GLP #4 – How to Convert Email Subscribers into Affiliate Sales

Thought I give another update on the Go Large Project.  This time we’ll talk about a concept that’s been converting a lot of traffic into subscribers and turning these subscribers into affiliate sales.  It’s a simple technique in theory, but it requires a bit of hard work.  So let’s get to it!

In the last update, we talked about how to create a MWR Blog.  It’s a site that’s specifically designed around one goal – Get people to subscribe to an email list. 

Convert Affiliate Marketing Sales

A MWR Blog doesn’t have a lot of advertisements or clutter.  Instead you want to present a clean design with multiple places where a visitor can subscribe to an email list.  Done correctly, a MWR Blog can convert over 10 to 20%  of your TOTAL traffic.

Recently I’ve had a few people write to me asking how to make money from the traffic that comes to a MWR Blog.  It’s not an easy process.  But here’s what we’re currently doing to convert visitors into affiliate sales:

An Example of MWR Blog

We’ll start this post by giving an example of a MWR Blog.  Let’s say you’ve decided to go into the fitness tips for men market.  In all likelihood, you’d have a blog that’s full of different topics and categories.  For instance, you’d have information that discusses:

  • How to get six-pack abs
  • How to lose weight
  • How to work out at home
  • How to build muscle mass
  • How to lose weight
  • How to develop an athletic, lean-muscle look

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  With this market there are dozens of broad problems/topics that can fall under the umbrella of “fitness tips for men.”  The important thing is to break down your web content into ten (or more) categories.  This will form the basis of a strategy that will convert web traffic into subscribers.

Now, let’s about to maximize the results you get from web traffic…

The Best Way to Convert Search Engine Traffic

Once again, it’s time to use your imagination.  Let’s say you’re a guy who is interested in improving your fitness.  You’re really busy; so you don’t have time to go to the gym.  Instead you want to learn a quick workout that can be done during your limited time.  Probably you’d go to Google and enter the keyword phrase: how to work out at home

There are thousands of results.  But one in particular catches your eye.  It’s titled: “10 Ways to Exercise at Home…Without Any Equipment

The post is really good and you learn a lot from it. At this point, you want to know more.  However, nothing else on the site attracts your interest. There’s a free report that discusses “56 Foods that Help You Lose Weight.”  Fortunately you’re a thin guy, so this report doesn’t apply to your situation.  After a few minutes you leave the site because they’re isn’t more information that discusses your home fitness problem.

Now let’s imagine another scenario.

You’re the same guy and you come to the same site.  The only difference is this article recommends downloading a free report called “THE Ultimate Work-Out at Home Exercise Plan.”   Naturally this piques your interest because it’s exact solution you’re seeking.  You enter an email address and happily read the report because it helps solve a problem you currently have.

The Fatal Mistake Most People Make with Free Reports

On this blog, I’ve talked a lot about the importance of offering a lead magnet.  This is a free report you offer people in exchange for their name and email address.  A lead magnet is important because it builds a list full of people interested in a particular niche.

Giving away a free report is an incredible strategy.  However there’s a huge mistake I see many people making – They promote one lead magnet for their entire affiliate business.

Why is this a mistake?

Think about the original example.

You’re a guy who is interested in home fitness. You seek information that helps you exercise at home.  You DON’T want information about weight loss or nutrition. Eventually you might want to learn about these topics.  But right NOW your worried about home fitness.

In my opinion, having a “one size fits all” approach to a lead magnet minimizes the number of people who subscribe to an email list.

On the other hand, let’s imagine there are 10+ categories of information on for your affiliate business.  Each article targets one of these categories and it’s filled with relevant information.  More importantly, the article promotes a free report that solves the exact problem people need to fix.

To illustrate this concept, take a look at this diagram:

This concept is something I like to call Lead Magnet Segmentation.   What you do is offer a series of distinct reports that specifically help with the information they are seeking.  That means:

  • The guy who wants six-pack abs sees a report about getting six-pack abs
  • The guy who wants to work out at home sees a report about working out at home
  • The guy who wants to lose weight sees a report about weight loss tips for men
  • So and so forth…

Imagine how this can impact the number of email subscribers.  We’ve seen as high as 10% conversion ratio on our MWR Blog. That means ten percent of our traffic:

Enters a keyword phrase into Google —> Reads an article on the blog —> Goes to a squeeze page —> Joins an email list

In my opinion, that’s an incredible number.  It’s not really hard to get 2,000 visitors a day to a content-filled blog.  That’s 200 subscribers… a DAY!  Imagine how many affiliate sales you’d make with that many subscribers?

So how do you do  Lead Magnet Segmentation?

Here’s a quick break-down:

Lead Magnet Segmentation 101

I’d like to begin with a warning.  This technique involves a four-letter word a lot of people hate: W-O-R-K.

Lead magnet segmentation is not easy.  You’ll have to do a good amount of writing.  Fortunately I’ve developed a few shortcuts that will save you money, time, and your sanity.

Here is a simple process for making it happen:

Step #1 – Identify Keyword Hotspots

The first thing you need to do is install Google Analytics on your MWR Blog.  This tool provides a wealth of information about your site.  Most importantly, it tells you what pages get the most traffic with the exact keyword phrases people use.

In other words, Google Analytics tells you what categories/topics get the most traffic.  Identify the top pages….ones that get at least a few hundred visitors each month.   These will form the backbone of your lead magnet segmentation.

Step #2 – Create Separate Lead Magnets

This is where you’ll have to roll-up your sleeves and do work.  Ultimately you’ll want to create at least 10 different lead magnets for your affiliate business.  This doesn’t have to happen all at once.  Instead create one lead magnet each month.  That way you’ll have time to focus on the other aspects of your affiliate business.

Creating multiple lead magnets might seem like a lot of hard work.  In actuality, it’s not as bad as you’d think.  My advice is to create reports by recycling web content you’ve created.  All you really need is 3,000 words of quality content.   Most it can be generated from previous articles you’ve written in this niche.

What if you don’t have content written around a particular topic?  Then you’ll have four weeks to write a few thousand words.  It’s not that hard to do this in a month.  Many people can 3,000 words in an afternoon.  So there’s really no excuse to why you can’t create one lead magnet every thirty days.

Step #3 – Create Separate Email Lists

This concept is a little tricky, so I want you to pay close attention.

Create a separate email list for each of the lead magnets.  That means there’s a list for six-pack abs.  Another for home fitness.  And a third for losing weight.  Each category will get a separate list that’s filled with content that directly relates to the topic of the lead magnet.

In addition, you’ll want to create a “master list” that has the subscribers for ALL of these sub-lists.


All these people have interest in your broad theme.   Help them fix their current problem and they’ll be interested in hearing about how you can help them solve related issues.

For example, you’d want to create a “general fitness” list in addition to the three sub-lists I just discussed.  That’s a total of FOUR lists:

1)      A main list for fitness enthusiasts

2)      A segmented list for six-pack abs

3)      A segmented list for working out at home

4)      A segmented list for losing weight

So how do you get someone to join multiple lists?

It’s easy.

In Aweber; there is an option that automatically adds a subscriber to one list when he/she subscribes to a second list.

Go to My Lists –> Automation.

Then add people to main list whenever a person joins one of your segmented list.

Here’s how it looks:

Step #4 – Create Multiple eCover Images

Having multiple lead magnets requires multiple eCover images.  This can get expensive if you have ten or more free reports.

Here’s what I suggest.

Outsource the design of an eCover and get a  stock example of this report.  Tell the worker that you want multiple variations of this report, changing only the title.  Typically, most graphic designers will do each cover for an extra $5 or $10.  That’s not much money to get a distinct graphic for each of the free reports.

Now, a question you might have is why do you want segmented lists?

Well, in the last section; I’ll explain why a segmented list can become a secret weapon for your affiliate business.

How to Maximize your Email Affiliate Conversions

Want to know the real secret to making money with affiliate marketing?

It’s simple…offer a product that people want.

To illustrate my point, let’s go back to the first example.  You’re a guy who is interested in home fitness. That is your main problem.  But let’s say “56 Foods that Help You Lose Weight” report caught your attention because you could lose a few pounds.  It’s a problem you’re experiencing, but it’s not as a important as learning how to work out at home.

So you join the email list about losing weight, even though it’s not an immediate concern.  Every few days you get an email about losing weight.  The problem is you’re not that interested in these emails because they don’t help solve your original problem – How to work out at home.

On the other hand, let’s say you had the same problem and you joined the list of “THE Ultimate Work-Out at Home Exercise Plan.” Then every couple of days you get emails that directly relate to the home fitness dilemma:

  • What are the best home gym equipment to buy
  • Five exercises you can do while watching T.V.
  • A work out plan for traveling and staying in hotels
  • 7 one-minute stretching exercises to do while cooking dinner
  • Etc, etc

My point is simple.  A person comes to your site to get help with a specific problem.  You help solve this problem by offering a lead magnet.  Then you strengthen the relationship by sending emails that directly relate the original problem.

Of course, the emails promote home fitness affiliate products.  These WILL get the attention of readers because you’re presenting affiliate offers in a way that solves their immediate concern.  Ultimately this maximize your conversions.

Get started by building a 30-day autoresponder sequence that focuses on the specific sub-theme of the lead magnet. You’ll pick up a lot of sales in this initial series because most people will buy in the first few weeks.

Furthermore, you’ll be speaking to people on their terms.  The home fitness people will get information about that problem.  The weight loss folks will learn about shedding those pounds.  And the six-pack abs guys will discover how to get a ripped core.

This 30-day sequence doesn’t require a huge amount of effort.  Really it’s only 10 to 15 emails. Once again, you can recycle content you’ve written on this subject.  You can also reuse emails from other sub-lists.

For instance you can take a generic six-pack abs article and turn it into an email titled – How to get six-pack abs from the comfort of your home.

Overall, I recommend promoting 3 (maybe 4) products in this sequence – All relating to the lead magnet/sub-theme.  Tie these together and you’ll have a rock-solid email sequence that produces a significant amount of affiliate sales.

What do you do after the thirtieth day?

At this point, the subscriber will stop receiving email from the sub-list and will start getting messages from the main list.  This isn’t hard to do in Aweber.  The sub-list sequences end on the 30th day.  Then the first of the main sequence emails starts on the 31st day.

This might be a bit confusing.  So take a look here:

How to Manage Multiple=

Typically these emails will be concentrated around the broad theme. You can also use the main list for broadcast messages and any new product that just hit the market.  That way, you maximize the effectiveness of the autoresponder sequence, while also maintaining contact with subscribers who have been on your list for a month or more.

Final Thoughts on Lead Magnet Segmentation…

The point behind this post is conversion.

Sure it’s nice to have lots of free content that people find useful.  But it’s YOUR job to convert this traffic into subscribers who buy affiliate products.  You do this by providing the exact content they want with a persuasive push for why a product can help them.

It’s really not that hard to make money with affiliate marketing when you provide the exact solution people are seeking.

I’m won’t lie to you.  Creating a multiple lead magnets and autoresponder sequences is hard work.  Eventually though, you’ll have an automated system that turns traffic into subscribers and subscribers into affiliate sales.   Personally, I don’t mind working hard to get this kind of result.

My advice is to take a look at your current affiliate business.  Pick a few broad categories and create a separate lead magnet for each.  Then start segmenting traffic into different lists.  You’ll find this is a great way to dramatically increase your affiliate income!

Take Action. Get Results.

34 thoughts on “GLP #4 – How to Convert Email Subscribers into Affiliate Sales”

  1. Wow, Steve! What an amazing post. This is exactly the sort of information I needed today, as I am in the early stages of creating an information product as a freebie to entice people to join my list. The idea of creating multiple freebies based on how the traffic finds the blog is inspired. Great idea!

    Question: I currently have my e-mail sign-up box in the right sidebar of my blog. I’m not aware of a way to use different sidebars on different pages. Any suggestions on how to get a different subscription box to appear based on the page? (i.e., get the “sign up to the six-pack abs list” subscription box to appear on the page with the six-pack abs article, etc.).


    • Joe,

      You ask a very good question. Hopefully I can answer it because I ‘sort of’ have an answer.

      I am not a super “techie” type when it comes to web design. I do not know how to tailor a email opt-in box on the side bar the way you asked. -I assume it may be possible…I just don’t know.

      I design it a little differently. Basically for these different offers I have my call to action within the posts themselves.

      I have 2-3 stock lines I just cut and paste into the blog “footer” area. Like where the “to your life success” Picture and Steve Scott are in this post

      I modify this for the type of offer, have a large (at least far larger than my pic here) shot of cover artwork and a link in both text and picture.

      It would look something like this

      You need Blah blah blah.
      To Get Blah Blah BlahTry ===>>LinkedAnchorText|Linked Picture

      Links in the article body tend to convert a lot better for targeted traffic like this

      Now, it sounds to me like you have only 1 lead magnet for now. If you want to have a more generic subscription box additionally (your upper right for ALL posts) I would just segment for 1 more list.

      In other words

      specific offer 1 (6 pack abs)
      specific offer 2 (lose weight)
      specific offer 3 (exercise at home)
      General 1 (specific 1,2,3 start here at 31 days)

      All like the above. PLUS

      General 2 that email captures general offers from side bar entry

      with general 2 you can
      1. Use same sequences as general 1 but start it on day 1
      2. Mirror one of the 3 specific sequences and then have it “progress” to general
      3. Have a very “generic” sequence all of its own (likely mixing autoresponder posts from other sequences.

      I hope that does not make it sound too complicated, the importnat part is to differentiate the traffic that could be for ANY post from the traffic that is better targetted, but also not to just, “ignore” that traffic.

      Hopefully I got my point without making too much of a post-within-a-post

      • Thank you! I appreciate your detailed reply. So instead of directing readers to a sign-up box in the sidebar, you’re giving them an option to sign up in the post itself. That’s a great workaround. I appreciate the input.


      • Hey, just a heads up, Steve (and others)!

        I’ve continued to research the issue of using different templates (i.e., opt-in sidebars) on different posts, and came across this little gem on David Risley’s site:

        In this post, David refers to a plug-in that allows you to do this very thing: have different templates for different types of posts. So you could create a template for your Six Pack Abs posts, with the Six Packs Abs opt-in box on the side bar. Then create another template to use on articles which target your second lead magnent, etc.

        Or at least that’s what I’m getting from reading David’s post.

        This might be just what we’ve been looking for, yes?


        • This is a similar strat, but not exactly the same. At least the way I read it. It is about finding your “money” ads and having a link to them on many of your related lower preforming ads.

          Not a bad strategy at all -and similar- but not exatly the same. Perhaps using some of those php hooks it cold be modified to present the “proper” email login though, but it dosn’t sound like the design. I think it DOES show that it is possible.

          Of course it is also a great way to drive that extra traffic -without- having a specific free offer and autoreponder sequence, and of course using it to point to an article that does have the specifc strong call to action is yet another work around.

          Regardless it looks like a good tool!

    • I’m not all that advanced with web programming myself, but I do think there is PHP code you can use to get the name of your WordPress category. You could use this PHP in your sidebar to select which sign up box to use based on the post category.

      In your functions.php file you should be able to have code for all of your list signup boxes, with some kind of identifier that your sidebar.php would use along with the category to select the right one.

      Something like that, anyway.

  2. Email marketing has been part of my life since 2002..and I have gave away many items and grew my once your grow a list then you can market to them later versus on the first go round..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • I absolutely agree, there is a certain amount of “treating your list well” and giving them what they want.

      The good thing is also that over time you can offer prodocts that progress with a normal lifecyle of interests.

      IN other words…more in depth as people grow their knowledge base within the niche.

  3. I love this concept. For me being a part timer and a newbie it probably isn’t very feasable, but I love that the focus of this method is on gaining loyal followers who can come to your site for valuable free information without being sold anything on the site itself. This looks like the best way to both establish yourself as an expert AND to build trust rather than just another guy who’s trying to sell you something.

    • Daniel, yeah, this is limited for newer people. At first your only goal is to get to the point where you DO gain 10+ people a day. Depending on your niche, and branding/reputation within it, that can sometimes take a bit.

      But once you have the steady traffic the method works great. And it is never to early to start working on content. Perhaps even get a theme with 3-4 posts on closely related topics, them set those aside (or note them) because you know you will have the core material for a free report with only 10-20% rework.

      It may be too early to take advantage of some of the effects if your daily traffic doesn’t warrant it, but it is never to early to plan and prepare.

    • Thanks Sean,

      It might be kind of a “work around” I wish there was a way to flip between lists a little easier, but it works once you get it all set. It is a TON of effort up front, but ultimately it should allow things to run smoothly (I want to say auto-pilot…but there is still *some* oversight required).

      It has been a while! Nice to see you here again. 🙂

  4. Great tips. The more targeted the newsletter, the higher the chances they’ll read your email month to month, rather than unsubscribe

  5. Outstanding ideas here. I agree that proper segmentation is the key to good deliverability, and profitable email marketing campaigns.

    What is a regular interval to review the effectiveness of email copy for such campaigns? Once a year? Every few months?

    Nice work!


    • Travis,

      I would say so much of the timing is personal preference. An “all over” review I would say should be done every 6-12 months.

      BUT effective copy reviews should be ongoing and constant. I always have some copy I am split testing. The thing is to get that small change, run a test until you have “enough” results to be statistically significant and then go with the better one. Then start another test.

      By doing this you will continue to refine your copy toward, “perfection”

  6. Hi Steve

    One of the reasons you are a successful marketer…you are very organised and work hard 🙂 This is a great step-by-step post that is easy to follow. And you have learnt heaps that you are
    willing to share with your readers.

    Don’t know that it will be easy to implement, but your easy to read posts can be bookmarked for when we are ready to take the next step and go to the next level.

    Thanks for sharing all this helpful information Steve. Appreciated.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Thanks Patricia!

      Some of this certainly might be for “later” when you have a list big enough to build. Since I know you are working on your eBook I will not go into the “must build a list” rant here.

      ….but I cannot underestimate the importance.

      OKOK, I know… I did it anyway

      …but it is important.

      Have a wonderful week!

  7. Great information as always Steve!

    I think a you are slowly becoming people’s number one source of information about affiliate marketing and all it’s quirks.

    I think that the real battle really started after you’ve already got the subscribers because know you have to continue giving a lot of great information to people, after the first initial report, but also try and make them try some of your affiliate recommendation.

    From my personal experience (I ended up on some people list that sent me emails from SEO to blogging to lead magnets) when their call to action was about traffic generation. I know that this topics seem really interconnected, but I subscribed to that newsletter because I wanted more traffic generation tips, and tools that could help me get more traffic.

    So a strategy of following up recommendation from the same topic with products that you know would be useful for those people (mostly products that would solve the problem they have – just like a good working out program would solve your abs )

    • Alex,

      Thanks for the compliment! 🙂 I appreciate it. I know you are experience in the world of internet marketing, so it is good that you both agree, and maybe even got something small out of it!

      Have a great day!


  8. Steve,

    Great breakdown on the lead magnet segmentation. Bookmarked for future reference.

    I really appreciate you providing these awesome info for free in your blog – many would charge a hefty price for all this (O:

    • Thanks for the kind words Adam. I am glad you bookmarked and find this to be useful for when you are ready to act on it. (the best time to really read and learn)

      Rock on!

  9. Steve,

    This GLP project seems like a really good thing. I think I’ve learned a lot from what you teach here. Never actually thought of email segmentation and then getting them into a master list sounds really good. Can imagine that its a lot of hardwork. I think the trouble for me is to constantly write content. Yeah I like it but I haven’t found a good service to do just that yet.

    • It is a lot of work upfront. Like you pointed out, before you get “cute” you want to have traffic/content that makes it worth your time, but it is OK to start and plan for that day. You certainly don’t need to wait until you are established, you just want everything to be “worthwhile”

      Anyhow, thanks for the comment. I am glad you are finding the series useful.

  10. Excellent reminders. If you are not segmenting your email list then you are probably wasting gathered information.

    I use infusionsoft for this and my leads are highly segmented. With IS you don’t keep sep. lists. There is a built-in tagging system you used based on where people come from and what actions they take. So I not only know the person’s personal info. I know what web form they filled out, whether they double-opted in, what links they click on in my emails, and when I send them files whether or not they clicked on the links to open the files. I know who is watching the videos I send YouTube links for.

    After I have all of these tags I can tag action on groups of people based on what tags they do and don’t have. I can nag people that have filled out a form but not double-opted in. I can remind people to download the report that have double opted in but not clicked the link to download it. I can send out a special mailing to people that have clicked any YouTube video in the past.

    I am working on tagging people based on how much they react to what I send out out i.e. rating my contacts. People that open, click, watch more are more reactive and bigger fans of my work. Those people deserve special treatment and special bonuses. I have not even touched on the fact that the shopping cart system and affiliate system is built in. So I can now segment people based on their purchase history.

    I am loving it guys – you should really check it out 🙂

    • Patrick,

      IS sounds like a pretty thorough system. Perhaps one of the first that had me thinking outside of Aweber. I will have to look into it more. Anyhow, it sounds great and an awesome way to “segment” without really segmenting, but still keeping totally on top of your followers

  11. Steve,
    Reading your posts is like drinking from a firehose. You never get thirsty. It all makes good sense and I think I can do it. The problem I have is actually starting. What can you do to push yourself past accepting the status quo and moving into uncharted territory?

  12. Insanely awesome post, Steve! I am amazed.

    This is just what I needed. I created an affiliate site a few months ago and decided to try building a list since everyone seems to be talking about just that — building a list. The money is in the list, a wise man once said. And I guess he was right.

    Except I have not had an idea on how to generate sales from my e-mails. Loving the post, I really learnt something new 🙂

    • Nabil,

      Glad you liked it. The money is in the list may be an old and overused phrase, but that doesn’t make it untrue. It takes a lot of time and effort to bring it to fruition, but it is worth it in the long run. The best thing I did on the internet was when I started building a list rather than going for direct sales about 5 years ago.

  13. This is probably one of the best articles about the hows and the whys of building email lists. I really love the way you have outlined your thought process for setting up the lists up the way you do and how you move them to conversion.

    • Thanks Tom!

      I have been a longtime fan of email lists. I think they are a very powerful tool. I am glad I was able to convey my reasoning for the usefulness of these lists (and ways to improve them) to you in this! 🙂

      Thanks for the great comment.

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