Affiliate marketing – Ten tips to lose blog readers and buyers

Many bloggers who are focused on social media issues have joined the affiliate marketing bandwagon. The tactic du jour seems to be for the same band of buddies to blast their opt-in list with dozens of links, video clips, sales letters and other annoying pitches daily. All seem to be in competition for the same royalty payments and the number of e-mails they can aggravate their readers with. Just because someone purchased consulting support on blog building does not mean he wants 30 in-box messages a day on everything from list software products to outsourcing courses. So, for those who think a quick buck is worth alienating your loyal customers trusting you with protected contact information, make sure you include the following to ensure they unsubscribe and vow to avoid your wares in the future:  

  1. Send at least ten affiliate links to your opt-in e-mail list every week. If you really want to get your reader’s attention, do a few each day to ensure they are clear on your disregard for their time and trust.
  2. Write long, rambling preambles to the sales pitch, waiting until the end of your message to alert your reader about its spam nature. Laugh as you take a page from the old school you generally shun for evidence of your modern insight. Prove the recipient doesn’t feel invested in the read time that ancient practices indicated increased sales, as he instead moves you to his blacklist. Save it for a future case study as you go back to touting the ineffectiveness of traditional marketing after all your client subscribers have bailed.
  3. Send the same affiliate link out on the same days as at least ten other bloggers.
  4. Better yet, synchronize your auto-mailer to deliver the announcement at the same time (usually midnight on the announcement date) so anyone who is subscribed to multiple feeds can sift through dozens of messages with the same purchase push.
  5. Exclaim in your messages concerning every one of the thirteen different affiliate products you tout in a week that it’s the coolest product/service/event you’ve ever encountered. Underscore your trust factor by indicating you’ve tried it (but fail to mention you didn’t buy it) and it’s the best darn thing you’ve ever seen (until the next affiliate link comes through).
  6. Don’t forget to mention how unusual it is for you to recommend the products of others and how selective you are in screening and approving affiliate links. It’s best to do this for each of the dozen or so affiliate links you send out in a week.
  7. Make sure the landing page you send people to requires an opt-in before they can see any of the information you promised.
  8. Better yet, ask for credit card information (which you won’t have to worry about because product satisfaction is guaranteed and you can always cancel the order if you don’t like it) before you allow readers access to sales information.
  9. Use a deceptive subject heading to make sure your readers feel tricked and betrayed when they open your message.
  10. Finally, be sure to insult your readers’ intelligence by indicating that this great deal is only available through your affiliate link for a very limited time (debunked by your earlier group think strategy).

Nanette doesn’t often write about social media, but you can find her blog designed to provide useful information to novices and professionals in the equine industry at www.HorseSenseAndCents.com/blog.  Even if you’re not a horse person, you may appreciate her humor, opinions and marketing approach as she strives to appeal to a niche audience.

Nanette Levin

Founded marketing firm Fulcrum Communications, leveraging creative and cost-effective solutions for small businesses, in 1989. Paid marketing writer, feature freelancer and op-ed columist for a variety of business publications. Active small business advocate, including attendance at the 1995 WHCSB as an appointed delgate. Writer for equine trade magazines. Horse trainer specializing in working with young horses starting under saddle and resolving issues of those started badly. Publisher of the Horse Sense and Cents(tm) series. 

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