6 Affiliate Marketing Emails that MAKE You Money

Affiliate Marketing Email TemplatesUp till now, I’ve been pretty hush-hush about my affiliate marketing strategies.

So today, I’ve decide to pull back the curtain and break down SIX email prototypes I regularly send to my affiliate marketing list.

This is going to be a very detailed post – Filled with important lessons I’ve learned in the last four years.

So I urge you to stop what you’re doing right now and pay close attention to this post.  If implemented on a targeted niche list, these affiliate emails will make you money.

(If you want to know more about this topic, then I recommend you check out my special report which covers 45 email marketing tips.)

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, let me discuss a few key points…

Marketing vs. Quality Content

A successful email list combines quality content with mechanisms that create income.  We all like money, but you should never sacrifice the integrity of an affiliate list just to make a quick buck.  When it comes to email marketing, I have a simple philosophy:

“Give LOTS of quality content, while recommending QUALITY programs.”

There’s nothing wrong with pitching products you know help subscribers.  But these promotions should only constitute 10-20% of what’s sent to a list.  Everything else should provide content that solves their problem – Even if they don’t buy anything.

Now I’m not trying to sound preachy.  In fact, this is hard lesson I learned in the last few years.  I used to be pretty bad about pitching one affiliate product after another.  The end result is I ruined my credibility with many list subscribers.  Trust me it’s not a great feeling to be accused of being a sleazy marketer.

Recently I’ve decided to revamp my affiliate list and add more value to each email message.

The result?

The average for the last two weeks has exceeded anything I’ve done in the last year.  So I’m really excited to reveal the six types of affiliate emails that have produced this result.

Okay, let’s move on…

8 Things YOU Need to Remember about these Affiliate Emails

#1- I Won’t Reveal My Niche – It’s a long story, but I’m not going to reveal the niche where I use these emails.  Mostly this is due to the fact that it’s way too easy to reverse engineer my affiliate site.  I give away a lot of information on this blog.  So if I gave specifics, I risk having what I teach used against me.  The best thing I can offer is screenshots of what I’ve earned lately to prove I’m not making this stuff up:  Account 1 & Account 2.

#2- NOT for Blogging– I don’t have a blog in this niche.  It’s just plain ole email!  So you should use caution when implementing these techniques with a blog.   In my opinion, different techniques should be used when you have subscribers who are also readers of a blog.

If you have an active blog, I recommend using LESS sponsor/presell emails and MORE content emails.  (I’ll cover these later.)

#3- Different Style for Email– You’ll probably notice my email style is much different from the content on this blog.  The paragraphs are short.  I use CAPS on some words.  The character lines are less than 65 letters.  And I definitely use more of salesy type of copy.  The reason I do it this way is because this is what’s worked for me with email marketing.  Why fix what ain’t broke?

#4- Usage of Aweber Tokens– You’ll also notice I begin each email with: Hey {!firstname}, This is the name token Aweber provides for people subscribing to a list.  This is used to personalize each message they receive.  I included this name token to show how an email should be structured.

#5- Introduce Curiosity in Subject Lines– The third thing you’ll notice is my subject lines are designed to tease the reader.   We all get a ton of email in our inboxes.  As a result, I write my headlines either to show the benefit the subscriber will receive OR to create enough curiosity to make them open the message.  To be honest, I’m always tweaking my headlines to maximize open rates.  You should do the same!

#6- Recycled Content- Some of these emails started out as posts on this blog.  This is something I’ve always done with affiliate marketing.  I recommend taking your best content and turning it into an autoresponder.  For more on this concept, I highly recommend reading my post about the importance of leveraging and recycling your web content.

#7- Not Perfect Emails– To keep from going crazy, I didn’t spend hours writing these emails.  I think they’re okay, but they’re not perfect.  In the real world, I would send them to my list and see how people reacted.  After that, I’d tweak these messages and send them out a few months later.

I can’t overemphasize the importance of testing/tracking/tweaking your emails.  This has made a huge difference in my affiliate marketing business.

#8- “Blogging Niche List”– To give a legitimate, real-world example of these emails, I’ve decided to structure them around what I would send to a fictional list.  I chose “Blogging” because it’s what I’m currently into.  Plus I know Blog Success would benefit many readers of this site.

Yes, this is an affiliate link.  I’m proud to recommend this site and I think it provides an excellent example of how I’d go about telling my “affiliate list” about this product.

One last thing before we review these six affiliate emails…

Download these Free Templates

In this tutorial, I’ve included an example of each type of email message.  To make things simple, I’ve also provided a PDF of every email in this post – 6 Affiliate Marketing Emails that Make YOU Money (Right click to save to your desktop.)

This PDF was included to have available whenever you write an email.  It’s my hope that it’ll provide a decent reference for affiliate marketing.  If you think it’s valuable, then all I ask is that you pass it along to somebody else.  In fact if you have a Twitter or blog account, I would love if you sent it to the people who follow you.

Okay, that was a pretty long introduction.  Without further ado, let’s get to the six affiliate marketing emails that make you money:

#1. Sponsor Email (AKA: “The T.V. Commercial”)

(Click this Link to See an Example)

T.V. commercials are annoying, but there’s a reason why they work.  If it’s in middle of an awesome program, it’ll attract the eyeballs of many viewers.  The sponsor email is nicknamed “The T.V. Commercial” because it gives a slight interruption of a great email.

A good affiliate list is built around a lot of quality content.  Sometimes you’ll want to aggressively push a product.  Other times you’ll want to weave a subtle offer, while NOT jamming a promotion down the subscriber’s throat.

In the example above I discuss two common excuses have when starting a blog.  I think this email is filled with useful content.  But I also included a quick blurb that promotes the Blog Success site.  There’s one advertisement and the rest of the message is pure content that helps the reader.

#2. Presell Email (AKA: “The Oprah Winfrey”)

(Click this Link to See an Example)

I’ll admit it…I love Oprah Winfrey.  This woman has made an empire out of her daytime talk show.  What amazes me most is her book recommendations.  If an author gets on her show, it’s GUARANTEED he or she is going to sell a bunch of copies.  I nicknamed the presell email, “The Oprah Winfrey” because it provides great content while making a strong push for a particular product.

People open email messages because it usually promises a benefit.  Your content should help the reader, while also recommending a product that’ll really fix a problem.  I like the presell email because it’s an excellent way to provide value while also recommending something that can change a prospect’s life.

In the example above I answer three questions from a reader.  This is a great email because it covers a few techniques I’ve learned as a blogger.  So the subscriber receives genuine value.  In addition, I’ve carefully woven in three recommendations for the Blog Success program.  The message is content-filled, but it also gives a subtle push to learn more about blogging through my affiliate link.

#3- Short Sales Email (AKA: “The Ninja”)

(Click this Link to See an Example)

Ninjas are quick.  Ninjas are efficient.   And ninjas are deadly.  The short sales email is nicknamed “The Ninja” because it’s like a having an assassin creep into a subscriber’s inbox.  Done correctly, this message brings in a lot of money.

The ninja message is best used with an email list that trusts your recommendations.  When people have come to “know” you, it doesn’t require a lot of work to promote a product – Especially one with a great sales page.  On the other hand, I advise you to use the ninja on rare occasions.  This is the most spammy email in your entire arsenal.  Use it sparingly – No more than once a month.

In the example above I give about 60 words of text and two links.  This is entire message is built around curiosity and teaser copy.  In fact, it’s written in a very “in your face” tone.   Only send this message when you have two things: 1- A list that trusts your recommendations and 2- A product that’s exceptional.

#4. Long Sales Email (AKA: “The Billy Mays”)

(Click this Link to See an Example)

I shed a little tear the day Billy Mays died.  This man was a pioneer when it came to infomercials and Made for T.V. products.  Seriously, he could have sold ice to Eskimo.  The long sales email is named “The Billy Mays” because it’s a benefit driven sales pitch that explains what a reader receives if he or she makes an affiliate purchase.

If you’ve been online for any period of time, you’ve encountered a version of The Billy Mays.  Every marketer has their own style.  I prefer to make these emails personable and describe how the product has been beneficial to my own life.  Then I’ll list a bunch of benefits the reader receives if they make a purchase.  Overall, this is a great way to make an affiliate recommendation because it discusses the product in a frank, real-world example.

In the above example I give some background on my experiences with Blog Success.  Then I provide four different benefits a blogger receives by joining this site.  Finally I finish off with a pretty strong call-to-action.

This email isn’t perfect, but it’s written in my own words.  Plus I do my best to explain how this program can help a subscriber improve their success at blogging.

If you’re an authority in a niche, expect people to look to you as an filter for information.  They want to know your thoughts about products.  And they’ll typically follow your recommendations if you consistently talk about great resources.

#5. Freebie Email (AKA: “The Matthew Lesko”)

(Click this Link to See an Example)

Matthew Lesko is only an American phenomenon.  But I named the freebie email, “The Matthew Lesko” because it’s all about giving away free stuff.  The sneaky part is you can offer a bunch of freebies while also putting money into your pocket.

Smart affiliate program managers understand the value of free.  Instead of telling you to promote their salespage, many offer a valuable freebie that provides real value to prospect.  All you have to do is mention this freebie and provide a place to get it.  After that, the site owner will follow-up with a prospect and sell them on the benefit of purchasing a product.

The Matthew Lesko works really well because you’re “selling” a free product – Even the most unskilled writer can pick up a few sales with this technique.

In the above example I describe a freebie called “Authority Black Book.”  This is a great way to promote Blog Success because this guide is probably the best thing I’ve ever read on creating blog traffic.  All I have to do is introduce it and link to the squeeze page.  The rest is handled by the good folks at Blog Success.

#6. Content Email (AKA: “The Pro IMer”)

(Click this Link to See an Example)

Finally, we come to the last email.  I call a content email, “The Pro IMer” because it’s what every Internet marketer should do – Tell subscribers about great content that’s on your site.  If you’re only sending emails that make money, you will lose in the end.  Sometimes the best way to generate a profit is to send an email that only benefits the subscriber.

Email marketing has become a cutthroat game.  The best to stand out from the crowd is to send your subscribers top-notch content on a regular basis – Emails that really help the user.  When most of your messages give value first, you’ll increase authority AND trust in your niche.  This is the kind of relationship that’ll pay dividends for years to come.

In addition, you can give extra value by sending people to different types of content (no strings-attached of course!):

  • A free report or white paper
  • A quick video demonstrating a concept
  • A teleseminar about an important topic
  • A podcast or audio
  • A cool tool you’ve just discovered

The list can go on and on.  Just send lots of freebies and a list will stay fiercely loyal to your brand.

In the above example I provided a link to an article on my blog.  That’s it.  All I want subscriber to do is go to my site and read about lessons I’ve learned as an online business owner.  Nothing else!

What’s the Perfect Affiliate Marketing Email Sequence?

An email marketing sequence is an art, not a science.  Every niche will react differently to your marketing techniques.  Some don’t mind a lot of product recommendations.  Others will freak out if you get too aggressive.  So please, please, PLEASE test this on your list and see what works best for YOU.

With that said, I’d recommend starting with a total of ten emails each month.  Here’s how it would break down:

  • 3 Sponsor Emails
  • 2 Content Emails
  • 2 Presell Emails
  • 1 Freebie Email
  • 1 Long Sales Email
  • 1 Short Sales Email

This sequence has a lot of content with healthy mix of marketing.  If you feel it’s too “salesy” then replace some of the sales emails with a sponsor/presell message.  Again, I’d recommend testing this on your own and see what gets the best results.

In all likelihood, I’ll probably write a post on email sequences and go into more detail about this concept.

So stay tuned!

Final Thoughts on Affiliate Email Marketing

Wow!  You wouldn’t believe how long it took to write this post.  (Almost 10 hours – Including the sample emails.)  Hopefully I did a good job of explaining what it takes to create a great series of email messages.  Like I said in the introduction, this is the exact mechanisms I use to make money.  So I’d definitely recommend learning all you can about email marketing.

Finally, there is a lot that goes into email marketing.  It’s a concept that’s integral to YOUR success as an affiliate marketing.  That’s why I recommend you check out this report – Email Mastery: 45 Ways To Take Your Email Marketing To The Next Level  for more information on this topic.

Take Action. Get Results.

30 thoughts on “6 Affiliate Marketing Emails that MAKE You Money”

  1. Steve,

    What can I say? You’ve done a great job at bringing out all this content for us. I know all this information will be truly useful only if put into practice. Like I always say, Action is the Master Key to Success.

    Well, you sure are going to make a lot of money when people share that PDF that you gave as a free download. Kind of a hybrid of “The Billy Mays” and “The Matthew Lesko”, isn’t it?

    Then, there’s one point that I was a little skeptical about. You suggested starting with a total of 10 emails each month. Don’t you think that is a little too much of bombarding? Would like to know your thoughts on that.


    • Thanks Mark! I put a lot of effort in this post. Hopefully the examples work for people and NOT seem like I’m trying to make a fast buck, which what I worried about with this post.

      To answer your question…10 emails a month is an average of 2.5 per week, which isn’t that much in my opinion. Especially if you’re sending them links to GOOD content that doesn’t have a sales pitch. Like I said towards the end, you might want to give more content and less salesy stuff if that’s your nature.

      Bottom line is email marketing is all about testing and seeing which brings the best results.

      Hope this answers your question.

  2. Hi Steve:

    What a great post, it is more than a blog post. It is a course in itself. I was very eager to revise email marketing properties and I was not able to find this information online. This
    post provides me that and I am very happy with my additional knowledge that I received today. Quality contents, sample emails and examples all are so cool.

    Thank you

    fran A

    • Thanks Fran,

      I appreciate it. I worked pretty hard on this one. (as I said, over 10 hours with all the “email” examples I made from scratch) I hope this is a real “tent post” article and people really do appreciate it and get some great value from it.

      • Hi Steve:

        Did you know your site is overloaded with visitors to read your post. I just read a note regarding that. Congrats. However, I wanted to say, that your blog post shows that you have spent this much time. You will get your reward.

        fran a

  3. Well Steve that is ten hours well spent very powerful article all i can stay is that i will definately share this with my readers in the next edition of web round up Thanks for sharing

  4. Steve,

    I can certainly believe it took you 10 hours to write the post 😉

    Super breakdown here, very in depth. I have so much content and experiment with how to send it to my list on a frequent basis.

    A mix of the strategies works but I feel the content email is the money one, separating the pros from the amateurs.

    Thanks for sharing your tips and have a powerful day!


  5. AWESOME post, Steve. The sample email templates are GOLD. Thanks a bunch for taking the time not just to write about these 6 types of emails but to actually provide real examples. That’s going above and beyond, and that is unique, quality content.

    I found this especially useful because though I’ve been blogging for ages, I’m still new to the Internet marketing world. Like you said, this isn’t 100% transferable to blogging, but there’s still a ton I learned from this.

    I also liked the “Perfect Affiliate Marketing Email Sequence” part. Again, very valuable for those of us who are new this.

    Honestly, I had no idea who Matthew Lesko was at first, but then I looked him up on Wikipedia and that jogged the memory 🙂

    Anyway, thanks again for the great post! I appreciate the time and effort it took to create something like this.

    • Thanks Tristan,

      There are certainly differences between email lists for blogging and for just affiliate marketing. Mainly to do with a lot LESS sales for a blog likely. The last thing you want to do is alienate a reader after all.

      It is definitely best to send a mix and tweak them for you audience based on performance. With tweaking, overtime you will develop a list that really converts and keeps your fans happy with quality information.

  6. Hey Steve, this is a great post my friend!

    I had heard of some of these type of emails but not all of them. It was really enlightening to see them. I think I have fallen prey to being overly too Ninja before with some of my writing haha.

    Thanks again for this post, it sometimes takes a long-time to create such awesome content, but you definitely pulled it off here buddy!

    • Being overly salesy, imo, may squeeze you out a few extra sales early on, but as a long term it can hurt. Always better to have someone who respects your ideas and is there for the long term.

      It may take a lot longer to get to the point in sales when you only recommend really good products, but they will trust your decisions a lot more.

  7. Very beefy post, Steve.

    Thanks for all the effort that went into assembling this. A full day’s work. 🙂 10 hours is a ton of work packed into this post.

    The email templates are really strategic and informative and will help me going forward. Really appreciate the share.

    Awesome stuff, man!

  8. Steve, this is a killer post. Just perfect. No doubt about it. I even bookmarked it for future reference. And huge thanks for the PDF.

    I see you have highly emphasized on blog success. Since you highly recommend it Steve, I think i should jump into it and give it a try.

    Later on brother..

    • Thanks Adam,

      Glad you liked it. I do really hope some people take advantage of this and other email marketing ideas I have mentioned previously.

      Like I have said, one of the biggest benefits with email marketing is that it really is an incredible way to make money once a list grows to larger proportions.

  9. What a truly amazing post for bloggers and marketers, Steve! I think you have outdone yourselves when creating this wonderful resources!

    I never think about there are certain templates for affiliate emails. Let’s me face the truth! I have received tons of emails from other marketers and not aware they are using the same pattern in each email. Oh, I wish I had paid more attention to that!

    Sending out ten emails each month, with a mix like you recommended is perfect. These ensures your subscribers don’t feel they are being over-sell. Providing free content in each email can also make them tell others to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • Thanks Mike,

      I am glad you liked it.

      Many marketers DO NOT vary their messages. That is why they will ultimately fail. Simply trying to Sell, sell, sell may get you a few more sales up front, but in the long run people are getting more savvy and angry at these tactics.

      It is like blogging. I am sure you have seen blogs where someone trys to sell every single post. It gets old very fast and turns people off.

      I have no problems with a sales post or a sales message, but they should be surrounded but quality information. The first step is to build trust by only giving quality info, THEN link only good products (at least products that YOU believe in, since everyone will not agree on, “good”) so that people will further know they can trust

  10. Hi Steve,

    This is indeed a long and info-packed post that takes time to absorb. I love all the details and resources that you have given about affiliate emails. I feel that apart from your templates, the affiliate marketing email sequence was also very helpful. Not only have you given us the tools, you have shown us how to use them.

    Thank you for sharing this article…I will come back to refer to it from time to time!

    • Thanks Irving,

      I really feel like I have imparted (as best I could) a lot of secrets of my marketing success in this email and the ones on my “info product” series (which I am now turning into a full blown eBook) I hope that people do use some of these methods and succeed and I am trying to give away more than enough for people to do so. SO I really enjoy positive comments where people are actually utilizing and taking some of the information onbaord.

  11. Awesome post Steve, couldn’t help wondering how useful these tips are, yet they come FREE. Thank you so much!

    I really do subscribe to always delivering value every time your emails hit subscribers inbox. If they know they will get value before they would be sold, your email will stand a greater chance at being read. And the tweaking of email subjects to increase open rate is so true, I tried it out once and saw the result. Will pay more attention to it more now that I know better. Thanks again.

    • Glad you liked it Tito. I really do hope people utilize these tools. they have made me a lot of money over time knowing how to “properly” market in emails (ie not just blasting people with ads) and I hope you and others really can use them for some gain after building up your email list.

      Thanks for the kind words Tito. 🙂

  12. Wow Steve!

    This is a fantastic in-depth post! Really love it especially when you give each different type of sales email a different name. Definitely going to read this again and again and yes I do agree with you the Authority Black Book is the best free ebook I’ve ever read. Love the breakdown you did about the 10 emails you should send out every month. Looks great to me. I think the free stuff really entices people. It’s just a matter of trying to find the right balance of giving the freebies.

    You’re getting a RT for this one 🙂

  13. Hi Steve,
    Extremely helpful post! I’m really enjoying the blog, you put a lot of great content up here and your effort shows.

    You mentioned tweaking emails and then sending them out again after a few months – I was wondering if that doesn’t seem to deter people on your list because they’re seeing virtually the same content multiple times. Isn’t fresh content one of the most important aspects of building and keeping a profitable list?

    I suppose it could be a different story for me since I’m more focused on the blogging area of internet marketing. Speaking of, what do you think the benefits/drawbacks are of the blogging approach vs. the email only approach when it comes to internet marketing? A lot of SEO “gurus” out there say blogging is essential because of the extra link-power it can give your site. Obviously you’ve had a lot of success with both approaches – what’s your opinion on the issue?

    Thanks for all the effort you put into this post – it’s a huge help!

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