When I started my business several years ago, I realized being a 1:1 service provider was quickly going to become a limited opportunity to grow as an entrepreneur. I needed to start exploring other avenues that were aligned with my values, my family, my time, and my business.
Once I learned more about affiliate marketing, I realized this was something that checked all the boxes for me. I became really excited about sharing these opportunities with my audience as well. You can read more about getting started with affiliate marketing in my post here.
One of my best tips for running an affiliate marketing campaign that will make you money is to treat it as if you are launching your own product. When you put in the care, time, and effort (it will be created with your own branding and your story) it becomes your product too! This will help you make money because it will speak to your audience’s needs.
Here are my 6 tips…
Start by deciding on the type of program you want to share.
Maybe you’re considering which programs are offering the highest affiliate payout. After all, selling a even a few could mean big results for you. For example, some course creators offer a 50% commission on their programs that are sold for thousands of dollars. On the other hand, Amazon offers only a few percent commission. And their products range in cost starting at only a few dollars. Think pennies in payouts. It doesn’t mean it’s bad to partner as an Amazon affiliate, it will just take a larger audience and more work.
Another aspect to consider is whether your affiliate partners offer a one-time payout or recurring payments. Recurring payments mean you’ll receive a commission as long as the subscriber remains a member.
When I started my business, I used funnel software called ClickFunnels where I was able to create my first funnel with a sales page, checkout page, payment processor, and add-in options for up-sells and down-sells. Because I was using it in my own business, I chose to be an affiliate for them, and I would earn $40 commission on each $97 monthly subscription that was bought through my link. So if I had 100 Clickfunnels subscribers active each month on my link, that would mean a residual affiliate income of $4,000 a month!!
Consider what will make sense for you to promote to your audience in a natural, authentic way. It’s not only about cherry-picking the highest-yielding payout affiliates to align with.
Organization Tips for Running An Affiliate Marketing Campaign
1) Create a spreadsheet to keep all your information together
When it comes to tips for running an affiliate marketing campaign, my motto is keep it simple.
Start with a spreadsheet in a program you are comfortable using: Google Sheets, Excel, or Numbers if you’re an Apple user. Or you can build out a database in something like Airtable. But start simple. Right now you’re only organizing your information and don’t need to complicate it.
Affiliate Program Details
Organize all of your details regarding the program within your spreadsheet such as the name, your affiliate links, any specific dates you might want to share the program (if it’s a limited launch), your affiliate commission rate, and any assets you have been sent or you have created.
When you sign up as an affiliate, it’s common to receive images and swipe copy as a shortcut. However, I suggest creating your own, which includes your branding. This will set you apart from every other person promoting the same program. Lifestyle photos are always the best.
Personal Stories to Keep it Authentic
Gather and create your unique stories of how the product helped you do what it promised. This is so important! Remember the key to everything, and especially affiliate marketing, is authenticity. Promote what you use and love. If you are in this only for the money, your audience will quickly see through this and not trust you.
I always find it a good idea to transfer any important dates into my calendar. You may want to create a special calendar for this purpose. This is especially important so you can share the high ticket programs that only open once or twice a year, if this is something you’re promoting. Even the monthly subscriptions will sometimes run affiliate contests or flash sales, so it’s good to be prepared.
2) Create your plan of attack: How are you going to promote the product?
Plan to share ongoing monthly subscriptions as part of your effective affiliate marketing campaign.
Long Form Content
If you are planning to have a website and a blog, your posts are a great way to share your affiliate links. You can also add value with additional information about your experiences or how your audience might use the products.
YouTube reviews or tip videos are also great if you don’t mind being on camera and doing some light editing. Some talking points for topics might be behind the scenes, before and afters, my favorite products for _______ (around whatever your audience is interested in), or a resource library of videos.
Some of my favorite options are blogs and YouTube videos. Why? The SEO benefit that will help your content (and your links!) get found. For example, a friend of mine recently booked a 10-day trip to Europe. So she spent a lot of time researching what she’d need for a long flight, what to wear in Europe in the summer, how to pack in a carryon for 10 days, and so on. She was able to click through the links and purchase their recommendations as she read helpful articles.
Short Form Content
No blog? No problem! Promote your links through social media. You’ll want to have a well-written caption and a scroll-stopping promotional graphic. Use a service like SocialBee, Recurpost, or Tailwind to repost these graphics and regular intervals throughout the year.
Remember short-form video like Reels, Stories, Shorts, and TikTok (if it’s not banned where you are) are also great ways to share your affiliate products or resources. You can use a link in bio program like LinkTree to link to your products if you can’t put the information directly in the post or description.
A word of advice: if the product or service you’re sharing offers limited-time launches, the best strategy is to plan out the number of times and days you plan to promote on your different social media channels. Consider your Facebook business page, Facebook group, Facebook Lives, Instagram, Instagram Stories, or planning on using Facebook ads. Also, prepare the number of emails you plan to send to your list during this promotional period. Usually, your affiliate partners will give you example swipe files as a jumping-off point. However, I always stress making this copy your own so it’s authentic to your brand.
3) Create your assets
“Assets” refer to the emails, videos, social posts, and graphics you will be using to promote the affiliate program. Take the time to plan ahead, so these posts are cohesive and take your customer on a journey. Remember where they are in their levels of awareness. Most likely you will start in the unaware phase.
- Unaware: Customers here don’t realize they have a problem, or that there may be a better way of doing something. To give an example, until recently, I was in this stage with Systeme.io. I didn’t know this company existed. I’ve been using several different services, paying for many subscriptions each month, and having to piece together a lot of functionality to meet my needs.
- Problem aware: Your customer becomes aware they have a problem, but they aren’t sure how to solve it.
- Solution aware: Your customer knows about the solution to their problem, but they aren’t sure about you and your specific offering yet! Maybe they haven’t even heard of you yet! This is where you need to introduce yourself, if necessary. As an affiliate, it’s essential to share the background of the company. This happened with me when I learned about Systeme.io. I was surprised to learn how convenient it was AND that you can get started for FREE! I began sharing it as a great way for people to get started online with this integrated marketing system. My audience had the same questions I did, so I was sure to answer the questions. What does it include? Is it reliable, especially if it’s so inexpensive? Is it difficult to set up for those who aren’t tech-savvy?
- Product aware: Once your customer learns about you and the product you are sharing, they might not be quite ready to invest yet. They may know your competitors who are offering a similar product as well. At this stage, they aren’t convinced that your solution is the best thing for them right now.
- Most aware: These are your best customers. They are happy to purchase from you multiple times and are super loyal. I learned about digital marketing from Julie Chennel and Cathy Olsen and their Funnel Gorgeous products. They have a dedicated following, me included, who will buy from them, again and again, every time they launch!
As you share with your email list, make sure your email service provider offers tagging. This will save you a lot of heartache because it will allow your subscribers to let you know when they want to hear from you about different offers. The can also tell you when they prefer NOT to be contacted. Without the option to tag your list, you may end up with a lot of unsubscribes, or a lot of subscribers marking your emails as spam. 🙁
- Opt-out tag: If your subscriber doesn’t want to hear any more about a particular promotion, they can choose to click the custom opt-out tag. (I use this in ConvertKit.) They will remain on your email list and get the regularly scheduled newsletter, but won’t hear anything else about this promotion. No hard feelings!
- Create an interest tag: It can be overwhelming to inundate your entire email list when sending emails during a promotion or during a cart closing. An interest tag allows you to send emails only to those interested who have shown interest by clicking on a link and avoid losing your other subscribers.
4) Build a Landing Page
I recommend creating a landing page (also known as a bridge page) with your own messaging and branding, which explains the product and how it helps. You may choose to add a video sales letter that will explain the product, how it helps, and what will happen next instead of sending them directly to an affiliate’s sales page. This acts as a warm-up. I like to use Systeme.IO if you are just getting started since it it FREE!)
I like to embed a form to collect email addresses on my landing pages as well. This way, you can capture the names and emails of anyone interested (make sure you segment them with an interest tag!) and continue to build the relationship through a nurture sequence. Your emails help your audience get to know you. Plus you can educate them more about the solution you are offering and support them through their purchase.
5) Create a Bonus Offer
Call me old school or blame it on many years of marketing psychology, but I love creating something special for people who use your link. This is an “ethical bribe” for someone to purchase from you over someone else. If the affiliate you are partnering with runs a contest, this might give you an edge in winning a prize (#winning).
Part of what you are doing is creating an effective affiliate campaign, not just any old marking plan. So when it comes to tips for running an affiliate marketing campaign a bonus offer can sometimes give you an edge over other marketers sharing the same promotion. You need your customers to purchase from you. A bonus offer might be just what it takes to have them click your link first.
6) Reuse & Recycle
In the case of big-name affiliate marketing campaigns that run yearly, keep your assets in one place. I mentioned a spreadsheet in #1 above, but you could use a project management tool like Trello or a cloud storage like Google Drive if you take the time to set it up with folders. Then, when the promotion runs again the following year, you simply have to adjust the dates and tweak any bonus offerings you are planning to include. It’s always helpful to keep track of what worked well (and what didn’t work) to improve upon the next time.
Using the same system over and over is part of working smarter, not harder. Use what you already have in place: social media schedules, graphic templates, emails and tweak for your next new affiliate campaign. It will save you so much time since you aren’t starting from scratch.
Summary of Tips for Running an Affiliate Marketing Campaign That Will Make You Money
Ready to start running your own affiliate marketing campaign? Look around at the products you are already using. Which of those can you partner with within your own business?
When you’re ready to get started remember to:
- organize your information in a spreadsheet for easy reference
- create a strategy of how you’re going to promote the offer including when and where
- design your marketing assets like your graphics and your stories. When you set yourself apart from others who are promoting the same offers, you connect with your audience on a deeper level. Keep in mind where your audience may be in the buying journey and tailor your messaging to them. Talking about how great Systeme.io is as an all-in-one marketing platform won’t matter if they don’t even know that they need one.
- set up your landing page or bridge page. This is the place where people will learn more about you and the offer before clicking the affiliate link.
- create a bonus offer. This isn’t always necessary, but may be useful if you need to sweeten the pot and entice people to purchase through your link instead of one of your competitors also promoting.
- keep track of what does well and what needs to be tweaked to get better engagement. Your goal is to work smarter, not harder. And you don’t have to keep recreating everything from scratch. Be sure to check your affiliate partner for any updates or changes to the program or marketing materials before you reuse your content. You never know if it needs to be edited based on updated terms.
I use these tips for running an affiliate marketing campaign in my own business. I can’t wait to hear how they have helped you succeed in yours!
If you are looking to get started with affiliate marketing, you’ll want to be sure to download the Affiliate Marketing Roadmap to help you get started!