Affiliate Disclaimer: This post about running an effective affiliate marketing campaign contains affiliate links. I make a commission for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make. Thank you.
After starting my business several years ago, I realized being a 1:1 service provider was quickly going to become a limited opportunity to grow as an entrepreneur. I needed to start exploring other avenues that were aligned with my values, my family, my time, and my business.
As I started learning more about affiliate marketing, I realized this was something that checked all the boxes for me. I became really excited about sharing these opportunities with my audience as well. You can read more about getting started with an affiliate marketing campaign in my post here.
The key to running an affiliate marketing campaign that will make you money is to treat it as if you are launching your own product. By putting in the care, time, and effort (it will be created with your own branding and your story) it becomes your product too! This will help you make money because it will speak to your audience’s needs. Here are my 6 tips…
Organize Your Affiliate Marketing Campaign
1) Create a spreadsheet to keep all your information together
First, decide on the type of program you want to share. You might choose high-ticket programs such as Marie Forleo’s B-School, or programs for bloggers like Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blogging Academy. These programs can yield thousands of dollars for you when the cart is open if you promote it correctly.
Other affiliate options are monthly, stable income programs like ClickFunnels, a monthly email subscription program that costs $97 a month with a $40 affiliate commission. If you have 100 Clickfunnels subscribers per month, you will have a residual affiliate income of $4,000 and your dream car.
Recently I discovered GrooveFunnels, which I am excited to be sharing just because of the depth and variety of tools within the service. Right now, it’s a high ticket campaign because there is a lifetime upgrade option but eventually will go to a monthly subscription format.
Within your spreadsheet, organize all of your details regarding the program, your affiliate links, any specific dates you might want to share the program (if it’s a limited launch), your affiliate commission rate, and any assets you have been sent or you have created.
Many affiliate programs will provide you with images and swipe copy. However, I suggest creating your own, which includes your branding. This will set you apart from every other person promoting the same program. Lifestyle photos are always the best. Most importantly, gather and create your unique stories of how the product helped you do what it promised. Remember the key to everything, and especially affiliate marketing, is authenticity. Promote what you use and love. If you are in this only for the money, your audience will quickly see through this and not trust you.
Even though you have set these dates into your spreadsheet, I always find it a good idea to transfer any important dates into my social media calendar. This is especially important so you can share the high ticket programs that only open once or twice a year. Even the monthly subscriptions will sometimes run affiliate contests or flash sales, so it’s good to be prepared.
2) Create your plan of attack: How are you going to promote the product?
Plan to share ongoing monthly subscriptions as part of your effective affiliate marketing campaign. I recommend promoting these through either blog posts or YouTube reviews because of the SEO benefit that will help your posts or videos get found. Some talking points for topics might be behind the scenes, before and afters, a resource library of videos, or a resource page on your website where you can add links into your lead magnets.
Once your blog posts or YouTube videos are completed, make some promotional graphics for your social media channels. Then use a service like SocialBee, Recurpost, or Tailwind to repost these graphics and regular intervals throughout the year.
For limited-time launches, the best strategy is planning out the number of times and the days you plan to promote on your different social media channels. Consider your Facebook business page, Facebook group, Facebook lives, Instagram, Instagram Stories, or planning on using Facebook ads. Also, prepare the number of emails you plan to send to your list during this promotional period. Usually, your affiliate partners will give you example swipe files as a jumping-off point. However, I always stress making this copy your own so it’s authentic to your brand.
3) Create your assets
Assets refer to your emails, videos, social posts, and graphics you will be using to promote the affiliate program. Take the time to plan ahead, so these posts are cohesive and take your customer on a journey. Remember where they are in their levels of awareness. Most likely you will start in the unaware phase.
- Unaware: In this stage, your customers don’t realize they have a problem, or that there may be a better way of doing something. To give an example, a couple of weeks ago, I was in this stage with GrooveFunnels. I didn’t know this company existed. I’ve been using several different services, paying for many subscriptions each month, and having to piece together a lot of functionality to meet my needs.
- Problem aware: Your customer becomes aware they have a problem, but they aren’t sure how to solve it. If you read my last post, you can see where I share my tech woes’ story with my current stack of subscriptions. I thought I had everything figured out, but in comes GrooveFunnels to solve my problem and MORE!
- Solution aware: Here, your customer learns about the solution to their problem, but they don’t know about you and your specific offering yet! People here might not have even heard of you yet! This is where you need to introduce yourself, if necessary. As an affiliate, it’s essential to share the background of the company. Last week when I began talking about GrooveFunnels, I was sure to answer the questions – who are these people starting GROOVE?? Are they qualified? And do they have credibility, …especially for a beta product!
- Product aware: Once your customer learns about you and the product you are sharing, they might not be quite ready to invest yet. They may know your competitors who are offering a similar product as well. In this stage, they aren’t convinced if your solution is the best thing for them right now.
- Most aware: These are your best customers. They are happy to purchase from you multiple times and are super loyal. Many of you may be familiar with Julie Stoian and Cathy Olsen and their Funnel Gorgeous products. They have a dedicated following, me included, who will buy from them, again and again, every time they launch!
As you share with your email list, make sure your email service provider offers tagging. This will save you a lot of heartache because it will allow your subscribers to let you know when they want to hear from you about different offers and when they prefer NOT to be contacted. Without the option to tag your list, you may end up with a lot of unsubscribes, or a lot of subscribers marking your emails as spam. 🙁
- Opt-out tag: If your subscriber doesn’t want to hear any more about a particular promotion, they can choose to click the custom opt-out tag. (I use this in ConvertKit.) They will remain on your email list and get the regularly scheduled newsletter, but won’t hear anything else about this promotion. No hard feelings!
- Create an interest tag: When sending emails during a promotion or during a cart closing, it can be overwhelming to inundate your entire email list. An interest tag allows you to send emails only to those interested who have shown interest by clicking on a link and avoid losing your other subscribers
4) Build a Landing Page:
It’s also beneficial to create a landing page (also known as a bridge page) with your own messaging and branding, which explains the product and how it helps. You may choose to add a video sales letter that will explain the product, how it helps, and what will happen next instead of sending them directly to an affiliate’s sales page. This acts as a warm-up.
I like to embed a form to collect email addresses on my landing pages as well. This way, you can capture the names and emails of anyone interested (make sure you segment them with an interest tag!) and continue to build the relationship through a nurture sequence. This will allow them to get to know you, educate them more about the solution you are offering, and support them through their purchase.
5) Create a Bonus Offer:
Call me old school or blame it on many years of marketing psychology, but I love creating something special for people who use your link. This is an “ethical bribe” for someone to purchase from you over someone else. If the affiliate you are partnering with runs a contest, this might give you an edge in winning a prize (#winning). Remember part of what you are doing is creating an effective affiliate campaign, not just any old marking plan. So to be effective, you need your customers to purchase. A bonus offer might be just what it takes to have them buy from you.
6) Reuse & Recycle:
In the case of big-name affiliate marketing campaigns that run yearly, keep your assets in one place (I mentioned a spreadsheet in #1 above, but you could use Trello or Google Drive). Then when the promotion runs again the following year, you simply have to adjust the dates and tweak any bonus offerings you are planning to include. It’s always helpful to keep track of what worked well (and what didn’t work) to improve upon the next time.
Using the same system over and over is part of working smarter, not harder. Use what you already have in place: social media schedules, graphic templates, emails and tweak for your next new affiliate campaign. It will save you so much time since you aren’t starting from scratch.
I hope these tips have provided you some value in running your own affiliate marketing campaign. Look around at the products you are already using, and see who you might reach out to partner within your own business. The strategies I have shared, I use in my own business. They have already helped me earn almost $10k with the Groove Funnels affiliate program where you can start earning a 20% commission with a 5% residual commission just for signing up for a FREE ACCOUNT.
If you choose to upgrade to the Platinum Lifetime Account, which I suggest you do, you can earn up to 40% commission with a 10% residual campaign, AND never have to pay for another subscription for your business again. Get 3 of your fellow entrepreneurs to upgrade and your upgrade is FREE. It’s really a win-win all the way around!