14 min read

How to Launch an Affiliate Email Marketing Campaign Like a Pro

Affiliate email marketing is booming, and it's clear to see why.

I mean, who wouldn't love to make money even while sleeping? I would.

That's why a lot of marketers are joining the affiliate marketers team as a side business.

Whether you are already an affiliate marketer or want to do affiliate marketing through emails, we know just how you can launch your affiliate marketing email sequence like a pro.

What is an Affiliate Email?

An affiliate email marketing campaign is the promotion of affiliate products through an email sequence. In traditional affiliate marketing, your audience finds and clicks your affiliate links from your website content, such as blog posts.

Here's an example of traditional affiliate marketing from Wirecutter:

Wirecutter affiliate marketing example

Wirecutter promotes affiliate links directly in blog posts. But with an affiliate email marketing campaign, you will include your affiliate links in recipients' inboxes.

Here's an affiliate email marketing example:

affiliate email marketing example

The affiliate links from the excerpt above promote Ulysses, a writing app, and a Chrome extension called Mindful. So, how does it work?

Is affiliate email marketing the same as traditional affiliate marketing?

Simply put, when the reader clicks on the affiliate links in the email content and makes a purchase, the author of the email gets a small commission from the sale. As the author likely sends this email to thousands of people, the revenue begins to add up.

Affiliate email marketing can be lucrative but take note here: Even though it is an affiliate marketing campaign, affiliate email marketing is still an EMAIL marketing campaign.

So, in order to launch successful campaigns and make money through affiliate links, you need to have a powerful email marketing strategy.

Whether you wish to implement affiliate marketing into your existing email sequences or create a new one from scratch, you'll still need to provide value in your content so that readers can take an interest in your offer.

We'll talk more about your content later.

But now, know that if you are growing your email list and already have affiliate partnerships, affiliate email marketing is a potential gold mine for your business.

Before we dig deeper into how to do affiliate email marketing, let's see why it has such massive potential.

Why Using Email for Affiliate Marketing is a Good Idea?

good idea concept with light bulb from paper
  • You can automate emails.
  • Emails allow global communication.
  • Emails have a high return on investment. (The average email marketing ROI is %122.)
  • It's easy to track your email campaigns' performance.
  • It helps to establish strong relationships with users.
  • It assists in introducing your products to an existing database.
  • You can actively engage your customers through email marketing.

How to Launch an Affiliate Email Marketing Campaign

Launching an affiliate email marketing can be a bit tricky for beginners, but don't worry; you'll know exactly how in a second. Before that, there's one thing you should bear in mind at all times:

Don't sound like a street vendor. You are not selling; you are just sharing so that they can take interest AND buy.

"But isn't the purpose of affiliate marketing is selling and getting commissions?" You might say. Well, yes and no.

Your role in affiliate email marketing is to talk about the products naturally as a happy customer instead of sounding like a sales rep.

Make sure your emails stick to a friendly and conversational tone at every stage of your campaign. This way, you can build a connection. Otherwise, you might end up with a high unsubscription rate or in the spam folder.

Let's see the best practices for affiliate email marketing.

1. Find an Email Provider That Allows Affiliate Links

First of all, your email provider allows you to include affiliate links in emails. Many email automation services worry about their own email deliverability rates.

So, you should check if yours allows affiliate links. If not or if you are to find an email provider for your affiliate efforts, here are some of the best email providers that let affiliate marketing:

4 Best Affiliate Email Marketing Services

A. MailChimp
MailChimp homepage

MailChimp is one of the most popular email service providers out there - no wonder why! It provides a ton of features that can make your affiliate marketing more manageable. For example; you can:

  • Include custom autoresponders,
  • Use analytics and email tracking as well as integration with Google Analytics,
  • Segmentation options,
  • Use professionally designed email templates.

Additionally, you can use MailChimp's opt-in form on your website to collect email leads easily.

B. Drip
Drip email service homepage

Drip is a customer relationship manager (CRM) with powerful email marketing services. It has a "Product Recommendations" feature that allows affiliate links.

Drip has confirmed that they are okay with affiliate links as long as the affiliate emails are not overly spammy. It's best to contact their support team and verify before launching your campaign.

C. AWeber
AWeber homepage

AWeber is another email provider that you can do affiliate marketing with email lists. AWeber is a beginner-friendly tool and can help your affiliate efforts with features like:

  • Subscriber segmentation
  • Autoresponder follow-ups
  • Embeddable sign-up form
D. GetResponse

GetResponse also allows email marketing affiliate links. Some of its features include:

  • Autoresponders
  • Advanced analytics to track leads and campaigns
  • Customizable templates

2. Decide on the Right Affiliate Links to Promote

new emails inbox

It's important to choose the correct affiliate links to promote before you promote them blindfolded. Make sure your links are:

  • Relevant to your niche (so that they make sense)

There's a reason why people subscribed to your email list. They subscribed because they liked your content. That requires a huge trust and interest. Don't abuse that trust.

Keep providing valuable content and your affiliate products logical to your niche.

Think about it for a second.

Say you subscribed to a cooking website’s email list for recipes. And one day, you receive an email promoting running shoes and unrelated stuff, and it continues. I assume you would hit that unsubscribe button in an instant.

If they included an affiliate link for knives, for example, things would be different. Then, you might have clicked that link and even purchased it.

  • Evergreen

Make sure the products you are promoting are evergreen, meaning that they are unlikely to change over time. This way, you won't have to keep track of updating or changing your content.

What if you have a product that can make huge sales in a particular holiday or a limited time?

Then it's best to create a separate email sequence for those holiday affiliate links so that your existing affiliate email marketing series can stay and work the same without needing to adjust.

You can delete the holiday campaign when the limited time is over.

  • Profitable

Finally, the products you promote should be profitable for you.

If your affiliate links are likely to provide low or limited earning potential, ask yourself if the product will bring enough ROI (return on investment) to make an effort worthwhile.

Since the average click-through rate for emails across all industries is 2.6%, you need to consider if the affiliate commissions are high enough to make money as you like.

For example, here are the commission rates for Amazon:

Amazon affiliate program commission rates

Source: Amazon

Always see the commission rates and calculate the income you'll likely get before launching a campaign.

3. Personalize Your Emails to Build a Connection

business woman checking emails on laptop

According to a study by Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened by recipients.

In terms of affiliate emails, personalization is even more essential to increase the open rate.

Here's a helpful guide: Increase Email Open Rates with Catchy Email Subject Lines

Affiliate marketing efforts can only succeed if you build and foster a relationship with your base. Personalized emails will give you a friendly and helpful tone rather than a salesperson.

4. Add Affiliate Links in Your Email Sequence

Your entire email sequence shouldn't solely be dedicated to affiliate links. Why? Because doing so can cause problems like:

  • Your audience will likely get annoyed if you continually share 3rd party products.
  • Even the email service providers that allow affiliate links may close your account if your links cause low deliverability rates.

So what's the best thing to do?

  • Create emails for affiliate products and add them to an existing sequence
  • Subtly add affiliate links focused on other content

If you have an existing email sequence that gets high click-through and open rates, you can go back to the email copy and embed the affiliate links organically in content.

What's even more crucial is you need to provide the content and value you promised to give in return for the recipients' sign-up.

  • Each of your emails should have a unique form of content.
  • You should have a consistent schedule to send emails.
  • Your emails must focus on nurturing and educating more than promoting.

As you grow your email list, new subscribers can see your affiliate promotions. That means you'll gain a passive income as long as you actively expand your list with new leads.

Once you find a way to convert your website traffic into autoresponder leads continuously, you can sit back and watch the cash flow in.

We have the BEST trick to grow your email list. Just bear with me for a couple more hacks, and we'll talk about that trick at the end.

5. Track Your Affiliate Email Marketing Campaigns

woman checking analytics on laptop

Finally, you've got your affiliate marketing email sequence working automatically, and commissions started to roll in.

But there's one more thing to do. If you want to keep receiving commissions, you need to take an active part in it.

Tag and track your subscribers so that you can tweak the campaigns in the right direction when necessary.

Audience segmentation is a key factor in monitoring your open and click-through rates and improving them as well.

Better safe than sorry; track email marketing KPIs for your campaigns.

6. Leverage Holidays

People are often already on the lookout when the major holidays approach. So, it might be a good time to get creative in promoting your offers.

Just make sure you don't overwhelm the recipients. Otherwise, you might end up with a high unsubscription rate. Also, don't forget what we have said before; create a separate campaign for holidays.

Don't mix it up with your evergreen email sequence. Delete the holiday campaigns when the season is over.

7. Always Put Value First

Yes, affiliate marketing with email lists is to make money, but you need to put value first. Your audience wants to see valuable content that you offered and not just promotional stuff.

You can use different types of media such as videos, images, audios, podcasts to nurture your leads. It's understandable that it takes time and effort to engage leads, build trust and connection.

Just offer value, and your subscribers will do the same by providing you with great affiliate commissions.

8. Re-engage with Them

checking email inbox on laptop sceen

Re-engaging your leads is essential to keep your CTR and CR (conversion rate) on the rise.

Segment the leads who consistently have low engagement rates and send them the emails again. It's possible that they haven't seen your emails the first time.

You can easily automate the follow-up email sending process using automation tools like SureTriggers.

9. Implement Social Proof & Facts

Implement social proof and facts in your emails to show your database a success story of people who used the affiliate product you promote.

Interested in creating a website for your affiliate products? We have reviewed the top website builders for small businesses.

The Secret Sauce for Successful Affiliate Marketing

So now you know all about affiliate marketing email sequences. But there's one secret sauce that you should know:

To continually grow your email list with smart subscription popups.

You can use Popupsmart modern popup builder to create newsletter popups in 3 minutes, set up triggering to target the right visitors on your website at the right time.

It's a no-code tool, so you can set it up on any website easily.

Give it a test run and see the leads pour in.

Create your email popup for free.

You can eaisily integrate Popupsmart with your favorite email service providers.

I hope these tips and best practices help your affiliate marketing with email lists.

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