Currently, 4.2 billion people use email, a figure that will increase to 4.5 billion users by 2025. The average email open rate for all industries is about 21.33%. Unsurprisingly, then, affiliate marketers who master affiliate email marketing usually become very successful in Affiliate marketing.


What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a unique marketing model that allows businesses to compensate affiliates or third-party partners for promoting products or services in order to generate leads or sales. 

If you want to become an affiliate marketer, the first step you need to take is to sign-up for an affiliate marketing program. The second is to read its terms and conditions, so you understand what your commission rate will be. Affiliates receive commissions according to the pre-agreed terms each time they help a brand make a sale or gain a lead.

Companies that employ affiliate marketing get many benefits. These include:

  • Increased brand visibility
  • Enabling brands to reach new audiences via strategies such as email marketing and social media marketing
  • Builds brand credibility, relatability, and authenticity
  • Affordability

Affiliate marketers are compensated via the following methods:

Pay-per-click: In this model, affiliates receive a commission each time visitors from a website click on their affiliate link.

Pay-per-lead: In this model, affiliates are paid when visitors use the affiliate link to go to the landing page and leave contact information, such as email addresses and phone numbers. 

Pay-per-sale: In this model, affiliates receive payment when visitors purchase products using affiliate links. 

These are the popular compensation models that most brands follow.


Why you should use affiliate email marketing

Did you know that around 333.2 billion emails are sent every day? In 2020, the click-to-open rates (CTOR) of emails were about 14.1%. 

Interestingly, emails with personalized subject lines have a 50% higher rate of being opened. The best part is the return on investment (ROI). Email marketing brings you a return of $42 for every $1 spent. Almost 41.5% of brands say that email marketing is crucial to the success of their business. 

These figures indicate that email marketing is lucrative. Nevertheless, getting into it isn’t simple. Before you even contemplate creating an affiliate marketing email campaign, you should invest in good email marketing software. Sending bulk emails and saving email templates is possible with an email marketing tool.

affiliate email marketing

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How to set up an affiliate email marketing campaign

This article will give a detailed overview of how to set up an affiliate email marketing campaign in four easy steps. However, a very simple rule to keep in mind throughout this process is: Never sell the product you are promoting like a salesman. 

Instead, promote it like a customer who has enjoyed using a product. When you send a marketing email, the last thing you want to do is annoy people.

Preparation is also crucial, so plan your email content thoroughly. If you don’t pay attention, people won’t trust you or the products or services you promote. 

Some of your email subscribers may even unsubscribe from your email list or mark your email as spam. Which is to say, all of your hard work will go down the drain if you don’t do things properly.

These details aside, here’s what you need to do to create an affiliate marketing campaign:


1. Does the email provider allow affiliate links?

You must check if the email provider you plan to use for your email campaigns will allow you to post affiliate links in your emails. Today, many service providers have banned people from sending affiliate links and discouraged people from running campaigns with affiliate links. 

It’s, therefore, vitally important to see if your provider will support your campaign before taking the next step. Many email service providers do not encourage affiliate marketing on their platforms as they don’t want their deliverability rate to decrease. 

If, for example, you don’t check and end up using an email provider that doesn’t support affiliate marketing, it’s possible that they will freeze or delete your account. In the worst-case scenario, you might lose your entire mailing list. 

By clarifying if your chosen email service provider supports affiliate marketing, you will know whether to use their service or find another. 


2. Handpick the affiliate links you want to promote

Once you decide which email provider to use, the next thing to do is decide on the affiliate links you want to use. 

Ideally, affiliate links should be:

  • Profitable affiliate links
  • Evergreen email content
  • Relevant to the niche you are focusing


Profitable affiliate links

Before you promote an affiliate product, you must check if the affiliate link is profitable. Will it deliver a profitable ROI? Email marketing requires you to devise a plan and create the email content before setting up the campaign. 

The average click-through rate is just 2.3%. By using the wrong affiliate link, you will therefore waste your time. Instead, you should check the commission rate to understand which products will yield good results if promoted. 

For example, if you are selling a product that is $30 and the commission rate is 1%, you have to sell 1,000 products to make $300. In contrast, selling a product that gives you 8% on $200 furniture will earn $304, even if 16 people purchase the products using the affiliate link. And this is the main reason you must always choose profitable affiliate links. 


Evergreen email content

affiliate email marketing

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The products your emails promote should always be evergreen, i.e., they should have a relatively long-term availability of at least two to three years. Promoting products of this nature will save time and effort in the long run. 

People can use your link to access products whenever they want instead of reaching a dead end.

By adopting this approach, you will address some of the following issues:

  1. Some people open their emails once in a while and might have missed your email. This strategy means you have the chance of making money whenever they click the affiliate link to make a purchase when the link doesn’t expire.
  2. Sometimes, people revisit their emails to find a product they liked but cannot proceed because the link is no longer valid. 


Relevant to your niche

When promoting an affiliate link, stick to your niche. Don’t forget that your customers signed up for your emails because they like your content. Moving away from your niche will damage your target audience’s trust. 

For example, if you are targeting gaming, stick to it. Likewise, if you are interested in promoting clothing, keep at it. When you use affiliate links from other products, you will upset your subscribers, and they might even hit the unsubscribe button. 


3. Add affiliate emails to the sequence

Here is another affiliate email marketing tactic you should follow. When promoting an affiliate link on your email, do so subtly to ensure people don’t lose their trust in you. 

If people see that you are only promoting affiliate products, they might think you are just trying to sell them something and unsubscribe from your email list. This can also hamper your click-through rate or open rates. Conversely, when you embed links to a related word in your emails, people will be happy to receive them as it doesn’t look like you are trying to sell them something. 

Another strategy you can follow is to include 80% educational content and 20% marketing information. This way, people will find genuine value in your offer. 

The best method to increase interest in your target audience is to plan an email sequence and use the first few emails to warm them up by citing a potential problem they might face. 

In your later emails, you should discuss solutions and the affiliate products they might use to fix this problem. When including affiliate links, always use the appropriate anchor texts. You must take time to freeze the content you will include in your emails. If you are well prepared, your affiliate email marketing campaign will have a higher chance of success.

affiliate email marketing

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4. Keep a tab on your email marketing campaigns

Once you’ve set up your emails and email sequence, the next thing you need to do is check how they’re performing. To do so, evaluate the following metrics:

  1. Did sales increase?
  2. What are the click-to-open rates (CTOR)?
  3. Did the number of people subscribing to your email list increase or decrease?

By checking the analytics and monitoring these metrics, you will know if your affiliate email marketing is working well or not. If you learn something new, apply it. Similarly, if something is not working, change tack. 


In Conclusion

Mastering affiliate email marketing will help you become a successful affiliate marketer. When sending emails to customers, you must subtly include the affiliate link in your email’s content. Use the right marketing strategies, such as email personalization, to connect with your target audience.

Creating email sequences and tracking the performance of the email campaigns will give you total control over your email campaigns. Follow the steps outlined in this article to start your affiliate email marketing journey today.