deal. If you are to generate affiliate sales, you will need to test different audiences and gauge their response to your content. Not all of them will be interested. However, some will open and click on your affiliate links.
Undertaking A/B testing is essential to determine the type of email subject lines, copy, and call-to-action that will perform better. Some tools will allow you to do this with ease. However, others will only allow you to A/B test the subject lines.
- Test And Optimize Everything
You should keep testing and optimizing for better results until you find the highly-performing subject lines, email copy, and call-to-action button.
However, these are not the only aspects you ought to test. You can test for spam trigger words, templates that deem to perform well with your audience, email signatures, tracking, links, and others aspects. After testing, optimize these for better conversions.
How can I use Cold Emails for Affiliate Marketing?
At least almost all the big e-commerce giants have incorporated an affiliate marketing campaign into their marketing plans.
Amazon, e-bay, and others have an affiliate marketing program where affiliates can sign up to promote the products listed on the website and make up to 10% in affiliate commission.
In fact, most Amazon sales are the effort of their many affiliate marketers. That means affiliate marketing can work for both small and medium-sized businesses.
It is a smart business move that could see your business rake in sales. However, how do you utilize cold emails for affiliate marketing?
Here are some tips:
Adopt a website trigger technology
Have you ever visited a website twice and got a pop-up with a discount to purchase their products? Well, that’s an example of website-trigger technology. It is a smart technique to generate sales from a cold audience.
These are essentially lines of code that set out to perform an action if a condition is met. For example, you can decide to send out an email with a discount code if someone clicks on an email, lands on your site, and fails to make a purchase.
One of the reasons for not making a purchase could be because of the price. And with a discount code, you are bound to bring him back to your site to make a purchase.
The technology can help drive traffic to your website, increase conversions, and grow your affiliate marketing business. They can automate your business’s processes and save time and marketing resources.
It can segment and send customized emails to subscribers based on browsing behavior and increase their overall lifetime value.
OptinMonster is an example of such a tool. You can install it on your website and set out triggers after assigning conditions based on how your think your audience will engage with your content. They have a free plan. Try it out and see your affiliate’s sales soar.
Personalize your emails
Another technique to leverage cold email affiliate marketing is to personalize emails to achieve a higher conversion rate. And I’m not talking about adding the first and last name in the introduction of your cold email. Personalization is more than that.
It is about approaching the subscriber with a value-addition mentality rather than a salesperson.
Most of the emails in your subscriber’s inbox already talk about selling a certain product to him. If you come in intending to add value, you will most likely get more opens and clicks than your competitors.
Personalization begins with the subject line. Research shows that brands that had a personalized subject line had 26% increases in open rate.
Don’t send a generic subject line because they will not click to open your email. Take time to understand your audience and personalize.
The introduction should be personalized, too. It should talk about specific issues that you know the subscriber is facing. That’s the only way they can open the email, read the first few lines, and get compelled to read the whole email before clicking on those golden links.
Use email marketing tools
Cold emailing for affiliate marketing is not as easy as you may perceive. Getting to the point where you are getting consistent sales for your affiliate marketing business is often a challenge. However, you can utilize various cold email tools and achieve your desired results.
The first step is always to collect the emails you want to target. With the emails, you can then create a drip email campaign and send it to the subscribers. That’s after segmenting and crafting a personalized email copy.
These tools can help a lot in the process. With cold emailing tools like Mailshake or Lemlist, you can collect high-quality contacts and market your affiliate marketing offers to them.
And since not all emails you collect are valid, the tools can help to verify and clean the emails, such that you are sending emails to real people.
And since the emails you collect are not all in the same time zone, the tools can help you schedule a drip email campaign based on the different time zones. You can even upload an email list to the database if you had a list before.
Create a cold emailing follow-up sequence
Following up is essential in sales if you have never known this. In fact, from research, 80% of sales online are achieved after 5-followup emails.
Most don’t even follow up. Other affiliate marketers send one email follow-up and choose to give up.
That shouldn’t be the case.
Your subscribers are busy. They also tend to forget a lot. And in addition to that, they have read your email, become interested, and then failed to make a purchase based on technical issues, which arise almost all the time. Following up will increase your chances of getting a conversion from them.
And you don’t have to do this every now and then. You can automate all these with an email marketing tool like ActiveCampaign or GetResponse. Create a cold email and follow-up sequence of up to five emails and send it to your segmented email list.
Set a follow-up frequency
Even as you craft your follow-up emails, understand that a cold email follow-up frequency is essential towards increasing your conversion rates. You can’t send three emails in a day and expect not to be marked as spam by the subscriber.
You can send follow-up emails every day, after every two days, or on specific days when you think the subscriber will open and read your email.
Remember, these subscribers are in different time zones as well. Some may not respond if you launch a drip campaign and send emails without considering that.
In addition, you can opt to get rid of emails that don’t respond after sending several follow-up emails. You are paying to send those emails. So, any subscriber that doesn’t respond after that follow-up sequence can be removed from the list.
Execute a value-value offer formula
This is almost like utilizing the AIDA formula in your cold emailing efforts. It works wonders if used well and to the right audience. The aim is to offer unique value to subscribers and make them click on your affiliate links to make a purchase.
The first step is to send an email that can spur interest and make them want to learn more about the product. That has to come after learning a great deal about your prospects. If you previously sent offers to them, segment those subscribers who took action and create a list.
After the first email, send another email with 2X more value. It should be a product that directly solves their immediate challenge. The aim is to move them from the interest stage to desire. Trigger desire through offering a more personalized offer.
The next step is to segment the subscribers who were interested in your first offer and put them on a separate list. You can then send a product with 3X more value and insert an affiliate link. This strategy works for most affiliates.
Use lead-generation tools
There are also a ton of lead generation softwares online to help you in your cold emailing for affiliate marketing. Tools such as Ninja Outreach can help you find targeted leads in any niche. You can then segment and upload the list into your email marketing tool’s database.
There are also tools meant to help you find influencers in certain niches. Influencer marketing has been on the rise recently.
Check out this resourceful blog post to learn more about it [link]. And if you can get the right influencers to induce your product into their audiences, you will most likely make affiliate sales.
How are affiliate marketers paid for their marketing?
After promoting an affiliate product and generating affiliate sales, how will you get paid as an affiliate? Well, there are a few ways:
Types of Affiliate Marketing Channels
To make money from your affiliate marketing efforts, you will need a profitable affiliate offer, the right target audience, and the channel to reach them. Your preferred marketing channel will determine who your marketing message will reach and hence convert to leads and sales.
Here are some affiliate marketing channels to go for:
Most affiliate sales currently come from blogs. In fact, most top affiliates are bloggers. Yes, the top ten highest-earning affiliate marketers are bloggers. If you check blogs such as Smart Passive Income, it generates over $3 million in affiliate sales per year.
To establish a blog as an effective affiliate marketing channel, you will need to target the customers’ search intent. And to do that, you will have to research the keywords they are using. You can then optimize your written content around those keywords.
Once your blog begins to rank, then making passive income online becomes easy. You just need to keep blogging consistently and offer value to your audience. If people like your content and spend more time consuming it, search engines will notice and increase your SERP.
Email marketing is perhaps the best affiliate marketing channel for any affiliate. It works for almost any niche. And with the growth of the internet and e-commerce, its effectiveness and profitability keep soaring.
The reason for that is because it is personalized to a particular segment of subscribers. Read this post to learn about email segmentation and personalization [link]. You will understand why email marketing has the highest ROI compared to other marketing channels, such as SEO.
It’s cost-effective, profitable, and creates a better relationship with your tribe. It makes them trust you. And as such, trust increases their overall customer lifetime value (CLV). Read this post on how to get started with email marketing for affiliate marketing [link].
Influencers are individuals who have amassed a certain level of influence over a particular audience by offering helpful information to their lives or businesses. They are mostly found on Instagram or TikTok – the most recent social media platform.
You can approach influencers to help undertake brand recognition and boost engagement with your products. They are also helpful when it comes to product activation. Most brands work with influencers on monthly basics. Others choose to work on commission basics. Influencers are paid per post depending on the size of their following and your niche.
You can also choose to create video content and promote your affiliate products on YouTube. It is the second most popular search engine in the world after Google. So, you will more likely attract and compel many prospects to enter your pipeline and convert to sales down the way.
To create YouTube content, go for simple product review videos since they are the easiest to make. Aim to pass value by teaching your audience how to do X and get Y results. You can then ask them to click the link in your video description to download your lead magnet.
With enough subscribers and a thousand watch hours, you can make money from the YouTube partnership program as well as your affiliate sales. Many subscribers will also make it easier for YouTube to place your videos among the recommended videos.
Rate and review sites
Rate and review platforms such as TrustPilot can serve as a good affiliate marketing channel. People use these platforms to decide on which product to purchase online.
Essentially, it’s where customers can rate and review brands based on their service delivery, the value of their products, and other factors.
And since these sites have a high DA, they rank for many keywords and tap into a lot of organic traffic on search engines. Instead of competing to outrank them, you can leverage them for quality traffic and backlinks, which are essential in SEO.
There are numerous social forums online. These are online sites where people meet and discuss things affecting them. It can be that a website they use is not functioning, the payment processor is giving errors, or they merely want reviews about a product.
Forums such as Reddit act as good affiliate marketing channel. You can leverage it for high-quality traffic, which will often convert to sales in the long run. There are other social forums depending on the product. Take some time to research before diving in.
Before making a purchase, online shoppers generally want to find the most affordable item on the market. That means they have to check out several coupon websites.
And if you list your offers on these sites, they will act as a source of quality traffic. Since they are already interested in making a purchase and are merely in the decision stage, converting them to sales on your website would be easier.
These are sites meant for advertising your services and gigs. One such site is Craiglist. It harbors people looking for particular services and others willing to sell them at a fee. That means it has a good potential to attract quality traffic to your affiliate offers.
Most of these sites are free. So, you don’t need a lot to begin. You just need to fill in your details and advertise your products or services.
What is a cold email template?
A cold email template is essentially a format you can use to craft a compelling cold email. You can craft a template and use it for all your cold email processes.
Each template you come up with will depend on what you intend to sell, your target audience, and the relationship you already have with them.
8 Cold Email Templates to Test in
Before writing a cold email marketing strategy for your affiliate program, you should first come up with a template. It helps a great deal if you want to capture your audience’s pain points and drive action. It also saves time since you will have a seamless email marketing process.
Here are a few of the best cold email templates to try out as an affiliate marketer:
Most e-commerce businesses have learnt to use this email marketing format in their daily emailing process. It has proven to be successful even in cold emailing. Not only is it mostly used in sales but also an effective formula when writing any kind of copy.
The main idea is to paint the picture of the customer’s situation before and after using your affiliate product or ordering your service.
Painting that picture in their minds helps to spur interest and desire to achieve that solution. And since your product will seem to provide an immediate way out, they will most likely take that solution.
If you clearly understand the subscriber’s challenges, why not provide a way through? You can do that by introducing an offer that targets that particular problem.
Use this formula to analyze the problems you know your audience faces, emphasise and analyze the problem, and provide a solution in the form of an affiliate product. That means the email has to be as personalized as possible.
This works when you are sending a direct email to someone you already know or have interacted with. It can be that you heard of his accomplishments, or they posted about an important life event.
You can praise and make them flattered by complimenting them on their recent achievements, bringing in the picture of how they can use your affiliate product to keep on winning and spur desire that will make them take your desired action.
This is the oldest yet one of the most effective copywriting techniques. You can use it to craft a compelling cold email, Facebook ad, or sales copy.
It’s the mnemonic for;
A – Action
Grab the subscriber’s attention with a personalized subject line, spur their interest with a compelling introduction and lead them on a journey to the end.
You can trigger desire by infusing a personal experience or introducing a product that directly solves their immediate challenge.
Rock the boat
Sometimes, your potential customers could be in their comfort zone and fail to achieve X results since they are comfortable using product Y. However, if your product can help them achieve X results, rock that boat.
Challenge their current status and provide a way to a higher purpose through your affiliate products. Every human being often desires to be something that they currently are not. If your product can help them achieve progress in their lives, they will most often buy it.
Sujan’s 3 sentence format
This template is meant for busy individuals who you feel might not have all the time to glean what’s in the whole email copy. If you are targeting CEOs and marketing managers, perhaps you should try going with this approach.
It’s about trimming down your copy to as short as possible. That means you will have a one-line introduction, a few lines explaining what exactly your offer is, and a sign-off with a compelling call to action.
Be as direct as possible. And from research, this template tends to give more results than the bulky and wordy emails that most marketers send.
Mention a competitor’s product
If someone is using a product similar to yours, you can make them switch over by giving them better terms than what they are currently getting.
Just have a compelling subject line with the competitor’s product, introduce your product, and highlight a unique selling proposition explaining why someone should make the switch. If the terms are better, they will most likely do it.
Topics & Questions
Here are a few questions that most people ask regarding cold email for affiliate marketing. Let’s answer some of them:
Cold emailing is an effective marketing technique that can bring you sales if done correctly.
If you are targeting a particular interest group, it becomes easier to convert them to sales. Personalization and offers of value in exchange for contact information are key when using this method.
What other methods have you used to increase your sales?
How effective were they?
Let me know in the comments.