5 Affiliate Marketing Strategies that Convert Like Crazy
These are my favorite techniques that have earned us more than a million dollars in affiliate commissions over the years.
And believe me, we’ve tried dozens of techniques.
First, if you’re looking for secret shortcuts here, you’ll probably be disappointed. We like to focus on the fundamentals to build a solid business and I really encourage you to do the same.
Probably, the most important things we do that makes us successful affiliate marketers are:
- Cull - focus on the good stuff. Only promote products that are going to enhance our members productivity and enhance our reputations.
- Commit - once we make a decision to promote, we use the product, get to know it inside out and go all in on the promotion
- Continue - stick with it. If it’s a 5-day promotion, we continue to promote through the entire period. If it’s evergreen, we schedule it over time and create content to support it.
We’re in it for the long haul. That’s rewarded us well. And we’ve created great partnerships and relationships.
So, in the 10 years we’ve been doing this, these 5 tactics have become our favorite:
#1 Favorite Method - Email Marketing
Email marketing is still the king of online marketing ROI.
If you’ve got a list of prospects, mailing them offers can earn you a lot of money, if you do it correctly.
If you have no list now, obviously you can’t be effective with email marketing, so building your list is the priority.
There are two schools of thought.
- Short, sweet, direct and salesy. Many affiliate marketers prefer this. And some make a ton of money with 2 paragraph emails without any relationship building. We don’t do this.
- Value-based, story-based relationship. This is where we excel. Our emails are longer. Our goal is to build a long-term relationship with our community.
We almost always start with a personal story that highlights the problem and reveals the solution.
I reveal things about my personal life (and sometimes that of my family too) so that people feel like they know me well because friends buy from friends.
By the time, the story and the solution are revealed, someone clicking to the sales page is prepped positively to make the purchase WITHOUT spending a lot of time on the sales page.
This is important.
Sometimes, sales pages for really good products can hurt the sales, so we’ll even tell people sometimes that the product is great, but the sales page is really bad. Scroll to the buy button and click it.
#2 Favorite Method - Bridge Pages
A bridge page bridges the buyer from your promotion to the sales offer.
It’s important because it’s a chance to do a warm review or Demo of the product. This is usually done with video. You don’t have to be on the camera, but you can still do a product walk through or Demo of how the product solves the problem.
It is really important to use your voice for the most effective warm handoff.
A bridge page is all about delivering targeted traffic. Period.
The affiliate link is on the button in the Bridge Page. So, the ONLY people who click that button are the ones who are interested in the product.
Others have decided based on your Bridge Page that they are not interested and go away. Product owners REALLY appreciate that because your conversion rates will be huge even if your clicks are small.
Here’s what one partner said about our promotion using a bridge page.We were getting $37 EPC. That means for every click to the sales page, we made $37. Most were making less than a quarter of that.
#3 Favorite Method - Demonstrations / Walkthroughs
When I was a kid, I watched a door-to-door salesman who knocked on our door to demonstrate a Rainbow vacuum.
It was like a magic show.
The Rainbow was a water-based vacuum with a clear case.
This thing was built for in-home demonstrations. And it was all the rage for awhile.
The salesman would throw some dirt on the floor - good ol’ rich, black d
irt, and the vacuum would suck it up turning the spinning water in the clear case into dark mud.
How could you refuse? It worked - like magic.
Nearly everyone rails against multi-level marketing companies (and Rainbow was one), but Direct Sales or Network Marketing or MLM - whatever you want to call it - was built on the in-home Demo model, or “Party Plan”.
- Pampered Chef
- Mary Kay
- Send Out Cards
Just to name a few.
I’m not suggesting you join an MLM. The in-home Demo sales is dying if not already deceased. But the concept can be translated to the online world because people want to see how stuff works before they buy it.
A Demo can be video or text with images, but the goal here is very simple: Show prospects how it works and what they’re getting.
That’s why Demonstrations must include two qualities:
- Detailed “How to Use” (insert product) information, plus…
- Proof. Remember the dirt on the floor becoming mud in the water, that’s Proof with a capital P.
Your Demo needs to be just as convincing.
Combining the Demo with the Bridge Page and you have an incredibly effective process that converts like crazy.
#4 Favorite Method - Case Studies
I love Case Studies. I love to read them and love to produce them. And love to use them to make even more affiliate product sales.
We’ll talk about two kinds of Case Studies here but I cover video case studies as well in my ebook (you can grab that at the bottom of the page):
- Case Studies as reports
- Case Studies as blog posts
Case Studies all have a few things in common:
- Detailed training sessions
- Teach people how to do something
- Authority based on real experience
- Includes the tools and resources
- Reveals the results
Without results, the training is really just theory and doesn’t have the authority of experience.
Case Studies can’t be produced overnight though because the experience often takes awhile to build.
But Case Studies in any format are awesome because everyone naturally wants to know which tools and technology you used to get the results. In fact, they’re disappointed if you don’t have the resources listed at the end of the report or video.
Case Study as Report
I’m an old newspaper editor, so I love putting together special reports. Case studies are a natural.
In a good Case Study report, we include:
- Problem identification
- Solution identification
- Step-by-step instructions for implementing the solution
- Images like graphs, tables, charts, drawings, or screenshots that clarify the process visually
- The tool that made the solution possible with an option to purchase it.
Case Study Reports don’t have to be 7-figure successes. It doesn’t have to be that flashy. Any success can be turned into a Case Study.
In fact, here are a few examples of Case Study opportunities:
- My first sale
- My first $1,000
- My first $10,000 month
- How I won a contest
- How I tripled my list in 60 days
- How I created my first successful ad campaign
- How social media delivered 10 new clients this week
- The effectiveness of my 10 day Influencer campaign
- One customer’s journey using my product
And about a million more.
Sometimes, a Case Study report can be a product as well. We did exactly that with our 5 Days to $12K Case Study.
During a 5-day, middle tier, launch promotion, we took first place on the leaderboard while competing with some of the top names who have much larger lists.
The product owners were interested in how we did it. So, I created a detailed 37-page Case Study outlining the daily process and the techniques we used to claim the first prize and more than $12,000 total.
And this Case Study continues to sell even 2 years later.
Case Study as blog post
Since we’re covering blog posts in the next method, we won’t spend much time on it here.
A blog post Case Study is limited by space. Once a blog post gets to 3,000 words or more, it becomes cumbersome - and tiresome. Anything longer should probably become a report.
But Case Studies less than that word count can be very effective and make great anchor posts.
Search Engine Optimization people love blog posts Case Studies because they’re shareable. Shareable content becomes back links which give the blog even more authority in the search engine results.
Essentially though, a Case Study as a blog post has the same goal and structure as the other two types we’re highlighting.
With any of the three types of Case Studies, the goal is the same: Use overwhelming proof through the step-by-step training to persuade the reader or viewer to purchase the tools to achieve the same solution.
#5 Favorite Method - Blog Posts
It’s almost impossible to have an online business today without some kind of blog.
You can do video blogging, story blogging, product review blogging and even educational articles on your blog.
All of those can be very useful as an affiliate marketer.
Let’s talk about product reviews.
This is a fantastic way to create long term, drip income - the surprise sale that shows up unannounced year round. One of my old mentors used to call that mailbox money.
A product review is different from a Case Study in a couple of ways.
Think of the popular “unboxing” videos you see on YouTube or in some marketers’ feeds. They like to open the box, pull out the product, turn it over, open it up, turn it on (if need be) or install it, and see that it works.
Results are not really the issue. Remember, a Case Study is about the step-by-step processes used to achieve specific results.
The product review is strictly features and benefits.
Product X has Feature 1 and Feature 2 which yield Benefit 1 and Benefit 2.
My Glasses (PX) have a clear frame (F1) and UV protection on the lenses (F2) which helps me be a little more stylish than my old glasses (B1) and protects my eyes from the sun (B2).
There’s no proof that I AM more stylish or that my eyes are better protected. Those wouldn’t be verifiable results unless I had specific stats to support it.
The key is to be really honest. If there’s something you don’t like, point it out. If it is better than a competitor, do a side by side comparison.
The more detail, the more your reader will agree with you and buy.
Your review counts. Reviews are so important that Amazon incorporated them into EVERY product they sell.
The psychological value of a review is immense. It’s called social proof. Social proof is the thing that convinces everyone it’s okay to take chance because other people have taken that chance already - successfully.
Here’s an example:
When shopping for a new webcam, price and buyer reviews are probably the two most important factors shoppers pay attention to.
If we wrote a blog post recommending the Logitech C930e vs the others suggested by Amazon on this page, we’d tailor it to highlight the benefits of the c930e by describing the features and benefits.
But it’s the most expensive - nearly $100.
But it has great reviews - 950 4.5 star average.
The only real competitor on the page is the Logitech c920. It has the same review average with 9,819 reviews and is just $65.
As a shopper, I’ve quickly eliminated all but two options by looking at price and reviews. It’s time to compare the two - use my affiliate link to both. We’re setting the high bar with the c930e and touting why it’s so great. And we acknowledge the c920 is awesome too because it has so many reviews, but it is the older model.
So, I’d pull out the features - side by side - and compare them.
The good thing is that no matter webcam the buyer purchases, my link is attached to the buy button.
Put It All Together
You may have noticed that all 5 of our favorite methods for selling affiliate products seem to have a connection. Essentially, by using these 5 methods, you’re creating a really sweet content plan that is monetized.
Combining Email Marketing to Bridge Pages with Demos and Walkthroughs or Case Studies and finishing off with a Blog Post gives you a ton of evergreen promotional methods and opportunities.
I hope you see this as a way to improve your affiliate marketing!