One of the single most important keys to a successful affiliate program is great swipe copy. Done right, it’s a powerful tool that will help your affiliates succeed. Yet, I see so many affiliate programs get it wrong.
Want to Help Your Affiliates Use Swipe Copy Better?
If you run an affiliate program, I highly recommend teaching your affiliates HOW to use swipe copy. Check out my post, “How to use Swipe Copy as an Affiliate” and share it with your affiliates.
Here are the five mistakes I most often see with affiliate swipe copy. Later I’ll share what to do instead.
5 Mistakes Not to Make on Affiliate Swipe Copy
1. Writing it Yourself
As the product owner, you are too close to the product to write great swipe copy.
Remember, swipe copy is a guide for your affiliates to use. It should be written from the perspective of an outsider, not someone who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the product.
2. You Don’t Include Images
While rare, some people do use images in their emails, often very effectively.
We, for example, rarely use them, but when we do, our click through rates skyrocket. Hmmmm, perhaps that should be a lesson to us.
3. You Only Write One Version
This mistake is so frustrating because it assumes that every affiliate has the exact same audience.
Often, your product reaches different demographics and avatars. Each group is at a different place in life and has different struggles, needs, and desires.
4. You Only Write Long (or Short) Emails
Like #3, this assumes that every affiliate wants the same kind of copy.
Some affiliates prefer longer form copy, while others prefer short, too-the-point copy.
5. You Expect Them to Copy/Paste (And Even Encourage It)
This is a BIG no-no.
We always tell affiliates not to copy/paste swipe copy. It’s unoriginal, ineffective, and often backfires.
Just imagine a world where everyone is sending the exact same emails…seems kind of lame, doesn’t it?
RELATED POST: How to use Swipe Copy as an Affiliate
So, what do you do instead? Here are five best practices to make the most of your swipe copy.
5 MUSTS to Creating Killer Swipe Copy
1. Hire Someone to Write It
Unless you are a professional copywriter, you should hire a professional copywriter. Even if you are a professional copywriter, hire an outsider.
You are simply too close to the product to write great swipe copy for your affiliates. An outsider will be able to easily relate to your affiliates and write copy for them.
2. Include Images
Make sure to at least give your affiliates the option of some good images for their emails.
Here are four that work particularly well:
- Video screen captures. We personally prefer goofy ones like the one below. It seems that images of me looking like I smelled a fart convert slightly higher, but anything with a picture and a play button works great.
- Sale graphics. If you are running a sale, graphics work great.
- Stat screenshots. If you mention any statistics, a screenshot can increase the validity and believability. Here is an example:
- Countdown timers. If you have a countdown timer (like the one below), give your affiliates the code to use it in their emails. We recommend OuttaTimr and MotionMail.
3. Write Different Versions for Different Audiences
Let’s look at a real-life example here.
- Stay-at-home parents
So we wrote specific swipe copy for each of those core audiences. And affiliates loved it!
4. Write Different Lengths of Swipe Copy
Make sure to include different lengths of copy, especially for the following times:
- Introduction (Pre-Launch Content #1)
- Open Cart
- Day Before Cart Close (I suggest a short “reminder” and a long “FAQ” version)
- Close Cart Day
You’ll find that your affiliates love you for this.
5. Make it Clear That Swipe Copy is a Guide Only
Make sure you encourage your affiliates to only use the swipe copy as a guide or for inspiration.
Tell them to make their emails personal and specific for their audience.
If you need to, you can refer them to this post which shows them the best practices for using swipe copy.
BONUS TIP: Don’t Forget About Social Swipe
This is an often overlooked piece of content in affiliate programs.
We’ve found that 12-18% of all optins come from social media, so it is a big deal.
Make sure to include versions for at least Twitter and Facebook, as well as images sized for those platforms.
BONUS TIP: Teach Your Affiliates
It is absolutely critical that you teach your affiliates how to use swipe copy.
Your swipe copy can be perfect, but if they don’t know how to use it, it won’t work.
Check out my post on how to use swipe copy as an affiliate and share it with your affiliates.
What is your best tip for making the most of affiliate swipe copy?