5 Ways to Use AI with Affiliate Marketing (and Make More Sales!)
Using AI as an affiliate is a HOT topic this year! The idea of doing affiliate marketing with AI isn’t necessarily new, but the potential for it to transform your business has never been greater.
Artificial intelligence (AI) itself isn’t a new concept either – the term was first coined in 1955 by John McCarthy and has taken incredible strides since then! However, the very first AI tools in the affiliate marketing space, such as article spinners, were rudimentary at best, and often frowned upon by users and search engines.
In recent years, we’ve finally seen new technological breakthroughs that truly boosted the popularity of next-generation AI tools with content creators, bloggers, and digital marketers. Major examples include Dall-E and Jasper, both launched in 2021.
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But nothing has disrupted the online marketing industry as much as the rise of ChatGPT, launched on November 30, 2022, by OpenAI. This AI tool signaled a shift in old paradigms and changed how affiliates view and approach affiliate marketing.
Now, whether you are a new or experienced affiliate marketer, you might be unsure how best to use AI with affiliate marketing to improve your workflow and boost your success.
Well, in this article, I’ll cover five powerful ways you can use AI with affiliate marketing and earn more commissions:
And in addition to the above, I will cover some of the most popular and useful AI tools for affiliate marketers. If you’re ready to take this next step in your affiliate marketing journey, let’s get started!
The Role of AI in Affiliate Marketing
Before we get into the details, here’s a short recap of what affiliate marketing is all about, which may be helpful if you’re new to affiliate marketing or the ClickBank blog. (Otherwise, feel free to move on to the next section.)
As an affiliate, you help consumers make purchasing decisions by answering questions like:
- Is the product a good fit for my needs?
- What are the alternatives, and how do they compare?
- What are the pros and cons of the product?
- Where can I buy the product or find the best deal?
- How do I use the product?
In exchange for helping consumers by promoting products, product owners/sellers will pay you a commission on the purchase price when someone clicks your unique affiliate link and then makes a purchase.
However, creating high-quality content for affiliate marketing can take many hours of research and can be a painstaking process.
You can save valuable time by employing AI as part of your content marketing strategy!
AI allows you to:
- Streamline cumbersome tasks
- Be more productive
- Scale your marketing strategy
- Work more efficiently
- Create more content in the same period
All of these can lead to more sales overall. Or you might take the time you get back from being more efficient and choose to spend it with your family or on recreation. Without further ado, let’s look at 5 ways you can leverage AI as an affiliate!
5 Ways to Leverage AI for Affiliate Marketing
1) AI for Campaign Ideation
AI is a great resource if you want to brainstorm or generate ideas and analyze patterns and trends for new campaigns.
Now, you might think that idea generation is relatively straightforward – and that’s true. But what might surprise you is how AI can analyze patterns and trends.
For example, I asked ChatGPT: “How can ChatGPT analyze patterns and trends?” and received the following response:
“As an AI language model, ChatGPT can analyze patterns and trends through its training data and underlying architecture.”
It continues to mention how it accomplishes this by using training data, statistical patterns, language understanding, contextual analysis, extrapolation and generalization, pattern recognition, and time-series analysis.
Furthermore, according to ChatGPT:
“It’s essential to understand that while ChatGPT is proficient at identifying patterns and trends in the text data it has been trained on, it may have limitations in recognizing patterns in other types of data, such as numerical data or visual patterns.”
Here is another example.
When I ask ChatGPT: “What are the most important affiliate marketing trends in 2023?” I get the following response:
“I can provide some general predictions and expectations based on the trajectory of the industry up until my last knowledge update.”
Some of the affiliate marketing trends, according to ChatGPT, are influencer partnerships, AI-driven analytics, personalization, voice search optimization, the rise of niche markets, video content dominance, regulatory changes and compliance, blockchain and affiliate tracking, and mobile optimization.
Some of the above points, such as the rise of niche markets, are hardly new trends and have been around for years.
Does this mean ChatGPT pulls random information verbatim from the internet to answer questions? It might, but generally, the reality is more complex than that.
In answer to my follow-up question: “What are the sources for the information?” ChatGPT responded as follows:
From the above response, it’s clear that ChatCPT (and other LLMs like Bing’s AI tool) can extrapolate potential developments based on historical trends.
However, as good as AI is, consult multiple sources and find latest expert opinions for the most current information, as suggested by ChatGPT.
2) AI for Copywriting
Copywriting involves writing words that will entice your audience to perform an action you want them to perform, such as clicking on your affiliate link. It’s one of the most crucial skills separating a successful affiliate from an underperforming affiliate.
Super affiliates understand how to make their audience want to act by following sound copywriting principles, such as AIDA: attract their attention, get them interested, stir up their desire, and tell them what action to perform.
Whether you use landing pages, blog posts, videos, email, or paid ads to reach your audience, if you can’t effectively convey your message and emotionally connect to your audience, you won’t achieve the best results.
For years, many affiliate marketers, especially beginners, struggled to write good copy, resulting in low conversion rates. However, AI has made it easier for affiliates to write compelling copy. No more staring at a blank screen for hours, wondering what to write.
But having said that, AI cannot read your mind. You need to train AI tools, such as ChatGPT, on your requirements and tell them exactly what you want.
For example, here is a simple prompt for ChatGPT: “My target audience is overweight women in their twenties. I am an affiliate marketer who promotes an effective weight loss solution. Write a Facebook ad that would appeal to my audience.”
And here is the result:
The first sentence (“Attention all wonderful ladies in their twenties!”) is not great as it does not convey the pain point and solution you are offering. And you will probably have to make some edits based on the product you are promoting and to make sure you’re in compliance with the platform you’re on.
However, it isn’t a bad start and only took seconds to create!
Notice how ChatGPT even included a call to action (CTA) and hashtags for Facebook! And you can regenerate the response and add additional information to fine-tune your prompt for the best results.
NOTE: I used the free default (GPT-3.5) version of ChatGPT in the above example.
Of course, ChatGPT is only one AI tool you might want to use for copywriting purposes. Another popular tool is Jasper.ai, preferred over ChatGPT by many successful affiliate marketers because it’s specifically built as a copywriting assistant.
For more detailed AI copywriting tips and advice, including how to use Jasper.ai, refer to my article tips on AI copywriting for affiliate marketing.
3) AI for Image Generation
Few things are as cumbersome as reading a long blog post without images to break up the text or illustrate important points. We are visual beings, and the absence of images will make text appear boring to many people.
To overcome this challenge and engage visitors for longer, it’s common practice to include relevant images in content and campaigns, such as blog posts, paid ads, and videos.
The easiest way to add images to your content with use stock photos – there are many free and paid sites for this purpose, such as Pexels or Unsplash.
As confirmed by Google and explained by Search Engine Journal:
- Stock images do not hurt organic search results.
- Stock images may not perform well on image searches.
Google typically views stock images as descriptive. Although they might not hurt your organic search results, based on my research and experience, all else being equal, blog posts with unique images rank better in the search results.
As an affiliate, you have four options:
- Use stock photos in your blog posts – Not the best option, but a good option if your images are highly relevant to your content.
- Take relevant screenshots – Screenshots can help illustrate your text, making it easier to understand. These are both original and very relevant to the content, but not necessarily the most engaging.
- Take unique photos using your camera or phone – A good option, especially if you’re reviewing a product as an affiliate and taking photos of how it looks and works.
- Use AI to generate unique and engaging images – The best option after taking unique photos using your camera or phone.
There are many free and paid AI image generators. These include Midjourney, Runway, and DALL-E2 (from OpenAI).
However, your image is typically only as good as your prompt. And this is where many affiliates get stuck, because they don’t know how to write a good prompt.
The good news is that you can use an AI tool, such as ChatGPT, to write your image prompt for you – and then use another AI tool to generate the image!
For example, here’s a simple prompt you can use in ChatGPT if you’re in the home & garden niche and want to promote Teds Woodworking (listed on the ClickBank Marketplace):
“Act as a prompt generator. I will describe an image to you, and you will create a prompt for AI image generation. The image I want to generate is for woodworking.”
Based on the above prompt, ChatGPT generated the following image prompt:
And this is the result when I enter the prompt into Runway:
Generating the above image took less than a minute using the free GPT-3.5 version of ChatGPT and Runway’s Basic plan (free).
As you become more familiar with AI for image generation, you can create images limited only by your imagination.
4) AI for Data Analysis
Historically, data analysis typically relied on manual processes. Not only were these processes time-consuming and cumbersome, they were also prone to human errors. And turning data into actionable information that is easy to interpret and understand was often a challenge.
Today, AI uses tools like machine learning, allowing an algorithm to extract and formulate data and uncover patterns based on user needs.
Top AI tools for data analysis include Tableau and Polymer.
Tableau is an analytics and data visualization platform that does not require users to have any coding experience. By using Tableau GPT and Tableau Pulse, you can get personalized data insights to help you solve problems faster and more efficiently.
Polymer, like Tableau, does not require users to have any coding experience. It is very popular with online marketers, content creators, and affiliates. After uploading a spreadsheet, the program transforms it into a user-friendly database.
In addition, Polymer allows you to connect with Google Ads, Facebook ads, and Google Analytics 4 to generate live reports and dashboards.
5) AI for Optimizing Sales Funnels
An affiliate sales funnel is the marketing term for the journey a visitor goes through before buying the product you’re promoting as an affiliate.
Some marketers suggest you only have to post your unique affiliate link on your website, YouTube video description, email, or presell page, and people will click on it and make a purchase, earning you lots of affiliate commissions. However, it’s typically not that simple!
Consumers out there often don’t realize they have a particular problem, or they don’t trust you enough to make a purchase based on your recommendation. This is especially true if they’ve only just “met” you online. In that case, why should they trust you?
By building an affiliate sales funnel, you can engineer a journey that will establish rapport with your target audience, warming them up and gaining their trust before telling them to click on your affiliate click and purchase the product you’re promoting.
Let’s put it this way: if you know what you want, you will go directly to the merchant and purchase it. However, many people think they know what they want but require more information or reassurance that they are making the right decision.
As an affiliate, you can guide them in the right direction or reassure them that buying the product you are promoting is a good fit for their needs.
So, where does AI come in?
AI can help you achieve more conversions faster by helping you suggest lead magnet ideas, create email autoresponders, YouTube video scripts, and all kinds of other aspects of your affiliate sales funnel. It doesn’t matter whether you use paid ads or rely on organic traffic to reach your target audience.
And if you have an existing funnel that isn’t performing well, AI can help you optimize it and improve your conversion rates by walking you through A/B tests. Think of AI as a marketing consultant you can bounce ideas off of, ask questions, and get valuable insights to make the most of your affiliate business and grow faster!
AI tools for affiliate marketers
Now that you know 5 ways to use AI as an affiliate, shouldn’t you know the actual tools people use? The range of AI tools for affiliate marketers is increasing exponentially, as many new tools are launched or under development.
NOTE: If your primary impetus for using AI tools is copywriting, refer to my article on the ten best AI copywriting tools for affiliates.
Now, here are some of the most popular AI tools for affiliate marketers for a range of use cases:
1) ChatGPT (OpenAI) – Copywriting and ideation
ChatGPT needs no introduction. It’s easily the most popular AI tool on the market today. Whether you want content ideas, a killer affiliate marketing headline, headings for a blog post, or a complete article, ChatGPT can help!
It has a free plan (GPT-3.5) and a paid ChatGPT Plus plan (GPT-4) – $20 monthly. You can read more in my guide to affiliate marketing with ChatGPT.
2) DALL-E2 (OpenAI) – Image generation
DALL-E2 is the sister of ChatGPT from OpenAI, but unlike ChatGPT, it only covers image generation.
Image pricing is very competitive – one text prompt generates four images and costs one credit. Credits cost $15 for 115. It equates to $0.13/prompt or $0.0325/image.
3) Jasper.ai – Copywriting and image generation
Jasper pulls data from several of the best AI models, including OpenAI’s GPT-4, Anthropic, and Google’s models. It then incorporates recent search data, your brand voice, and optimization tools like SEO and grammar.
Pricing starts at $49/month (billed monthly) or $39/month (billed yearly) for their entry-level Creater plan. They offer a 7-day free trial for users to test out their service.
4) Midjourney – Image generation
Midjourney is to image generation what ChatGPT is to text generation. It is one of the best image-generation AI tools on the market.
Pricing starts at $10/month (billed monthly) or $8/month (billed yearly) for their entry-level Basic plan. In exchange, you get 3.3 hours per month of fast GPU time. You can also buy extra GPU time for only $4 per hour.
NOTE: GPU stands for Graphics Processing Units that interpret and processes each prompt.
5) Runway – Image and video generation
Runway might not be as well known as Midjourney or DALL-E2. However, it’s a fast-growing company that doesn’t just do text/image to image, but text/image to video as well!
The company has already raised $141 million in 2023, including from Google. And it made the Time 100 most influential companies 2023 list.
Runway has a limited free plan, and monthly plans start at $15/month (billed monthly) and $12/month (billed yearly).
6) Content at Scale – SEO Copywriting
Content at Scale claims they are the fastest-growing AI writing tool for SEO and delivers the most human-like content on the market, bypassing even the most stringent AI detectors.
Plans start at $250, making it the most expensive AI copywriting tool on our list. And you have to contact them to request an invite to join.
7) Originality.ai – AI content detector & plagiarism checker
Originality bills itself as the most accurate AI content detector and plagiarism checker for content marketers. It’s a great tool for checking how original and human-like your content is before publishing it.
They offer a pay-as-you-go plan for $30 that gives you 3,000 credits (1 credit = 100 words) and a monthly subscription plan that costs $14.95 for 2,000 credits.
AI With Affiliate Marketing Challenges
There’s no doubt that AI can be a valuable weapon in the arsenal of any affiliate marketer.
However, before you start dreaming of earning large affiliate commissions with little effort, thanks to AI doing most of the work, I have to point out a few challenges you may face along the way.
It’s great to use AI to create unique images, suggest topic ideas and headlines for your campaigns, or even write snippets of text for you. But using AI to create all of your content, such as full blog posts or lengthy video scripts, thinking you will rank well in Google organic search results, might be a slippery road!
In principle, Google doesn’t have a problem with high-quality AI-generated content.
According to Google Search guidance about AI-generated content:
“Our focus on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced, is a useful guide that has helped us deliver reliable, high-quality results to users for years.”
However, using AI tools to manipulate or gain an advantage in search results violates Google spam policies.
Google advises creators who are considering using AI-generated content as follows:
“As explained, however content is produced, those seeking success in Google Search should be looking to produce original, high-quality, people-first content demonstrating qualities E-E-A-T.
Creators can learn more about the concept of E-E-A-T on our Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content help page. In addition, we’ve updated that page with some guidance about thinking in terms of Who, How, and Why in relation to how content is produced.
Evaluating your content in this way, whether you’re using AI-generated content or not, will help you stay on course with what our systems seek to reward.”
NOTE: E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
In addition, Google expects affiliate pages to add value by offering meaningful content or features. Examples given by Google of good affiliate pages include:
- Offering additional information about the price
- Original product reviews
- Rigorous testing and ratings
- Navigation of products or categories
- Product comparisons
Based on the above, copying & pasting AI-generated content into your blog without editing the content and adding value might not give you the results you are hoping for. The same thing goes for all kinds of channels, from email to paid media to organic social.
English statesman Francis Bacon once said: “Money is a great servant but a bad master.” I would argue that the same principle applies to AI. Use AI as an idea generator and even a first-draft machine, but don’t outsource everything to an AI – your best results will come from cultivating human-to-human connections.
Spark by ClickBank + AI Boosts Affiliate Success
In the end, AI can help you to achieve better affiliate marketing results.
However, if you’re still new to affiliate marketing, there are many fundamentals to learn first before using AI to amplify your affiliate marketing skills.
If you don’t know or can’t apply the basic principles behind affiliate marketing, AI won’t be of much use to you.
To assist new affiliates and help them get off to a good start, we developed Spark by ClickBank – a bundle of high-quality affiliate marketing courses, a thriving community, and a powerful set of tools. All told, you’ll get a strong foundation in affiliate marketing and cultivate the specific skills you need to find success online.
These courses are mostly video-based training designed to give you a head start and cover free traffic or paid traffic as your affiliate path, along with advanced lessons on copywriting, email marketing, and funnels.
When you sign up for Spark by ClickBank, you will receive the following:
- 70+ In-Depth Lessons
- Traffic-Focused Courses
- Monthly “What’s Working Now” Interviews
- Weekly Group Coaching
- Exclusive Access to VIP Community
- ClickBank Curated Resources
The content includes courses and lessons by in-house and outside industry experts, such as:
- Dominate The Inbox: Email Marketing With Ian Stanley – learn the art of storytelling and email copy that works.
- 7-Day Challenge: Go on a 7-day journey with Ben Harris to that first sale – get an over-the-shoulder look at the exact steps Ben takes to set up a Facebook ad with a ClickBank offer.
- The $100/Day Formula: Trade secrets from a top-tier ClickBank affiliate – Discover Robby Blanchard’s $100/day formula.
AI Affiliate Wrap-up
Whether you need assistance with campaign ideation, copywriting, image generation, data analysis, or optimizing sales funnels, AI can help you!
And even if you don’t require assistance, AI can significantly speed up the process, saving you valuable time. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, you can instead focus on managing your affiliate marketing business more efficiently and strategically.
However, AI in affiliate marketing is only one component that might save you time and help you earn more commissions. There is much more to affiliate marketing than AI alone – and it can be a steep learning curve!
That’s why you should work with people who know this industry inside and out. With 25+ years in business and more than $6 billion paid out in commissions, ClickBank is the world’s leading affiliate marketplace!
If you’re serious about making money online with affiliate marketing and furthering your education, we encourage you to check out our affiliate education platform, Spark by ClickBank. You can significantly shorten the time to your first affiliate. Good luck!