The Secret to Affiliate Evergreen Marketing

Evergreen affiliate marketing presents the opportunity to make serious money.  Each month our affiliates prove this point by selling hundreds of bundles and earning thousands of dollars in commission.

The benefit of evergreen affiliate marketing is that most of the work happens upfront.  Once it’s out of the way, the campaign can almost run without supervision. 

We’re not saying it’s passive income, but a well-tuned evergreen campaign is about as close as you can get.  Just picture how it would feel to check your bank account after a weekend relaxing and see that it’s grown!

Before we get lost in this daydream, let’s cover the key to a successful evergreen affiliate marketing campaign.

The secret behind a successful evergreen affiliate promotion

What is the secret to making good money through evergreen affiliate marketing?

The answer is email.  

This is probably a bit of surprise since there are SO many tools you could use for promotion.  Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, webinars, conferences, advertising, or writing blog articles. There are a huge number of ways to grab people’s attention and push them towards your promotion.

These promotional tools do play a big part in running a successful campaign. They help build your email list. 

But the secret is selling to people through email.  

Two of our most successful affiliates, Ruth Soukup and Beth Anne Schwamberger have recently spoken about their approach to evergreen promotions.  In their own way, they both described this approach to evergreen campaigns and the massive success they’ve had.

Why is this tactic any different from a non-evergreen approach?

The nature of limited time sales lends itself well to direct marketing.  

Want to tell your audience about a crazy sale that’s only available for three days?  This is something you can blast through paid advertising, email blasts, social media or video, and people will take notice. There’s a very clear call to action and the fear of missing out is enough of a motivator.

At Ultimate Bundles we run a number of 6-day sales each year.  We always see positive returns on our advertising spend even when selling to cold audiences.  

The same cannot be said about sales that don’t have a short expiration.  We’ve found that trying to make direct marketing work for these sales is much tougher.  Advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google have become much more expensive over the past few years. You need to be clever about how you spend your money.

The lack of urgency for an evergreen sale is exactly the reason list building tactics work so well. There’s plenty of time to refine and test your list building approach.

How does this tactic work?

Getting new users onto your email list is the penultimate goal of running a successful email campaign. Meaning that besides making sales it should be your main focus.

The logic behind this is that email is the most effective medium to sell products to people.  It’s the simple truth backed up by a ton of statistics.

Once a user signs up to your list there’s a number of great ways you can build a relationship with them.  A well-written email sequence can take your reader through the early stages of becoming familiar and trusting you. This pays dividends later when you are convincing them to buy from you.

It’s A LOT easier to convince someone to give you their email than it is to buy something you’re selling.

That’s it.  The most effective marketing approaches are often the simplest.  There’s no need to complicate your promotional strategy. Get people on your email list and set up an effective email sequence.  

Now that we’ve got the tactic outlined, let’s explore how it works in more depth.  It all starts with building your list.

Effective list building approaches in 2019

There are a lot of really effective ways to build your email list. We’re not going to dive into all of them. We’ll just focus on a couple of the approaches that we’ve seen work in 2019 for our most successful affiliates.

1. Offer value for free

At the center of most great list building techniques is the offer of something free and seemingly very valuable. A great example is Jeff Goin’s free eBook “It’s not too late”.

To receive Jeff’s guidance on growing your own list, all you have to do is join his. This is essentially how most compelling opt ins work. 

This kind of opt in works well because you’re earning your reader’s trust by proving your authority on a subject. You’re also priming them to expect more valuable content from you, which opens the door for a follow up nurturing sequence.

People who join your list because they’re interested in “your message” are more likely to read your emails.  This is useful when you’re recommending they purchase an evergreen affiliate product. People who join your list through a competition or giveaway typically care less about what you have to say.

2. Optimize your website design to promote your opt in

Conversion optimization is often overshadowed by search engine optimization (SEO).  Getting traffic onto your site is great but not if they disappear again without reaching your intended endpoint. 

There are two broad brush strokes of website optimization when it comes to converting visitors to email subscribers: website design, and content authoring. 

Website design is a tricky art and can end up increasing your bounce rate if done poorly.  The GIF below does a great job of illustrating the frustrations we all feel sometimes using websites.

 

A good call to action is so obvious that a user has no choice but to give their attention.  At the same time it must not harm the user’s experience so much that they choose to hit the back button.

A great example of walking this line is Ruth Soukup’s website livingwellspendingless.com.  A few seconds after the site loads, a full screen splash page appears prompting the user to download a free eBook.

This splash screen is a fairly heavy disruption to the user’s experience.  Although, it’s well designed, has a very clear call to action and offers obvious navigational controls. 

The best approach to asking your readers to give you their email address is to test a few different mechanisms.  Try using a sidebar opt in, a call to action at the bottom of your page and an exit pop. See which one drives the strongest conversions and remove the others.

3. Optimize your website content to promote your opt in

Content is an excellent mechanism for driving your visitors to take a particular action.  

If your free opt in offer is worth talking about, write an article about why it’s great. This is a simple and effective way to persuade readers to download it.  Your piece doesn’t have to be so direct that you write a 2,000 word essay. Rather, treat it like adding a link to a blog article.

At Ultimate Bundles we do this frequently in our content.  Our company’s mission is to achieve 360 degree wins for our affiliate network, and we are always looking to expand our network.

We often write articles to help bloggers make money from affiliate promotions. We’ll also include a sign-up link to become an Ultimate Bundles affiliate. Why wouldn’t you want to earn a 40% commission rate, gain access to tons of marketing training and join a thriving community?

See what we did there?

Use your content to plug your free email newsletter, PDF book, free giveaway, or any other worthwhile opt in trigger.

4. Facebook advertising

Once your website is pushing visitors towards opting into your free offer it’s time to bring some new traffic in.

There are a ton of great ways to do this:

  • Facebook 
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • YouTube 
  • Google advertising

The ways of promoting yourself are almost endless these days.

We’ve done extensive tests of the major advertising and social media options for promoting content. Facebook advertising continually proves itself to be the best fit for us. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try a bit of everything, but we only write about what works for us. 

We offer free Facebook ads training to all our affiliates.  If you’re unfamiliar with Facebook ads, sign up to become an affiliate and watch the free training.

Before you dive into Facebook advertising, there are some tricks and tips to consider. 

As a general rule, the most successful Facebook ads target a specific audience and don’t stand out as promoted posts.

The two most effective campaign configurations are:

  1. Directly promoting your free opt in through a “conversion” campaign
  2. Promoting your optimized blog articles through a “traffic” campaign (“brand awareness” and “reach” are also worth testing).

Conversion campaigns are typically more expensive but are more direct.  You’re asking someone to take a direct action (in this case downloading your free opt in).  Traffic campaigns are much cheaper but rely on your content to do the heavy lifting and convert visitors to sign-ups.  

As with any advertising approach, testing is critical. Write down your goals at the start and then monitor your campaigns carefully to make sure they’re performing.

Monetize through your email campaigns

Now that you’ve got visitors signing up to your email list it’s time to set up an awesome email campaign.  This is where your affiliate evergreen campaign starts turning a profit. 

Writing an effective campaign is an art and there’s a lot to consider before you get started.  We’ve got a couple of great guides and podcast episodes to get you moving in the right direction.

We recommend checking out the ConvertKit blog for tips on best practices for setting up and running a high converting email campaign.  We can attest to ConvertKit being right at the top of the email marketing game.

 

Pick your evergreen affiliate programs

You’re now hopefully armed with a strategy for building a successful evergreen affiliate promotion.  All you need now is some ammunition.

Here are a handful of affiliate promotions we recommend you jump on.

Ultimate Bundles 

We’ve already covered some of the reasons to join the affiliate program at Ultimate Bundles.  We offer a massive 40% commission rate, have a ton of free training and grant you access to a thriving community.

Across the year we sell huge packages of eBooks and eCourses on topics such as:

  • Becoming better at blogging
  • Mastering personal finance
  • Herbs and essential oils
  • Meal planning 
  • Developing photography skills

The majority of these packages are available to promote as an affiliate for a full year until the next iteration arrives.

Go here to sign up to become an Ultimate Bundles affiliate.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit are a full-featured customer relationship management platform that specializes in easy-to-use email campaign automation. If you’re not already familiar, head over to their blog now.  ConverKit is an amazing service and offers a number of free resources for learning how to build email campaigns.

Their affiliate program offers a 30% recurring commission.  They also have a couple of big names in their affiliate program like Pat Flynn.  Check out their program here.

Real Plans

RealPlans offer a solution to the craziness of meal times.  Their meal planning service is loaded up with thousands of recipes and revered for its simplicity and ease of use.

Meal Planning services are a huge hit at the start of the year while New Year’s resolutions are at their strongest.  With an effective strategy, RealPlans is a great pitch for your audience all year round. Sign up for their program here.

Podia

Podia gives course creators everything they need to easily create and sell online courses, memberships, and digital downloads.

Their affiliate offer is almost exactly the same as ConvertKit, offering 30% recurring commission on monthly referrals.  Check out their program here.

SamCart

Selling a product with a simple, single-page website took off in popularity a few years back and for good reason. SamCart’s platform helps quickly slap together good looking, high converting check-out pages.

Their affiliate program offers up to 40% recurring commission on referral sign-ups.  Check it out over here.