Two big challenges for affiliate marketers:
1) It’s getting tougher to promote affiliate products on social media
2) Email inboxes are harder to reach
This article will give you proven ways to write email subject lines that help solve the inbox issue.
With higher open rates come more affiliate sales via email. Plus, higher open rates and increased clicks will cause more of your future affiliate emails to get opened too. Due to improved deliverability.
So email can help you overcome many of the social media struggles that have gotten worse in recent years.
Let’s highlight affiliate struggles. Then we’ll dig into how to write better email subject lines that your subscribers are more likely to notice – then open – then read your emails.
7 Affiliate Marketing Challenges
Clickbank has seen more affiliate programs than the ocean sees sand. They have been in the business forever (since 1998).
Their top 4 affiliate problems of 2023 are:
- Organic social media doesn’t work as well as it did
- People ignore ads due to the sheer volume of marketing
- TikTok has taken eyeballs away from Facebook
- Paid ad costs have shot up and are unaffordable for many affiliate marketers
In my opinion, these 3 broader issues are affecting affiliate sales too:
- Inflation tightened budgets
- Rising online scams make people more ‘click cautious’
- Endless affiliate programs to choose from waters down the benefits
Any of those 7 issues can keep you from making progress in an affiliate business.
But if you take time to build an email list (*the right way) and use email best practices, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.
Subject lines are a big part of the email marketing success formula.
Writing Affiliate Email Subject Lines
Below, I’ve swiped some tips from our sponsored email marketing newsletter (join Inbox Hacking for free).
3 of the easiest ways to write subject lines that work:
- Ask a question in the email subject line (not a basic one, get creative)
- Put a unique emoji at the beginning of the subject (B2B & B2C)
- Review your inbox and pick the one subject line that stands out then test that format
Effective Subject Line Formats Affiliates can Swipe
The editor at Inbox Hacking occasionally points out the most effective subject lines in his inbox.
Here are 9 of those and the reasons he says they were effective in getting him to open the emails.
- ☕️ Welcome to Techpresso (welcome email that arrived instantly post-signup)
- Unlocking the Power of B2B Cold Email Outreach: Key Trends & Statistics (triggered, also arrived instantly)
- re: your book is ready to ship (marketers avoid ‘re’ now, so it stands out again)
- ❤️ For EMAIL MARKETERS (job personalized)
- 🍯 Honey coated Exit-Intent popups (tasty concrete wording)
- Final Call: Memorial Day Sale Ends Soon (weird – holiday was 6 days past so I had to open)
- Google Alert – (from Google) [don’t trick readers but test a version of this alert]
- Shane – have you seen your stats this week (my name + am I winning?)
- IRS issues alert to millions (urgent, scary, known entity & article paid off SL promise)
The psychology behind why those got him to click are helpful in writing your affiliate email subject lines. Stand out, create urgency and curiosity, then make sure your email content pays off the subject’s promise!
Oh, about the right way to build an email list…
Only Email People Who Want Your Affiliate Emails
Which emails do you open?
I’ll take a ‘wild guess’ and say only the emails from people and brands you know, right?
Spam filters remove many emails that were not wanted in the first place. And people weed the rest out by:
- Hitting the spam complaint button
- Deleting the email
- Never opening any of the emails
All the above cause the emails from that sender to become less and less effective. Internet service providers will get signals that those emails are unwanted. This causes future emails to start going directly to the spam folder.
The lesson? No matter what affiliate program you’re using, only email offers to people who subscribe to your emails.
I can’t stress this enough. Going further, double opt-in forms make certain the subscriber is truly interested in your affiliate email campaigns.
It’ll take longer to build your affiliate email list with double opt-in. The payoff is more of your emails will get to the inbox versus the spam folder.
We’re not done yet.
The Science Behind Writing Subject Lines that Make People Open Emails
Don’t underestimate behavioral science when it comes to getting higher email open rates and more affiliate sales and sign-ups.
🧪Did you know social proof is a great tactic to convince people? It’s why online reviews cause people to trust a 5-star cafe over a 4.2-star cafe.
So use social proof in subject lines to show that other people like your content and your products.
Adding social proof (screenshot of a testimonial) next to a call-to-action in the email body works wonders too. A/B test this email strategy.
🧪What is it about the words “free” and “new” that cause people to turn their heads and click on emails? There’s a lot of studies on this, but trust me, use these two words in subject lines when possible.
“Free” could trigger spam filters so you may have to get creative. Use synonyms and maybe slip “free” into the preview text (your email platform should have a section to add preview text).
🧪Next up is using authority. You know, 9 outta 14 dentists recommend not playing ice hockey! People respect authority and will often follow expert advice even when it is illogical. So be sure you use the authority principle in your subject lines and affiliate email content.
An example would be “Dr. Dee Ramsey calls Chair Yoga a Fountain of Youth.” The doctor label helps people trust the information. And if you’re selling Chair Yoga tutorials you want email subscribers to trust your messages, right?
Affiliate Marketing Email Subject Lines Conclusion
The bottom line with selling any product or service nowadays? The internet is a busy, noisy place. Wildly busy and noisy.
This means that average email subject lines won’t get potential customers to open your marketing messages. You have to use every proven tactic in the book to rise above the noise.
I have no idea what social media or paid ads have in store in the coming years or what app will knock TikTok off. What I do know is that email is the best marketing tool for affiliate marketers.
You have a direct line to your audience. The key is getting your emails opened. Just use the tips I laid out above. Apply the subject line principles and you will get more emails opened, clicked, and affiliate sales will go up.
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