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I’ve been a full-time affiliate marketer for 7 years and during that time I can never remember feeling like there was enough time to do everything that I want to do. Part of my problem is that I am always coming up with new ideas that I want to try out. Knowing that 1) my merchants are increasingly sending more daily deals, and 2) my customers are always looking for them, I wanted to find a way to reach as many of my members as I could in different ways while also allowing for non-members to find my deals.
I started brainstorming how to make it happen without a lot of programming. I have a programmer on staff but I didn’t want to invest a lot of time in something that I wasn’t sure would even have a lot of return. I liked the concept but couldn’t justify creating a whole new system to make it happen. That led me to looking at the existing tools that I was already using to see if I could use them in new ways.
In less than 24 hours and without any programming help I was able to create the Sunshine Rewards Daily Deal newsletter. My process was interesting both in terms of the general way in which I approached it as well as the specific results I have achieved.
Using Tools I Already Have
I have a forum that runs on vBulletin, and I have a subscription to AWeber. Surely there would be a way to combine the two such that when I post in the forum it could get piped into a newsletter? It turns out that it is quite simple. I created a new forum on Sunshine Rewards specifically for Daily Deals. I then set permissions such that only employees could start new threads. We enter each deal as its own post, including an image.
We took the RSS feed for that forum and created a new AWeber newsletter via Blog Broadcast that would pull from that feed once a day Monday through Friday.
We used a basic template to keep it simple. We also included a place for one “Featured” offer that would be available only in the newsletters and not in the forum. Now our members have the choice of finding the offers in the forum or waiting for the newsletters.
Benefits of the Project
With very little work we can use the same content in two places because we know that we have members that like receiving content in different ways. Members are getting the very best deals in one easy place. We have a new feature to use for leverage with our merchants in exchange for increased commissions or exclusive deals. With an average open rate of over 25% during non-holiday shopping (and higher during peak shopping times), we know that people are paying attention.
We asked for consumer feedback recently and it was terrific. We have very low unsubscribe rates and the list continues to grow well. Members like that they can comment on the posts to either get more information about the deals or comment on the deals if they have already tried them. The user-generated content is a nice addition to the deal. And the AWeber analytics help us to tweak which deals we are posting based on where we see interest (or not).
Brainstorming the Logistics
I am thankful that I have my Mastermind Group to help me come up with solutions like this. Even if you do not have a group like that, you can still get creative on your own. My best suggestion is to visit the AWeber blog frequently and see how other people are using the service. Think about your own problems and how their ideas can become your solutions as well. One of the biggest keys to being a successful affiliate marketer is learning how to make the most with what you have and spend your time wisely. Combing different technologies is a great way to do that.
Have you used AWeber in a unique way or combined it with other technologies? I would love to hear about it!