11 Major Affiliate Marketing Problems You Can Solve By Building an Email List
May 08 2018
10 min read
10 min read
Table of Contents
If you think affiliate marketers don’t need an email list, think again. Nearly 81% of online shoppers in USA are likely to make a purchase as a result of a marketing email. So it’s no surprise that 94% of marketers consider email extremely important for their business and 87% of them plan to increase investment in email marketing in the next 12 months.
Stuart makes nearly ALL of his affiliate income by promoting products to his email subscribers.
And he’s not alone.
A study by Affiliate Summit shows that 41.47% of the top affiliate marketers consider email their number 1 traffic source.
Source: Affiliate Summit
What’s surprising though, is the number of affiliate sites I still see that make absolutely no effort to build an email list.
Because it’s not just about subscribers, leads, and sales.
An email list solves some of your biggest affiliate and online marketing problems. Problems that can cost you thousands of dollars every year. Problems that literally stop your business from growing. Problems that drain motivation and force most newbies to quit affiliate marketing.
An email list solves all of them.
There’s just one condition.
You need to build your email list the RIGHT way, let me show you how today...
The Right Way To Build an Email List
Don’t buy an email list.
Don’t spam people who’ve never joined your list.
Don’t place a “Join My Newsletter” opt-in box in your blog’s sidebar and hope people will sign up.
Don’t create an irrelevant email lead magnet, that has nothing to do with your core offer, just to increase subscribers.
Don’t do any of those things.
It’s common sense.
An email list is only useful when people willingly join it and their interests are aligned with your core product/affiliate offer.
How do you achieve that?
Let me quickly explain
Find out the core problems and needs of your audience – research, research, research!
Create a lead magnet that is closely aligned with your core offer. For example, if you’re promoting fitness gear or running shoes for people who want to lose weight, create a free eBook with tips on developing a fitness routine.
Promote your lead magnet by placing it on all the prominent areas of your blog and by using pop-ups.
I’ve explained this process in MUCH more detail in this post.
If you build a subscriber base that has the same interests and needs that your product targets, you will instantly solve your biggest online marketing problems.
Don’t believe me?
Let me show you some common problems of affiliate marketers and how building an email list solves them.
What You'll Learn In This Post
How to increase your repeat sales by 70%
Why you don't need to worry about Google penalties and Amazon policies
The most reliable way to understand the needs of your audience
How to turn your affiliate site into a real business
Problem #1: You're Leaking Traffic and Losing Visitors
"Percentage of Returning Visitors" or "Repeat Traffic" is one of the most important metrics for an online business. One-time traffic that never returns to your site is not only useless but actually harmful to your site’s search engine rankings.
Because when people land on your site, hang around for a while, and then press the back button, it’s a strong indicator that your site didn’t have the information the user was looking for.
As a result, your rankings go down. A study by SEMRush also confirms this correlation between bounce rate and search rankings.
An email list helps you reduce bounce rates and increase the percentage of returning visitors to your site because your subscribers already know you and have willingly signed up to your list.
They’re interested in your content, consider you a valuable information source, and know what to expect from you when they click on a link in your email.
So whenever you publish a new blog post, article or product review, you can simply send an email to your list and watch the traffic flow in.
This isn’t possible with SEO or any other traffic source that you do not own.
Problem #2: You have Few Clicks & Fewer Sales From Your Affiliate Links
What good is an affiliate site if nobody clicks on your links to purchase the products you’re promoting?
Not getting enough clicks is one of the biggest concerns of most affiliate marketers (especially newbies).
An email list solves this problem in a number of ways.
First of all, your subscribers know you and trust you to a certain extent. So when you send them a product offer, they’re more likely to explore it as compared to an offer by a complete stranger. Which is probably why email marketing has an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent.
Other channels don’t even come close.
Secondly, studies in 2017 show that the average email clickthrough rate (CTR) across all industries is around 4.19%. This means that if you have an email list of 1000 people (which is a very small number) 42 people will click on your link.
If you are a serious marketer, it shouldn’t take you long to build a list of 10,000 subscribers. This means every offer you promote through email should get at least 420 clicks.
Now combine this with the fact that 81% of shoppers are likely to make a purchase through an email, if it matches their interest, and you have a pretty good chance of making sales with your email list.
Problem #3: You Have Done Zero Audience Research And No Idea What They Want
The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them (and your business).
When you understand the problems, the needs, and the burning questions of your potential customers, you can create the right content for them and hit the bulls-eye when promoting affiliate offers.
An email list makes it insanely simple to understand what your audience wants. You simply need to ask them.
Marketers that have large email lists regularly use surveys and casual conversations to understand what their audience wants from them.
Once they have a clear picture, they align their offers with the needs of their audience.
The moment they do that, money starts raining.
Because that’s what business is all about – fulfilling the needs of your target market in a profitable way.
Most email services like GetResponse, AWeber and MailChimp have survey features as well. But if your email tool doesn’t have it, you can use tools like SurveyMonkey or a simple Google Drive survey to seek feedback from your audience.
Problem #4: Your Audience Don't Know You And Therefore Don't Trust You (No Trust = No Sales)
Can you sell anything to someone who doesn’t trust you?
Of course not! Unless you’re a pharmaceutical company selling life-saving drugs that nobody trusts but still purchases because there’s no other option.
Studies show that 80% of fresh leads never buy anything from you (unless you nurture them)
It doesn’t matter if you’re into affiliate marketing, blogging, e-commerce, digital product creation or any other online business model if your audience doesn’t trust you it won’t buy from you.
Which is why building trust is crucial.
So how do you do it?
By publishing product reviews?
You need to keep giving free value to your audience and nurture the relationship until you’re at a point where your audience wants to hear from you and considers it a favor when you recommend products to them.
This can't be done without email.
It takes time but it pays back well.
Once your subscribers start trusting you, they actually prefer buying from you.
This can only be done when you regularly connect with your email subscribers, share free content, resources, and actionable advice.
You’ll be surprised how easy selling becomes when people trust you and consider you an expert.
Problem #5: You Are Over-Reliant on Risky Search Engine Traffic
Most affiliate marketers primarily rely on search engine traffic.
There’s nothing wrong with that approach.
Diversifying your traffic is the key to a long-term and sustainable online business.
All successful businesses do it and Google likes it too because it’s a strong indicator that your site is a credible brand with a genuine following.
A recently released joint study by GetResponse and SmartInsights shows that marketers still consider email marketing as the most effective online marketing channel.
And there are some pretty good reasons for this.
If you have an email list you can generate traffic on-demand, whenever you want.
You don’t need to wait for your content to rank on Google’s first page.
You can simply let your subscribers know that you’ve published a new post and they’ll come to you running.
Problem #6: You're Publishing "One-Size Fits All" Content
Blogging, SEO and social media marketing are all great marketing techniques.
But when you publish a blog post or post a Facebook update, all of your audience sees it.
Some find it relevant, others don't
Becuase within your audience, there are different segments with different needs.
They need to be targeted with more precise and to the point content designed only for them.
You cant do that with blogging.
But email marketing is MUCH more effective because it gives you the ability to segment your audience and send personalized content according to the exact needs of your subscribers.
It makes your subscribers feel that you’re actually talking to them and understand their problems.
For example, if you’re running an affiliate site on weight loss, you could segment your list based on the different reasons why people want to lose weight. Some might want to do it to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases. Some might be doing it to look fitter and better. Some of your subscribers might be new moms who’ve gained weight and want to shed off the extra pounds.
You can segment them and send targeted messages based on their particular needs.
Most experts agree that it dramatically increases the effectiveness of your email strategy.
Even basic personalization like using the first name of your subscribers in automated emails increases the open rate by 26%
Imagine what happens to campaigns that are tailored to the exact needs of a well-defined audience segment.
You can’t achieve such personalization with publicly published content.
Problem #7: You're Always Living in Fear of a Google or Amazon Penalty (And You Should Be Without An Email List)
Most people get into affiliate marketing and online businesses because they want freedom.
But they end up becoming Google and Amazon slaves always living in fear and waiting for the next algorithm update or policy change.
That’s not freedom, that’s stupidity.
It’s like building an empire on rented land.
But that’s what happens when you’re totally dependent on Google, Facebook, Amazon or any other third party platform (that you do not own) for your website’s traffic.
Unless you have a system in place to constantly convert that traffic into email subscribers, you’re doomed.
If you have an email list, it doesn’t matter what Google thinks about your site. You’d still be able to drive traffic anytime you want.
It makes your business penalty-proof.
It gives you real freedom because you don’t care about the next Google penalty or an overnight policy change by Amazon.
Look at any successful online business around you.
Do you think people like Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Jon Morrow, Spencer Haws, Stuart Walker, and other top marketers care about Google penalties?
Of course not.
Because they’ve built their businesses the right way.
And they have huge email lists full of engaged and loyal subscribers.
Even if Google wipes them off the web tonight, they’ll start a new business tomorrow thanks to their subscriber base.
That’s the power of building an email list.
Problem #8: You Have No Repeat Sales (The Lifeblood of ALL Businesses)
Did you know that it’s MUCH easier to drive sales from your existing customers?
In fact, a study by HelpScout shows that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.
Because there’s a certain level of trust between you and your existing customers. They’ve already spent money on your product and know what to expect from you. You’ve already convinced them once. Doing it again is easier than the first time.
It’s the same with your email subscribers.
Even if they haven’t bought anything from you, they still trust you because they’ve shared their contact details with you and have given you permission to contact them.
It’s much easier to sell a product to them as compared to someone who has landed on your site for the first time.
Stuart himself makes most of his affiliate sales from his existing subscribers.
Here are a couple of case studies of Stuart’s product launches that’ll teach you more about making the most of your subscribers.
Problem #9: You Have No Community Around Your Brand
“Your tribe is your vibe”
You might’ve heard marketers say this often.
And it’s true.
You cant build a long-term and successful online business without building a community around it.
Your loyal community (your tribe) trusts you, looks up to you for advice, and shares your content across formats.
And it's not just them who benefit.
It’s a two-way relationship
Your tribe keeps you motivated, gives you new ideas, and helps you understand the needs of your target audience.
But how do you build a tribe for an affiliate site?
Why would anyone root for a site that just publishes product reviews to make affiliate commissions?
You’re right, nobody will.
But if you focus on solving the problems of your target audience instead of selling your products, building a community becomes easier.
Start by identifying the real needs of your audience, not your product.
Ask yourself – why would someone buy this product? What problem does it solve?
When you get the answer, create a lead magnet around that problem.
Start building an email list.
Offer free value, share free advice, publish detailed high quality and actionable content.
Keep doing this and you’ll have your own tribe faster than you think.
Problem #10: Affiliate Marketing is a Risky and Unsustainable Business
“Affiliate marketing isn’t a real business”
It always hurts when I hear this.
It’s almost degrading.
But you know what, for most marketers, this is true.
Because if you look closely, all “real” businesses have one thing in common.
They’re long-term and sustainable entities with a real connection with their customers.
They are trusted brands with their own dedicated followers.
In short, they have customer lists.
Lists of people who have trusted them with their hard-earned money in the past and who’re prepared to do it again in the future.
Most affiliate sites don’t have customer lists.
Because they rely solely on SEO and search engine traffic.
Even their referrals don’t really have a connection with them.
Building an email list changes all of this dramatically.
It turns your unreliable affiliate site into a sustainable online business.
A real business, with real-world connections, and a real subscriber base.
Problem #11: You Suffer From Humiliatingly Low Buying Offers for Your Affiliate Site
Unless you’re madly in love with your affiliate site, you will look to sell it one day to move on to bigger things.
But if your site doesn’t have a subscriber base, you’ll be disappointed with the offers you’ll get.
Seriously, you can trust me on this.
I recently reviewed 45 top-selling websites on Flippa and repeatedly saw that affiliate sites with large email lists sold at a MUCH higher price than sites that relied solely on search or social traffic.
And it makes sense, doesn’t it?
As I said, an affiliate site with an email list is a real business with real customers and real relationships.
Are You Ready to Solve All Your Affiliate Marketing Problems?
Seriously, don’t delay this anymore
Start your email list today.
Ask ANY successful marketer about their biggest marketing regrets. Not building an email list from day 1 will always be one of them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an affiliate marketer or a product creator yourself.
You need to build an email list to turn your risky online venture into a long-term and scalable business.
If you still have doubts about this, let me know in the comments.