5 Steps For Writing Killer Affiliate Promo Emails

October 9, 2011 · Print This Article

Steve-Scott-affiliate-marketing-strategiesI’m happy to share this affiliate marketing guest post by Steve Scott. Be sure and read to the very end. ;)

As an affiliate marketer your goal is to build a responsive email list.  Unfortunately most get this wrong.  Either they pitch too many products or they’re scared to present people with an offer.

I think it’s easy to write promotional emails that make money.  The trick is to do it without “burning a list.”  Your subscribers are an asset.  That’s why it’s important to implement a strategy where you’ll make money for years to come:


Step #1 – Know what Subscribers Want

Don’t just blindly blast emails to subscribers.  Instead, know exactly what they want before hitting the send button.

How do you find this out?  The quickest way is to do market research.  Go to popular forums in your niche and look for topics with a high number of responses.  Do this for blogs as well.

Your goal is to find out what problems are common in your niche.  These are the challenges that prevent people from achieving success.

What if you get stuck?  Just ask subscribers what they want to learn.  Use these polling tools for this:

Knowing what people want is the #1 secret to writing killer promotional emails.  Your goal is to tailor content (and offers) around the needs of subscribers.


Step #2 – Give Great Content

People join email lists to receive a benefit.  Most don’t like getting hit with offer after offer.  Remember this as you’re interacting with subscribers.

My rule of thumb is to offer at least 80% content to subscribers.  You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Teach a valuable niche-related lesson
  • Link to a recent blog post you’ve written
  • Create a content-filled PDF and offer it to subscribers
  • Give a link to training video and/or webinar
  • Answer questions from readers

Promotional emails start before you ask people to spend money.  Give people value and it’s easy  to get value in return.


Step  #3 – Use a “Mini-Launch” Sequence

Don’t just send a one-and-done email to promote a product.  Instead use what I call a “mini-launch” sequence.

You’ve probably seen the big-time gurus use product launches.  This technique can be applied to your promo emails.  The goal here is to introduce the offer while giving value to subscribers.

For example, here’s a  sequence I normally use:

  • 1st Email:  Identify the problem that’s solved by the offer.  Use a personal  story; talking about how you’ve encountered the same thing.  Provide a few basic solutions but hint at a total fix in a future email.


  • 2nd Email: Link to a valuable piece of content.  Most affiliate marketing programs give away a value piece of free content.  Like
    a PDF, video, or webinar.  In this email you’ll presell this freebie and provide subscribers with a download link.


  • 3rd Email: Promote  the affiliate product.  This is where you’ll sell the value of this offer.  Your job here is to leverage the goodwill you’ve built with  subscribers.  Give honest feedback about this product and tell people why it’s  helpful to them.


  • 4th Email: Follow-up  with subscribers (Optional.)  You can pick up additional affiliate sales by following up with readers.  Usually this is a great time to use scarcity – Especially if a product owner is offering a limited time or quantity.  Give them a reason why they should take action now.


Step  #4 – Offer a Bonus

Another way to produce additional sales is to offer a bonus item.  This will be something valuable that you’ve created.  This technique is extremely
effective if it directly relates to the offer. I do this for any high-ticket offer.  This technique provides an incentive for people to buy through your affiliate link.


Step  #5 – Rinse and Repeat

Email marketing is the lifeblood of your affiliate marketing business.  That’s why it should be treated with lots of care.

I’ll always offer content after a “mini-launch” sequence.  Even if I’m just sending links to a recent blog post.  The idea here is to remind readers that your
goal is to help them.  You’re not someone who sees an email list as a  personal ATM machine.

Rinse and repeat this cycle.  Send an email or two that doesn’t  promote a thing.  Next, go through a  “mini-launch” sequence.  Finally, go back  to giving great content – Starting the process again.

This process builds loyalty with your email list.  It’s also a great way to make money.

At the start of this post I talked about the importance of creating a responsive list.  Just follow these five-steps and you’ll have a killer affiliate promo sequence.

The  best part?  With this process you’ll have a long-term  asset.  This is an income source that can be relied upon for years to come!


Steve Scott generates a six-figure income from using email with his affiliate marketing sites. You can learn more about this on his affiliate marketing strategies page. Plus, he’s also created a step-by-step process where he reveals his income-producing techniques.  This can be found in his Affiliate Marketing without the Bulls**t product.

* Steve’s got a free chapter/module from his ebook that you can download now without opting in. Get it here!



34 Responses to “5 Steps For Writing Killer Affiliate Promo Emails”

  1. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 10th, 2011 10:37 am


    Thanks for having me here today! :)

    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..7 Actions that Increase Blog Traffic by 25.3% [Traffic & Conversion #1]

  2. Greg on October 10th, 2011 10:59 am

    I guess the best step here is to offer bonuses to others. Just like me, I’m after of bonuses because at the back of my mind, I saved a significant amount of money.
    Greg recently posted ..Toro 38381 18-Inch Electric 1800 Power Curve Snow Thrower Review

  3. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 10th, 2011 12:31 pm


    For sure! Most people think about offering bonuses to -get- people on their lists. But unexpected bonuses after may be worth more.

    You demonstrate a lot of value when you give people something for free just for being their. It certainly makes people much more likely to open you emails to see what you have to say.
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..Stop Commission Theft! (How to Manually Cloak Affiliate Links)

  4. Sue on October 10th, 2011 1:12 pm

    Thanks Steve,

    Even though I have a product based business as opposed to an affiliate one these pointers were great.

    Number 3 is one that I need to use more often to build up the momentum before releasing a new product or even if my case a large pack of PLR material.

    I have done the bonus one and got some great results from that.

    Thanks again, enjoyed the read.
    Sue recently posted ..Home Business Bundle

  5. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 10th, 2011 1:39 pm


    For sure!

    You make a great point. I would venture to say that at least “roughly” these are a good game plan for any online business. Finding out what your customers want, giving them value over time (not just beating them into submission with sales pitches) and trying to do the occasional unexpected thing that might benefit THEM.

    Not very, “exact” but anyone who can follow those tips is sure to slowly build a loyal following regardless of what they put out.
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..How to Create Niche Affiliate Income [Case Study]

  6. SEO Help Videos (Emmanuel) on October 10th, 2011 10:25 pm

    Peggy, keep up the great work! It’s great to see someone focus on good quality content when it comes to online publications in this niche… :o )

  7. admin
    on October 10th, 2011 11:14 pm

    Hey Emmanuel, it’s good to see you here!
    And yep, I’m good at finding the right people to do guest posts, like Steve Scott, who are experts at what they teach.

    It’s like when I interviewed you about SEO. See? I find the right people…


  8. karen on October 11th, 2011 3:05 am

    Most people think about offering bonuses to -get- people on their lists. But unexpected bonuses after may be worth more.
    karen recently posted ..Understanding Arizona Bankruptcy: When Should I Declare Bankruptcy?

  9. Kristina L. on October 11th, 2011 11:03 am

    Hi, Steve and hi, Peggy!
    Knowing what the subscribers want and offering a bonus item are the two things I would choose as main ones. I am not saying that other three steps are less worthy, of course, but these two would be my leading choices for long term assets in this matter.
    Kristina L. recently posted ..Candy Central Coupon Code

  10. Host.co.in
    on October 11th, 2011 11:04 am

    From my point of view the first point mentioned by you about identifying the exact need of subscriber is the key thing to make a email campaign effective and successful.

  11. Pete Goumas on October 11th, 2011 3:30 pm

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I agreed with all points especially the point number 1 because for success it is necessary to know what your subscribers really want.
    Pete Goumas recently posted ..Community Service Help Review

  12. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 11th, 2011 4:01 pm


    For sure. I always have nice lead magnets to get people on the list. But that is pretty standard these days. Very forgettable.

    But when you are “wow’ed” with extra content for just “being” a member of a list. It really shows the people on your list that they mean something to you.

    And of course this greatly helps open and action rates.
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..71 Web Copywriting “Hidden Gems” (or How to Create the ULTIMATE Copywriting Swipe File)

  13. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 11th, 2011 4:05 pm


    Of course. they all work together, but if you are talking about pears to apple lovers everything you say and do afterwards is pointless. Sure you may get some apple lovers who also like pears, but that is luck as much as knowledge.

    -Sorry for a clunky analogy-

    The point is every effort should follow your audience. They are the ones in charge, not you.
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..45 Tips to Make MORE Money with Affiliate Marketing

  14. Michael on October 12th, 2011 8:51 am

    Hey, Steve! I read somewhere that email marketing is not the best idea for any niche though….I guess I will need to test to see what is the case for my niche….
    Michael recently posted ..Online Auto Insurance

  15. Erica on October 12th, 2011 9:00 am

    Hi, Steve! I’ve been thinking about setting-up AWEBER, but my traffic is very low, because I’ve just started blogging. When is it OK to start email marketing?

    Erica recently posted ..New Parents Baby Gear Guide

  16. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 12th, 2011 12:02 pm


    It depends on the niche. If you are trying to do something like Amazon Affiliates or a Micro-niche where you only have 1-2 products. I agree. It probably isn’t worth the effort.

    Those sites rely on volume of sites rather than loyal fanbase/following.

    But for any significant niche i would say email marketing is the way to go.

    In fact I built enough of a list through article marketing and feeder sites a few years back before i ever even created a website.

    It has to be done ‘right’ though. YOu need to display personality and offer good content in your email marketing. Alsmot think of it as -another- website for the content/promotional mix you want.
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..71 Web Copywriting “Hidden Gems” (or How to Create the ULTIMATE Copywriting Swipe File)

  17. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 12th, 2011 12:08 pm

    Well, I am a fan of AWEBER and always recommend that as tops. BUT if you want to get your feet wet and build small list first before converting to AWEBER there is a program called “mailchimp”

    This will give you free email marketing up to 2000 followers. (Then it begins to get more expensive than AWEBER)

    It is not as good as aweber, but it is a way to learn the ropes for free.

    Then when you are ready call AWEBER customer service. I have not “done it” but I know you can transfer your list from social monkey to AWEBER with only a little bit of hassle.

    SO the answer is…start now. Your results may be minimal at first, but better to get it down to a science when little is going on.
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..68 Free eBook Downloads for Mastering Your Internet Lifestyle Design

  18. Adrienne
    on October 12th, 2011 2:21 pm

    Great to see you over here at Peggy’s place Steve. Awesome post and advice.

    I’m working on that exact thing right now with my opt-in list. I have a series I’m creating that will really add a lot of value to my readers and we all know that products and services will be presented from time to time. I also hope to eventually have my own product and my readers and lists have definitely contributed to me understanding what they want from me. Leading up to the launch of it is where I’m really going to take your advice.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome information. As always, you definitely deliver with a punch!

    Adrienne recently posted ..A New Directory For Locating Quality DoFollow Blogs

  19. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 13th, 2011 12:09 pm


    Sounds like you have a good plan.

    I shudder when I see people say blankly, “Email Marketing doesn’t work”

    But then all I see is them having cheap and obvious sales pitch after sales pitch.

    It is fine to sell in emails sometimes. But make sure there is a lot more than that.

    In may ways it is like blogs. Sure, it is fine to have the occasional affiliate link. But when ALL the site is about is a way to talk up affiliate products. I know I leave.

    It may sound trite but I think good content (for email marketing) goes with field of dreams. “If you build it they will come
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..11 Article Marketing Lessons YOU can Learn from an Account with 2,338,985 Views

  20. Theresa Torres
    on October 14th, 2011 1:20 am

    Hi Peggy and Steve,
    You’re right, I can see these are really killer strategies, very informative and helpful.
    I also think the first tip is very important. Knowing beforehand what your subscribers want will help you plan and work better on your program instead of a hit and miss of who will be interested.
    After that, the rest will be easy to follow and implement with focus and determination.
    Very educational, thanks for sharing. Have a nice day!
    Theresa Torres recently posted ..What Happens If I Don’t Pay My Credit Cards?

  21. Clara
    on October 14th, 2011 8:31 pm

    Thank you both for this. It makes the process lightly less complicated using a formula.
    Clara recently posted ..Strengthening the Immune System

  22. Kelli Smithgall
    on October 15th, 2011 6:24 am

    First off, thanks so much Steve for the very informative free chapter/module (without having to opt-in – that alone actually made me want to go to your site and opt-in). I was expecting just a couple of pages but there was a lot of “meat” to it and a great read.

    I have to share that I recently wowed the subscribers on one of my blogs after they became subscribers, and it really went over well. Thanks for the tip about doing polls to see what readers want – I think that would be a fun way to get feedback especially for readers who aren’t big on commenting.

    ~ Kelli :)
    Kelli Smithgall recently posted ..Anti-Aging Benefits of Exercise

  23. Satrap
    on October 16th, 2011 6:49 pm

    Fantastic tips Steve. I am lagging behind when it comes to building my list. Although I have started building a list and have close to 2500 subscribers, I haven’t been able to really monetize it or to even build relationship with the subscribers yet.

    But I am learning little by little and posts like yours helps a lot. Thanks.
    Satrap recently posted ..Ways for Kids to Make Money

  24. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 16th, 2011 8:27 pm


    For sure. It is the difference between struggling in the dark and having clear site for your goal.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..68 Free eBook Downloads for Mastering Your Internet Lifestyle Design

  25. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 16th, 2011 8:32 pm


    Glad that a “wow” for your blog subscribers went over well too! Great content is about “entry level” these days. You need that little bit extra to put you over then top.

    Glad you liked the free chapter. Hopefully there is a lot of good information in there for the casual reader.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..Answer this “Niche Affiliate Income” Question [Poll]

  26. sandip
    on October 17th, 2011 4:49 am

    i’ve had a lot of luck with giving away great content in around 4-5 emails and then the 6th of 7th email will contain the affiliate offer. I think that helps build more goodwill. But then again, it differs by niche, product and type of customer. Testing is key!
    sandip recently posted ..Sponsored Reviews

  27. james
    on October 17th, 2011 6:04 am

    I never used Email marketing and maybe this time i should. These 5 steps give me and ideas how to do that.
    james recently posted ..Burn The Fat Build The Muscle – the best way

  28. waterpearls on October 17th, 2011 11:51 am

    It is a very nice and informative post on affiliate promo emails.Thanks for sharing 5 steps for writing killer emails.This post is especially helpful for those who are new in this field.
    waterpearls recently posted ..Sony Card Coupon

  29. Peggy
    on October 17th, 2011 2:35 pm


    Thanks so much for posting this wonderful information, and then answering everyone. I love it when I get to know a marketer who is successful, helpful, and a decent person.

    I think it is incredibly kind of you to give away so much information in your FREE module (link at the bottom of the post), and without making people optin!

    One last thing… your tip #3 in your post was Awesome (yes, with a capital A) and it makes total sense.

    Peggy [High-fiving the air right now, but pretending she's high-fiving Steve]
    Peggy recently posted ..Affiliate Marketing Challenge Considerations Before I Begin

  30. Abby on October 20th, 2011 2:27 pm

    Just like me, I’m after the bonuses because at the back of my mind, I saved a significant amount of money.
    Abby recently posted ..Quickest Way To Get Pregnant

  31. Leonard Evenson on October 24th, 2011 8:56 am

    Thank you for teaching Peggy’s readers and then demonstrating how to make a successful, income-generating email, or even blog post. It is nice when someone doing well shares a piece of his knowledge.

  32. Chris Cole on October 29th, 2011 9:52 am

    This is a great list for sure. I would also say that it is best to keep in regular contact with your subscribers, even if it’s just to let them know of your new blog post.

    I also suggest that you do not look to sell, rather make recommendations based on your opinion or even reviews of a product that you have actually tried yourself.

    By combining these with the above list you should be able to have a great relationship with your list and have people wanting to open your emails.
    Chris Cole recently posted ..Increase Your Email Open Rates

  33. Steve@Internet Lifestyle
    on October 29th, 2011 10:52 am


    Thanks again for having me and glad you liked the tip #3.


    Glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave a nice comment.


    I agree with what you have to say 100%. It is important to be regular. A good way of doing this is to have people transition from autoresponder to a “broadcast” message list once a certain period of time is up. Andmake sure you broadcast something at least once ever 10 days.

    I also agree that actually using the product is essential. As well as doing a lot more than just selling. I actually attempt to “sell” in only about 20-30% of my email marketing messages.
    Steve@Internet Lifestyle recently posted ..7 Links of Highly Effective Posts

  34. Eylea
    on November 12th, 2011 9:04 pm

    Is email marketing still effective?

    I used to have a lot of success at one point, now I see my conversion rates way down. I’m wondering if this has something to do with the content I’m including in my emails???
    Eylea recently posted ..Genetic Mutation Identifies High Risk of Macular Degeneration

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