The 6 Step Guide To Passive Affiliate Commissions: How To Write Your First Profitable Email Series

As far as I can tell, every single affiliate marketer and online business person I look up to swears by the power of an email list for driving profit.

For Bryan Harris, for example, having an email list was the difference between losing $1,000+ on a project and making $25,000 instead.

Stuart has said several times in our Facebook Mastermind Group that 90%+ of his income comes from his email list.

And as an affiliate marketer, you're likely already spending a lot of time trying to build up your email lists

...or planning to get around to it soon (you should start today with this post, btw).

You KNOW the money really is in the list, you've seen the proof from your favorite super affiliates.

You've read all the epic tutorials on ideas for getting more people on your email lists.

And you know you need an amazing lead magnet. 

But… what do you do once you actually have people signing up?

I mean, you’re supposed to be able to sell affiliate products to these people, right?

Isn’t that the whole point of pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into building an email list anyway?

In this post, I want to help you do just that and on auto-pilot.

Without having to do any hard selling or writing hyped up promo emails.

I’ll teach you how to craft a 4-step evergreen automated email follow-up series that kicks in the instant someone signs up for your list.

That way, you can start selling affiliate products to new people right away (without being scummy).

You provide value to your list (which makes them LOVE you) AND you get to recover some of your time invested with passive income profits.

It’s a win-win scenario, right?

Let’s get started:

 

What You'll Learn

  • What to say in your first email so readers will want to open the rest of the messages you send them
  • How to craft a short funnel to set up for a sale without being scammy
  • How to build a relationship with your audience while selling to them
  • Where and when to offer the sale

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 

1. Before You Start Writing: The #1 Most Important Part Of This Process

Before you start writing your first email series, it’s important to know what affiliate product you’ll sell at the end of this short email series.

And how that ties in with the lead magnet you’re offering.

Your email follow up messages need to line up with your lead magnet and the product being sold.

Because each part of this setup is designed to push your audience member further along the line towards the end goal.

i.e. buying your expensive products / affiliate products and making you lots of money (or whatever your end goal is for you and them)

So if you don’t know the connection, take a minute to map it out.

Know that each email you write should focus on easily solving the main problem of the lead magnet.

And the product, which will get your readers attached to your knowledge, creating a thirst for more.

Basically to make this super clear...

You need to build your business from the back to the front with your end goals in mind.

Your lead magnet doesn't just exist to get people onto your email list and nothing more.

It exists to get the RIGHT people onto the list who will want to buy your end product.

And your end product is designed to take both your customer and YOU towards both your end goals.

So your lead magnet and your email series must push the RIGHT people towards that end goal / end product.

Make sense?

Don't worry if it doesn't yet as I have examples below that should make this clearer...

As an example, Digital Marketer offers this lead magnet on some of their pages:

 

digital-marketer

They're offering a lead magnet that solves the problem of getting more traffic.

And, at the moment of writing, they're selling tickets to their Traffic & Conversion Summit... which helps people do the exact same thing, but on a much bigger level.

So in their email series, they'd focus on helping the readers get more traffic to their site, boosting their loyalty and chances of buying.

And if that's still not clear look at how another of DigitalMarketer.com's sales funnels works from opt-in to selling a low priced to upselling into their membership site in the image below...

 

Digital Marketer Sales Funnel Example: http://www.digitalmarketer.com/conversion-funnel/

Digital Marketer Sales Funnel Example: http://www.digitalmarketer.com/conversion-funnel/

They start by asking for your contact information in exchange for a free blog post template.

Then after you join their list they offer you a low-priced, $7 product, about blog content which is super related to the free blog post template you just requested.

Which means you're likely at the very least interested even if you don't want to buy it right now.

If you don't buy you'll continue to get content and value based emails with useful advice on the subject of blogging.

Mixed in with that will be promotional emails to try and sell you the $7 product again, after multiple exposures to it you might buy.

But if you do buy, they attempt to upsell you into their monthly membership site filled with similar, but even more helpful content.

If after multiple attempts to sell you still don't buy, they instead just show you the membership offer as a last-ditch attempt to get a sale from you.

This is Digital Marketer's end goal...

To get you into their monthly recurring membership site where they'll make the most money from you.

So do you see how everything from content to lead magnet to email series to product is tied in?

That's why it's essential you map things out from the BACK (the end product / goal) to the FRONT (lead magnet / content) otherwise it won't push your audience to the right place.

Now let's get back on with this affiliate email series...

In this example series, I’ll focus on helping people get rid of cellulite, which is a problem the imaginary lead magnet and product both solve.

(Just be aware that I really know nothing about Cellulite Removal, so don’t take any of the fake advice I give. It’s all for the sake of example.)

Note: If the connection isn’t pretty obvious, you might want to consider selling a different product or creating a more fitting lead magnet. The point here is to get people to buy, and people usually won’t buy if they’re confused.

 

2. Email #1: Deliver the Goods & Get Them Hooked

First things first, you have to deliver what you promised before promoting an affiliate offer. 

Most of the time, people don’t just sign up to your email list for shits and giggles. (Some people might, but it’s super rare.)

It usually involves a lead magnet of some type—like a PDF document or an exclusive video—where you deliver value and solve a problem for them.

I know I kind of glazed over the creation/importance of a lead magnet.

But Nader and Jawed have already written some great guides on that, which you can read here (10 ideas to quickly grow your email list) and here (15 irresistible incentives).

So the entire point of this first email you send your readers after they sign up for your email list is to deliver your lead magnet.

That, and to create an open loop in their minds, setting them up for what’s to come.

This email should be short and to the point.

Interesting enough to keep them interested, but short enough to let them just dive into the lead magnet.

Here’s an example:

email-1

 

3. Email #2: Wow Them With Your Knowledge & Helpfulness

Since you used the first email to set them up for what you’ll deliver in this email, now is when you simply deliver that promised knowledge.

But instead of just giving a surface-level tip, dive a little deeper into the science behind it so you can really impress them with your knowledge.

Plus, if you’ll be selling someone else’s product as an affiliate, now’s the time to mention them so your readers can get used to that person’s name and start to trust them as well.

Here’s an example:

email-2

This is a MUCH longer email.

But if you’ve attracted the right people, it’ll be super interesting and they’ll have their eyes glued on it until the end.

Plus with the work of your lead magnet and the scientific explanations you’ve written out here, the vast majority of your readers will trust you implicitly after this.

Which means you’re ready to start selling. (Subtly, of course.) 

 

4. Email #3: Set Up the Sale And Get Ready To Make Money

The idea of email #3 is to take the advice you gave them in your lead magnet and in email #2.

And combine them together in a way that your readers will get EVEN MORE practical value out of it.

In the email above, I mentioned a webinar with the creator of the affiliate product I’ll be starting to sell here and giving a full-on pitch for in the next email.

If you’re just starting out in your niche and don’t have those kinds of connections yet, you can just record your own video.

The point is to give even more good advice.

And to deliver what you’ve already told them via a different medium, so you can really drive home the point of your message and your expertise.

It’ll also help your sales conversions if you mention the product you’ll be selling them in email #4

And place a call to action to check it out—either with a link to that product’s sales page, testimonials, or a lead magnet if the product owner has a sophisticated funnel set up.

Here’s an example of a good email #3:

email-3

When you’re writing out the last few paragraphs, it might feel like you’re doing some pretty heavy selling already, but don’t worry about that.

Research shows that people need repetition before they buy.

So think of these paragraphs as just a way of priming their minds for the full-on sales email you’ll deliver the next day.

Plus, you aren’t actually asking them to buy yet, you’re just planting that little idea seed in their mind for the webinar to water.

That seed will grow overnight, and be ready for your last email.

 

5. Email #4: The Sales Pitch That Brings In Your Commissions

Alright, NOW is when you get to make that sale.

Yay, passive income

The most important thing to remember in this email is, obviously, your affiliate link to the product you’re featuring.

But beyond that, you’ll want to review what they learned from your lead magnet and via the information you sent them in emails #2 and #3.

It'll also help to think of this as a mini sales page.

But one where you don’t have to sell so hard, because you’ve already built up a pretty trustworthy relationship with the reader.

After you provide incredible value and build up trust with a reader, you don’t want to prolong the ask for the sale for too long....

Or they’ll forget about it and lose interest, which is why I’m suggesting it for email #4.

Here’s an example of what I’d write for this cellulite funnel:

email-4

Beyond mentioning the course and some of its benefits like I did in email #3, I’ve also spelled out what the course includes in great detail. 

Plus, I'm offering an exclusive discount to make the purchase a no-brainer for people who are serious about getting rid of their cellulite.

You don’t need to do 100% of the selling here, though.

You’ll link through to a sale’s page the product owner has written that will do even more selling for you.

Really, you just want them to click on the links you give out of curiosity.

 

6. Tools to Make This Happen On Autopilot & Save You Time

Once you’ve got these emails written, you’ll realize you’ll want a way to automatically send them out to people who sign up for your email list.

You know, instead of just manually logging into your email list every day and sending out each individual email to each person manually. (Trust me, that’s just a disaster waiting to happen.)

Some of the easiest and most affordable tools for this are Mailchimp, Aweber, and GetResponse.

And don’t worry, each tool comes complete with it’s own setup walk-through tutorials, so I won’t bore you by writing them all out here.

If you’re interested in choosing the right one, Jawad wrote a great comparison of all three here.

 

(P.S. If you'd like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)

 

Conclusion: Put Your First Email Series in Place

The purpose of this guide is not to be an end-all, be-all instruction manual for a hugely successful email funnel.

With the huge differences between different niches and online business models, that'd be nearly impossible to write.

Instead, it's about getting a decently-converting email series in place so you can start making some passive income, and notice how users interact with your emails.

Maybe you'll add a 5th email to help you get even more sales, or maybe you'll realize that you need to reduce your sequence to just three messages.

The point is to get something in place, to start making some passive income, and to collect data on your audience as you go.

PLUS, once people buy from you once, they're your customers and 60% to 70% easier to sell to later on when you decide it's time to sell another product to your list.

And it's worth noting that in order to get subscribers, you need traffic. So if you haven't already, check out Stuart's 101 Traffic Hacks so you can get more subscribers and make more passive income from them. 

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Chelsea Baldwin
Chelsea has a background in journalism and IT, and besides writing for NicheHacks, she's the founder of Copy Power, a business and a website that helps business owners figure out how to get remembered online via copywriting.

She excels in the topic of SEO but can write on a wide range of topics of which you can discover by clicking on her name.

Comments (1)

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  1. Amar kumar says:

    Hey Chelsea,

    Email marketing is really in highest peak due to flexibility and popularity among mass. In new era world of eCommerce marketing, Email marketing is really effective marketing practice throughout globe for better outcome.

    This significant practice makes huge customer engagement. Today it is considered as part of our marketing strategy and plans, it shows positive magnitude to meet our goals. Eventually, thanks for sharing these beneficial facts with us.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar