Affiliate marketing is a proven way to make money online.
You can make a killing, live large, and enjoy a location-independent lifestyle from anywhere in the world.
But to reap the rewards, you must get your affiliate marketing strategies spot on.
This guide will show you the best affiliate marketing strategies to help you drive more sales in your online business.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
There are three players in affiliate marketing: the merchant, marketer, and customer.
The merchant is the person who owns an affiliate product. A merchant is also called an advertizer, seller, vendor, or retailer. Sellers register with an affiliate network like ClickBank because they need affiliate partners to help them sell their products.
2. Affiliate Marketer
Next is the affiliate marketer or affiliate, someone who sells a merchant’s products. The affiliate gets a commission for each sale make or referral they bring. Affiliates have loyal audiences and set up affiliate websites to promote products.
Finally, there is the consumer or customer. That’s the person who buys the product advertised by an affiliate. To persuade customers to buy affiliate marketers must use advanced affiliate marketing strategies.
Bloggers, startups, and any content marketing-driven brand can leverage affiliate marketing to scale their businesses.
10 Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies That Drive More Sales
Let’s now analyze affiliate strategies you can use to drive sales. These ten strategies cover basic approaches and advanced affiliate marketing game plans used by the best marketers right now.
1. Choose The Right Affiliate Marketing Program
Landing a single affiliate sale is thrilling.
But getting repeated sales is better.
Pick products with long-term earning potential. These are programs that offer a monthly commission, not a once-off cut. You make more money from such products in the long run even if the initial commission sounds low.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say one product has a $50 commission. Another has a $25 commission. But the second product is a monthly recurring offer. You make a single sale of each product.
After one year, you’ll earn $300 from the second product. That’s 6x more than the first product. That’s the power of compounding payouts.
Next, consider your target audience when selecting products. Many affiliate marketers choose products by hype. When they hear the fitness market is hot, they jump on the bandwagon. Following trends isn’t always best. Ask any successful affiliate marketer and they will tell you to focus on your audience’s needs, not ever-changing trends.
Choose affiliate products that best match the needs of your audience. The latest eCommerce affiliate marketing techniques won’t help you if what you are selling isn’t aligned with your audience’s needs. Offer them programs that scratch their itch and they’ll buy in droves.
Renowned B2B copywriter, author, and business coach Ed Gandia has a powerful newsletter for copywriters. Whenever he wants to promote products, he makes sure it’s a product that’ll make copywriters more money.
From the email’s subject line “New income stream for writers” to the “you can charge clients $2500+ every quarter” line in the body, it’s clear the offer is strictly for freelance writers.To cap it all, choose a profitable niche with high passive income potential.
2. Tap Into The Power Of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing are a match made in digital marketing heaven.
Niche influencers have a rabid fan base. Affiliates need an engaged audience. So by partnering with influencers, marketers can boost their affiliate earnings.
To earn money from your influencer marketing campaigns:
Ensure there is an influencer audience match.
When working with influencers, it’s easy to go for popular people you like. That’d be a huge mistake. It’s about your market needs, not you. So pick influencers whose audience matches your target market demographics. Then they’ll respond more to the offers the influencer presents on your behalf.
Focus on engaged audiences, not big numbers.
In influencer campaigns, the lure of massive numbers can be hard to resist. But going for an influencer simply because they have hundreds of thousands of followers might not bear fruit.
Instead, look at the influencer’s engagement numbers. Do the followers like, comment, and share the person’s content? Such followers are likely to click on your offers once you add affiliate links to your sponsored posts.
Partner with niche influencers, not celebs.
Celebs may have millions of followers but industry influencers have the audience’s trust. Their followers gobble up everything they say because they have industry know how. When it comes to product recommendations, people trust the word of a niche leader over that of a celebrity who knows nothing about the industry.
Here’s a graphic that shows the tiers of influencers.
Most niche influencers have 1k-50k followers and thus fall into the nano and micro-influencer categories.
3. Leverage Email Marketing
Ever heard of the phrase “the money is on the list?”
It’s a cliche for a reason.
No matter your business model, the single biggest thing you can do to grow your business is to grow your email list. An email list gives you direct access to potential customers. Email is a personal medium you own 100%.
5 Email Marketing Tips For Boosting Affiliate Sales
Here are 5 quick tips on how to maximize sales via your email list.
Become known as a value provider.
Your email communication must provide value for your subscribers. Give them useful content consistently. When you do that, they will look forward to your emails. They will open and read all your emails, including the sales ones.
Train your subscribers to click
The people on your email list must get used to seeing your offers and clicking on them. Then they will be more likely to click your affiliate link. However, by offers, I don’t mean sales offers. Share links to any useful resources like blog posts or ebooks.
Find the balance between selling and serving.
When you have a robust email list with engaged followers, it’s tempting to sell to them every other day. Don’t yield to the temptation otherwise, you will wear them down with unrelenting offers. Serve them with solid content and sell sparingly.
Segment users for best results.
For best results, avoid making blanket offers to everyone on your email list. You will get a higher conversion rate and sales if you group users according to their needs. Join affiliate networks with suitable products for tailored offers to each group.
Use email autoresponder series.
An email series is one of the most effective affiliate marketing strategies. Simply join a series of product-related educational content and cap it with a sales email that includes your prized affiliate link. The best part? You set up the series once and forget.
4. Take Advantage Of In-depth Product Reviews
Most online purchases start with a Google search.
How can you leverage this tendency to boost your affiliate marketing sales?
Write superduper content that naturally includes the expressions people use to search for the products you’re selling. Come up with comprehensive reviews of your affiliate products. Naturally, as you delve deep into the benefits of the product, you will include keywords people use when searching for the products online. So your content (with an affiliate link) will appear in search engines such Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Conduct keyword research (or search Google Trends) so you target the right keywords for your review.
The best part?
In-depth product reviews drive ongoing SEO traffic for months, years even. You make money while you catch some zzzs.
But how do you write an effective long-form product review?
Here are three guidelines.
Focus on benefits, not features.
When writing a review, inexperienced affiliate marketers make a quick list of all the product features. Big mistake. The why behind the features move potential buyers. Zero in on juicy product benefits, not dry features. Sell the sizzle, not the steak as the veteran online marketing marketers say.
Be objective, not biased.
A product review isn’t a praise poem of your affiliate marketing products. Such biased reviews aren’t authentic. They put people off. Instead of being subjective, cover your product’s strengths and weaknesses. People will deem the content authentic and be more likely to consider your product.
Go deep, not shallow.
Many SEO studies reveal long-form content that’s 2k+ words has better potential to rank on Google. A thorough blog post review lends itself to detail as you explore all the product’s features and benefits. Answer all potential questions buyers might have about the product.
So powerful are reviews that a review website dedicates all its content to them.
5. Be Spot On With Your SEO Tactics
To maximize sales, massage search engine optimization (SEO) into your affiliate marketing strategy.
SEO-driven content is the backbone of steady affiliate income.
First, target the right keywords with your content. There are three stages of the sales funnel you must cover.
While TOFU and MOFU keywords are great, they are still a long way from the sale. You still have to nurture these leads until they are ready to buy from you. That’s why you must also target BOFU keywords.
People who use bottom-of-the-funnel expressions are hot leads who are ready to buy now. They already know they need the products you are selling. Their fingers are itching to hit the buy button. All you have to do is to put a relevant product in front of them.
Here are some common expressions buyer-ready people use to search for products:
Buy now searches
Below is an example of a Cheap + Product search.
For an avalanche of quick sales, infuse these hot search strings into your content, landing pages, and sales pages. Not only that. If you nail your SEO tactics, you will drive a steady stream of traffic and earn passive income for months.
6. Diversify Your Traffic Sources
Making money with affiliate marketing is easy when you think about it.
You just have to:
As a digital marketer, you must be smart about your website traffic sources. Don’t rely on one traffic source. The reason? If it suddenly dries up, your business earnings will be in a tailspin. For instance, if you rely on search engine traffic and there is a major Google or Facebook update, your traffic will vanish overnight.
All your months of hard work building a loyal audience and making solid content come to nothing.
Hedge your bets by diversifying your affiliate marketing traffic sources.
There are two major types of traffic, organic and paid.
This is traffic that comes from a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. You earn the traffic by creating content that woos the search engines. You can also generate organic traffic by posting engaging social media posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Unlike organic visitors you get for free, you pay for this traffic by advertising on paid media platforms. These paid traffic sources include PPC ads, Google Ads, and YouTube videos. Paid traffic gives you faster results while search engine traffic takes a while to gain traction. That’s another reason you must merge the two.
Advanced affiliate marketing that drives income demands that you diversify your targeted traffic sources.
7. Focus On A Few Stellar Products
Sounds counter-intuitive, right?
Most newbie affiliates think the opposite is true. To make more money you’ve got to promote as many products as you can.
Sales is a numbers game.
There are three ways of raking in the profits:
Let’s dig deeper into the third method. Cheap programs are okay if you have massive traffic. If we are being honest, the average affiliate marketer doesn't get a lot of traffic.
Let's say you want to make $10,000. Here's how the Maths pans out if you have joined programs with $25 and $200 commissions, respectively.
10,000 ÷ 25 = 400
10,000 ÷ 200 = 50
As you can see, to reach your goal with a $25 commission, you should make a massive 400 sales but only 50 sales if your commission is $200.
The second option is an easier and smart way of working. Think a $200 commission is far-fetched? Not at all. If anything, it's on the lower side. For example, the premium WordPress hosting affiliate program Kinsta pays affiliates up to $500 commission plus 10% monthly recurring lifetime commissions.
Not too bad, huh?
Get a handful of sales and you rake in thousands of dollars per month. High-paying affiliate programs are the shortcut to online riches.
8. Boost Your Offers With Mouth Watering Bonuses
Nobody wants to pass up on a good deal.
At the core of a successful affiliate marketing campaign is a solid offer. Sell a quality product, people will buy it. Sell a crappy product, they won’t buy. It’s that simple.
Advanced affiliate marketing strategists have another ace up on their sleeves to get more people to buy—bonuses.
There’s no doubt that a bonus strengthens your offer by stacking up value.
The best part?
You don’t have to create bonus products from scratch. Below are some types of bonuses you can use:
Something of value you can sell on its own.
9. Optimize Your Landing Pages And Product Pages
Many puzzle pieces make up the affiliate marketing income pie.
Let’s unpack the last two.
No matter which advanced affiliate marketing tactics you use, if you don’t optimize the landing and product pages your system will be broken. You won’t earn the money you dream of.
To optimize your landing page and product page:
Here’s an example of an outstanding landing page from Funnel Engine.
The page packs a punch because it:
Finally, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Vendors have many powerful resources to help you sell their products, including landing and product pages. Grab them. Then tweak them to suit your audience and watch the sales roll in.
10. Supercharge Sales With Webinars
Webinars are a versatile marketing tool.
From educating prospects at the top of the funnel to showcasing the benefits of your affiliate products at the bottom of the funnel, webinars work wonders.
Here are some quick tips on how to supercharge your affiliate marketing using webinars.
Shimmy Morris, an Amazon Associates expert marketer, made $40k direct affiliate sales in two hours from a single webinar.
Not only did that.
He also got an additional $18k. How? By simply marketing his Amazon Associate online course to the 3.5k people who signed up for the webinar. In other words, webinars double up as a lead generation tactic.
Not only do webinars generate an immediate affiliate income, but they also grow your email list exponentially which gives you a lot of residual long-term income.
Join The Super Affiliate Marketers Who Use Smart Affiliate Marketing Strategies
In summary, achieving affiliate marketing success is doable.
You don’t need superpower marketing skills.
It all boils down to three simple essentials:
Use these affiliate marketing strategies to generate bumper passive income without working like a slave.
Last Updated on August 12, 2021 by Hanson Cheng