Affiliate Marketing: How to Be Subtle

There’s a marketing saying that goes, “People hate being sold to, but they love to buy.”
This maxim pretty much hits the nail on the head. Many marketers fail to realize that you say more when you say less. When a blog post hypes up a product or you send an email that praises a product in a way that’s over the top, you actually repel potential buyers.

It’s obvious that you have a vested interest in getting them to buy the product just so that you earn an affiliate commission. One the reader detects that you have an ulterior motive, they’ll feel that you’re biased towards the product because you’re affiliated with it.

Your motives become suspect and you lose credibility and trust. Once those go, getting the sale can be very difficult. That’s exactly why you must be subtle in your marketing.
One of the best ways to do that will be to show how the product helped you and how you benefitted from it. While it may not be possible to do this for all the products you’re promoting, you can still be subtle in other ways.

For example, if you have a site showing how to build chicken coops, casually mentioning that ‘circular saws are much better than miter saws because they’re easy to use’ will get you more sales. You just need to hyperlink the words circular saws to the product you’re promoting.
Curious visitors will click on the link. After all, everyone wants to make things faster and easier for themselves.

However, if you say, ‘you need to buy a circular saw model XXX to do this job effectively. It is the best saw that we found for the job and only costs $YYY’, you’ve probably set off the reader’s Spidey senses. They can sense that you’re pushing the saw on to them because you were too obvious.
The goal is to use curiosity and strategically placed anchor text to get the clicks. They must feel like it was their choice. That is the key. When the reader is doing things on his or her own volition, they’ll not be in a guarded state and will be much more receptive to the sales copy, etc.

As an affiliate, your job is to get the click. The sales page should do the selling. While your content can gently pre-sell the reader, it should mostly be ‘benefits oriented’. You want to sell the solution to the problem and not the product. The best way to do this is by showing how the product solves the most common problems that your audience faces.

You’ll not even need to mention where the product is sold or the positive reviews it has. If your content convinces the reader that the product is the solution that they’ve been looking for – without blatantly telling them, the reader WILL click on the links to see how they can solve their problems.
Everybody is looking for solutions.

You’re just the middleman who gently guides them down the right path. That’s all there is to it. Be subtle.

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