There were a couple of reasons the idea concerned her, but after little bit of conversation I realized what she was really worried about was looking like a spammer.
And I know other bloggers worry about this too, especially us stay at home moms; I think, more than a lot of other bloggers, we feel a close connection with our readers. We get to know our readers; we think of them as our friends first, customers a distant second. We don’t want to annoy them by trying to sell them a bunch of stuff in our emails, right?
I’m going to tell you how to make sales to your email subscribers without annoying them, and without feeling like a spammer.
People sign up for your email list because they read something on your blog that they connected with. Maybe it was some information they needed right at that moment, maybe it was something powerful and emotional that moved them, maybe it was something that made them laugh – but they connected. With YOU. Through the power of your written word.
That means they already think you’re on the awesome side of average, and decided they want to hear more stuff from you.
So great, that means you can let them know when you post something new on your blog. But you can do more than that. You can send them special stuff – free ebooks, an extra recipe or a worksheet or a printable… something that you DIDN’T post on your blog. Something just for them. Because they trusted you with their email address – and you’re showing them you deserved that trust because you’re going to take care of them.
And putting an affiliate link in your email for something they can purchase is no different. The only things you should be sending them are items or products that you truly believe can help them. Let me give you an example…
I’m all about helping moms who want to blog. So I write about things that hopefully make your life easier and make blogging easier (and easier to understand!). The whole idea for me is to help you become successful.
So if I sent you an affiliate link in an email to something like patio furniture, well, that’d just be weird, right? It’s not what you subscribed to my list for, and it would look spammy and insincere. (Of course, assuming you’ve already subscribed – and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Do it now, at the bottom of the page!).
On the other hand, if I send out an email that said something like “Dudes! I just found out that XYZ WordPress Themes Company is have a 50% off sale on all their premium themes! Click on my affiliate link and go find yourself an awesome theme!” Well, I doubt you’d think twice about my sincerity or integrity. This is a totally on-topic product that, as a blogger, you may very well be excited about. Now, maybe you don’t need a new theme, in which case you might not get excited about it – but you definitely wouldn’t think there was anything weird or spammy about me giving you a heads up on it.
So, what’s the difference between those ideas?
One is something that you’ve never told me you needed or wanted, and I’m just sending you a random link, throwing it at the wall to see if it sticks. It’s about me wanting to sell you something, and it has nothing to do with you. It’s about ME and my need to make money.
The other one is something that, as a blogger, you quite likely do want or need. It’s something I’d share even if I wasn’t an affiliate, even if I couldn’t make money with it – because I know that you might need it. It’s all about YOU and what you need.
When it comes to your email list, that’s what you should always keep in mind.
Your email list really isn’t any different from your blog – you want to keep your topics relevant. If the product that you’re linking to solves a problem or helps your list in some way AND is relevant to why they signed up in the first place – then you’re doing it right.