I know the feeling and it can be pretty discouraging to say the very least.
I’m sure that you know influencers are flooded with cold-emails, most of which are rightfully ignored.
But did you know that’s because most of them lack the correct context?
Listen, writing a cold email that gets a response is a science.
And the popular approach of first praising them and then asking your favour may no longer work to your advantage.
The truth of the matter is it’s all in the formula.
Once you know the formula it’s pretty easy to begin building your affiliate network.
So, here’s how you can write cold-mails that not only get a response but will have influencer’s begging to work with you!
How to Use Cold Email in Affiliate Marketing
Before we jump into that, I want to briefly explore what is affiliate marketing and how it actually works.
So, here’s the deal:
Affiliate marketing is an online sales strategy that lets a product owner (you) improve sales by choosing and working with other people who share the same target audience, aka, “affiliates”.
Think about it this way, affiliates are able to reach potential customers you probably wouldn’t be able to reach on you’re own.
Just imagine the potential for growth!
And get this: online affiliate marketing is one of the most ROI-positive ways for a small business to market online.
- U.S. affiliate marketing spending is expected to top $6.8 billion by 2020.
- 16% of all online orders are generated through online affiliate marketing.
- 81% of brands and 84% of publishers leverage affiliate marketing.
You pay these affiliates a commission on each conversion.
But surprisingly enough, the cost to the customer purchasing the product or service through an affiliate is the same as buying directly from the product owner.
My point is this, if you want more traffic, you need influencers.
But in order for that to happen, you have to get them to reply to your cold-email.
So, let’s get right down to it.
Here are the top tips for using cold email in affiliate marketing:
1. The Value-Value-Offer Formula
I’m not going to lie, getting an affiliate to open and respond to your e-mail can be very difficult to actually execute effectively.
Which is why I’d like to introduce the 3-step value process to you:
This works along the lines of value-value-offer.
Begin by offering value:
Start off by giving them an example of an app that you use, like Grammarly, explain a little about how you use it.
Do you see where I’m going with this? You need to make the app relevant to the audience’s needs.
They need to envision and connect with whatever it is you’re talking about.
Make sure to include a link to who you are/offer – but make it subtle and place it the bottom of this email.
Now change the type of content – if you mentioned software, now mention a life hack or something that is VERY VERY fast for them to consume and then something that will be of immediate value to them again.
By this stage anyone not interested in you/your emails will have left the list – so you will have a greater sense of who is interested alongside those you can sell to.
At this point in the exchange, you will have created some goodwill.
Now, you can go ahead and send out a follow up ‘sales email’ for the affiliate marketing that you intend on doing.
Here’s the bottom line:
In my opinion, it all boils down to a constant approach.
Look, the truth of the matter is sometimes a pathetic cold-email with low content will win over the well- crafted e-mail.
But the key to a successful affiliate marketing campaign is consistency and trust.
Remember it’s not to always about reinventing the wheel but remaining strategic and creative in your approach.
2. Use a lead generation tool
How do all the big businesses get mass exposure?
They are not manually looking up sites and leaving their responses in their “contact us” forms.
You can literally search for any keyword and get a list of relevant influencers and bloggers. Then you can reach out to them and offer your affiliate program.
While you’re doing this you should send out some samples of your product to these bloggers and have them write a review.
This way you will get the backlinks from these domains and it will boost your SEO rankings.
How do you email these leads once you have them?
That brings us to the next tip.
3. Use Cold Email Software
A cold email tool lets you load up your list of leads and send them a drip campaign in minutes.
You can also A/B test your emails, personalize them and try out different sequences.
4. Perfect the Follow-up
Follow-ups are the most powerful aspect of cold email marketing.
Sometimes it takes 5 or 6 emails before a lead answers you, and that 6th email can lead to a demo and a sale!
So many companies stop at the first or second email, they expect their leads to stop everything that they’re doing and answer their email.
In reality, everyone is busy with their day and their packed schedules so your email may not always get to their inbox in the optimal time.
Reminders are a really healthy way to get your lead’s attention, and often they appreciate the reminder.
If they really care about your product or service they will appreciate you reaching out as often as you do, because they see the value that you offer.
So don’t be shy and load up 5-6 emails in each email campaign and see the magic happen.
How else can you grab your lead’s attention?
By using social media!
Let me tell you a story.
My good friend Ben is a content writer and one day he found an owner of a content agency that he wanted to work for.
So he reached out via email and immediately got a “no thanks”.
A few months later, Ben reached out on LinkedIn and just said hi.
From that one LinkedIn message a whole conversation developed and Ben got hired!
Using social media to augment his cold email outreach, Ben made $1,000 over the next few months in content gigs.
How can you use this strategy in your cold email marketing campaigns?
Here are some tips:
- Reference your interaction on social in your email subject line – “Replying to your LinkedIn Message”
- Mention in your email that you just sent them a connect request on LinkedIn or other social media.
- Reference one of their recent posts in your email
- Ask them a question about something they posted about on social media
5. Use Personalization
When most people think of personalization they think of adding the person’s first name to the email and maybe the name of their company. But you need to take it a step further if you really want to see results.
Look up each lead’s website and LinkedIn page and compliment them on something that they did. Then in subsequent emails, reference some of their recent achievements or projects in one or two sentences.
You will see that your response rate jumps up significantly.
Do you want to go even further?
If so, you’re going to love the next point.
6. The Interview Hack
Remember we spoke about offering value for your lead at the beginning of the post? So this is called the Interview Hack and it’s a way to offer value and build a relationship with your lead.
Offer your lead to do an email interview where you ask them some questions and they respond via email. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to schedule time out of your day and jump on a call. And if you need clarification on something you could always send another email and get a more in-depth answer.
Then, publish the interview on the blog with some high-quality pictures of your future affiliate. Share it all over your social media pages and continue the relationship.
The affiliate would actually be really grateful (in most cases) and will probably be open to reviewing your product and seeing if it would be a good fit to join your affiliate program.
We’ve outlined some amazing tips on using email to grow your affiliate program. Here they are again:
1. The Value-Value-Offer Formula
2. Use a Lead Generation Tool
3. Use Cold Email Software
4. Double down on exposure and use social media platforms
5. Use Personalization
6. Use the Interview Hack
If you use these tips you will see that slowly over time you will see tremendous results and you will be able to grow your affiliate marketing program to the level that you always dreamed of.