Affiliate marketing faux pas blog post

The other day I was breezing through my emails to see what would stir my interest.

I subscribe to quite a few lists, some I love learning from and others I want to see if they walk their content talk.

Having been involved in the online marketing world for quite a number of years, I know that one way many people promote their business or services is through affiliate marketing.

In case you’re not quite sure what affiliate marketing is, I like Pat Flynn’s definition:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

And, if you want to know about affiliate marketing, Pat has some great resources.

Here’s the thing!

As easy and potentially lucrative as affiliate marketing can be – you can sabotage the whole thing with this HUGE mistake!

A major content writer’s faux paus

Going back to the other day, as I was checking my emails, what crosses my line of site was not one affiliate marketing “campaign” message, but two.

Now, when you are on enough lists, you very often will receive several messages from affiliates promoting a new class, product, or service. That’s par for the course.

What stopped me in my tracks?

What caught my attention, in a very negative way, was that I saw the same headline in two consecutive messages.

At first I thought, oops, the sender hit the “send” button twice. (Hey, we’ve all done it.)

Then I saw it!

The exact same headline from TWO DIFFERENT senders. (The affiliate marketers. I would have screen-shot it, but I didn’t want to expose either party.)

I guess this is just the copywriter and content marketer in me…I hope it’s not.

Not only do GENERIC messages in an inbox get over-looked (see my post on Generic here,) when there are two of the EXACT SAME message, with almost the same time stamp, I couldn’t get to the unsubscribe fast enough. (It may have been some good stuff, but I was too turned off at this point.)

Why is this such a big deal?

It’s true marketing laziness!

The last thing you want to do is turn-off your readers – whether they are on your list or someone else’s list who is promoting you.

Good messages need to be honored with time, testing and personalization to get the attention they need from ANY reader – whether inbox, blog post, or social media message.

Don’t get me wrong, affiliate marketing takes a lot of time. It is the general practice of the person promoting their service or product, to write the promotional content that will be sent out. This could be content for email blasts, social media posts, etc.

The writer may create several different tweets and facebook posts so not ALL the affiliates are posting the same thing and the same time. (Uh-hem!)

They’ll also write a few types of email message, with headlines to match.

If you, as the promoter of your business or service, don’t take the time to educate your affiliates on the “correct” way to post YOUR content, you stand the chance of far fewer signups than you anticipated, maybe even LOTS and LOTS of unsubscribes!

As an affiliate marketer, if you truly believe in the product (or service) you are promoting, do yourself (as a skilled content marketer) and your “friend” a favor and add your own twist to the copy – at least in the headline of your email.

I’ve been an affiliate to a few people whom I love their product or service, and I’m more than excited to help promote them.

And, I go the extra mile (actually, it’s really only a few steps) to write MY OWN headline for the content, class, or service I’m promoting.

I help take the GENERIC out of the equation and put a little character and excitement into the message I create – afterall, I’m supposed to be helping, not hurting the process.

My quick tips to writing affiliate marketing content

  • Create several versions of your content – your emails, facebooks posts, tweets, etc. This may be a lot of extra work – but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
  • Teach your affiliates that they have a choice of content to promote – you don’t want to pump out the EXACT same message all over the internet.
  • Encourage your affiliates to create their version of your headline. They don’t have to change the entire headline, but by adding a few of their own words helps spread the message – and helps avoid the spam bots.

Your message is too important to screw up!

Take the time to write out the kind of content the wow’s your affiliates and their followers!

And remember to

Write on,

<3 Christine

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