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Affiliate Email Marketing: How To Launch Your Campaign For Maximum Impact

Affiliate marketing is one of the most affordable ways to generate passive income online.

And email marketing? It’s a veritable powerhouse—with an ROI of up to $38 for every $1 spent

So, what happens when these two powerful tools are merged? When you launch a few email campaigns with affiliate links, you can watch those commissions roll in, right? Well, not exactly. 

Running an affiliate email marketing campaign is much more than just sending out emails. This article will show you how to do affiliate email marketing right. 

What Is Affiliate Email Marketing?

Affiliate email marketing involves promoting affiliate products or services through email campaigns. With this strategy, you earn commissions based on sales or specific actions taken by recipients. 

Let me illustrate how it works. Let’s assume you run a blog dedicated to outdoor activities. Thanks to engaging content, you’ve built a substantial list of email subscribers. To monetize this list, you can partner with a company that produces high-quality camping gear. 

Then you need to recommend their product and include your affiliate link in your email campaign. So, when a subscriber buys the product using your link (or sometimes even just clicks on the link), you earn a commission. 

As I said, though, affiliate email marketing is not just about including a few promotional links in your campaigns. It’s also about building and maintaining an engaged audience that trusts your recommendations and is likely to act on them.

4 Steps to Launching a Winning Affiliate Email Marketing Campaign

Here are steps to creating an email campaign that reaches your target audience effectively and gets the most out of your affiliate marketing efforts.

1. Select an Email Service Provider That Allows Affiliate Links

Did you know that some email service providers (ESPs) do not allow affiliate links? That’s because they’re afraid the emails would be marked as spam by recipients, which filters would respond to. Spam blocking and email deliverability issues cost these email providers money. Overall, if you pick the wrong ESP, you can ultimately lose access to your email list or email account if you use affiliate links.

However, there are still a good number of reliable ESPs that offer affiliate-friendly features and policies. On GetResponse, for instance, you can include affiliate links in your email campaigns in two primary ways: via a landing page or in the email itself.

When choosing an email service provider, consider these other factors as an affiliate marketer, too:

  • Deliverability: A high deliverability rate is crucial to ensuring your affiliate marketing emails actually reach the inboxes of your subscribers. 
  • Analytics: You’ll need a platform that gives you access to metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates so you can make adjustments to your emails and ensure the best results.
  • Audience segmentation features: A great ESP should also allow you to segment your email list based on subscriber behavior. This will allow you to send targeted emails with affiliate products that match the specific interests of segments of your audience.
  • Automation capabilities: Efficient automation tools allow you to create workflows that send these emails based on specific triggers or subscriber behaviors. 

A robust ESP should also seamlessly integrate with other critical business platforms. With good integrations with known CRM systems, for example, you can effectively nurture relationships with subscribers by monitoring the affiliate email marketing emails you send.

2. Choose the Optimal Affiliate Links for Promotion

It’s not enough to include just any affiliate link. You need links to products that align with your audience’s interests. Therefore, you must deeply understand who your email subscribers are and what they most likely want or need. 

For instance, if your subscribers are mostly fitness enthusiasts, then your promotional emails should focus on fitness equipment, workout programs, or health supplements. 

Once you have a clear idea of your target audience’s preferences, you need to evaluate affiliate programs then choose the ones that align.

For instance, if your list is filled with marketers or entrepreneurs, the best affiliate programs for you should include software solutions like CRM, email marketing tools, and automation systems.

The key is to promote products that feel like a natural extension of your content. This way, your recommendations come off as genuine and trustworthy.

The affiliate links fit in naturally in this SEO-focused newsletter

Additionally, look for programs that not only offer competitive affiliate commissions but also have a reputation for a wide range of quality products and reliable customer service. Remember, every product you promote affects your brand’s credibility, so choose wisely.

3. Create Email Content to Integrate Affiliate Links 

Effective affiliate email marketing isn’t just about including links in your email campaigns. It demands crafting high-quality, valuable content that drives your audience to click through and make purchases. With this content, you should be able to naturally integrate your affiliate links.   

Here are some types of email content you might want to consider:

Product reviews

For your email content, go beyond simple product descriptions. Share detailed reviews or personal experiences. For instance, if you’re promoting a new coffee maker, create a content piece like “5 Reasons the X Coffee Maker Has Revolutionized My Mornings”. Include personal anecdotes about how the coffee maker saves time or enhances the flavor of your coffee. 

This personal touch can make your recommendations more relatable and trustworthy.

You could even feature a full-review of a tool within your newsletter

Resource lists

Develop lists of curated resources or tools that include your affiliate products. For example, if your audience is interested in home renovation, you can send an email titled “Top 10 Tools Every DIY Enthusiast Needs.” Here you can ensure each tool listed includes your affiliate link  directing your subscribers to make a purchase.

Tutorials and how-to guides

Create comprehensive tutorials that incorporate the use of affiliate products. For example, if you’re promoting art supplies, you could send out a step-by-step guide on “How to Paint Your First Landscape.” Each step could mention and link to specific paints and brushes you’re affiliating with.

Seasonal or themed campaigns: 

Align your emails with seasonal needs or current trends. For example, before the holiday season, you could send out a “Holiday Gift Guide.” It could include a link to your deals landing page containing your affiliate links or your affiliate links to specific products. This will make your emails timely and more likely to result in purchases. 

Develop a great content calendar that incorporates a variety of these email types for the best results. If you’re working with a team to create your email content, use project management software like Trello to ensure you meet writing deadlines and send emails on the dates and times specified by your content calendar. If you find the platform’s preference for Kanban limiting, use a Trello alternative that offers more options. 

4. Monitor and Analyze the Performance of Your Affiliate Marketing Campaign

This step is crucial for understanding what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve your strategies for even better results.

Start by ensuring all affiliate links are tagged with tracking codes. Most affiliate programs offer tracking tools that allow you to see how many clicks your links get and how many convert into sales. However, you can also create custom affiliate tracking codes with a tool like Post Affiliate Pro to get performance metrics from multiple affiliate programs. 

With continuous tracking in place, analyze the data to identify patterns and trends. Look at what types of products or services have higher conversion rates and the email formats your audience prefers.

For example, if you notice that emails featuring user testimonials about a product generate more clicks and conversions, consider incorporating more testimonial-driven content in your future emails. 

Similarly, if some emails have significantly lower open rates, revisit them and analyze subject lines and sending times.

Based on your analysis of your email marketing and affiliate efforts, you can make informed changes to your campaign strategies. 

Conclusion

Running a successful affiliate email marketing campaign is more than simply launching email campaigns with affiliate links. 

It involves a strategic approach that emphasizes creating engaging and relevant content. This content should promote your affiliate products in a way that isn’t overly promotional but instead adds genuine value.

But the work doesn’t stop once the emails are sent. 

It’s also important to monitor and analyze the performance and make adjustments to improve their effectiveness. This may involve tweaking your calls to action, refining your messaging, or even revising your email design based on what resonates most with your audience. Good luck!

Author bio: Meet Michal Leszczynski, Head of Content Marketing and Partnerships at GetResponse. With 10+ years of experience, Michal is a seasoned expert in all things online marketing. He’s a prolific writer, skilled webinar host, and engaging public speaker. Outside of business hours, Michal shares his wealth of knowledge as an Email Marketing lecturer at Kozminski University in Warsaw. You can reach out and connect with Michal on LinkedIn.

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