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7 affiliate marketing tips to boost your income (+ advice from our partners)

Jessika Bohr Jessika Bohr
· 13 min read · Email marketing,Websites and forms · Aug 25, 2020

Are you an up-and-coming influencer or content creator with a growing audience? Or perhaps a small online business, agency or entrepreneur looking to earn more revenue?

Whatever your situation, affiliate marketing can help you create more passive income. With this type of marketing, you promote other people’s products or services and earn an affiliate commission with each successful affiliate sale or signup. It’s all online and you can do this for every business that offers an affiliate program.  

Many of our MailerLite affiliate partners are successfully making passive income by referring to our software, and you can do the same.

In this blog, we’ll explain how you can get started with affiliate marketing. We’ll use MailerLite as an example, though these best practices can be applied to any affiliate program. Throughout the article, you’ll see tips and insights from our affiliate partners, who were so kind as to share their knowledge to help you succeed.

Let’s dive in!

This article is about doing affiliate marketing for MailerLite. Now, if you’ve never used our software, that’s going to be a problem. The first tip for being a successful marketer is: Know the affiliate product you’re promoting.

Take the time to thoroughly review and test the product, and see if you like it. You can only sell something and win the trust of your audience if you’re having a genuinely great experience with the product yourself.

Once you really get the hang of it and have experienced first-hand how the product you’re promoting helps your business move forward, you can position yourself as an expert in your niche. This will help you build a loyal audience that trusts you—making them more likely to convert.

Getting started with MailerLite

To get started with MailerLite, you can sign up for a free account and explore all of the features, create newsletters, email workflows, landing pages, websites, etc. You can always ask for help from our support via email or live chat. To gain more knowledge, MailerLite offers everything from support articles to industry guides and weekly new blog articles.

Affiliate partner tip: Ryan Zee, Founder of BookSweeps

“We specialize in helping authors promote and grow a readership for their books, focusing on list-building. As we’ve built a reputation around email marketing over the last several years (with thousands of customers), our authors tend to trust when we recommend a particular company. 

Our understanding of our audience has also enabled us to implement hands-on services for migrating customers to MailerLite, increasing conversions, and reducing churn. To that end, I’d strongly recommend building an affiliate plan around the pain points MailerLite would solve for your audience (e.g., pricing, usability) and developing solutions that include registering or migrating from an existing service.”

Ryan Zee landing page migrating to MailerLite landing page example

What was the game-changer for you when deciding to use MailerLite? What features do you love? Maybe you’re excited about our 24/7 support, the easy drag & drop builder or our company values?

Let your personal reasons for using MailerLite shine through. Tell readers about how your email marketing improved or how easy you find it to use. Sharing details and your personal experiences will make your content marketing more authentic and inspiring.

Remember too that you don’t need to pretend everything is great. There are probably features that our software currently still misses or things that could be improved. These are also important to mention. Honest reviews go a long way.

EmailToolTester video review of MailerLite thumbnail

Many affiliate marketers make the same mistake. They take the easy route, write quick, generic reviews without in-depth opinions and then wonder why they don’t make any affiliate sales. 

Keep in mind that it takes time to build a loyal audience or network, and you can only do so when you offer valuable content to your audience. When readers feel like they can really learn something from you and your insights help them to make a better decision, that’s when you’re doing it right. Take the time to write in-depth content marketing pieces and focus on offering value versus pushing sales.

What problem can you solve?

The ultimate goal of your content is to help your reader to solve a problem. People don’t buy when they are happy and fulfilled, they buy when they need to solve a problem. To create valuable content for your specific audience, get to know their most deep-rooted problems and create content that offers a solution. Then create deep links to navigate your audience to specific pages where they can find the exact answer.

Partner tip: Jason Whaling, Founder of ACT Marketing

“Something that is easy for affiliates to miss is keeping their content and promotions “problem” centered instead of “product” focused.

A promotional blog post, email, or YouTube video (our favorite) should be valuable to the end viewer even if there were no affiliate links. We see many affiliate promotions fall flat because they are so focused on selling instead of demonstrating.

Take our promotions of MailerLite, for example. When we create a promotion, we start with a problem our audience has, such as building a high converting landing page or converting email subscribers into customers. Our videos can go 3-5 minutes before our MailerLite call to action is introduced.

This ensures using the MailerLite recommendation feels like a natural progression to achieving the end-result the viewer actually wants as opposed to a blatant promotion. When an email, blog post, or video isn’t genuinely designed to help people, viewers can sense it, and that erodes trust in the recommendation. That trust is vital for link clicks. 

Sure, you may get a few people clicking your link following the “buy this now” approach, but you’re going to be hard-pressed to build an audience of people who will trust you the next time you have a recommendation. 

Here’s a quick round-up of what we would recommend to new affiliate marketers:

  • Build an audience in the niche you do (either through organic SEO, social networking like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube). This can be done with thought leadership posts and long-form content.

  • We have 70,000 subscribers on YouTube to create content for and help steer them in the right direction.

  • GIVE THEM VALUE! Stop trying to sell so much, over-promotion will kill your audience list quicker than you can build it. Value is the priority, and affiliate promoting comes second.

  • Stop directly affiliate promoting in your posts. Create a buffer into a whitepaper or lead magnets - then include affiliate links in your emails and lead magnet

  • Solve people’s problems - If the product doesn’t meet their solution, don’t promote it. I know that sounds simple, but we tried to “force the puzzle piece” to work before, It doesn’t work! It never will.”

You’ve spent all this time becoming an expert, now it’s time to share this knowledge with your audience! There are many ways to teach people new knowledge. You can build an affiliate website, create an automated email course, record video tutorials, host live Instagram sessions, write case studies—you name it. Use the strategy that feels most natural and comfortable for you!

Below you’ll see different content from our affiliate partners, and what angle they used to share their knowledge about MailerLite.

Examples of MailerLite promo copy from affiliate partners

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other social media channels are great tools to promote “word of mouth” and build your audience. Though each platform calls for its own strategy, it’s definitely worth building a presence on at least one of them to help expand your reach.

For example, you can build a powerful Pinterest page with helpful infographics. You can also engage in online discussions on platforms like Medium and become a trusted contributor. If you’re into video, you can become a YouTuber and teach your knowledge there.

Though it’s a lot of work, in the long run, these efforts can result in having a steady, recurring passive income source from social media. The more people you attract, the faster you end up growing organically too.

Jason Whaling MailerLite tutorial screenshot

If you don’t have a large audience yet or you’re not sure which pain points are there for you to solve, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a great way to find out. This strategy helps you find the questions and queries people are entering on Google about the affiliate products you’re promoting.

For example, let’s say you enter “email marketing” on Google. The suggestions you get can help you find ideas for new content:

  • Email marketing tools: Create a list of email marketing tools you have tested and recommend the ones you liked the most

  • Email marketing course: Create a beginner’s course about email marketing with the tool you are using

  • Email marketing examples: Create a blog post with your favorite email campaigns and choose a few that were created using the tool you’re promoting

There are loads of possibilities, so it’s on you to see which ones make you excited, where your expertise lies and where you can add the most value. It’s also important to check beforehand which kind of content is already ranking, as the affiliate industry can be very competitive. When you want to rank for popular keywords with a lot of search volume, you might need to put in a lot of time and effort. This might not be the most effective method to grow your affiliate business. It’s better to find your niche and target less competitive keywords.

If you want to know more about SEO practices and strategies, head over to our SEO guide for beginners.

Partner tip: Robert Brandl, Founder of EmailToolTester

“At EmailToolTester, we create in-depth reviews for different newsletter services. I guess the reason we’re successful at selling is that we aren’t even trying too hard. We’re just trying to recommend MailerLite to the right audience. 

In our case, we receive the traffic pretty much exclusively through SEO. If you are just starting, instead of going for very competitive keywords, you’ll probably have more success focusing on niche keywords: “MailerLite vs. xyz,” for example, or even try to find upcoming keywords like “MailerLite website builder.” 

Focus on quality, up-to-date information, don’t hard-sell, and you should see some success eventually. It’s going to take time but is also much more sustainable than the hard-sell approach.”

As an email marketing service provider, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to build an email list. In 2019, the number of global e-mail users amounted to 3.9 billion and is set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024 (Statista, 2020). This clearly shows that you shouldn’t be missing out on email marketing campaigns as part of your affiliate marketing strategy.

Email campaigns allow you to communicate with your audience on a personal level and work towards an engaged list with subscribers who want to hear from you. If you’re looking to build a sustainable online business, you will want to continuously interact with your audience and get in front of them. Whenever you want to promote a product, you’re one click away to reach them.

To learn more about growing your list and tips on how to do email marketing right, click on our ultimate guide to building an email list below.

We hope that our tips and the interesting insights from our affiliate partners gave you the inspiration and tools to get started with your own affiliate journey. 

If you want to become a MailerLite affiliate yourself, make sure to register for a free account so you can get to know our software. Once you’re a MailerLite expert, you can apply for our affiliate program.

Jessika Bohr
Jessika Bohr
I'm Jessika, Partnership Manager. I love climbing rocks and improving my yoga poses—it gets me out of my comfort zone, clears my mind and fuels creativity. My current two missions are to build honest relationships with our amazing partners, and to hunt down the world's best vegan burger (send me your tips!).