Category: Email Marketing

3 Ridiculously Clever Ways to Get Subscribers to Buy Your Stuff

When it comes to triggering impulse purchases, supermarkets are doing it right.

They put the bakery up front because the smell of freshly baked bread is hard to resist. The flowers are by the door so you’re tempted to grab them. The checkout line is chock full of easy-to-reach candy bars and magazines that entice you while you wait.

We’d like to think that our purchasing decisions come from a place of rational thinking. In reality, however, crafty marketers are steering us toward certain products every single day.

It’s the same with email design, too. The best email marketers and professional designers on the planet use psychological triggers to compel us to open, read, click, and buy.

Sure, it’s a bit manipulative. After all, they’re influencing how we act and make decisions on an subconscious level.

But if these mental triggers are used in the right way — to put a valuable product into the hands of someone who really needs it — and not unethically, then it can be extremely powerful for both you and your subscribers.

As a design professional, I use these triggers in email all the time. Here are 3 of my favorite ways to do it.

(Put these design tips into practice with AWeber, which gives you the tools and templates you need to be an email marketing pro. Start your 30-day free trial right now!)

Establish trust with a brand identity.

Nowadays, marketing messages flood people’s inboxes daily. In order to stand out, you might think the flashier and shinier the template design, the better.

You’d be dead wrong.

If you constantly change the format and template of your emails, readers will be left scratching their heads as to who the email is from. You’ll only increase confusion and decrease reliability.

Instead, stick with a consistent look — even if it’s super simple. By doing so, you’re establishing a brand aesthetic. Over time, your customers will come to understand your core identity and they’ll feel as if they can rely on you. When you reach that level of influence, your subscribers will trust you.

And if they trust you, they have a greater affinity to buy from you.

Pick a template, make it yours and stick with it. It’s never too late to start creating standards and establishing consistency.

Not sure where to begin? Kim Robbins, an AWeber email designer, put together this great brand standards worksheet to get you started.  

Create authority and likeability through great photography.

Marketing teams spend thousands of dollars on captivating product shots. That’s because fantastic high-quality images help guide our decision making and accelerate the purchasing process. They add professionalism and authority to the content.

While product photography is a skill that can take years to hone, it’s now easier than ever to take fantastic shots with some very basic photography tools (some of which you may already own).

Take the examples below. Both skateboards are listed on Etsy.

The one on the left is a basic shot that shows the product. While you know exactly what you’re buying, the image is amateurish and doesn’t show off the board’s uniqueness. It also doesn’t create much of an emotional desire to like or buy the skateboard.

By simply changing the angle, location and lighting, though, the photo on the right becomes more professional and appealing. You can easily see the features and characteristics that make this board different from other ones on the market. The image lends clout and instant likeability to the product.

The best part: You can shoot photos like the one on the right with an iPhone.

Natural window light + an iPhone + a simple background = the formula for inexpensive but high-quality product photography.

If you want to go a step further, I recommend getting a lightbox to use with your iPhone or a DSLR. This folding one works great if you’re selling small goods. For larger products, you can use a seamless background paper roll. The photographer of the skateboard on the right (above) probably used something similar to shoot that image.

In addition to those tools, here are some other tricks to accomplish this level of photography:

  1. Get closer to the object to decrease the amount of clutter in your image. You want your reader to focus on just the product — not, say, the bookshelf or the buildings in the background.
  2. Change your angle from the expected human eye level to something more dramatic. For instance, try lying on the ground or standing on a ladder. Your reader isn’t used to seeing the product from these new perspectives. This instantly makes it seem more interesting.
  3. Shoot the small details as well as the full product. The more aspects a buyer can absorb without actually touching the product, the more likely they are to  want it.

Build a community with visuals.

Belonging is a basic human need. We have an inherent desire to be part of a group — a family, a workplace, a team, a club, a hobby, an online group, or a religion.

Capitalize on this sense of belonging in your email designs. If you can make your subscribers feel as if they’re part of a community by owning your product, then there is a greater chance they’ll buy from you.

Here are a few ways to visually do that:

  1. Show a behind-the-scenes peek of the product creation. This creates the feeling of exclusivity. Subscribers feel like they’re privy to a process that not everyone gets to see.
  2. Showcase an aspirational lifestyle. Take shots of your ideal customer using your products in the wild. It gives your subscriber something to desire. They start to picture themselves as the model in the images.

  3. Create FOMO (fear of missing out). Include user-submitted images of other customers using your product. (Always ask permission before sharing.) By doing so, you’ll provide social proof of others using — and, essentially, recommending — your product. We take cues from others. So if your reader sees others using the product, they might take action and buy.


A quick reminder: These design tips should be used responsibly. Your product or service is a solution to your subscriber’s problem. The goal isn’t to coerce someone into buying something that won’t add value to their life.

(Looking for a way to send beautiful emails to your subscribers? Start your free trial with AWeber today!)

The post 3 Ridiculously Clever Ways to Get Subscribers to Buy Your Stuff appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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6 Email Template Design Tips You Should Always Follow

email template design

More than 260 billion emails are sent around the world every single day.

So how do you make sure your messages stand out in a subscriber’s inbox? Well, great content, for one. But another extremely important factor: email design. Eye-catching emails that effectively communicate your message will improve metrics like open rates, click through rates, and conversions.

Luckily, email templates are an easy and time-efficient way to create beautifully branded messages. Most Email Service Providers have some to choose from. In fact, AWeber has more than 700 templates in our platform.

(Not an AWeber customer yet? Sign up for your free trial today!)

Before you start dragging and dropping your content into a template, though, there are a few design tips you should know. Follow these six simple tricks to get the most out of every template.

Pick the right template for the job

Do you want to welcome a new reader? Update them on a new product? Announce a huge sale? With hundreds of templates to choose from, you want to pick a design that best suits your goal.

(Want a more customized template that perfectly matches your website or brand? Click here to work one-on-one with an AWeber designer to create one.)

For instance, if you’re an AWeber customer who wants to send a welcome letter to new subscribers, you may choose the “tidal” template (shown below). Then just add in your own text, logo, and personalization. 

If you want to get your subscribers excited about an upcoming sale, catch their attention right away. Then lead them right to your discount, coupon, or offer. Here’s a simple, but effective design you might pick: 

Keep your design clean and focused

Choice is the enemy of conversion. If you give a person too many options, it makes it difficult for them to make a final decision, according to psychologist Barry Schwartz, who named this phenomenon “the paradox of choice.”

Keep this in mind as you choose or tweak an email template. The design should be a path that leads the reader toward your ultimate goal. Add in too many other routes, and your reader may never get where you want them to go.

To give you an idea, here is an example from Moo, a custom print and design company. It’s a clean and focused email design that effectively promotes products. As a reader, you know exactly what the email’s goal is — to make you want to buy something!

We love this design because it:

  • Follows a simple “Z” pattern layout, which means it easily moves your eyes in a zigzag that alternates text and images.
  • Consists of minimal elements and concise writing for a streamlined look.
  • Includes visual examples of each product to minimize the use of long chunks of text and to show off their array of products.
  • Creates defined sections for each product with the use of thin dividers.
  • Contains lots of white (or in this case, blue) space to draw your attention to the images.
  • Incorporates large “call to action” product buttons (i.e.: Shop Postcards) for easy navigation to their website.

Create an eye-catching header

While you want your email template to reflect your brand, you don’t need it to look exactly like your website. You want to draw your reader’s attention to the important elements within your email — not overwhelm them with something that looks like a site.

Forgo a heavy navigation bar at the top for something more user-friendly like the North Face did below. It still drives subscribers back to their site, but it limits the number of choices and keeps things clean. 

If your email can serve its purpose without the navigation bar, then take it out like this Burberry email below.

The goal of this email is to advertise their trench coat line and the design visually showcases this very well and plays up their brand. With the multi-tan color palette, you instantly know that it’s Burberry. The well-structured grid layout makes for a seamless flow of design as well. If the header was filled with navigational tools, it would diminish the overall feel of the brand and the message they are trying to send.

Balance your text-to-image ratio

When choosing or changing a template, keep your text-to-image ratio in mind. Text-to-image ratio is how much text there is in comparison to images in your email.

There’s no such thing as the perfect “text-to-image ratio”, but most people stick with 60 percent text and 40 percent images.

Here’s why it’s important not to rely too heavily on images:

  1. “Image-only” emails risk going to the SPAM folder since email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail tend to filter and block them.
  2. Images may be ‘turned off’ as default by viewers or by their email client.
  3. Images can take longer than text to load based on browser and internet connection. A subscriber may leave the email before they’ve seen all the content.

Utilize alt text for images

When you include images in your messages, they may or may not always display in the email clients they were sent to. That’s because many email services will disable images in messages that are sent to their users, unless the user actually verifies that they do indeed want to see the images.

Alternative text is helpful in these cases. When an image doesn’t load, a line of text will appear that describes what should be there.

Take a look at this email from Hotels.com where images were blocked, but the use of alt text was implemented.

And here’s what it should actually look like:

Now, you may be wondering, “Is including alt text worth my time?”

Absolutely. Forty-eight percent of mobile clients will block images by default, according to the email testing platform called Litmus. If you set up alt text, the description will appear where the images were supposed to go. If you don’t, your reader will only see blank boxes.

Alt text is also important for your subscribers with visual or certain cognitive disabilities. They may have a screen reader that will read the alt text to them so they get a full understanding of what’s included in your message.

If you are using AWeber’s Drag & Drop editor, click here to see how to set up alt text for your images.

Pro Tip: Not all images need alt text. If your image is purely for the aesthetics of the email, be sure to set an empty alt text value for the image.

Test your message

Mistakes can make you look unprofessional and sloppy. One bad experience may be enough to turn a subscriber away for good.

So test your emails! It only takes an extra minute or two, but the payoff is huge. We even recommend sending the test email to a couple people you trust and who aren’t afraid to give you an honest critique. They offer a fresh pair of eyes that may catch something you didn’t.

You should also send the test to accounts in different email services like Gmail, Yahoo! or Outlook. Here at AWeber, each of our marketing specialists has about three to five different test email accounts so they can review our messages and templates in multiple platforms before we hit the send button.

And always test on different devices — desktop, tablet, and mobile — if possible. Sometimes an email template you selected on desktop may have formatting issues on a cell phone. AWeber’s email templates are all mobile-responsive, but we can’t vouch for all other ESPs, so test just to make sure.

If you’re using AWeber: To easily check emails before you send, click on the “Preview & Test” button on the upper right-hand side of your screen. Enter your email address and hit “Send Test” to get a test email delivered to your inbox.

If you’re not using AWeber: Check out email testing tools like Email on Acid or Litmus to preview your design before you send.

Your template design cheat sheet

Feel free to download this recap below for the next time you use an email template.

And if you’re looking for an email template that perfectly fits your style and brand, contact an AWeber designer today.

The post 6 Email Template Design Tips You Should Always Follow appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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Get to Know Your Customers with AWeber, Zapier, and Typeform

Use Typeform and AWeber to get to know your audience

It’s that time of the year again for marketing predictions! What’s the next big thing or modern trend in digital marketing?

I predict we’ll see a shift in how we think about personalization and contextual content. Sending personalized email is so much more than simply saying, “Hey, {first name}!” To truly find success in the inbox, marketers will have to truly get to know their subscribers and begin to write to 1 person instead of 1,000.

You can begin to understand your subscribers’ behavior and trigger automated emails using awesome features like click and open automations, or by creating dynamic subscriber segments. Often times, the best way to learn more about your subscribers (and potential subscribers) is to ask really great questions.

Using AWeber, Zapier, and one of my favorite form tools, Typeform, you can survey your subscribers and prospects, acquire new subscribers, tag your audience based on their responses, and trigger hyper-targeted email campaigns.

This just in! Zapier now connects to 1000 apps! This means that AWeber also connects to 1,000 other web tools, thanks to our Zapier integration. We’re also excited to learn that AWeber is one of Zapier’s top 100 apps.

Top 100 App

3 Powerful Ways to Personalize your Email Marketing through Surveys

Engaging your audience with surveys, quizzes and forms using Typeform is a simple way to learn more about the individual people that make up your audience. Using Zapier, which connects AWeber with hundreds of great applications, you can add and tag subscribers who complete your Typeform forms.

Here are a few ideas of how to get started:

Send a simple survey to your audience

One easy way to learn more about your subscribers is to send out a survey. You can ask questions in your emails and simply say, “Reply to this message,” to get instant feedback, but this may not be feasible if you have hundreds or thousands of subscribers. You also won’t be able to slice, dice and analyze your responses easily if you don’t use a formal survey tool.

Creating a quick survey in Typeform and setting up a Zapier Zap (Zapier’s lingo for an automation between apps) to connect your form data with AWeber, you can add respondents as subscribers in your AWeber lists automatically – that means you don’t have to download the form responses and import subscribers to an email list.

One popular question you can ask your audience is “What is your greatest challenge right now?”

Typeform survey. What's your greatest challenge?

I recommend sending this as a multiple choice question, so you can easily group your subscribers and apply tags based on individual responses.

Once the tags are applied, you can then send one-time broadcast emails to subscribers based on their response, or you can trigger automated campaigns.

You can also follow up your multiple choice question with open-ended questions to learn more about your audience in their own words.

Deliver a Net Promoter Score campaign to your subscribers

The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a proven system to help you understand your audience’s loyalty and satisfaction with you, your brand, your products, or your services.

Here’s how it works:

First, you set up a one-question survey that presents a scale of 1 to 10.

The question should be a variation of “How likely is it that you would recommend [our products, services, content, etc.] to a friend or colleague?” (Remember to replace what’s in brackets with a statement that is relevant to you, your business, and your email audience.

When your subscribers answer this question, by selecting a single number, you then present them with a follow up open-ended question, like “Why did you select this answer?” (There’s even a simple template for this in Typeform.)

NPS respondents are then grouped into three segments: promoters, detractors, and passives.

Promoters are respondents that chose 9 or 10, while detractors are those that chose 0-6. Respondents who select 7-8 are passives.

Using AWeber, Zapier, and Typeform you can trigger an automated email campaign to be sent to subscribers based on their categorizations. For examples, thank your promoters by sending an automated email campaign that delivers something of value, like a discount or exclusive piece of content. Or, simply say thank you and share your appreciation! Tag and trigger automated emails to be sent to detractors, either asking for additional feedback or presenting an offer or something of value to help improve their sentiments towards your brand.

Even if you choose not to send automated emails to your respondents, capturing your Net Promoter Score responses is valuable when analyzing how your audience feels about your business.

Attract new subscribers with a quiz

Who doesn’t love a good quiz? Quizzes are a great way to incentivize casual prospects to interact with your brand and opt-in to your email list.

Using this easy tutorial, you can create a quiz with Typeform. Some popular quiz types for lead generation prompt the user to identify an aspect of their personality. We’ve run a few successful quizzes like this, asking marketers, “What is your marketing super power,” or “what type of writer are you?”

When someone completes the survey, you can then (with their permission of course,) add them to a relevant email list using Zapier + AWeber, and even send targeted content related to their quiz selections.

Get Started with AWeber + Zapier today

If you’re planning to invest in email marketing in 2018, double down in getting to know your prospects and subscribers. Learning more about your audience will help you craft better content, send more targeted emails, and create and sell better products and services.

To get started, sign up for your free AWeber trial, learn more about our integration with Zapier, and claim your free account.

With Zapier, anyone can create automations called Zaps, set up in minutes with no coding needed. Each Zap has one app as the **Trigger**, where your information comes from and which causes one or more **Actions** in other apps, where your data gets sent automatically.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  1. Authorize Zapier to connect to your Typeform account and choose the form you want Zapier to watch for new contacts. Make sure your form has at least one existing contact and test your Trigger by clicking, “Fetch and Continue”. This will pull in test data to help you complete the setup of your Zap.Set up your Typeform trigger.
  2. Next, you’ll create your Action step, sending your Typeform data to AWeber. Enter your AWeber credentials to connect your account to Zapier and choose the list that you want to subscribe new contacts to.Set up AWeber list.
  3. This is the most important step of setting up your Zap. You’re telling Zapier what to do with the data it’s collecting in your Typeform. Map the email address of the contact as shown below. You can also send more data from your form, like the subscriber’s name.
  4. Click continue and on the next screen Zapier will test the automation by using the sample data from your Typeform to add a new subscriber to your AWeber list.AWeber subscriber zap setup.
  5. That’s it! Click Finish and your Zap will turn on and be ready to go. From now on, new contacts collected via your Typeform will be automatically subscribed to an AWeber list.Looking for more app automation ideas? Here are some of the most popular AWeber automations through Zapier.

The post Get to Know Your Customers with AWeber, Zapier, and Typeform appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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¡Atención! This new feature lets you connect with your audience in 13 different languages

New language options in AWeber

Hello! Or should I say, Hola! Bonjour! Konnichiwa!

Email is global. As you set out to grow and engage your audience through email marketing, there’s no limit to where someone could discover you and join your list.

Because of this, it’s incredibly important to communicate with your audiences in their own words.

So AWeber built a new feature that will allow you to do just that.

Greet your subscribers in over 13 different languages

For marketers that prefer to use confirmed opt-in (COI), you can now send your COI message in various languages.

If you know your audience will prefer a specific language, select that language to provide more clarity on how they can confirm their email address. By greeting your subscribers in their own language, you can increase the conversion rate of confirmations and kick off a lasting relationship with your new prospects and customers.

These are the language options that are now available:

  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Malay
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Don’t see a language that fits your needs? Let us know in the comments of this post.

How to change your language selection

To change the confirmation message language for an active list, select List Settings in the List Options dropdown of your account.

List settings

Choose Confirmation Message on the left-hand menu.

Confirmation message

In the Language section, select the language that meets your needs.

Select a language

That’s it! Update your subject line and any additional content, if you choose, and save your settings. For more detailed instructions, refer to our Knowledge Base article.

Expand your marketing efforts with these new language options and keep growing your audience!

Have questions? Contact our award-winning live customer solutions team today. We’re available every day of the week.

The post ¡Atención! This new feature lets you connect with your audience in 13 different languages appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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The Best Email Marketing Tool You’ve Never Used

Many marketers treat email like a religion. Write a series, stick it in an autoresponder, and pray for opens, clicks, and sales.

But what if there was a more effective way to reach conversion heaven? Enter: AWeber’s click and open automations, a new way to send targeted email.

Automations was our largest feature release of 2017, and it was met with a wave of excitement and a tsunami of questions from AWeber customers. That’s why I hosted two live training sessions to walk users through the benefits click and open automations can deliver for their businesses.

Read on for a list of the 10 most popular questions asked during my live training sessions.

What are click and open automations?

 

Click and open automations present an easy way to tag your subscribers based on the links they click or the emails they open within your automated campaigns. This empowers you to create dynamic segments of subscribers based on their behavior, which allows you to send more targeted emails later. Sending more relevant and personalized content can greatly increase your sales and revenue.

Click and open automations can also trigger a separate email sequence to be sent to a subscriber, or remove a subscriber from an active campaign, which creates opportunities to build more complex email marketing funnels.

What is a campaign?

A campaign is a sequence of automated emails, sometimes called an autoresponder, created in our email automation platform Campaigns. A campaign can be triggered when a new subscriber is added to your email list, or you can trigger a campaign when a specific tag is applied to a subscriber. There is no real limit to how many emails you can add to your campaign.

What’s the difference between a campaign and a follow up series?

There are quite a few differences between a campaign and a follow-up series. Campaigns is AWeber’s new automation platform. You can create multiple campaigns per list, trigger campaigns when tags are applied, and leverage click and open automations.

A follow up series, built using “legacy follow ups,” is simple and reliable, but lacks many of the features found in Campaigns. For example, you can only have one sequence of automated emails per list if using legacy follow ups, and you cannot leverage click and open automations.

To learn more about the differences between a campaign and a follow up series, read our Knowledge Base article.

How can click and open automations trigger email campaigns?

Click and open automations allow you to apply a tag when a link is clicked, or when an email is opened. Because you can trigger a Campaign based on a tag being applied, you can set up automated emails to be sent based on your automations.

For example, if you set up a click automation to apply the tag “webinar” and you have an active campaign that is triggered by the tag “webinar,” a subscriber who clicks on the link will begin to receive the campaign messages.

How do I link campaigns together?

Linking campaigns allows you to send content to subscribers as they need it. For example, if a subscriber successfully finishes a campaign, you may want to trigger a secondary campaign to occur.

Or if a subscriber clicks on a link, you may want to remove the subscriber from the campaign they are in and trigger a different campaign to be sent.

Linking campaigns can be accomplished with tags. By using the “tag applied” trigger for a campaign, you can set a campaign to send only a subscriber receives a specific tag. There are advanced options that allow you to set different inclusions and exclusions based on tags, as well.

Applying a tag using an automation, or at the end of a campaign that corresponds to a different campaign can allow you to easily link sequences together.

What’s the difference between tags and segments?

Tags and segments are quite different. In AWeber, you can search for subscribers that meet a specific criteria. For example, you can search for subscribers that were added in the past 7 days, or subscribers who opened a specific email, clicked on a specific link, or have email addresses that contain gmail.com.

After you execute this search, you can then save it as a segment. This segment is dynamic, meaning subscribers who are added to your list in the future who meet the search criteria will be included in the segment.

Once you have a segment, you can then send targeted one-time broadcast emails to these subscribers.

Tags themselves are not segments, but they are important building blocks to assist you in creating segments. You can search for subscribers who or do not have certain tags, allowing you to create segments based on tags. Tags have other uses, like the ability to trigger a campaign.

How do I create a segment to send one-time broadcasts to?

To create a segment, simply search for subscribers that meet your segment criteria in Subscriber Management. Save your search as a segment. Here’s a quick tutorial on creating segments.

When scheduling your broadcast, select the segment you would like to send to. Here’s a quick tutorial to send to a specific segment.

How do I create a Campaign?

Creating a campaign is simple using our drag-and-drop interface. To create a campaign, simply select Campaigns from the Messages dropdown in AWeber, and click the button “Create a Campaign.”

Name your campaign, select a trigger (the action that will prompt your campaign to start,) and begin creating using the campaign editor.

For a full tutorial on getting started with Campaigns, refer to this article.

How do I create an automation?

Using automations in AWeber’s Campaigns is simple.

When selecting a message within a Campaign, you’ll have the option to add an automation.

Add an automation.

First, select your automation trigger. (We are launching automations with a single trigger – link click triggers – but we’ll be adding more triggers in the coming months.)

Select your automation trigger.

Second, choose “Clicks a link” and then select which link you want to apply this automation to.

Select your links

Now, choose “apply a tag” as your action. Enter what tags you’d like to add or remove if a subscriber clicks this link.

Apply a tag.

Optionally, you can elect to remove a subscriber from the entire automated campaign if they click a link.

Remove a subscriber.

Repeat for other links within your message, as needed.

For more detailed instruction, please visit our Knowledge Base.

How do I copy my legacy follow up series to Campaigns?

There is a feature in AWeber to show your legacy follow up series as a Campaign. This feature does not convert your series to a Campaign, and it does not allow you to take advantage of click and open automations, or triggering the follow up series based on a tag.

To learn more about this feature, please review this article.

If you would like to copy each message from your legacy follow up series to Campaigns, you can copy the messages as drafts and built a new campaign using the copied messages.

Get started with email automation

Getting started with email automation is easier than ever. Sign up for a free trial of AWeber, or hop into your account now, and begin automating your marketing funnel with Campaigns.

Looking for a demo? Watch this recent webinar to see exactly how to set up automations.

Still have questions? Our live customer solutions team is available 4AM-8PM ET Mon-Fri and 9AM-5PM ET Sat-Sun. Contact us by phone, email, or live chat.

The post The Best Email Marketing Tool You’ve Never Used appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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What Every Affiliate Blogger Needs to Know about the FTC Disclosure Guidelines

affiliate disclosure

No affiliate marketing program is the same. The terms and conditions may vary from one program to the next.

But there’s one rule that remains the same across the industry: You must comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s affiliate disclosure guidelines.

Whether you receive a commission, flat fee payment, free products or discounts in exchange for endorsing a product in a post or video, the FTC requires that you properly disclose your relationship. If you don’t, you or the business you’re promoting could get slapped with a fine.

Why you need to include an affiliate disclosure

While the FTC isn’t spending all its time monitoring blogs for noncompliance, they take affiliate disclosure seriously and will investigate complaints. That’s because the FTC’s rules are in place to make sure there’s transparency between all parties involved.

For instance, if an affiliate blogger promotes a new vacation resort on their blog, the FTC believes the consumer has a right to know the writer is being compensated to endorse the resort. Once the consumer has all the information in front of them, they can properly evaluate the blogger’s recommendation.

Any active affiliate program should follow these FTC disclosure guidelines. Here at AWeber, we require all of our affiliates to adhere to these rules completely because it fosters openness and accountability with our customers. Here are four key tips we give our affiliates to make sure they’re in compliance and creating the best experience possible for their consumers.

(Are you an AWeber affiliate yet? Sign up for our affiliate program and start making money today!)

1. Placement is everything

The reader shouldn’t have to search for your affiliate disclosure.

The full message must stand out in a way that is easily noticeable. It should be revealed at the “top of the fold” on the page, which means the reader shouldn’t have to scroll down the page or click a separate link to see it.

Simply having a link at the top of the page that says “click here for my advertising disclosure”, and/or a full statement at the bottom of the page, won’t cut it.

The example below shows a disclosure that follows the FTC’s guidelines. 

blog affiliate disclosure

It’s placed at the very top of a blog article between the subject header and the body of the message. The light grey background provides contrast to make the text stand out. Plus, the message is clear: The blogger gets paid when you click. While a link is present, the disclosure still provides an appropriate level of context without it.

2. Disclose everywhere

The FTC’s rules apply to any online medium including articles, blog posts, social posts, video content, podcasts, webinars, infographics, and illustrations.

In video, the affiliate disclosure must be at the beginning and on the screen long enough to be read and understood. You are not allowed to put the disclosure outside the video in a description or related text field.

For audio disclosures, you must speak at a cadence that is easy for consumers to follow and in words consumers will understand.

If character limits are a concern in a social post then adding a short disclosure like #ad or #sponsored will likely be effective provided that any subsequent landing pages contain the full disclosure as outlined in number one. Below is an example of how to properly disclose a relationship via a Twitter post.

Twitter-affiliate-disclosure

3. One size doesn’t fit all

While a disclosure’s placement must be at the top of a page, there’s some flexibility when it comes to the actual wording of the disclosure.

However, no matter how you phrase the disclosure, don’t try to fool or confuse the reader. The FTC requires that you use plain and unambiguous language.

So you could say something like, “I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.” It’s short and clear.

You may provide additional context, too. For example, “I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This is to help support my blog and does not have any impact on my recommendations”.

The first part completely satisfies the FTC requirements, while the second part explains why you are posting the links. It’s not necessary, but it may help to reassure your readers that the opinions presented are free of influence.

4. Banners don’t count

The FTC states that banner ads do not need to be disclosed, as most people can reasonably understand their intent. You can think of them like commercials on TV.

It’s important to note that posting a banner on the same page as editorial content with affiliate links does not exempt you from posting the disclosure as outlined in number one — regardless of whether or not the banner relates to the article. You still need to add a prominent disclosure. 

Below you can see a banner ad followed by the blog affiliate disclosure. If this banner ad were to appear on a page with no affiliate links, you would not need to include the disclosure.

affiliate disclosure

Questions or concerns about your disclosure? Leave a comment below!

Want to become an affiliate for AWeber? We’d love to have you on board. Sign up here and start earning a 30 percent commission on all referrals today!

The post What Every Affiliate Blogger Needs to Know about the FTC Disclosure Guidelines appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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